I got nothing to write, so I’ll quote Steinbeck.
February 25, 2014
I don’t want to write a blog today.
But I will.
I’m supposed to.
That’s what our marketing guru told me two years ago when he instructed Stephen and me on developing the Website he had created for Caleb and Linda Pirtle.
You have to keep your name in print.
That’s what Rusty Shelton told us.
You have to keep your brand before the public.
We believed him.
You have to write a blog every day, he said.
It’s important, he said.
You can’t slack off, he said.
You can’t ever quit, he said.
So I’ll write a blog today for the eight hundred and seventy-sixth consecutive day.
I have nothing to say.
I hear you laugh.
I may have had nothing to say yesterday.
Or the day before.
But the words were there in print.
They show up every day like clockwork at two-forty in the morning while the world outside my house is still dark, and not even the birds are singing.
I want the words there waiting when you wake up.
You may never see them.
You may never read them.
You may think you have better things to do.
And you’re probably right.
I thought I had better things to do.
But gnawing in the back of my mind was one thought I could not escape.
I have a blog to write today.
I can put it off.
I can wait until later.
It’s still there waiting for me.
Sending me on a guilt trip I’d rather not take.
So maybe I’ll just quote an author. I did like his six points that John Steinbeck had to say about writing:
- Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
- Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
- Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
- If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.
- Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.
- If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.
I don’t have a lot to say today, but John did.
Maybe that’s enough.
It is for me.
It should be for any author.
I can’t worry about it. I have a novel to write and I’m a scene behind.
So I’ll leave you now.
I had a blog to write today.
For better or worse, for richer or poorer, I wrote it.
Rusty should be happy.
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