Posted on November 27 2015
Loved this interview with Saul Williams for BuzzFeed thought I would share. Full Interview at source
In US (a.), you wrote about how you moved to Brazil when you were a teenager and even though people gave you advice to keep a journal, you didn’t want to. Why not?
Saul Williams: I just wasn’t interested in that shit. People would be like, you’re going where? For a year? Get a journal, man, write down whatever. And at the time I was just like, I don’t have time for that shit. I got a camera, I got a Walkman, and I’m trying to meet girls. That’s it. I used notebooks to write rhymes in at the time, but when someone told me to keep a journal at that point, I thought they were referring to some Dear Diary type shit. It wasn’t my steeze.
Would you tell young writers to keep journals of their own?
SW: I would say to anyone, do it. Take a journal with you. If you have five days at the beach, collect some thoughts, internalize everything, and write it down. Because when you go back to that you may surprise yourself. I know I did, and now I’ve got 50 journals.
Do you still journal a lot?
SW: I don’t journal a lot now; I’ve never really journaled in a formal way. I never have been like, “Today was a great day, here’s what I did…” I only capture epiphanies, ideas, and excerpt thoughts. Back in the ’90s when I was buying $5 journals at Urban Outfitters because I was required to keep a journal when I was at NYU, I just started writing lists. I’d write things like the top hip-hop albums of 1993, and then I’d also list the craziest shit I could think of, like a paraplegic dolphin, just to try and psych myself up in some weird way. Then journaling got fun because I realized I didn’t have to do some Dear Diary type shit. And I didn’t have a teacher looking over my shoulder. There was no assignment; if I didn’t want to put punctuation, I didn’t have to. I could create new punctuation marks, I could perfect my handwriting, I could chronicle my dreams, I could do whatever. When I started writing in that Urban Outfitters journal I used to keep, the first place I used to write was on the subway or in nightclubs. I wanted to keep a journal, but by the time I got home at 4 or 5 in the morning, it was time to crash and I had to be at school at like 8 a.m. But in nightclubs I’d be like, holy shit I love this song, the music was great and the inebriates were cool. I loved writing and dancing.