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If I wrote and drew a comic strip for a daily paper I’d sit down every Sunday morning with coffee and pen at the kitchen table, hopefully with a gentle eastern sun coming in at a good angle, warming my shoulder maybe, and I’d sit there and dream about my characters, doodle them into a week’s worth of life as a sermon, a communal service with friends. After the party breaks up everyone leaves and I’d wait for the next Sunday morning to arrive.
If I were a magazine writer I’d work on the first day of the month, no matter what day of the week, I’d perch on a stool, my elbows on a desk, head hanging over a blank page and I’d think about what troubles the world, or who is most irritating or obnoxious on the current stage, and I’d not want for an opinion which I’d scribble out at first before committing a typeset to the piece but before long I’d have a framework, two to four points of some self import and I’d begin the tapping out into a one, two or three thousand word piece, whatever my editor tells me, I easily adopt, but these editors I work for or with all these years they learn quickly and sometimes quite severely to never suggest a topic, that is for me to decide on the first of every month, no matter what day of the week.
If I wrote an advice column, I’d read each letter in the evening, after dinner but before a walk, then I’d take a warm bath and go to bed and in the morning write whatever words of warning or guidance or veiled contempt I’d have to offer, but I wouldn’t like this writing as much because it’s a daily grind of masticating another cow’s cud.
If I were writing a novel I’d turn off the phone service, and find a soft blanket to wrap myself with for the duration, I’d write morning to night, night to day without regard for anything or anybody, my only friends and acquaintances would be the characters, no television, no radio, no iTunes or You Tube, no internet, no night out, no dinner plans, no vacation, no nothing until the last page written, the last tear dried, the last sentence typed and then I’d go out into the world flushing in disbelief, exhausted, sore and asking for a life.
If I were a poet I’d keep a little notebook and pen with me at all times, ready for the words that would fall from heaven, the rhymes and rhythm coming to mind at any and all times, I’d lay in the grass and gaze at the sky, blue or gray, cloudy or clear, waiting for the rain of verse to fall. I’d work all the time but it would be a joy, a discovery to accept the gift of poetry.
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