1. Tuesday, September 9, 2003

    there was a belief at our college paper 

    that a guy couldnt write a column every day.

    it wasnt a belief that was challenged outside of the sports page, but despite all our great writers, i dont remember anyone who thought that they could honestly write thirty to fourty inches of opinon daily that would be as good or better than the stuff we normallyd put in there.

    also the opinion page was the most-read page and why let one voice dominate a quarter of it.

    still that didnt stop weirdos like me from getting on average of two bylines an issue throughout the paper, and we were daily. and thats one of the many reasons why i think blogs are so important.

    yes the quality will go down with increased quantity, but quality will go up with increased practice. so production will not only improve your quality, but you’ll make more of it with time.

    in the college of creative studies they made us read a novel a week in our lit classes, thereabouts. they never talked about the theories of the college but the students had their own theories.

    some of us figured that if you gave a classroom 10 books to read, they’d probably read 6-7. if you gave a different classroom 20 books to read, theyd probably read 10-12. and if you tell those kids there will be no tests or no grades because theyre so damn cool they might read 13-14 because theres no stress and you dont have to underline a bunch of crap preparing for some ridiculous midterm. you could simply read.

    no grades did increase the amount that i read, so whatever they were doing worked.

    if i taught a short story writing class there i would make the kids write a story a day. a long one. why not. maybe theyd get 4 written and one would be good. thats better than writing one a week and it not being any good. i wrote one good short story in college, but it was for hemingway class. it was a paper. i was mad at the teacher so… it was a good story. sadly neither the hemingway teacher liked it, nor the short story teacher.

    the kids, however, loved it.

    my favorite class at school was the diaries writing class. we all kept a diary. mine turned into more of a story about me and aj and how i chased her and how she said no. mostly. we’d make copies and pass them around and the teacher would read our “anonymous” entries outloud.

    even then i was fascinated by other peoples lives and their takes on the world, and isla vista.

    once this girl, one of my favorite diaryists said that she loved my tale that day so much that she wanted to quit writing because mine blew hers away. and i told her that if she quit writing then i would be very sad because i loved her diaries and she said you dont even know which one is mine and i said of course i do, you know which one is mine dont you and she said yes.

    and i said, i write twice a day for the paper. i write every day for this class. i write a poem a day for poetry class. and a short story a week for short stories class. and then theres the papers for the lit classes. and all the damn books i have to read. and on top of that i read bukowski and the bible for fun. i better be a good writer after all of that.

    i never saw her again.

    i was listening to a lot of sonic youth this weekend. i dont think the kids are listening to any sonic youth any more. you can tell when you listen to good charlotte. kids wear nirvana tshirts and you need one cup of sonic youth, maybe two, to get nirvana, dummyheads.

    the path is straight and narrow.

    that seattle distortion comes from nyc

    and if you dont hear dave grohl in goo then poor you.

    you are so much better off when you write and write and write

    especially when you really dont want to.

    smythes world + howard owens + aint no bad dude