If Laura Hillenbrand could produce her bestsellers (Seabiscuit, Unbroken) while virtually incapacitated by chronic fatigue syndrome, I can do likewise while virtually incapacitated by chronic migraine. You somehow figure out how you’re going to live the life you want, and do the things you know you were born to do, no matter what. Because the alternative is simply no alternative at all. It isn’t worth considering. It’s unacceptable.
Monthly Archives: June 2011
Forget all that stuff you’ve heard about how hard it is to write. Forget, too, everything you’ve heard comparing the act of writing to “sitting down at the keyboard and opening a vein.”
Absolutely not true. Pure bunkum.
The fact is, writing is a cakewalk. An adventure. A joyride.
No, if you love to write, it’s no problem filling up an empty screen with words. Lots and lots of words. We writers like nothing better than the opportunity to make a short story long. It’s what we do best.
Unwriting, now. That’s a different story.
It’s the unwriting part — you know, where you have to convey the same amount of information in one-100th of the space, throwing out those beautifully crafted phrases you slaved over because they push you way over your word limit — that’s what takes so much effort.
Which is why it’s 4:32 a.m. and I’ve only just now finished sweating over a very short piece for a client.
The first 2,500 or so words were ridiculously easy. I was witty; I was eloquent; I was a boundless wellspring of wisdom that flowed freely from my fingertips.
Winnowing all of that down to 500 words or less? Not so much.
Do you hear the sound of fingernails on the blackboard when you read that “the dog wagged it’s tail”?
Do your lips turn an angry white around the edges when an event that was “supposably” happening today has been rescheduled?
Does your head swim with murderous possibilities when the teacher complains that your kid is “mischievious”?
Take heart, kindred spirit. I, your comrade in the fight to stop the senseless slaughter of the English language, have taken it upon myself to address these pressing matters head-on.
Watch this spot for commentary on everyday criminal acts that make your tongue itch, your skin twitch, your reason unhitch, your concert pitch, your blanket stitch, your drainage ditch, your … (feel free to finish this sentence with any rhyming word that comes to mind).
Whether it’s apostrophe abuse, tortured verb tense, sins against syntax, maladroit malaprops, or some other form of verbal villainy, if you watch this page long enough, you’re sure to find your pet peeve given its proper dressing-down.
I figure that should keep me busy writing, and you busy reading, for the foreseeable future.
Irregardless of the consequences.
I’m so glad you’ve found me here. This is a work in progress, so I invite you to check back regularly. New content is being added daily. And if you like what you see here, please feel free to leave comments. I will respond to you quickly.
Quick tip: If you’re looking for something short to read, start with the poetry page.