Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Sandra Brown is an old friend.  I don't mean she is old like John McCain, I mean old like, I have known her for a long time. Perhaps Sandra is my long friend. 
At any rate, Sandra has written more books than I will ever read in my life time and is continually on the New York Times best seller list.  Her husband Michael was the live show manager one year for a show I did in college.
I remember at the end of that summer we were all talking about what we would do in the fall after the show closed.  Sandra said she thought she would like to write a novel.  The rest they say, "is History".
One of the things that has stuck with me all these years is her writing discipline.  She said that writing was a lonely job and she needed long periods of undisturbed time to do it.  Once she had kids it was more difficult for her to get the time to herself.  Finally she set up a rule for the family to live by.  When she was in her office writing with the door closed she was not to be disturbed for any reason unless it involved fire or blood.
In my semi-professional attempts at writing I thought I could just tune out the real world and go into my own.  I seem to be good at daydreaming. However, I found that unless my thoughts are isolated, I can't really write what I am feeling. I really do need to have a quite place with zero distractions but that environment is increasingly harder to find. While that continues to be the case, it is also an excuse. I can blame the smallest distraction for my inability to write well.  In those cases a silent room at a Monastery would not be sufficient to give birth to an idea.
Like right now, I am at the desk in my office and no one else is in the house.  I have all that Sandra Brown would need to turn out another best seller.  But it is not working for me.  I am completely distracted by a clicking noise that seems to accompany my every thought.  It is relentless and unless I completely stop writing it never goes away.  It is the obnoxious sound of my fingers typing on the keyboard.  There is is again, every time I think of something to write that noise starts up again. Like just then when I wrote "just then".
I tried using those dictation programs that type what you say.  I find that is not a good answer to the problem.  It is like having a collaborator who doesn't speak English, but is continually correcting your words.  It is the equivalent of trying to drive a car just by telling the car what to do. Besides, when I talk the computer tends to get confused about who is speaking me or Bob. 
I tried ear plugs. That doesn't work. When I really am in the moment with the muse I can actually hear the words before I type them.  Obviously I can't do that with ear plugs... what am I schizophrenic. And don't think that the virtual keyboard on an iPad is the answer.  It is like tapping your fingers on a glass desk top, I don't feel any connection to the process. 
There was a time I pretended the keyboard clicking was Morse code and the words on the screen just the translation of that information. It didn't last long. I typed SOS on the key board one day.  Since that is the only thing I know in Morse code I knew the clicks on my keyboard did not match the number of clicks necessary for those three letters.  I lost all faith that the story being delivered in code was the same as the story that was being written.  I began to fear that the story being clicked in code was a much better story than the one I was reading on the screen. 
Now you know the difficulty I have in delivering this blog.  Although I think the phrase is way over used these days.... "just sayin'"
As you were,

1 comment:

Sarah Grabke said...

I hear you, Jay. I only just started my own blog and already some of the posts were difficult to write. Finding the right words. I guess you and I (maybe not me, that's still in the open, but certainly you) are born to be vents and not so much blog writers, aye? ;-) I'll probably still keep on writing my own blog and certainly reading yours! :-)