Saturday, September 23, 2006

Time flies...

...when you're not having fun, too!

I started in to write an article earlier today. Had my facts and opinions all formulated and ready to go. Not that many words required, either. The kind of thing I've always been able to speed through as if it was a short beer.

Suddenly, it was 5:00 in the afternoon, and I was still staring at a blank page.

Oh, I tried. Laid down a few ledes, but none of them was up to the job of grabbing the reader and pulling him (or her) into the story.

PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: When I began writing, 'way back in the dawn of time, I used a typewriter. Remember typewriters? I wasn't hip to computers at all, until a tech-y friend went out and bought me one. In those days, I would have been up to my rump in crumpled sheets of typing paper at this point. Things are much, much better now, at least in this particular situation....

Here is where I run into one of the big drawbacks attending my current poor mood: I am more critical of my work than any editor I know. When things are going well, that's one of the reasons much of my stuff hits print without change; I've already weeded out the crap, polished the rough diamond, tightened all the verbal fasteners so everything stays together.

But when things are not going well, I am hyper-critical. I don't rate anything I do very highly.

A SEMI-PARENTHETICAL DEVIATION FROM THE MAIN SUBJECT: I received a letter today from a man whose creations I had profiled in a story. In part, the letter said:"...your gift for words is truly deft and precise. My family and friends were amazed at my accomplishments, brought to life in your article." Oddly enough, the story to which he referred was one I sent off with some hesitation; it had the bad fortune to be written on a very bad day for me....

So I've put more mileage on my "delete" key than any other today. It's amazing how much time that can consume. Of course attempts to salvage various versions of the vital first paragraphs were subjected to salvage attempts. None worked; each ultimately sank like a stone.

I'm not about to give up, though. I can't. This one is due first thing Monday.

I do know a sure cure for writer's block, but it is, alas, not available to me these days.

So I'll ignore the whole thing for a while longer, and try again.

Ain't that a hell of a way to spend a weekend!

5 comments:

dkmcb01 said...

good luck with the article...hope you get over your block

MrScribbler said...

Thanks...I'm trying various laxatives....

BenB said...

LOL! Laxatives?
One thing is sure: you ARE a good writer - whatever laxative is necessary, I figure you will find the one that will unblock everything and .... let'er flow.
bb

T-E said...

You could have used that toilet from the earlier picture.

I was going through a toy ad in the paper today, and saw a play typewriter. I haven't quizzed them yet, but I suspect my kids will not know what it is other than a broken computer of some sort.

Anonymous said...

A couple of weeks ago, I nearly drove myself mad. I had to write something that really needed 10,000 words to do it justice - but it had to be done in less than 1,000! In the course of writing this thing, I guess I must have written about 30,000 words and junked them. After five days, FIVE WHOLE BLOODY DAYS, I finally completed it. That works out at nearly half an hour for each (finished) word.

But you're right you scribbling ole git - no editor would ever be as critical of my work as I am.

Just-James
Now, let's see if I can get this thing to accept this comment