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Crazy, Hazy Days of Writing

October 5, 2009

>C. Astrid Weber said, “The coroner will find ink in my veins and blood on my typewriter keys.” Hopefully this describes me one day. While the typewriter has gone the way of Click Clacks and Wheelos (remember those?), a keyboard is a reliable facsimile.

I look at what I’m attempting to do as a writer and publisher and I am amazed. Amazed I’m not in bankruptcy court (yet), amazed I’m still married, amazed I know my children’s names and amazed I still yearn for more.

Writing is much too complicated to maintain sanity, yet it is a simple process. Simply you, a keyboard and a blank screen. If you go retro, it’s you, a pen and a blank page. Simple. The complexity enters from our minds. No writer has a static mind that just sits and contemplates his next dinner menu.

Ok, sometimes we do, but most often we fight self-made demons. The wicked witch that won’t let us write even though she’s not even around. She’s in our mind. Who is she? A wife, a girlfriend, a mother, a daughter. Change gender there wherever suits you.

Then there’s chores, jobs, responsibilities. They demand first priority.

I pose you a question. How old are you? Easy answer in terms of actual years lived on this earth, right? But my question, as many of my question do, has a much more sinister, diabolical intent. What if I changed it to – How old are you in relation to your pending death? Oh God, now he’s going morbid on us, right?

No. I’m attempting to get you to snap out of your brainwashed stupor. I’m not being condescending here. I often have to do this to myself. What are you here for? How old do you have to be before you understand or realize that the excuses you have for not writing are imposed upon you by others. You must take control of your life. Your writing life.

So now the question becomes – How old is your writing life? Most of our “writing lives” stay on life support. We just give it the bare essentials and call that good enough. How many of us are willing to put it all on the line for our writing lives?

I don’t see many honest hands. Mine screams to shoot up in pride and self promotion. But in order for the hand to be honest, it first must be at the task of promoting writing as a vocation day in and day out, with writing being the primary work of the day and all other items secondary. Working on the “writing life” involves a commitment that is not there at your regular job. It’s not there in your marriage. Nor you friendships. The commitment to write has to become obsession.

Am I saying you are to trash your other relationships? Absolutely not. Relationships are the fertile ground from which ideas for writing spring. How do you juggle all this then? How do you work another job, have a life (relationship-wise) and keep up with all that happens around you? The answer lies solely within your own psyche. How important is it (writing) to you?

If writing is your passion, you’ll marry someone who supports your passion. Someone who loves your passion. Someone willing to take a back seat to it. Not all the time, mind you, but it could be often.

You will also find work that allows you to make writing your priority.

Lastly, when it comes to trimmed hedges or writing, you choose writing. When it comes to mown lawn or writing, you choose writing. When it comes to a leaky roof or writing, you choose writing.

When the situation becomes simply a leaky roof, you fix the roof. When it is simply a lawn that needs mown, you mow the lawn. When it’s just a hedge that needs trimmed, you trim the hedge. But never, ever, choose against writing.

What does that do to your life? Make it crazy? Make the days turn into hazy, vague remembrances of keyboards, supporting drinks and words? Absolutely. So again, I ask you, “How old are you?” Are you so old that you’ve given up on your dreams? Are you so old that writing is just a hobby that’ll never amount to anything? Are you so old that our insane society has declared you mundane and a slave to its dictates?

Or are you forever young, vibrant and excited, if nowhere else, than on the printed page. If you aspire to write, I pray that you are forever young. I also ask the same for myself. I get trapped. I fall down. But when we’re young, we pop right back up and go at it again. Don’t let this world tell you how to live your life.

Jump up into the crazy, hazy days of writing and let your spirit soar.

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