According to Harry Mathews, Stendhal advised writers to compose vingt lignes par jour, genie ou pas (twenty lines a day, genius or not).
It feels like sound advice even though I can’t verify that Stendhal ever wrote or said it.
By “sound advice” I mean advice that I believe I can take in some form.
And by “some form” I mean 20 sentences per day.
Exactly 20 sentences.
Vingt phrases par jour, génie ou pas.
This is a simplification and an experiment.
The simplification: I’ve given up writing except for this.
The experiment: knowing that nothing I write will ever be good enough should make this, whatever it is, easy.
After all, nothing survives.
Or only the nothing-that-is.
Some things my phrases are not and will never be: journal entries, diary entries, prose poems, captain’s logs, essays, rough drafts, final drafts, viruses or ova.
Some things they will be: bits, bytes, pixels, accumulations, assemblages, conglomerations, murmurs, mutterings and murders.
Gabriel García Márquez wrote that “all human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”
(Which life is this?)
If you’re reading this, I decided to post these experiments to my fallow blog.
(Or should that be barren?)
And I’m sad that you have nothing better to do.
If you’re not reading this:
We’re both finished.