Thursday, September 10, 2009


Excuses for not working:

1.  Just finished something, casting about for a new project.

2.  Didn't feel like it, which really means Wasn't enthused about anything.

3.  No good ideas today, which really means Didn't feel like thinking anything through.

4.  Can't concentrate.

5.  Computer troubles, which really means Didn't feel like using pen and ink, ballpoint, or pencil.

6.  The dog ate my computer.

7.  Too much extraneous stuff to do, which really means I was so not into writing that I took on more than I could hope to get done.

8.  I hate all my ideas.

9.  One day won't make any difference, which really means, Or so you hope.

10.  I don't care for the direction publishing is taking, which really relates back to #3.

11. I'm bummed because someone stole my idea, which means someone got something published that you would have come close to writing had you actually thought of it in the first place.

12.  Dramatic things don't happen to me.

And just for extra measure:

13.  I became badly frightened yesterday when I took a chance on something and it got beyond my control.

I don't know of any area of endeavor, painting, sculpting, acting, photography, music (playing and or composing) where the principal, the one who engages in such endeavor, expects such immediate results as the writer expects.  By immediate results I mean publication, review, and transportation to the  purpose driven life of being able to write every day with the notion that the work will lead directly to a completed, worthwhile project by which the writer is able to make a comfortable living.  Comfort is a definite factor with such things as the right sized shoes, the mattress with the proper degree of support, a living area neither too cold not too hot.  Comfort is not so definite with ideas that pop forth like frozen meals, leaving us little opportunity to reach or scratch or experience fear or boredom.

The ideal writer is one who has to sneak time in on meaningful projects while possibly snatching forth a living by writing organizational newsletters or serving as a crossing guard or possibly even having to do the kind of journalism that merely reports results, The Los Angeles County egg market closed higher today, The County Board of Supervisors met today to approve a budget.  That sort of thing, which leaves you waiting for events to conclude rather than setting forth events of your own devising, orchestrated to fly in the face of all the excuses listed above, which in their own way carry a truth about them you understand even if you cannot fully articulate what you mean by truth.  You could try plausibility or a convincing replication of reality in which you are fooling yourself and others. That might work.  That might border on story--interesting enough story to draw writer and reader along on the quirky tides of the imagination.

To put it another way, the writer who wishes more time to write, the artist to paint or draw, the sculptor to sculpt, the musician to play or compose does need time but also needs some other awareness or connection to life and event to act as a ballast, a subtext if you will.  None of it can exist in a vacuum

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now that I have no time to write--I write all the time. It's hard to explain.