Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Boxing With Myself

I must be honest.  I'm blown away by how many people are reading this blog every month: over 1,000 to be exact.  For whatever reasons, I seem to have a growing readership in the Netherlands, Russia, England and South Korea.  I've never been to any of these beautiful countries, but I appreciate the loyalty, and I'm encouraged by the thought that there are, perhaps, other weirdos in these places who enjoy my brand of humor.

As of late, I've been spending a lot of time boxing with myself. Please allow me to explain.

Writing is difficult work.  It is difficult, in part, because it is so remote, so solitary, so devoid of contact, that a writer literally has to do battle with himself/herself in order to produce anything on the page.  There can be many distractions:  other voices in other rooms, hunger, thirst, the World Series on TV.  A writer has to block all of these temptations out, close a door, and go to battle with the blank page.

I've been punching myself silly of late.  Although I have not signed a book contract for going on two years now, I've been throwing hard punches at magazines, journals, web sites and newspapers, and have landed a fair number of uppercuts and worked up a decent scorecard of acceptances in the past month alone.  

Today, for example (what is this, Tuesday?), I completed the following:

* Sent poems out to three different magazines
* Wrote a personal bio for a magazine that will soon be publishing my book reviews
* Turned down an early-morning phone call request for an interview this Friday (as I will be out of town and don't like giving interviews anyway)
* Received an email confirmation for a book order
* Wrote a funeral sermon
* Started an outline for my weekend sermon
* Read a magazine that I soon hope to be writing for
* Sent an e-mail to another editor explaining that I am not a photographer and would not be offering any photos for my article that will soon be published in an outdoor magazine 
* Wrote this blog

And I did all of this in spite of being in a 7-hour long seminar most of the day.  But that's why a 5 a.m. start is important to me . . . and that's why I fall asleep after I've written for two hours before midnight (or during sex).

It rarely happens, but if I don't punch myself . . . Becky can always sock it to me. She's the only one who can keep me awake! 

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