It’s noon on Monday and I have five hours to write and schedule a post before I have to get ready to attend a Magic basketball game this evening. My posts come out twice a week, at 12:01 a.m. every Tuesday and Friday morning. I’ve been doing this for almost two years and am kind of obsessed about staying on schedule. Last week was unusually busy so I’m under the gun today. Only five hours to come up with a topic and 600 words. Holy crap!
I’m a fast thinker. This makes me a slow writer because so many synapses fire at once that it takes some time to assemble all the input into something understandable to others. It also makes ordinary conversation problematic since I have a habit of coming out with non sequiturs. I’ve been subjected to many a blank stare when, for example, we’re talking about Magic basketball and I’m wondering aloud about dinner. It makes perfect sense to me. I associate basketball games with arena food and arena food makes me hungry and hunger reminds me of dinner. In fact, writing the above sentence made me hungry so I had to stop and make lunch.
But I digress. Another reason I’m a slow writer is that I need to know how I feel about something before I’m ready to write about it, and I’m a slow feeler. Well, I don’t really feel slow; I’m just slow to recognize my feelings. As an aside, (and to illustrate my point about firing synapses), I need to digress again: When I say feelings, I don’t mean just emotions. I mean feeling in the Jungian sense of valuing: assessing phenomena in terms of what is meaningful to me, what is not, and why. For instance, I saw the movie A Dangerous Method about Jung, Freud, and Spielrein a few days ago and enjoyed it, but I still don’t know exactly how I feel about it, so I’m not ready to write about it yet.
It used to take three or four days to get a post together and I worried a lot about meeting my deadlines. Why? I don’t know. After all, they’re self-imposed! Nowadays I trust my unconscious to send me something: but in five hours? Last night I awoke several times and each time I was thinking about what today’s topic would be. But nothing gelled.
Then this morning it hit me that this post would be my 200th, and when I checked my blog stats I discovered I now have 200 e-mail subscribers! Now that felt meaningful! So I pondered this computational coincidence over my compulsory morning sudoku, while reading and answering my compulsory e-mail, and during my compulsory check-in with my other sites. Finally, I settled down to write. I refilled my coffee cup. I lit my candle for inspiration. I closed my eyes to meditate. I heard, “You’ve got mail!” It was a series of cartoons from Fred’s office manager about working with computers. All this was too synchronistic to ignore, and the result is this post on blogging, computing, internet networking, and the inefficient wiring of one writer’s brain.
In closing, here’s my latest favorite quote about writing from author Paul Auster, “Becoming a writer is not a ‘career decision’ like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don’t choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you’re not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days.”
600 words? Exactly! Hard? Yes, but also way gratifying.
Okay, this last sentence takes it beyond 600 words but I thought you’d like to know it took me 4 hours and 53 minutes!
It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave