Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Writer Writes

"A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing. Always be closing."
- Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross

The monologue at the beginning of that terrific film is so awesome, so potent and so perfectly done by Alec Baldwin that salesmen who are new to the art of the sale are shown it as motivation for their new careers. On top of being inspiring, in that "it's halftime and your team is getting beat by a team they should be blowing out of the building and your coach is trying to half-scare/half-shame you into playing like you should have been all along" kind of way, it is also equal parts insulting, profane and funny. I like watching it; makes me want to write. And that's only slightly because of David Mamet's unreal screenplay and dialog.

Every writer should have a paraphrase of Blake's quote on their computer desk or where ever they decide to create new stories every day: "A-B-W. A-Always, B-Be, W-Writing. Always be writing." A writer is supposed to write. If you don't think about writing when you wake up, when you should be working, when you're dealing with a waiter, when you're having a drink at a bar, and at night when you dream, then perhaps it's time to find a new hobby or creative venture. Writers write, period.

I haven't written anything other than detention slips at the school where I work since my father passed away February 3rd. I've edited the heck out of stuff; I've read the book I'm self-publishing in May/June to my wife; I've watched documentaries on Netflix instant to see if I can spark a new story idea (speaking of which, how did I survive before my TV was capable of wireless internet access?). To quote Will in Shakespeare in Love, "Nothing comes." I can't hold a thought in my head longer than twenty minutes. I can't even read for longer than a half hour. Some people have said I haven't dealt with what happened. But how do I do that?

By writing, of course. That's how writers deal with anything. We write about it. When my son was born, I started a Daddy blog. It was funny, it was scary and it was exciting. Mainly because that's what I was dealing with at the time. Now, my own Dad is gone. What do I feel? Anger. Sadness. Loneliness. Guilt. Depression. Pessimism.

Is there hope in any part of me? It's not so much hope as it is a dogged determination to keep walking. There isn't a "light at the end of the tunnel" so much as my own little engine that just keeps chugging, keeps pulling. Not because there is a town waiting for toys and fruits and animals and a cheery little clown over the next hill. But because that's what I do. I keep going. I move. I type. I create.

Writers write. And its time for me to get back at it.



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  2. I've been very fortunate not to lose one of my biological parents. I did, however, lose my father-in-law (who became like a 2nd dad) about 1.5yrs ago now.

    Just before he passed, I was very focused with my writing. After...I didn't write for months, and I was miserable. My husband told me I had to get back to writing. It was what made me happy.

    But, like you I couldn't focus. In fact, part of me felt guilty for taking private time to write when I could be with my husband. After all, who knows what's going to happen tomorrow?

    He helped me realize what was to come tomorrow would whether I wrote or not. But the difference? I'd be happy.

    It was at this point I joined Absolute Write where I met a bunch of terrific writers and friends. And over a course of some time, the fire was reignited and the words started flowing.

    Sometimes, we have make ourselves push through....

  3. You have been just existing since the loss of you dad. You go through life existing and not living life after such a loss. You just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and hiding your knees in prayer. Lift your face to God and He will see you through this. He knows exactly how you are feeling and what you need. Plus you have an AMAZING family who support you 100% and will help you through this. You will begin writing and will produce some great and inspiring works. Just lean on those who love you and keep typing cuz!
    Love you!

  4. Awesome Todd! Write on the mark too! I wish you healing. Lucie