Coffee Log, Day 147


Coffee: India Extra Bold Roast, Cafe Crema

We sat outside at two black tables with a tree taking up half the space. The tree was potted. Someone had stuck a bow in it.

‘Writers’ – what a weird word. Less a profession than a red-eyed cry of aspiration, though anyone of us claiming the title probably wishes there were dollar bills behind it. I called myself a writer in elementary school when my poems won contests and my first short story was printed and bound by the school librarian. Then I stopped in high school when I realized I was only writing for myself and friends.

Well, I’ve been published a couple times since then. It’s not much, nothing to brag about, but I mention it because it didn’t take the feeling of ‘not-a-writer’ away. In 2016, the sense that no matter who saw me, who read me, I might still feel insufficient sunk me like a swiss cheese boat. I’m still sinking. But I’m also working harder, planning smarter, and writing every day.

Am I a writer yet? Damning, liberating, only way I can respond is: who cares?

I ate falafel with friends from the Third Wednesday Open Mic tonight. They all wrote good words. Secretly, though, I spent half the night staring at the girl in the black dress with the boat-oar legs at a separate table; she was scribbling something furious in a bound journal.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

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“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” – Thomas Mann


Coffee Log, Day 128


Coffee: Fair Trade Ethiopian Medium Dark, Harris Teeter Brand

I read two articles:

1) reading for leisure in America has hit an all time low.

2) attention is directly related to motivation

These articles confirmed a bias I’ve held for some time: writers don’t know how to swagger anymore, to be cool. Think of your favorite authors; find a book, their dust-jacket photo – more than likely you see a close-cut portrait, crossed arms, your grand-aunt-or-uncle at Bridge night – a bad bridge night, where no-one’s drinking, no-one’s betting, the TV’s suffering 700 Club re-runs, and Peter’s on a diet so he brought celery sticks instead of his famous brownies – where the hell’s my motivation?

But then, the old artist’s life is unsustainable. Lots of great men and women put salt and pepper on a .45. And really, who’s got the money or time or optimism to live in cynical abandon? Writers need a swagger, but one that works in 2018.

What does that look like?

The student in me says: look at hip-hop, Twitch streams.

The writer in me says: well, look at me.

Currently Reading:

History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund (2017 Man Booker Prize Shortlist) (FINISHED!!! Unforgettable; will post a review this weekend)

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“A word after a word after a word is power.”  – Margaret Atwood