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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Writing Alone in a Toilet

WHERE should we write? In a friend's borrowed toilet like Jack Kerouac? That's Water Closet to you Brits, or W.C. That doesn't stand for Wayside Chapel, despite the jokes.




You could write in a Wayside Chapel or a W.C. So long as you're alone. I vould like to be alone.


  • Did you notice I changed voices three times in the first two paragraphs?
  • I emphasized ALONE, like in a borrowed toilet, preferably William Faulkner's borrowed toilet.
  • Some authors write in crowded French cafes with black ink on a pad of lined yellow paper.
  • Blue ink does it for some, or a dull pencil. Or a very sharp pencil. Or a crayon or lipstick on a mirror in William Faulkner's W.C.
  • Others in a cork lined room from midnight to dawn.
  • Get rid of the distractions. Pitch the TV onto the street. Stomp on the stereo and tear the cord from your MP3 player.
  • Music sometimes helps the muse, I'm told. Choose your own poison.
  • I write alone in front of a colored 21" screen. Virginia Woolf had a room of her own.
  • So do I.
  • Where should we write? Under a rainbow, by a window, in a library kiosk, on a bench in a busy shopping mall, in Portugal, under a magnolia tree which sheds blossoms like pink rain into our novel?
  • Ultimately, like Ernest Hemingway said, we should write in our heads.
WHEN we should write is the subject of my next blog post. Time out, stay tuned, keep warm.

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