It is Hard for Me to Write

I suppose it must be for everybody.  Let us face it, life is fun.  It is easy to be distracted.  Any new shiny object, any new sensation, any emotion can sweep you along.  Then we are off the races.  There are fascinating things to see and hear at the track.  A writer should write about what they know.  Maybe that is how Dick Francis did what he did.

Hunter S. Thompson gave us the idea of Gonzo Journalism.  That always encouraged me, being one with the story yet you could get it done.  Journalism would be a way to discipline a person into settling in front of a typewriter when they need to pay the rent.  The closest I ever came to journalism was delivering newspapers and flying a press.  I did some time running paste ups over to the printer to burn plates for mounting on the press for a run.  I understand what they mean by printer’s ink in the blood.  It seeps in through the pores.  Cleaning a shower after you have been running newspapers leaves a high black line around the tub.

The last deadlines I had for finishing writing projects were in college.  I should have the skills to write in the English language, but I would not call myself an expert.  If words were nails, I can hammer them into a piece of wood, but I still bend a few.


I have been able to get to the level of a two year old kid with a couple of other languages, but the temptation of writing a poem in Spanish may be there, but I know I could not pull off the emotion needed to make it work.  I would have to go through the whole process again in Spanish to imprint.   The same for all the rest unless I could just have some kind of memory graft and as much as I have read in the speculative fiction group, that cannot happen yet, at least in my experience so far.   Chasing that could be a distraction from writing.  I have too many distractions.

Working for a living was a huge distraction.  Treasure hunting is a distraction.  Gems are a distraction.  On and on and on, but a writer has to know what they are writing about.

I am a terrible typist, but I was taught to type.  That was hell when those papers were due first thing in the morning.  Typing was important in bibliography inputting while working for libraries.  I learned to slug along with a keyboard as a way to get paid.

Now that work is gone, all I have to do is earn a living doing what I like to do.  I am settling into writing, with short jabs at other things.  Hobbies if we will.  Maybe they will pay, maybe they will not, but they will be fun.

I cannot afford a publicist, an editor, a personal assistant, so thank the powers that be there is the computer revolution.  I have poetry books to self-publish, but that will not pay the bills.  I need to concentrate on my short stories as a way to finishing books.  I will try and write prose that can be woven into a novel.  Clive Barker wrote about something that an editor told him he should do.  Why are you writing stories, you should write books?  He seems to have found some discipline in avoiding distraction.  He finishes things.

One well liked book and the publishing industry might notice.  Write things that people like, enough to tempted publishing companies to pay a person enough to get that publicist, editor, or personal assistant.  I am no spring chicken and have not found the elixir vita yet, but I have a bit of time left.

There is always that 20-dollar gold piece that I lost in a past life that I can find with a metal detector once I have access to the Akashic record.  See, distractions, I can only sit in front of a keyboard so long before my body rebels.

Stories, novels, poems, songs, movies, and the sentence should have a subject and a predicate.  They should have a beginning, middle, and end.  They should go through those things and at the same time keep a person’s interest.  Let them escape reality.  You can even slip in a bit of learning if it does not put off the audience.

The beginning should draw the observer in.  Know your audience, hook them, and make them want to stay for the ride.  If they are halfway through the tunnel and start thinking about when the tunnel will end, you might loss them.  They might not come back for another ride.

The end of anything should leave them satisfied, but they should wish that they could feel that way again.

If by chance I run across the disembodied spirit of Samuel Johnson, the guy that wrote that dictionary, or meet him on some time-jaunt to an English salon.  I do not want to be called a blockhead because I did not get paid.  There is still time to avoid that socially awkward moment.







About johnsmithiiimxiii

John Smith, IIMXIII is the avatar of an award winning poet, artist, etc. who still lives in the Palouse country of the Pacific NW. He has not received much notice with his prose . . . but as his avatar, I hope that he keeps plugging along.

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