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A Diet of Words

Posted by Rick · December 13th, 2005 · 1 Comment

This morning, I started working on an article about tinkering with nature. But I’m off to San Francisco today, running an errand for a friend, and I don’t want too late a start. While trying to find something I wrote back in the late 1980s — I’m a pack-rat, so I know I have it somewhere — I ran across something else instead. And because I know that my future article “Scrambled Eggs” is apparently not going to be finished quick enough to allow me to hit the road early, I decided I’ll post this bit of pap from my past. It was originally written at 12:42 p.m. on February 17, 1997.

Enjoy.

There is a need in me to write, which is as basic as my need to eat, or breathe. Yes; that’s exactly the way it is. I need to write like I need to eat. The problem is that I write like I eat: not very well.

Almost everyday, I eat. Some days, my diet is the most fattening and horrific food anyone could ever hope to encounter. But it tastes good. Other days, I’m austere, eating nothing more than a “lite potato”—spelled with a “t-e” instead of “g-h-t”—from Carl’s Jr, several hundred ounces of Diet Coke serving as an effervescent chaser. The bubbles trick my stomach into thinking itself full. Some days, I eat nothing at all. And the point of all this is that, while it slakes hunger and thirst, it is not the type of diet any nutritionist I know would recommend. I know this because I know several nutritionists, and they assure me that they cannot recommend I continue this diet. The diet they recommend has more structure, regularity; more discipline.

So it is with my writing. I’m a “journaler.” What I do best is to journal. Some days, my journaling is the most fatuous and horripilic pap anyone could ever hope to read. But it feels good. Other days, I’m ascetic, writing nothing more than what needs to be said. The letters stick to the page and I think myself cool. Some days, I write nothing at all. And the point of all this is that, while it slakes with wonderful verse, it is not the type of writing any writing teacher I know would recommend. I know this because I know several writing teachers, and they assure me that they cannot recommend I continue writing this way. The writing they recommend has more structure, regularity; more discipline.

But “discipline” is a word I know for a way of life I’ve never experienced—not in my eating, and certainly not in the way I defecate onto the page.

If only someone could come up with an easy-to-follow diet of words.

Tomorrow, Scrambled Eggs. See you then.

Categories: Old Journal Entries

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Todd Vodka // Dec 13, 2005 at 11:50 pm

    I’m jealous: you have ultra-rightwing whackos attacking your blog with their incoherent drivel and I have naught. Here’s my favorite line: global warming is a fantasy. Maybe they’re right. Can you pass the spf 40 please.

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