Paulelmo's Blog

Writer’s Write (The edited version)

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Yesterday at the bar, a young man asked me if I was still keeping up with this site, and I told him what regular readers of the site know, about how beginning to write technical articles for websites, for pay, had lessened postings here. I also went on to tell him about how becoming more active in my sons’ lives, especially Finn’s, had changed my priorities, and so often these days there are more important things on my plate than pouring my mind onto these pages.

Then I wake up this morning, and there are just a dozen or more blank and open Word files in the computer of my mind. But, not writing has never been about a lack of ideas for me. I recall once early on in my writing life, when I was in my late-20s, when someone told me that she wanted to be a writer, but she could just never think about anything to write about. I didn’t bother asking why someone who could never think of anything to write about would want to be a writer; instead I said–this was the first time I ever made such a statement, and I didn’t even know I believed it about myself until then–that if I lived until I was 90 and never came up with one more idea of something to write about, I’d be cool.

Saying that really said something to me. I didn’t know that I believed it of myself, and my mind worked over the assertion in the days to come. Surely I couldn’t believe that; still, pondering it, testing it, showed that I honestly believed that that might be the case. Now, here we are a quarter of a century later, and the opposite of this has never proven true.

Is that to say I haven’t suffered from writer’s block? Not at all. I don’t so much these days, but I certainly wrestled with it during my drinking years. Writer’s block isn’t born in a lack of ideas, however; writer’s block is born in depression or some other type of mental hang-up or diagnosis; fear is usually a comorbid symptom.

I don’t understand wanting to write and not being able to come up with a single idea to write about. I don’t always have time to come to these pages, and often the life of my family is better when I choose to spend my time doing things other than sitting at this computer writing out my mind in words that mere dozens of people will read and no one will pay me for, but I always have something to say when I come.

My first writing lesson came from Stephen King, as many of my writing lessons have, and that first lesson is still the central tenet to what I do with this computer: “Writer’s write.” Just that; that simple. If a writer keeps that as the first tool in his or her toolbox, everything else will take care of itself.

I’ve had a good couple of months off for the holidays, Finn’s progress is noticeable and has been commented on by teachers, and the family is poised and active toward a stellar 2019; so, you might start seeing a bit more of me around here. You’re not going to see me as often as you did in the early days of this site, nor do I think you ever will, but there will be more than there has been.

Hope you enjoy it, and I want to say once more just how much I absolutely love meeting you here. I don’t need this as much as I once did, whether psychologically or professionally, but I’ll never get over how much I just adore it when we find each other here. If you take just a smidgen of the blessing from it that I do, then I am pleased that much more.

Thanks always, my friends; I’ll see you back here sometime soon.

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