I head off to Paris today to be a guest speaker at Rolf’s creative writing class at the Paris American Academy. It sure looks like they’re having a great time! I’m bummed I missed meeting Jeffrey Tayler since we had some correspondence last year, but it’ll be great to be there on their last day and wish them all well in their future writing endeavors.
Did you check out Rolf’s other guest speakers? To my embarrassment, I hadn’t know anything about Rory MacLean prior to Rolf’s link to him. Now, I’m going through his website, and really digging his attitude. In his Summer 2005 newsletter Rory speaks candidly about his writing process.
“But by that time I’m exhausted. I feel as if — and I like this feeling — the energy of eight hours of my One-and-Only-Life has been drained out of me and impressed into the day’s pages. So to enable myself rise up the next morning I begin to lie.
When writing a first draft, once into my stride, I convince myself that my rough scribbles flow like the finest poetry. I imagine the muses smiling on me as they stroke my hand and ego. I consider notifying the Booker prize judges to prepare themselves for the arrival of a remarkable, spontaneous oeuvre. Then I finish the first draft and Katrin — my wife — and Peter — my agent — read the manuscript. And they give me their criticism. And I’m reminded once again of Flaubert’s dictate that prose is like hair that shines with combing…..”
Then Rory goes on to talk about all the rewrites he needs.
What really got me in this newsletter was his way of referring to his life, not just the writing—
I love that. Let’s say it again, my One-and-Only-Life. It’s a great reminder to me to make sure that I’m respecting the grandness and gift of this life I get to have. Am I giving it it’s due respect? Something to chew on. But I can only become an even better person if I keep thinking about my time right now as my One-and-Only-Life. I LOVE that attitude!. Thanks, Rory. I’ll buy your book.