Krooked Krik

We (the dog and I) spotted this driveway sign as we made our way to a dead end this morning. I don’t customarily seek out dead ends, but no other end, in this instance, was available. Why do we refer to these streets with no outlets as dead ends? They aren’t dead ends at all. One may simply retrace his steps, return to the embarkation point, and set out upon a different path.

There’s a story idea in the wind!

We also encountered a smallish brown turtle sporting an intricate brown shell with black markings. T.J. (the dog) picked the turtle up, but he didn’t bite. I promptly took the poor thing from him. There’s enough death on this fifty-five mile per hour highway; we certainly don’t want to add to that. (Actually, T.J. relishes the thought of adding to that, but I’m vigilant.)

Now that I’m in Northwest Louisiana, temporarily living with my parents, the dog and I walk each day. A long walk in the morning, and a shorter walk as the sun seeks out the horizon. I enjoy these walks, and my ancient dog walks with a spring in his step each time we head out. We’re constantly discovering.

Not once, since we’ve started these walks, have we passed another person on foot. Not even a child.

Imagine that.

While perusing my email today I came across one of Chuck Wendig’s blog posts. His blog is terriblemiinds, and I’ll eventually figure out how to link to his blog via my blog. If you plug the name of his blog into Google, you’ll easily find his site.

The post I read is, Yes, Virginia, You Can Be A Paid Writer, Too. The entire post is worth reading, but one particular Wendigism slammed me in the chest like a basketball at close range. Here it is:

“It’s worth noting that your attitude through all this is very important. Writer’s block doesn’t exist, but general malaise and depression and disinterest do, and those must be combated.” -Chuck Wendig

As writers, we find ourselves drawn to the best of the best, and we learn from these penmonkeys (a Wendigism) as we compare ourselves, our styles and our accomplishments, to the writer we’re orbiting and drawing inspiration from. Sometimes, the comparison leaves us feeling as competent as a quadriplegic at a cup-stacking meet.

His writing is concise, informative, inspiring, intriguing, all that and more. My writing is Sad Sack shit that shouldn’t be left on a bathroom stall.

At those times we must remember what Chuck said about combating those demons: malaise, depression and disinterest. We must assume that Chuck hasn’t always been the proficient writer he is today. Once upon a time he stood in our shoes. He’s familiar with the whispers coming from the closeted realms of the mind. He fought the demons, and he won.

We can be winners too. We must believe that. We must fight. The only path to victory requires us to write our asses off, write our fingers to the bone, pour our words onto the page, send them into the world, and hope they succeed.

I need to figure out why I want to write. This has been eating at me for decades, but I don’t write, not really. A few words here and there, an occasional poem, but I seldom finish anything. This is ridiculous, because my life is back to just me. Me, myself and I, and no one else. 

I think about that half-finished orange afghan left hanging in the closet when we moved out of the house on Second Street. My writing has been like that, half-finished and useless, hanging in my mental closet, of no use to me or anyone else. Why don’t I fix this? 

Maybe I can’t write. Maybe that’s it, but then again: I think not. I’m too intelligent to avoid something for fear of failure, or am I? As long as I say I want to be a writer, but don’t actually write, I have can call that dream mine. On the other hand, if I write the best I can, if I pour my soul onto the page to no avail, if my writing is never seen as worthy of publication in any mainstream genre, then the dream must end.

I think my life would be simpler if I never had any desire to write anything, if I were merely content to read. There are people out there who are like that, millions in fact, but I can’t imagine being among them. I can’t imagine not wanting to write, not wishing to create something that didn’t previously exist with words which, while not uniquely mine, are uniquely arranged. I am a writer.

 I must believe that. I must believe that.

I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m determined to start this blog. Where’s the nearest blog class? Help!

I started my novel in earnest. I will finish this novel. My protagonist is Twyla, a thirteen-year-old starting over in Louisiana in 1970. If it sounds a lot like my youth, it’s merely a coincidence. 

I’ve stumbled across a handful of dang good blogs written by dang good writers: Joanna Penn, Jeff Goins and Chuck Wendig. (The Creative Penn, Jeff Goins, Writer and terribleminds.) Each of these blogs is unique, but all of these writers share one common trait: Generosity. Their willingness to share what they’ve learned is startling. They learn by teaching, which makes sense when you think about it. but how common is it to stumble across people who invite others to succeed?

That’s it for now. I don’t wish to embarrass myself.

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