The New Yorker, June 24, 1996 P. 156
SHOUTS & MURMURS casual about writing... Writing is the most easy, pain-free, and happy way to pass the time of all the arts. As I write this, for example, I am sitting comfortably in my rose garden and typing on my new computer. Each rose represents a story, so I'm never at a loss for what to type. I just look deep into the heart of the rose, read its story, and then write it down. I could be typing kjfiu joew. mv jiw and enjoy it as much as typing words that actually make sense, because I simply relish the movements of my fingers on the keys. It is true that sometimes agony visits the head of a writer. At those moments, I stop writing and relax with a coffee at my favorite restaurant, knowing that words can be changed, rethought, fiddled with, and ultimately denied. Painters don't have that luxury. If they go into a coffee shop, their paint dries into a hard mass... Writer recommends all writers live in California... Writer explains why "Love in the Time of Cholera" is a bad title & suggests "Love in the Time of the Blue, Blue, Bluebirds"... Writer takes a passage by Milan Kundera: "Most people deceive themselves with a pair of faiths: they believe in eternal memory (of people, things, deeds, nations) and in redressibility (of deeds, mistakes, sins, wrongs). Both are false faiths. In reality the opposite is true: everything will be forgotten and nothing will be redressed." Sitting in his garden, watching the bees glide from flower to flower, he lets the above passage filter through his mind. He then rewrites it under the sunny influence of California: "I feel pretty, Oh so pretty, I feel pretty, and witty, and bright." Kundera was just too wordy. Sometimes the delete key is your best friend... Writer advises someone who doesn't know what sentence to type next to go to an already published novel and find a sentence that you absolutely adore. Copy it down in your manuscript. Usually, that sentence will lead you to another sentence, and pretty soon your own ideas will start to flow... This is an example of what writer calls "pure" writing which occurs when there is no possibility of its becoming a screenplay. Pure writing is the most rewarding of all, because it is constantly accompanied by a voice that repeats, "Why am I writing this?" Then, and only then, can the writer hope for his finest achievement: the voice of the reader uttering its complement, "Why am I reading this?"
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