I haven’t been blogging much lately, I know. I go through phases–sometimes, I have a lot to say, and other times, not so much. I’ve yet to discern any real reason for the waxing and waning. But this time, it might have something to do with the fact that I’m in the last stages of revising part I of my novel, before moving onto part II, and so I’m deeply entrenched in fiction. Or maybe it’s because they’ve been remodeling the place across from mine for quite a while, and all my extra energy is going into tuning out table saws and hammers. Or maybe it’s because I’m sick. Again. I think.
Or maybe–and this is the last one, I swear–it’s because I just finished writing another guest post for Cheek Teeth, which will go up this Saturday, May 1st. Maybe that post has been sucking away all of my blogging energy, and now that it’s done, we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. But until my blog brain gets the memo, I’ll leave you with a poem. Since this Cheek Teeth post will be the most writing advice-y I’ve ever gotten, it seems appropriate that I post this poem by Ron Koertge, which gives excellent advice.
“Do You Have Any Advice for Those of Us Just Starting Out?”
By Ron Koertge
Give up sitting dutifully at your desk. Leave
your house or apartment. Go out into the world.
It’s all right to carry a notebook but a cheap
one is best, with pages the color of weak tea
and on the front a kitten or a space ship.
Avoid any enclosed space where more than
three people are wearing turtlenecks. Beware
any snow-covered chalet with deer tracks
across the muffled tennis courts.
Not surprisingly, libraries are a good place to write.
And the perfect place in a library is near an aisle
where a child a year or two old is playing as his
mother browses the ranks of the dead.
Often he will pull books from the bottom shelf.
The title, the author’s name, the brooding photo
on the flap mean nothing. Red book on black, gray
book on brown, he builds a tower. And the higher
it gets, the wider he grins.
You who asked for advice, listen: When the tower
falls, be like that child. Laugh so loud everybody
in the world frowns and says, “Shhhh.”
Then start again.