Time passes just for a writer as much as it does for a carpenter or for anyone else. You as a writer enjoy the act of recording your life events and thoughts. You like living that lifestyle, writing the journal, etc., taking time-outs from life to record, though of course there are no time-outs, and writing is living.
I couldn’t write only novels, as Molly says she does. I would feel I’m losing my days that way. Funny, I felt like that the first couple of weeks out of school, needed to make one of those daily-weekly charts I used to make a lot of when I wasn’t writing every day. But once I got into the vacation, the days flow on, flow with me and flow from me, and that’s OK, too. I couldn’t, wouldn’t want to, at least, do what Molly does. I need the journal, need to take time to process and think and such. M said last night even if we get busier with our careers, our kids, later on, we have had a nice time here these last few years with just each other—all this time after getting married, she said. Some people start having kids right away—we’ve had time to ourselves, to each other.
I don’t know—there’s an aspect to a writer’s life, a sense in which we live it a little deeper, perhaps, by going over it, living it twice? Sucking the marrow out of life? Writers don’t climb mountains or take risks, big life-affirming, life-threatening—life-affirming because they’re life-threatening, unless of course they’re life-ending—risks. I, for one, believe I just don’t have the gene for thrill-seeking. Supposedly science says there is such a gene, though such an explanation sounds like an excuse, eh? Putting the blame for a personal, internal preference on the external world—”my genes, I can’t change them.” So, OK, I just don’t like great thrills.
I don’t mind a little challenge now and then, and it’s good that I had Uncle L__ to provide them—hike through Baxters’ woods at night, on trail but under the canopy, all I could see was the pale, ghostly white of the bucket.
[From journal of Friday, 14 July 2006, 7:55 a.m., Journal 75, page 8-9]