I had a long conversation over the last couple of days, about writing.
Julie over at Analyze Julie, she managed to give me one of thoise virtual shakings I need now and then.
What she said, in effect, was “quit thinking about it and start writing.”
Well, sure. I could do that.
But then I had reasons not to, As usual. Some plot that wasn’t right. There’s Always Something.
Sometimes though, the door opens and you just have to walk through it. In this case, the door happened to be opened by a contracting company laying fibre optic cable. They were making holes, but as it turned out, something was already in the hole. That something was two 115-kilovolt cables that supply power to most of the city of Cupertino, CA.
This is significant because my employer, Apple Computer is smack dab in the middle of Cupertino. I was sitting at my desk, trying to recover from a somewhat strenuous morning, when my monitor went black, and it got V E R Y Q U I E T in my building. You never notice how loud computers are until they all go off at once.
46,000 people lost power, they’re estimating, at about 11am california time. Still out now, almost twelve hours later. Someone is getting so fired for this I’m sure.
So I went home. At home, I have a network, VPN access to apple, wireless, my laptop. At work, though the file servers were all up on emergency generator power, nothing on my desk could talk to the network, even if I had power there in my office.
Now, when I got home, I could have worked. Most everything was available. But you know, after eating lunch, I started writing an email back to Julie about a piece I was working on. And when I finished that email, instead of doing what I should have done and gotten back to work, I said – fuck, why not – and I pulled out a short story and started working on it. I threw out a lot of it and started again, and wrote most of the afternoon. I think I wrote about 3000 words, give or take, of a story that’s now about 5000 words long.
I don’t know if it’s good. I don’t know if I’ll keep it. But I know it felt good to be writing instead of thinking about how I should be writing.
Stop thinking about it. Just do it. Good advice Julie, even if that’s not exactly how you said it.
Just write. I think it’s the same advice I always give other bloggers when they are starting out. Sometimes I forget that, though. Too bad I only have the regular number of digits or I could tattoo that on my knuckles, ‘J U S T — W R I T E’. Not enough fingers. And mis-spelling it isn’t the same. But I need some way to remember.