I turned in my third draft to Lisa B. a week ago, and have been writing songs since. I’m rusty but today recorded one in order to hear it back and I think it’s not bad. My goal is to write two a week while I spend a little time each day cleaning up my draft. If it sounds ambitious, I guess it is. But the songs will be mostly rubbish at first. I can feel that it will take me a while to get back into it.
I’m unsure as to whether the book is any good. I think it might be, or pretty good, or not bad. Again, there are structural problems that I’ve been unable to solve to my satisfaction, but I have to remind myself that it won’t be perfect. It will be what I wrote as a second book. I want to write as well as the writers I love, but that’s not realistic. Of course, my editor will have suggestions and I need a new title. I haven’t found one yet that feels right.
I’m very disciplined about working, although it doesn’t feel like that. It just feels like habit or routine. The day I turned in draft three, I decided to add a morning run to the routine. I’ve been going every other day — just a mile or two. I’m out of shape. Writing is so hard on the body. All that sitting. When you write music, at least you’re picking up the guitar, putting it down, singing and playing.. Writing prose you just sit in one position for hours.
Leon is in town and last night we watched the sun go down at 90th Street by the reservoir in Central Park. Then we sat on a bench and watched people go by as it got dark. Doe was there too, glad to be outside. Leon was telling me about a friend of his who lost all of his cherished memorabilia to Hurricane Sandy. He was trying to replicate it and Leon felt that was sad. How could it ever be replicated? He was thinking about all the stuff he has accumulated too. What to do with all the stuff? I told him when I sold the Mattituck house, I threw most of mine away. Photos and tapes and sheet music and everything. After a while, you get tired of carting all your junk around. I was going to say that the past has little bearing on the present anyway, but of course that’s not true. There I was with Leon, my friend of thirty plus years, and the past was thick between us. Sometimes the present doesn’t seem as real.