It is a little embarrassing that I appear to be the only one of four Village Voices contributors who needs an occasional day off from public utterance. Not many, mind you. Five days off to date, by my count, among 120 or so present and accounted for. I’d hate to be seen as the wimp of the litter. I feel I have taken the radical dailiness of the experiment seriously, pitching tripe and pitching gems with equal disregard, most often one lost in stinking heaps of the other.
And you know, I respect the privilege of the platform. I have been fortunate in my life to command an FM frequency for 30 minutes a week for 30 years; to find the gatekeepers of most local stages generally open to my music projects; and to float outrageous opinions in even more outrageous sentences in the pages of Almanac Weekly and this website for going on a decade.
At 58, I am not to the best of my knowledge trending. To be a part, a featured voice even, in any public discourse at any level is energizing and something to wake up for.
And I don’t require a break from the daily writing interval itself. Flexing sentences each day keeps them plastic. Feeling out the form of a thought, or half of one, every day alerts you to your own habits and clichés, the most worn pathways of expression and ones you still might blaze. I do see growth as a result of the discipline, but growth in things like writing is never a steady plot. Like golf, lose confidence in your swing as a writer and you can go from a run of bests to a rut of worsts and have no idea what even happened.
It is the daily publishing, the signing and the submitting as it were, that can wear on the nerves badly. I’ve already lived such a half-assed life in so many respects that an actual job being publicly half-assed every single day of the week can feel like typecasting.
And so have I arrived at my thesis, for, you know, every piece of non-fiction must have one: Geddy, I really need Monday off.
Read more installments of Village Voices by John Burdick.