Archive | June, 2013

Putting off writing

If I had written last night the pages I wrote today, how might the story have changed? What would the characters have gained or lost?

There is in the pauses a sort of serendipity.

At the Milwaukee Public Library

The library held discarded things among its stacks.
It also held books.
The madmen love to read.
Librarians curate the dusty, old tomes.
And here am I among my own:
The mad, bearded men who love reading
and hate the rain
and whose shouts are muffled by a stiflingly sensible shush.

Writing addiction

We compulsively write the hero’s tale over and over again. Why all these iterations: different yet the same?

We write the good news. Again and again. It is the story of love and the only story truly worth telling. And we are compelled to retell it. The sooner yoy realize this, the freer you’ll be.

Note to Self published on Daily Science Fiction

A short story of mine was published on Daily Science Fiction. Please read it, rate it, and like it.

Read it Here!

The story was written during a hard time with the family. I was in bed lying awake at night with the what ifs, when — as so often happens with my stories — a line of dialogue came to me. I immediately wrote most of the story on my smart phone’s note app.

I dedicated the story to James Altucher by way of saying thanks for his encouraging posts during that difficult time.

Isaac Asimov was an Addict

When he was asked what he would do if he was told he was going to die, Asimov responded, “Type faster.”

When asked whether he loved writing more than his daughter, he responded “writing,” but he paused a moment, which he hoped she understood meant that at least he had to think about the question.

Asimov was a compulsive. Perhaps not so detrimentally or tragically as Hemingway or Faulkner or a plethora of other alcoholic writers. But make no mistake,  Asimov was an addict.

And so am I. And so are you, if you are a writer. Heinlein put it this way, it hurts less to write that does not to write. If that describes your condition, then you my friend are an addict.

There is a famous writer who wrote 250 words an hour everyday like clockwork. He is held up in writing circles as a model of time management. He could also be an example for every 12 step program.

If you, like me, measure your life out in the coffee spoons of every new word, then you too may be an addict.

Should you get help? Well, writing is less destructive than other addictions. But, on the other hand, if you’re having a hard time enjoying other aspects of life and are focused exclusively on writing as the definition of success or joy in your life, rather than, say, your family or beautiful children, then you might want to reconsider.

I had a colleague once ask me why God gave us children when we are in our prime working years. I did not respond, but my immediate thought was that God knows what is truly important — that we should, of course, focus our energy on our children. Certainly one can do both. I’m not judging.

In my next post, I’ll talk about how I beat the addiction and how I eventually came back to writing on my own terms.