Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On NOT Writing

Sore Hand CompanionAll eyes may be on Denver tonight, but I’m sitting here watching this infernal cursor blink. Its steady cadence mocks me; the silent vigil it keeps atop yet another blank page nearly drives me insane. Perhaps I should go to bed. It’s not like I’d toss or turn. Ask any reporter who’s spent an afternoon with me in a live truck: I can pretty much sleep on command. It’s something I learned in the Navy. Most everything else I’ve forgotten; what memories that do linger feel like scenes from a midnight movie I watched a couple of times but never really understood. Guess I should have written some it down. That way I’d at least have some notes to review, instead of a half dozen snapshots and a few buddies names I’ll take to the grave. But I didn’t log in tonight to reminisce. No, I came to purge. It’s something I’ve done for nearly four years straight, thanks to an understanding wife who tends to turn in early and an unlimited supply of Starbucks coffee. That’s right; this blog is artificially fueled. Were it not for the fine people of Guatemala, I might never have developed this silly habit. I don’t know whether I should contact their embassy or call in air strike. Perhaps I’ll just send a card…

I have always found solace in words. A voracious reader since I first learned to spell, it’s still the one thing I do the most. Don’t believe me? The other day Weaver and I were discussing the inanity of cable news and he asked me what one channel I’d choose if I could only have one. “That’s easy,” I said. “C-Span 2. They have Book TV every weekend.” If that doesn’t erase any cool points I’ve wrongly accumulated over the years, consider this: I couldn’t tell you what channel ESPN appears on if you put a gun to my head. Maybe that’s because I turn my back to my darkened Hi-Def set every night, choosing instead to share my evenings with you generous reader - when I’m not taking emptying the dishwasher, throwing Frisbee with the kids or pretending to clean out the garage, that is. Not that I’m doing this for anyone but me. One part ambition, two parts therapy, this humble site and its tiny core audience has afforded me something I’ve always yearned for: a writing discipline. Sure, I got it through false pretense, but it’s mine now and you can’t have it. So stop asking; you’re embarrassing both of us.

One thing four years of blogging has taught me: it doesn’t get any easier. Sure, I’ve learned to stretch the vaguest of ideas into a few fairly legible paragraphs each night, but I worry about repeating myself. There are, after all, only so many ways to describe the atrocities of electronic newsgathering. That’s why I review books on occasion, post dumb mullet photos and scour the internet for vintage cameraman photos to share. Call it filler; I prefer to think of it as ancillary blog fodder. Without it, I’d have a hard time maintaining any web presence at all, for not every shift is a mind-bending exercise in The Art of the Grab. Some are tedious as hell, forcing me to take to my upper lair with nary a clue on what I’m going to tell you. On nights like that, I really suffer - for it’s become important to me to feign prolificacy - even when I got nuthin’ to say. For I know that as soon as I decide there are no more themes to explore, I’ll stumble across an idea or event that will renew this compulsion to communicate. So hang in there, gracious visitor and know that I still consider Writer’s Block something of a privilege…

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dude, give it some time.. You'll find a way around writer's block! For the record, I am easily entertained by the vintage mullet shots, just as much as your tongue and cheek fodder.. Bring it, 'Slinger! May I suggest a few shots of Kentucky's finest bourbon to get the ball rollin'?!?

-Smitty

teachj said...

Keep it up, as a part of your "tiny" audience - I'm entertained, amused and educated. As a former ink stained wretch as well as former cable dragger myself - I look forward to reading your blog. Don't sell yourself short - and keep the Starbucks coming. It fuels my blog too!