Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.
― Alan Wilson Watts
Another early start: coffee poured, a glass of water to slake my thirst and I'm here, again, typing these few words.
Not to showboat but I've been writing consistently — i.e. every single day — to Livejournal (LJ) for easily three or four months. And, as opposed to, say, Seth Godin, who's been daily blogging a lot longer but with much, much shorter pieces, mine have averaged (I guess) around 500-750 words. I've not even bothered to add up the words but I'm sure, if I was so inclined, there's a small book lingering in the archive.
Why do I do it?
Write that is.
It's a good question; a very good question.
Truth is, I don't know.
In any event, I'm scared to overanalyse things in case I disturb the mythos that's enabled me these past few months to write with such ease.
What do I mean?
I mean, much like my poetry, I don't struggle for words. Perhaps I've got too much to say but then again, it's the only way, or at least the only sensible way, for me to try to articulate some of the lesser-known parts of me and my history. I do realise that sometimes I go too far, share too much and, quite frankly, as my parents were apt to say, I should put a sock in it!
Now, I've no way of knowing how long I'll keep this daily streak going but I'm doing my best not to miss a day because I know it will be ten times harder to restart the motors the day after next or whenever the muse shows up. I'll be honest though, I'd like to put this energy into writing a book rather than having to find the additional time across my already busy day. But, hey, that's for me to work out; and the truth is — always has been — that if I want it bad enough, then I'll sit down and do the heavy lifting required to get the idea(s) out my sorry head and down on paper.
As well as daily blogging to LJ, you might have seen that I've been typing poems on a manual typewriter. I've not quite had the consistency of LJ but I've made a good start. I've written about 150 poems which now need some serious and focused editing. But again, it's been the daily attention to my craft that's yielded results not the stop...start of old. I love it, particularly the physical experience, the rat-tat-tat of the keys and the pure pleasure of seeing what emerges — profanity and all.
"Aren't you a clever boy!"
To be honest, there's not much else to say. I do sense though, over this lockdown period, that more people are starting to feel their way into writing — of whatever form and genre. I'm not so arrogant to believe that I've done anything to assist in that department but I'd still like to see more people blog, write poetry and publish their material. I can think of a few people who I'd love to see stretch themselves and publish something. But then again, we're all unique and expressed the way we're expressed. If you're not minded to write, that's fine. After all, much like my spiritual inclinations, I'm not out to convert anyone.
Oh, one other thing. I do sometimes think about my legacy. I mean, what will anyone make of this outpouring of angst, exhortation and the few poems that still remain? Again, it's a good question. Will I, like millions of other people before me, be forgotten within a few years of my demise? I think in this regard about a late friend of mine on LJ. He wrote assiduously and even published a few books but I never see him mentioned here or anywhere else. Why should I? No reason I suppose. Likewise, in my case, I don't expect anyone to refer to or quote my work once I'm gone. Sure, my kids might keep a few pieces of mine but that's going to die out in a generation or two. Something perhaps for me to muse on.
Anyhow, have a wonderful day.
Blessings 🙏, Ju
If you're able to support my work through patronage then you can either do so via Patreon, buying me a virtual coffee ☕ or go to my website where I've put up a 'support' page. Thank you in advance; even a small amount helps me to continue to write these blogs and maintain my site.