Swapping recipes with John Waters

Fascinating article on John Waters in the sorta-kinda-maybe most recent issue of New York magazine. It's the most recent one to appear in my mailbox, anyway.

Besides being a very entertaining piece, it was also enlightening to me and provided a nice bit of writer's inspiration... check this out:

Waters is unusually regimented. He wakes up at exactly 6:10 every morning and reads newspapers and drinks tea until 8. He starts writing “right at eight o’clock—not 8:01, not 7:59,” and works until lunchtime. Waters is rigidly devoted to these morning sessions, and his hired wife plans his travel accordingly. He will go somewhere a day early or stay a day late rather than fly in the morning, even if it means staying at an airport hotel, “because I need to write five days a week,” he says firmly. “As far as I can remember I have done that, at least for 25 years. I most never miss a day. When I was young and went out every night—like during the days of Multiple Maniacs and Pink Flamingos—I don’t know how I did it. I took pills and smoked pot every day, but I still made those movies. I don’t think I was as stringent in my Swiss personality, as I call it, but I did make those movies.”

Now that's regiment. Not sure I can carve out such a strict gameplan for myself, but it's given me some food for thought. And speaking of food... if I didn't dig John Waters before (which I did), I would after reading this:

Even his misbehaving is methodical. On weekends he “eats irresponsibly.” (The rest of the week he prepares his meals from recipes in Cooking Light magazine.)

Cooking Light
magazine. Awesome. He and I could totally start our own recipe club.


Why, it's Clark! said...

That's admirable and it's great for anybody who can make it work. But personally, I'm not sure I want to be that disciplined. I don't seem to do well when I make it something I have to do. More often than not, whenever I've forced myself to sit down and write something, I haven't been happy with the results.
But maybe that's just me being lazy, as usual.

PS: What does he do if something great comes to him outside of those rigid parameters? If I'm inspired at 3:00 (or even 7:59), I don't want to wait until 8:00 to write it down.

citizen jane said...

You make some very valid -- and personally-to-me relevant points, Clark. While I know that I don't have the capability for that kind of discipline in me -- or the life that would allow for such a thing -- I appreciate that he does. What I'm gleaning from that is the fact that he makes writing a part of his day -- it's not something done as an afterthought. That's what I'm taking away from this.

And if I forced myself to wait to write an idea or a sentence down, I'd never get anything on the page. Because chances are, I will have forgotten what it was I thought of.