Friday, September 28, 2012

Catching Lightning In An IPod

On my walk this evening. For some perspective the light to the lower left of the lightning is a house light and the lumpy dark blobs behind that are trees.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Reminder

If you want to skip to the good part, it's below in bold print.

This is an important reminder for you. At least I think it's for you. It's definitely for other writers, probably for other artists and possibly for other human beings.

I've been writing stories to submit to magazines for over twenty one years now and I still make rookie mistakes. I keep forgetting all those good, hard lessons I've learned over the decades and when I remind myself about them I feel dumb and then get back on track.

My life has gotten a lot better recently. With the payment of some big bills and a new position at my store, things are lined up more than ever for me to devote more time to writing.

And I'm not writing.

Or, more precisely, I waste a bunch of time to avoid the heck out of writing, then I write a little, then I bounce off and waste a bunch more time. That's right. The thing that I've wanted to do with my life since I was a kid, I don't do it. Even when I've adjusted my life to give myself plenty of opportunities to do it.

Rather than seek out medication which might throw everything into chaos, I look at the symptoms, I look at what I've learned, and I smack myself in the head. Because avoidance of this thing I want to do always boils down to the same cause: Perfection.

Perfection is the devil. It freezes you up at the keyboard and makes you climb the walls. Did Linda Blair climb the walls? It's been twenty years since I last watched, but probably. The devil's got a thing for horizontal surfaces, I think. Perfection is particularly devilish, because you don't know it's there. You think it's a thing you put behind you long ago. But then, why are you frozen when you're not busy wall-climbing? Damn it. There it is.

The solution is easy. Stop trying to be perfect. Just do something. Do anything. Be crappy on purpose. This is something I've told myself a few thousand times and still forget. That's why I need the reminder and maybe you needed it right now too. Doing something half-assed is more progress than not doing it at all.

Okay, I see now, that this advice is definitely not for everyone. Please ignore this if you're a surgeon, for instance. I'm sorry, but you'll have to figure out your own shit. Try a surgery blog.