I was trying to get some work done the other day. Sometimes that’s downright difficult—writer’s block is the term that a lot of people use for it.
All I had written down on the word processor so far was, “The one in my imagination is always better.” After that there was a blinking cursor, but nothing else. And nothing else was coming either.
That little phrase about my imagination was supposed to act as a catalyst that would cause the words to flow across the page in such rapid succession that the column would be finished in no time flat.
But flat was all I was coming up with and time wasn’t exactly on my side. Ugly factors like deadlines and production people who know where I live were making for a stressful morning. The problem was I’d written that little insightful gem a few days before and, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what the dickens I was thinking about when I had jotted it down. There was no context.
It was like the time I’d made the following note to myself in my notebook, “Second Tuesday – 4 p.m.” There wasn’t anything to hint at what the event was or where it was happening. (Ed. Note: I still don’t know what happens on the second Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m.; so if you can enlighten me please do so.)
So this wasn’t exactly writer’s block—it was more like writer’s wall. One that I’d built for myself.
Heard some great writing tips from Avi Silberstein, librarian at the Grand Forks and District Public Library, last month. He was in Midway doing a book tour for his first novel, Human Solutions, which is an excellent read by the way. He explained how he was able to finish his novel in only four months.
“I wrote five days a week—not necessarily Monday to Friday but I had to write five days per week,” Silberstein said. “I had to write 750 words a day, whether that took an hour or four hours, that was the rule.”
So basically it was just a matter of mathematics. It sure sounded easy enough when he said it. So the only thing for it is to press on: type one word behind the next and see what comes of it.
You have to admire the energy and enthusiasm that was shown by the people who came out for the inaugural meeting of the Midway and Beyond Little Theatre Group last week.
I was going to try to qualify that sentence. I thought I should expand it a bit to let you know how many people attended. I considered saying that 20 odd people attended— but I tossed that phrase away for obvious reasons.
And if I’d written that “20 something people showed up” you might have thought they were all young, and that certainly wasn’t the case. Some were younger, however, and the meeting was unusual in that respect—it was multigenerational.
So I just left it at the fact they had a meeting. That’s the thing about writing for a newspaper—it doesn’t have to be exact, but it really helps if it’s accurate.
Another thing about writing for the newspaper – if you write enough words you get to the end of the page—and that’s where I was trying to imagine myself when I started this ramble.
And that’s where I am now. Imagine that!
Happy belated turkey day to all; and remember— gratitude is always in season.