Thursday, February 05, 2004

The thing I admire about Mr. Leighton is that he takes writing seriously. He talked about somebody-- Sherwood Anderson, I believe-- who wolk up an hour before he had anything else to do in the morning and would write. He talked about how he wanted to do it, and I'm under the impression that he may now. Even if he doesn't, he writes. He gets inspired by everything and he changes these ideas into stories, real, functioning stories. I don't think there's any fantastic talent involved, but his blog is almost always exactly what I feel like reading when I navigate over there, even if I'm not aware of it until after.

I think out of all my writer friends, Jeff is the most talented. Spoiled silly in so many aspects of life, he attributes his talent, largely, to yet another purely fortunate blessing, a creative burst he calls "the Zone". Apparently, he will start writing on his own and then the zone will overtake him, and, if I remember correctly, it's rather like he's channeling the writing. From something inside of him to the screen with little or no consultation on his part. This makes me unabashedly jealous, as I have never experienced such an accidental talent in any of the many things I'd like to excel at (writing and, lately, drawing being at the top of my list), but then, I suppose I wouldn't trade his situation for mine. What we gain too cheaply we esteem too lightly or some other drivel. Uncharacteristic as it seems, I've always sort of felt that way: When I was young, and hell, even moderately old, I spent hours pondering what I'd ask for if someone were to offer me wishes. At first I thought the thing that would make me happiest would be a book deal or something similar, but then I got to thinking that if I didn't win it by my own merits, it wouldn't be satisfying at all. I managed to apply that same idea to almost anything I could wish for, eventually, so I guess that makes money to old stand-by...though, depending on the power of the wish-giver, I suppose it would be far superior to wish for the end of this system that makes us so dependent on money in the first place. We're born and after a small grace period, we're made to work harder than we'd want to at school so that some day we might get into a good, expensive college where we'll work harder than we'd like to so that some day we can get a job which we'll grow to hate because we *have* to do it or else we'll lose everything, and finally, at the end of 65 years of almost total monetary misery, we get rest in our old age in the nest we've built ourselves, which is never enough to do the things we'd want to do that might justify a wasted lifetime. And the crazy thing is, no one can come up with a better alternative!

But that's old news.

My point was that the toiling over every word, the stopping and asking people to help me find the right one and the being driven crazy over it...the process, that's what makes writing worthwhile for me. At least, mostly. The idea that one day my talent may be my ticket out of the Rat Race, that doesn't hurt either. But despite all this, I don't have the discipline or the drive that Mr. Leighton does. I don't churn out things at the same rate, and when I come close, it's this stuff. Nothing that will ever get me there, even if it did work out for Wil Wheaton.

I was going to get into this whole spiel about how I don't think marriage is conducive to being a prolific or successful writer, but that kind of thing probably isn't worth the keystrokes, at least for the moment. Anyways, the L-man, also known as JohnnyLib, churned out a nice little story he calls "Balconies", and it's a nice feel-good thing, if a little hard for someone like me to follow. Check that out if you've got some time. There are worse things to do with it. Trust me, I know.

On with it.