First, I wanted to tell all of you to go read my last post. It’s all there now, and, I think, much better than the way “WordPress” thought it should be posted originally. You don’t have to, but I wish you would. If you have the time.
I’m on a writing “roll” tonight, and I don’t feel like quitting. Maybe because it’s Friday night and I’ve had a few drinks…or no. One side of me says, “You shouldn’t drink so much.” The other side of me says, “Don’t listen to him, he’s drunk.” Just kidding, and I have to admit that I borrowed that. I’ll give it back some day.
Don’t you wish you were clever and talented and, well, like, say, Michael Landon? Here’s a guy that wrote scripts, directed, produced, starred, wrote some of the music, and collected Emmy’s for a TV show called “Little House on the Prairie.” Well, in truth, the Emmy’s went to Ted Voightlander for cinematography in 1978 and 1979 and David Rose for music composition in 1982, but still, what kind of a talent was Michael Landon? Just for the record, I never watched the show…Right.
I remember watching an interview with Lionel Richie once. He said that he wrote most of his songs in the shower. For god’s sake, he started singing in the shower and wrote number one songs! Can’t be true. I’ve heard other recording artists say the same thing. One singer/songwriter broke up with a boyfriend and ran into him one day on the way to the recording studio and within a few minutes she had put together a song that ended up being in the top ten on the country charts. Okay, the country charts, yeah, I like country music. Because I think country music today is most like the music I liked in the 70’s that was called “pop” way back then. The term “bubblegum music” comes to mind as well. But country music isn’t the “monkey shit” music my brother thinks it is. (I just had to throw that in, and he’s lucky I called him my brother.)
Where am I going with this? Nowhere really. I was just thinking about how talented some people seem to be. More talented than the rest of us. And they are paid…there I go again, thinking about money…handsomely for that talent. I wish I was like them. I think we all, secretly or otherwise, wish we were like them. That we could write a poem, or a story, or a song, or a script, or a play that would propel us into the entertainment stratosphere.
That we had an idea, a wonderful, imaginative, unreal, fantastic, idea, like “Harry Potter” that would turn into a world-wide phenomenon and make us rich beyond our wildest dreams. (There I go again.) But it’s not all about the money. My idol, Mark Twain, died broke. Probably the most respected writer and orator in American history, and he didn’t leave a lot of money in his wake. In fact, he didn’t leave any.
Don’t you want to be like Stephen King, or Peter Benchley, or Richard Bradford, or John Grisham, or Tom Bodett? Yeah, Tom would probably be embarrassed to be put in the same company as those writers, but I love Tom Bodett. Here’s the thing. In order to be like Tom Bodett, you have to WORK at it. I’ll say it again. You have to work at it. Tom Bodett didn’t unknowingly come up with “We’ll leave the lights on for you.”
Writing is a craft. Do some of us find it easier to do than others? Sure. But in order to become a writer the caliber of J.K. Rowling, you need more than a legal pad and a good idea, you need to be able to write it down, well. She made it look easy, but it wasn’t. She would probably be the first one to admit it.
And I am certainly not one to preach about writing, or anything else for that matter. I have a friend that told me I should force myself to write at least an hour a day. Seems easy. The problem is, it isn’t. It’s liks finding time to exercise, or read a book, or spend some time with your family. There’s always something else that seems more important to do.
So I want to thank Vanessa for reminding me to take the time to look out my dish-washing window. A lot goes on out there.