A Bad Writer
First, only I call myself a writer. It's a little thing I like to do. Really.
Writing was never high on any manifest of mine listing what I'd do for enjoyment, though I am fascinated by writing and wishing I could. Languages as a whole have always been fascinating, maybe it's because I can't spell, have a hard time with pronunciations and speaking, while reading brings very little enjoyment. So, adding these factors together has made writing a challenge, a chore. With that being said, here I am “writing,” but only for personal enjoyment. In reality, I would characterize this writing more of a hobby. As a rule, I don't do research, to much time and effort. A few things may be looked up, say a date or some lyrics, but that's about it. Mostly I just wing it, writing out vague thoughts and ideas. This way writing continues to be relishing. Besides, if it's no fun, why do it, right?
Being a hobby means I can write what I want, when I want and how I want. No deadlines in this studio. I use an iPad with the spell checker turned on of course. In addition I love that I can turn on the microphone, say a word and boom, there it is….most times. Since my pronunciation of words is as bad as my spelling, I've been known to repeat the word “a few times.” I'm sure this drives Kath crazy. It does me. Finally, when a masterpiece is completed, it’s “published” on my web site to an audience of a few. There is no dealing with editors, agents, committees or critics. I write. I publish. I move on.
Next, I'll admit I'm a bad writer. When saying that, I'm not talking about what I write or how well I write. No, I'm unable to judge these writings, I'm too close to them. That’s a job for the world if it ever discovers me. I'm not holding my breath for that happening any time soon. What I'm talking about is typing in the thoughts and ideas in order to create a finished piece. That's what I'm really bad at. I easily lose focus. With the iPad, I'm able to surf the web when ever boredom sets in. I seem to surf more then write. Also, I'll get hung up thinking there are stone clad rules that must be followed. Apparently I need rules. Example; how many words I need to use, how long these pieces need to be or what is the definition of the type of piece being written. A blog posting. A column. An opinion piece. Whatever. Since I don't have the answers to these questions, I feel I'm doing everything wrong. I have get past this thinking, it sucks half the fun out writing. This 50 year habit is awfully hard to break.
A good time for jotting is evening after my head has cleared from the day job. If the stars align just right, I love when I'm able to sit on the porch with a few screens up while a gentle rain softly falls to instrumental music playing lightly in the background. I can almost be very creative in that environment.
If recreational writing is allowed to become work, it's time to take a break. Step back, refocus. There is a difference between taking time in order to get a project right and finding no enjoyment when trying to get it right. So I'll take a few hours here and there for jotting. Then check my latest photo posting on Instagram in order to see if it's gotten any hearts. Usually it hasn't. More surfing ensues before returning to writing.
Knowing full well I will never make a living as a writer, I say here’s to going nowhere and saying nothing. Now that is liberating!
Doug Thornhill (dct)