|Posted on December 22, 2015 at 1:00 AM|
By Dennis Stone
On December 13 I posted my first new article to this site in over a year. And that was the first writing I had done in that time. I’ve had several great ideas to write about since then, and several times I planned to write, but it just never happened. After awhile a sort of moat went up around my creativity and my muse and my initiative, confining me to a routine world of work and mundanity. (Yes, that’s a real word! I looked it up to be sure.)
But now I’m writing again. In fact, in the next couple of days I’ll post a VERY long piece, a sort of Big Statement piece on the evolving nature of the gay experience in the modern world. That was actually the first writing I did after my hiatus, but I wanted to post a couple of smaller pieces first, and the Alice’s Restaurant piece was time sensitive.
I had been feeling increasing urges to write again, but then something happened to push me over the edge. The editor of a major online site contacted me through my website. He said it was unfortunate that I was no longer writing my “terrific commentaries,” and he was interested in me possibly writing for his site. That dovetailed perfectly with the direction I was already moving. But more importantly, it validated the idea that I have something to offer, and that my writing has some level of merit.
I already had an idea I had been pondering for awhile, and so I sat down to write. The editor talked about pieces of about 500-700 words, and I hoped to keep my first effort below 800. The first thing I noticed as I stared at the blank screen was that the words were not going to come easily. I was out of practice. When I’m at my best the words just sort of roll out effortlessly. But that wasn’t happening. I had to work really hard at it. I could spend a whole evening and get two paragraphs. (Though to be honest, much of that evening would be spent surfing the internet when my brain felt dry.)
The second thing I noticed as I forced the words out was that my piece was going to be much longer than 800 words. I quickly decided that was OK. At that point in my return to writing it was important to just go with the flow, and not worry about results. The final product is over 3700 words! But as I wrote it I began to get my mojo back, and that was the ultimate goal. But I’m happy with much of it, and I think it has something important to say.
Unfortunately, the modern Twitter-ized world isn’t much interested in long pieces. Which also means that most readers aren’t much interested in complex thoughts or well-reasoned arguments. But the beauty of the internet is that I can still write those pieces and still post them on my own site. There won’t be many readers, but I’ve discovered that writing has a merit all its own, regardless of readers. To quote author Elizabeth Reyes (and probably many others), “I write because I must.”
Categories: The Blog