September 24, 2003

Let Us Take Stock

You writers know how it is. You work on a project. You're close. It's almost done. Everyone's happy. You're ecstatic because if you have to write one more word, even if it's only a five or six letter word, you think your knees will give out. You have no words left. Your brain has been sucked dry. Someone asks you your name, you say, "Ummm?"

Right, but it's almost done, so your brain cells start to regenerate--out of habit more than anything else.

And with the new brain cells, the old ones receed. Any knowledge you had on what you were writing about begins to fade. Soon it will all be gone. When you read the result in a week or two or three, it will all be brand new, as if you'd never seen it before in your life.

You'll think, wow, did I write that? Sometimes when you ask yourself that question, it's because the writing sounds so good. And sometimes it's because it sucks so bad. But either way, you dance about on light feet that day because the project is officially done.

Well, mine's not.

I thought we were close. You know how that is. Ooooo. So close you can taste it, and then a hump in the process, and more interviews, and more re-writes, and that's just the way it goes.

But you can't help it. You dig deep for the inspiration to keep pumping the words out. You're so desperate you dig into your cliche basket with renewed vigor. Anything. Anything. Have to keep pushing. Must get it done. Leverage Leverage Leverage.

Keep.

on.

one.

word.

at.

a.

time.

I have created this day the writer's serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the edits I must change, the courage not to change the sentences that make sense, and the wisdom to know the difference.

SO in honor of where I am today, I've decided to take stock. Certainly, there are many worse things than a project that won't end. Certainly, there are many worse professions in life than those that keep you stuck to the couch, arms stretched forward, perched over these black keys like EltonFuckingJohn.

Certainly.

Now for two categories designed to help make me thankful for the day...

DOING THIS IS BETTER THAN:

Walking 8 miles to the store. But not better than walking 2 miles to the store.

An all-day workshop on anything.

Not smoking

Waiting in line at Motor Vehicles

A yearly OBGYN appointment


WHAT I WOULD RATHER BE SUFFERIING THROUGH INSTEAD OF THIS:

Laying flat on the floor, face down, being whipped six to eight times on the back with a [[name your implement]]. I would not rather be whipped more than eight times. And I would rather nails not be used.

A dental cleaning

1-hour traffic jam, but not 3 hour traffic jam

Cramps

A fall on grass, but not on concrete

Whole-house vacuuming.


That should give you an idea of how my day's going so far. So, how's your day going?

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