The list of things I should be doing:

same 170

Working on my mind: Reading Poetry Magazine, the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Nation, reading a couple really important prose books every year, couple of poetry books a week, and of course, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and all the important literary blogs of which this is an incomplete list.

1. The Rest Is Noise
2. Huff Post
3. Slate
4. Salon
5. HTML Giant
6. Long Reads
7. NPR
8. The Millions
9. Rumpus
10. NY Review of Books
11. The Awl
12. Paris Review
13. Public Space
Okay, then I should work on my body. That means running 40-60 miles/week, going to the gym twice a week, yoga, Pilates, situps.

I should also work at a regular job that keeps me indoors.
I should read some of the more intelligent glossy magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, O, More, the ones where we send Red Hen books for reviews and where we do pitches.

Between the reading, the running, the gym, the travel for Red Hen, I need to do my own writing. I need to spend ten-twenty hours a week writing. It’s hard to have enough time to actually get done what you need to. And there is the other problem that I can’t seem to avoid. I need sleep. I try to avoid it, and I’ve tried to convince myself that I can get by on less sleep, but this really isn’t true. I do need sleep.

The biggest problem of being a creative person is that you have this whole other job to do that you often are not getting paid for and which does not yield immediate results. If you get enough sleep, you feel better, if you exercise, eventually, you see results, but if you write or paint or act in plays, you are involved in a non market activity that doesn’t even make you sexier. In fact, it might mean you’re spending more time sitting.

Being a writer is complicated because it’s hard to sustain a writing life, but it’s also very simple. You don’t need complicated tools. You need to read and be willing to quiet down and think and then you just do it. The editing takes work though and it’s harder than first drafts for most people.

I love the international book fairs because when you are there, you are aware of how much more other people in other countries read than we do. Americans need to read more and think more. Plus, London is an exciting city. It feels like being in the thicket of culture. Kim says she gets sick of NY. I am ready to come home by the end, but I never get sick of NY. I love being somewhere that I can feel a wild heartthrob of energy. I like to think that the sun is large and the sunlight thick and the ideas bubbling around us. I live in a world of ideas and in that world, I like the fire. Books matter. At the London Book Fair, I’ll be in a world where books are alive.

Published in: on April 6, 2014 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  

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