Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Successful Author's Day

Ernest Hemingway looked at the world
with feeling but without sentimentality.
When I do public readings or presentations, people often ask, "How does a professional writer spend a typical day?" I usually respond, "How in the hell would I know that?" Audience members sometimes follow-up, "When will you start being professional?" I reply, "Obviously, when I have given up all hope of being great." Still, I do know how this author spends most days and that may give some aspiring writers a glimpse at a path to success they can emulate or a road to perdition they can avoid. Here is my normal daily routine.

6:00 - Wake up in my cozy king-size bed in my cold peasant-size cabin. Light candles and sip water until all evil spirits hit the highway and digestive waste hits the low way. Meditate briefly on the meaning of my existence and flush. Sit down on my yoga mat. Thank the author of life for another sunrise and making me better looking than 52% of humanity. Do ab crunches, pelvic lifts, and leg squats. Recite an inspirational mantra: "I'm immortal and women dig me."

Mark Twain refused to take himself too
seriously in a world of literary pretentions.
7:00 - Eat a breakfast of yogurt and oats with mango, papaya, bananas, or strawberries. Relax on my leather sofa with a mug of Indian chai or Mexican coffee and my black labrador Jack under my legs panting and drooling like a flasher in a trenchcoat. Write for a few hours in a notebook, saving the good stuff onto a computer and scrunching the bad stuff into paper wads that I throw at Jack with a cranky reminder "In the desert, noone from the S.P.C.A. can hear you scream!" After which, he reminds me "Even cats can dial 911." Point taken.

10:00 - Hit the weights for bench presses, back rows, shoulder presses, and bicep curls. Hit the kitchen for lean meats, whole grains, and veggies. Shower for an inappropriately-long time, touching myself fondly but not sexually. Powerwalk a mile across gorgeous desert wilderness, looking quite gay but developing tight oblique and buttock muscles that make me more than capable of circling back to open a can of whup-ass on any roadside mockers. Get inspired by the awesome ever-changing-and-swirling skies to have another conversation with the infinite that inevitably leads to "You're big, I'm small; you're right, I'm wrong." Damn it!

Jack London dared to apply Darwin's
theories to the animals within us all.
12:00 - "Teach" some communication classes to cool funny Mexican students, while they play online games, make babies, or ignite the desks with lighters. Pause briefly to watch the students make babies and pick up tips. Warn the boys that in Pottery Barn "You break it; you own it" and in Lyn's class "You make it; you own it." Listen to snooty teachers explaining educational theories more complex than quantum physics and ridiculing my childish theory of passionately knowing about your subject and deeply caring about your students. Remind the uppity professors that I have just as many degrees on the wall as they do and a couple more inches in the pants.

5:00 - Edit the material I composed with a sharper and more creative mind in the morning. Dine with friends and loved ones. Argentinian steak and goat cheese Greek salad with Spanish red wine or Arrachera steak and nopal cactus salad with pulque cactus beer or something like that. Laugh at totally inappropriate humor and give thanks that life-enhancing jokes are still legal in Mexico. Hit on women who are out of my league and who laugh at me hysterically but not in a good way.

Lyn Fuchs gazes out over his ranch, scratches
himself, and scribbles for a couple of hours.
9:00 - Go to bed. Give something back to the community by striving to fully satisfy a voracious Mexican princess. Explain to the police that serial homicides and multiple orgasms may sound the same but .... Okay, that's my typical day. What did we learn? Authors need beautiful surroundings for creative inspiration, self discipline for consistent production, and a way with words for reader seduction. Likely, you already knew all that. Still, life aint about the knowin', it's about the doin'. Just write it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm falling about laughing!

    That inspirational mantra's entirely too appropriate!