Mario Villalobos

Not There Yet

I’m reading Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, and one of the many things I love about this book is the systematic detail she goes into. She has chapters with names like Words, Sentences, Paragraphs, Details, Gestures, and so on. Each chapter is devoted to these varied topics with fantastic examples from great writers and their novels, and I’ve learned so much. As a writer who, unfortunately, doesn’t read many classic novels, I’ve learned not only that I need to read a lot more, but also how I can improve my very own writing. Her chapter on Gestures, which I read today, was a revelation. I highlighted like half the chapter in my Kindle, and I most definitely want to re-read the whole book again soon after I finish it tomorrow. If anyone is interested at all, and I highly recommend this book, it’s only $10 on Amazon.

I cracked open my Confidant notebook again and started writing more notes about my novel in it. I’m really looking forward to simply pouring out all the thoughts I’m having about my novel and forcing myself to find the purpose in everything I’m doing. Why did this character do this? Why did I make this big event happen here and not later? How can I write this sentence, paragraph, chapter better? What can I cut? The work ahead of me seems endless, but boy am I having some fun.

The Charter technician came today and fixed my internet. He switched out a few filters from god knows where and traded my old modem with a new one. I’m sure it’s just a placebo effect, but everything seems faster now. And of course with my internet back, I reverted back to old habits of watching TV during dinner instead of listening to podcasts or doing something more productive. I should be asleep right now, but instead I’m writing this because I wanted to spend a half hour watching TV. This is really one of the only sore spots in my life right now. No internet means no TV, which means more time to write and read and learn. This is tough. Trying to spend every minute of every day doing something extremely productive all in an effort to make me the best writer I can possibly be right now is not a walk in the park.

No sane man does this, right? Not everyone breaks down their schedule by the minute with nothing but tasks that are productive and super focused on making them a better writer, right? People actually live their lives, right? I’m not sure when I became super focused on this, but I’m glad I did. I’m learning a lot about myself and what I can do. I’ve never been this focused on one thing before, but I’m really liking it. I really think I can produce the best work of my life right now, and all I need is more time and more consistency to prove it to myself.

I’m just not there yet.