…begins with a thousand starts.
Now there’s some high-grade truth, y’all. I will sit at my keyboard, as would be my wont; I will crack my knuckles, both metaphorically and for real. I will proceed (tentatively, timorously) to press the keys… bringing alphabetic characters into being, one after another, on my monitor screen… combining them (more or less intentionally) in groups of two, three, four or more, forming units of language which I like to call words. But the moment I manage to string two or three of these words into a rough-hewn phrase, this little perfectionist emerges from my mental projection booth, cackling like a fiend, and proceeds to second- and third-guess the life out of it. How do I spell perverse? A-D-H-D, O-C-D*. —shit.
A thousand-mile journey
…is worth a five-page picture spread.
That’s a couple thousand right there, kids (and another grand for the cover shot). I would sit at my ‘puter, according to my will; I would knuckle my crack, both emphatically and with zeal. I would (having expunged the bedeviling trickle of sweat
which distracts me of which my distraction endlessly my endle ss distract my inconstant attention, diverted repeatedly repeatedly diverted interrupted to the point of the point where
the point of… a thousand little annoyances, conspiring together
to make to cause them to… I mean, to cause… goddammit there’s that bead of sweat! again!!! RRRRRRGGGGGH STOPITSTOPITSTOP the perversity of a mind turned against itself, its function inside out, the dia gNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO1O1O11O1O1OO1 11O5i5 lkhxe lkjegf bll.tlhjy nthl kisr/ k5gk !!!!!!!!!~ !!!######!?!?//?!
The journey of a single malt…
…begins with a handful of cubes.
Pour pour pour. Crackle crackle. Sssssssip. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Attitude. Aspiration. Perspiration.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for pretty much my whole life. I mean, there was a little window where I wanted to be, you know, just changed and fed. That was around the first year and a half. Since then, I’ve wanted to write. No, that’s not quite accurate. I’ve wanted to have written. It’s a lot easier to imagine myself sitting down on a sofa whilst Dave or Conan or Oprah displays the stylish book jacket to camera three, and I smile and make self-deprecating remarks whilst droning charmingly on about the creative process, and how I responded when Johnny Depp begged me to play the lead in the ad for the audiobook, than it is to imagine myself like J.K. Rowling in the early nineties, sitting in a thin overcoat in a drafty pub, nursing my ninth cuppa Earl Grey and laboring over the tenth rewrite of Chapter XIV, whilst my puling infant demands to be fed and I agonize over whether to call the game Quidditch or Rollerball.
*siiiigh* Work. It’s the fly in the ointment.
Still… I’d like to be a writer, I really would. And when it comes to ‘real’ writers, I’ve always heard two major pieces of advice:
1.) Write something EVERY DAY. (And I’ll add for the benefit of smart-asses –and we know who we are– it should be something DIFFERENT. I’m sorry, but that needed to be said, and I’ll probably repeat it, frequently …for emphasis.)
2.) Write what you KNOW. (And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that it’s important to write something new every day.)
Which means I hope I know something new tomorrow. That’s going to be Step One.
Which will leave just a thousand miles to go.
Pass the scotch. Pour pour.
TOMORROW: Two Major Pieces of Advice for the ‘Real’ Writer