Some Days Are Like That

Smith Corona

My favorite quote about writing…and the one I think is most accurate, is from a journalist named Gene Fowler.  The quote goes like this:

“Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

Now obviously, we would insert “computer screen” for paper now, but Mr. Fowler died in 1960 so it really was paper at the time.  Writing is like everything else in life.  Some days it is really easy and some days it is really hard.  Most days however, the difficulty level falls somewhere in the middle.

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The hardest part about blogging every week, is finding a quiet block of time to write and then deciding what to write about.  Interruptions and distractions are the enemy of the writer. They make it too easy to get up and walk away from the keyboard.  And once you escape, it can be difficult to find your way back.

The research part of writing is always interesting because I learn something new every week.  When I’m writing for the magazine…Lifestyles of Denton County…I stick to the facts and do a lot of research before writing.  When I blog, I also do a lot of research but I get to add some personal stories to the mix.

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Taking or finding pictures to use with the different blog posts is fun too.  Sometimes I have to reach out to friends (thank you Galyn) or family (thank you Caelli) to either take or send me just the right picture to go with the writing.  And then the fun begins.

Most authors will tell you they have a ritual they must perform before they write.  Think of it like the basketball player who has his own ritual before every free throw, or the singer who has to do certain warmup exercises before they sing, or the pastor who prays certain prayers each week during his sermon preparation.  We all have our own special preparation or superstition or prayers or whatever we need to do before we can do the really important things.

By Sunday or Monday of each week, I begin thinking about my next blog post and doing some research on several topics.  I think about all the things that I’ve done in the past week…about the sermon I heard at church…about what’s in the news and what’s coming up on the calendar that might be of interest and timely.

Sometimes something on Facebook will interest me and I will want to know more.  For those of you who read my blog regularly, that’s why I wrote about the Mason-Dixon Line.  Someone mentioned it on Facebook and I wanted to know where exactly it was.

Sometimes, I am simply curious about something and figure there must be other people who are too.  I wrote about birthdays in “And On the Subject of Birthdays…” because a friend was about to have her 60th birthday.  Other times, I simply tell you about things that have happened in my life like my son’s wedding in “To Everything There is a Season” or meeting and helping Richard and Lois in “Road Trip…I-70 Exit 129” or driving to Greenville, Mississippi to drink the water in “Do Drink The Water.”

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Some weeks, I don’t have a clue what to write about until I actually sit down to write on Tuesday or even early Wednesday morning.  Other weeks, I am deciding between two or three topics and end up writing two blog posts and choosing my favorite.  But it all starts with a cup of coffee and a prayer.  It’s a prayer of gratitude for the ability to write and a request for God to help me honor Him and honor the people I write about in my posts.  Pretty simple really…and then the words begin to flow.

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Sometimes I think I will be writing about one topic and a completely different topic takes center stage during the creative process.  Whenever that happens, I just figure God decided I needed some help or thought my chosen topic was not the right one for the week.

This week, I was going to write about Labor Day since we just celebrated it on Monday.  I was going to tell you that Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894 and is a holiday in which we celebrate the social and economic achievements of the American labor movement as well as the contributions our American workers have made to the strength and prosperity of our country.

I was going to tell you that the most common ways Americans celebrate Labor Day are with parades and cookouts.   In the northern part of our country, Labor Day Weekend is traditionally the last weekend to have pools and lake houses open.  After Labor Day, the nights begin to get too cool for water activities.

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I was also going to write about what I did on Labor Day because I won’t do that again.  We went to Dallas with plans to go to two or three museums on Labor Day.  The first museum parking lot was completely full and wouldn’t have more parking for at least another hour.  So we headed to the second museum on our list and stood in line for 20 minutes to get inside.  After that, we inched along with a huge crowd from exhibit to exhibit.  It was so crowded and slow that we gave up in frustration and didn’t see some parts of the museum.  Apparently, not everyone goes to parades and cookouts on Labor Day.

So I was going to write about Labor Day but I ended up writing about writing.  Some days are like that.  And now, I have to wipe the drops of blood off my forehead.

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Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”


2 thoughts on “Some Days Are Like That”

  1. I clicked on your Facebook today wondering if you had posted any new blogs lately. I didn’t realize you posted weekly. I’ve always wondered how you come up with what to write about. Funny I was thinking about you and your posts today! Love you

  2. I am always looking for what you write and when you post. It helps me feel connected to important things!

    You make ordinary things seem extraordinary. I wait until I have uninterrupted time to read your work and curl up on my comfy couch and savor it!

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