My agent says I need to write more. About anything. He doesn’t give a shit. “Just write,” he says. Maybe it’s so he can make money if I come up with something good. I don’t know.
It ain’t as easy as it sounds, though. I think, “OK. I’m gonna write something – at least start something - new today.” That’s the kiss of death right there. Thinking about it.
Maybe if I could just make my mind blank for an hour or so, I could come up with something. I’ve been accused, on more than one occasion, of “zoning out,” losing all touch with reality. But, I can’t seem to do it at will.
Maybe if I got really, really drunk it would work. No. My spell checker would probably have a stroke and die.
Maybe if I closed my eyes and meditated. Chant a little or sit cross-legged on the floor. Touch my “fuck you” finger to my thumb and say, “Ooooooommmmm.” Then, I’d just fall asleep. Another hour or so wasted.
I know what doesn’t work. Just sitting here thinking about what to write. My mind does go blank, but when I come to there’s still no idea dangling at the edge of my consciousness.
It must be nice to be Robert B. Parker. Able to write 40 or 50 novels, most about the same characters. All set in the same city. Double-space them, leave wide margins and six inches of blank space at the top and bottom of each page. If a 300-page Parker book was printed the same way that a James Lee Burke book was, Parker would be down to about 100 pages. The problem is, I read every damn one of his books and can’t wait for the next. Burke affects me the same way. Carl Hiassen, too.
I’m not that much dumber than those guys. At least I don’t think I am. I worked on my first book for three fucking years. I wrote it, then I revised it, then I edited it, then I revised it. Three years. I got sick of the damn thing. I got to the point that I couldn’t stand to read it any more. It bored the piss out of me. So, I sent it to an agent. He seemed to like it.
Did I mention that he wants me to write more?