…but that is fine. I won’t let it throw me off. Writing here is not about quantity. I guess it’s not about quality either! It’s just about writing and some days, there is nothing to share or it’s too busy to come here or the creek of creativity is running low and my emotional needle is pointed more toward the E or all of the above.
So I decide to sleep on it knowing that the next day will probably be better and look at this – here I am.
It is better! How did I know! I fixed a big pot of coffee this morning and started working early and keep getting things done.
Even though there was no post here yesterday, I still wrote in my daily 5 year journal and I wrote in my private Google docs file so words did hit the pages, real and virtual. They just didn’t hit this one.
About this post: I still have many posts from 2007 to 2020 archived off (some were lost in a backup drive incident) and this one is one I think about quite a bit. I wrote this on July 25, 2018. My father recovered from his surgery that I mention in this post and is doing well to this day.
I spent most of my Monday at the hospital (and yesterday and today, of course, and this will go on for a few more days) waiting while my father was in surgery. To pass the time, I listened to Tom Snyder interviewing Harlan Ellison over the years on old Tomorrow Show clips posted on YouTube.
I watched one a few weeks ago after Harlan Ellison died and I was just blown away. There is so much good stuff that he says, great stuff in fact, that I think people need to hear.
Of course, only a very few people listen to my podcast but I decided for the benefit of those folks that it was important enough to go interview by interview and write out the starting and ending times of certain clips so I could go back at my earliest convenience and edit them into one nice, consumable audio file.
That episode is right here (reposted on 6/6/2021):
It’s probably in the top 5 of the most important episodes of the podcast I’ve done in 388 episodes. Maybe it’s even in the top 2.
I keep returning to this quote. It opens the podcast. I’ve been feeling guilty about not writing ever since I heard it.
“It’s a very simple philosophy. Anybody who can be deterred from writing should have been. People who want to write really want to write and they WILL write.” – Harlan Ellison
I have not been writing. It’s not that I don’t love writing. Maybe it’s that I am distracted by life lately and maybe I shouldn’t be letting life distract me. Maybe it’s laziness. Maybe it’s lack of focus. Maybe it’s all of the above.
Whatever it is, the wheels are turning in my head and my fingers are moving across the keyboard again. I’m writing and it feels good.
Now, if I could just harness one percent of Harlan Ellison’s confidence and conviction:
“Are you loyal to the United States of America or are you loyal to your writing? Forget it, jack. The country could sink into the ocean for all I care. I only care about the integrity of the work. That’s really all I give a damn about and I’ll kill to keep those words that way. I spent twenty years of my life doing what I do and I think I do it very well indeed and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let people mess with it. That’s my religion. That is precisely where I am.” – Harlan Ellison
Where I write and when I write are things to fuss about to keep me from actually writing. I’m trying to put the brakes on that. One change – I am no longer writing these from the Chromebook but switching back to the laptop I used to call “The Writing Laptop” (my trusty old Dell 13.3 inch laptop) before I decided that NaNoWriMo frustrated me more than it motivated me so I quit doing it.
I am not a fiction writer and at my age, I don’t think I have any new tricks up my sleeve to resolve that unless I join a writing group or something.
I’ve thought about that but since I just ended a four year volunteering stint, I am trying not to jump right back into something else. I’m wanting to see where the natural ebb and flow of life takes me versus me running down the beach scaring all the seagulls.
I’m sitting back in one of those expensive rental chairs under an umbrella, eyes closed, listening to the waves, waiting….
Proof of my age – here are one of the pictures I found in my mother’s boxes of pictures that I assume were taken for insurance purposes. This one shows my TI-99/4A on my desk. The desk holds my father’s desktop computer at his apartment now. The TI-99/4A and that old television are long gone.
I didn’t have a printer so I did no writing on the Texas Instruments. That wouldn’t happen until I got an IBM PC compatible in 1988 and I finally ended up with a dot-matrix printer that died a couple of years later and I did some writing on the PC and it was horrible and those files are still backed up around here somewhere.
I moved the files from the original floppies to a backup flash drive when I had an IBM laptop years ago that had a floppy drive, a CD-ROM drive and a USB port! It was running Windows 98 and it was high tech!!
And unfortunately, aside from hundreds of online posts over the years, I have not written much for myself or much that aspires to be any more than this, a few minutes of writing that will be forgotten not long after I click the Publish button. That’s my fault, of course. I’ve made many excuses on why not to write and busied myself with the idea of finding the “perfect” writing tool so I wouldn’t have to write.
This new site is for me to try to go in a different direction but it’s turned into a week of distraction, self-created busyness and hesitation until last night when I walked in with the Chromebook and thought, how dumb. Why am I forcing myself to use this little machine? And why did I have to wait until just the “right time” of the evening to sit outside on the deck and write something?
I think I would do just about anything to not write. Weird, huh?