∀From the film Adaptation. by Charlie Kaufman.
¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.
Damn! I am having this conversation more and more, so I am glad Julia Cameron assigned this two part initiation tool to the Writing Life. Just write. Just Write. Just WRITE. In part one, you will connect with an inner voice, channel it, and allow this spring of words to talk back to all the judging, and shout itself to peace — imagine a teenager standing up for himself, herself, for once. The next part, is the reverse, the adult self, the gentler being, doing its adult job, which is to offer encouragement and reassurance: to bring up, to raise the young. But that’s next week. This week, we grow up, we stand up.
A letter from my inner writer to myself.
Dear twenty-six year old Iván,
I’m tired of being ignored. I’m tired of not sharing. I’m tired of silence. It is time to write! Every day. I thank you for giving me the mornings, but give me the afternoons, give me the train rides, read less, read more, as long as you write. I want to go to a new book store, with yellowing wall paper, you already know the one, it’s written down on a sticky note. Just do it. I want to go to El Museo on Fifth Ave. Just do it. I want to go to the David Bowie exhibit, and I want to go alone, before it ends preferably. Remember when we went to the MoMa Ps1? Go back. Stand in the open concrete space before it gets filled with concert staging equipment. Visit the BK Botanical Gardens, c’mon, it’s the spring. Visit one goofy antique shop. You wanna write about an antique shop? Go to an antique shop. And please, for the love of all that is holy, go see a DJ event, specifically a DJ event — how dare you write your thesis on a Brooklynite DJ protagonist, and not attend a single boom-boom all-nighter all semester. Shame! I want to go! Take me! Ok. One more play. I loved The Respectable Wedding, ty to homie Daniel for the rec. If you’re listening… ty. And, attend the reading today at the Strand. Yes! Do it! Go alone or with a friend; it is called “the friend” after all, this book being read and shared. Lastly, A cathedral, yes, I want to go to a cathedral and smell the frankincense. “How dare you dare me,” you ask. Lol. Remember the video we watched this week with Charlie Kaufman giving a speech in London? So brilliant. “Put yourself out there.” More like put out. I am putting out! I put out all the time, damn, and “where is it taking us” is a silly question. I can’t answer that. I can only write! You deal with it. I am asking YOU to deal with the sharing. My end of the bargain is to write. I am writing. You hit the share button. You submit work. Where can we submit work? New lit mags on campus, two. Glimmer Train. Epiphany. Masters Review. Narrative. Narratively. Inquisitive Eater. This blog. Where can I post work? I dare you, Iván, to print fifty copies of the first two pages of your critical essay, “the polyglot manifesto,” and post it double-sided all around campus. C’mon, live a little, shake a leg, break a lake, shoot a cloud, laugh like a bird, cry like a walrus, sing like a bee, fly like a flame, flex like a cup, dance like a pencil sharpener, roll like the worm, rain like a storm, burn like a dinosaur, and die peacefully. The Summer Abroad? Be patient, big boy. You dreamed, literally, of that literary dream. It will come to pass. You did the hard part, write it ten times. Now you must edit it once, at least once, no god damn revision, I’m tired of you revising my work! Let it roll, baby, the way it is. But yes edit it because you have the steady hands. Ok. Edit it once, whether or not the places accept it. And print it yourself. Self-publish is the new publish. And, for the love of all that is unholy, self-publish Lunas u Moons. One hundred percent. Who’s gunna wanna print out a collection of short stories and flash fiction and six-word stories and poems by an undocumented unpublished grumpy overly exited passionate masochistic cry baby boy from the lone star imma do things my way or the high way uncompromising unflinching uninformed optimistic sadistic satirizing lonely extroverted dumbo from nowhere who sees himself as a man lost at sea looking for a home he has never had unless it’s the home he has left and has let go kinda dude who is like yeah something. Cameron wrote, “It strikes me as interesting that if someone loved banking, he wouldn’t chastise or castigate himself for choosing that life. If someone loved history and wanted a life as a history professor, that would be a socially acceptable choice, although it is, in fact, every bit as self-indulgent as doing anything else you love — writing for example.” So write on, brother! Write on! I love to write. You love to read. We can do this. Let the world come. This room is the studio. Open, ding!, turn on the neon lights, flip the sign over at the door. Write like mad, like all those dead dudes once wrote. I will write till you kill me, but even then I’ll still write from the grave. I’ll write from the flames of a séance. I’ll write in the imagined voices of ancestors. Son, you are the father. Father, you the son. Biblical, libraries are. And if this you think was messy then the next week’s will be even harsher, muahaha. So long! But not for long! I take it all back! I was never tired! I am free. You are me.