On being yourself
On alternative past scenarios (and the error most people make)

Being a writer. Being an artist. Being full of shit. | 778

[ 4 min read ]

Diary of an artist, Saturday, October 6, 2018

# 778 (countdown)

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Copy of Adulthood smooth& tasty.-11

Woke up 5:30 am.

To Charles Bukowski non-writing matters, such as submitting manuscripts to literary magazines, felt like a waste of time. What mattered most to him was writing the next line. Everything else was a distraction.

He wrote

A writer is not a writer because he has written some books. A writer is not a writer because he teaches literature. A writer is only a writer if he can write now, tonight, this minute.

and

If I don’t write for a week, I get sick. I can’t walk, I get dizzy. I lay in bed, I puke. Get up in the morning and gag. I’ve got to type. If you chopped my hands off, I’d type with my feet.

and

I can’t understand any writer who stops writing. It’s like taking your heart out and flushing it away with the turds. I’ll write to my last god damned breath, whether anybody thinks it’s good or not. The end as the beginning. I was meant to be like this. It’s as simple and profound as that. Now let me stop writing about this so that I can write about something else.

That’s exactly how I feel too. If I don’t write for a day I’m ill at ease. Actually I’m ill at ease even if I don’t have time to write in the morning. That’s why I hate so much movie sets and other obligations which take place in the early morning hours and deprive me of my time to write in complete solitude and quietness. I understand that later I might be in solitude, but not in quietness. Or that I might find neither solitude nor quietness. I know how it works — my past experiences give me an idea what might (and very likely will) happen during the rest of the day and I don’t like it. I don’t like the fact that it’ll be hard for me to sit and write.

But that’s a part of life and I either accept it, or I’ll go mad. Bukowski needed to make money too. Everybody needs to make money somehow. Or he or she needs other sources of money.

Leo Tolstoy for example lived on his family’s fortune. Maybe that’s why his take on being an artist was / is so ridiculous (in my opinion), and why he was so scornful of all artists. What he noticed was only the world he was part of — the world of rich and idle people who called themselves artists. Maybe some of them really were artists (by my own definition, not the ridiculous definition Tolstoy contrived), but I think there were many people who only thought they were artists.
 
I guess that’s the reason. Tolstoy, he never had to live on a candy bar a day like Bukowski. And being forced to live on a candy bar a day changes your view of the world. Tolstoy never experienced anything like it (that’s what I conclude after reading him so far). All his bullshit theories about rich vs poor people — the society. But he inspires me nonetheless, even when I think it’s bullshit what he wrote (most). In spite of all the bullshit he wrote, I count him as an artist. But that’s only my opinion (and my definition) — I’m not so full of myself (and full of shit) to authoritatively claim that this or that person was or wasn’t an artist. It’s merely my opinion. I’m not a creator of artists. Anybody who believes that his opinion about someone else (is / was this person an artist or not) has the power to make this person an artist (or deny him or her this title) is full of himself / herself and also full of shit.

Reading (since my last diary entry):

On Writing by Charles Bukowski (160 min, on scribd app). Finished it. Reading it was a pleasure!

What Shall We Do? by Leo Tolstoy (140 min, on scribd app).

Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr (140 min, on scribd app).

Audiobooks (since my last diary entry):

Journey to the End of the Night (20 min, on scribd app). I don’t like it.

Hollywood by Charles Bukowski (80 min, on scribd app). I like it.

YouTube videos and movies (since my last diary entry):

The Young Pope E5 (on HBO go) Finished it.

The Young Pope E6 (on HBO go) Finished it.

The Young Pope E7 (on HBO go) Finished it.

The Young Pope E8 (on HBO go) Finished it.

The Young Pope E9 (on HBO go) Finished it.

The Young Pope E10 (on HBO go) Finished it.

War of the Worlds (on HBO go) Finished it.

Spielberg (on HBO go) Finished it.

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Music for this writing session: Chopin (on spotify).