"I'm a writer every day, but I don't write every day. Every day I'm looking for those ducks to land on the water, or something to nudge me toward the page. But I don't really have any compositional habits. I'm afraid it's still kind of a romantic view of writing. I have to wait for something to startle me rather than just hacking it out every day. But it doesn't take much to startle me. My stepdaughter, who was 16 a couple of years go, was doing all these drawings of princesses and fairy tale castles and fantasy stuff. Fair enough. But one day she came in with a little drawing of a scallion o a plate and I wrote a poem about it because I thought she was moving from one phase to another. She was moving out of fantasy into the simplicity of real things." Billy Collins
Monday, March 19, 2012
How freeing to read that Billy Collins doesn't write every day. If you're not one of those writers who writes every day (and hard as I try I'm really not)--you can feel guilty, like you're failing, not doing it right, not living up to your potential. You name it.
But perhaps that's too limited a view of what it means to be a writer. What if it's not about the typing or your desk or word counts or pages? What if it's actually about showing up. Whatever that means that day. Whether that means you're at your desk or out watching children in a playground--whatever you're doing--the point is you're showing up and being one on whom nothing is lost.
"I'm a writer every day but I don't write every day."
All I can say is, if Billy Collins can write the way he does and not write every day, then that's good enough for me.