José Eduardo writes to me telling me his fantasies about the day-to-day life of a writer. A reader of John Fante since he was a teenager (me too!) He says that he always imagined himself in great anguish, drinking whiskey, in a small apartment in the center, with the walls full of books. At parties he would be mysterious and unattainable and all the girls would want him. Then José Eduardo reached the age of 65 without ever publishing a book. He has not, at least so far, become a writer. And you want to know if my life as a writer has more boring or more glamour.
Glamor is not a good word to describe a writer’s routine. The writer, especially the Brazilian, will need to shoot in many directions if he aims to achieve a minimum level of comfort. I’m also a screenwriter, editor, reviewer, presenter, speaker, podcaster, videocaster and I even end up doing some strange publications. The logic is stupid: I have ten jobs to support my literary career, but I haven’t delivered a book in five years.
A terrible thing in every writer’s life: his friend who has a cousin who has an acquaintance who has a horrible book and needs help. Everyone thinks they write and everyone who thinks they write will drive the life of someone crazy who, not exactly mentally calm and financially fulfilled, needs time and silence to practice his job as a writer without being bothered with terrible books.
Another very boring thing in the life of a writer is being forced to come across writers who consider themselves “serious” at parties. Generally people who post their prizes along with a donation they made to pay the installments for a refrigerator. If you write about yourself or risk humorous texts or have a considerable audience that consumes your stops, there will always be a translator-poet-academic or a greasy-drunk professor who will look at you as if you were a mock puppet. Mickey while they perform the sympathy of legitimate statues of communist Berlin. And not that it makes me lose sleep, but it makes me miss parties. I’m increasingly lazy to live with arrogant frustrated people who blame “the stupidity of the masses” for not having air conditioning.
I have had low back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia and migraines for ten years. Guilt of too many hours sitting in the office. I spend my money on doctors, physiotherapy, massages and acupuncture. It’s more boring than glamorous. And now Jose?
But in reality, what I felt like answering, is that I write because when I go to see it, I’m already writing or have already written. No, because before I bought a little apartment in the center and lined the walls with books and then served myself whiskey and then went to a party to be seen as a charming tormented mind. I write because it’s either that or get sick. However, I imagine myself as a very rich singer with international fame, a standup comedian receiving a standing ovation in a packed stadium, a very hot dancer in a refined whorehouse. And it’s always so glamorous.
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