Monday, March 10, 2003

Two Years of Blogging

It's now been two years since I started writing this BLOG.

I read an article a few weeks ago about Junot Diaz, a writer who is experiencing writer's block. I don't write professionally; this is the only outlet I have for writing, and I suppose if I needed to do this professionally, I probably will encounter days in which I couldn't get it going.

Since March 10, 2001, I wrote 330 entries into this BLOG. Some entries have been as short as a few words. Others were lengthier. I doubt that any entry is as as long as a typical column done by the columnists I like to read. Some of them, like Sam Allis, have columns that appear once a week. Others, like Bob Ryan, have columns that appear two or three times a week.

While at my Mom-in-Law's, I skimmed through Andy Rooney's book Common Nonsense. In it (I'm paraphrasing), he said that people who think writing is easy sometimes equate it with penmanship: the act of writing as the physical act of putting letters to paper (or typing, as I'm doing now). That writing is easy. But the writing that he does, and the writing that Mr. Diaz does, as well as Mr. Allis, and Mr. Ryan, is pretty hard.

Or is it? Billy Joel wrote "New York State of Mind" in an afternoon. Paul Thomas Anderson said it took him a few months to write Sydney, which is the equivalent of speed-writing in Hollywood. But he admitted that it took him a year to write Magnolia. Quentin Tarantino said it took him a year to adapt/write Jackie Brown, and it was already a published book (Rum Punch, by Elmore Leonard).

Bill Weld has now written three books, all after his years as governor of Massachusetts. He said that in school, he learned to write from outlines. He decided one day to make an outline of a book, and go from there. He made it sound so simple. And maybe it is.

For me? Some days it's easy to produce sentences, produce words. Others...well, let's say I'm glad I don't have to do this for pay. Well, it's late. Happy reading! Good night.

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