from October 15, 2006
It gets old, this writing bit. There are so many other things to do, except when you’re a promising writer.
That’s what I used to be. A promising writer. Those of you why belong to this vast group know what I’m talking about when I title a column “Staring at a Blank Piece of Paper.”
Now I’m an accomplished robot. The changeover is complete. I’ve made the transition from (1) a promising writer who can’t think of what to write but does it anyway to (2) your common, ordinary, everyday, semi-active, contemplative tin can.
It wasn’t easy. Many were the mornings when I sat down at my fellow tin can, better known as a computer, and stared at the monitor. Many were the mornings when the monitor stared right back. It had writer’s block.
At least that was my theory. But I needed a second opinion, so I took the whole damn apparatus down to the computer repair guy and asked what was wrong.
Eighty bucks later, the second opinion turned out to be that nothing was wrong with my computer. Maybe, the repair guy said, what we have here is not a case of computer that has come down with writer’s block. Maybe what we have here is an exhausted robot, the carcass of a former writer.
Those were his words. “Carcass of a former writer.” If this phrase would’ve come from me, I would’ve been in seventh heaven. I would have taken my fellow tin can home, plugged it in, revved it up, and pecked out a dazzling piece of writing that would come to be anthologized in every high school junior textbook in Oklahoma.
But I must rest content, for the time being, in occupying my niche in sixth heaven: a mid-afternoon jogger who spends his evenings in jovial imbibing and sparkling conversation with the regulars down at the Hôtel Adiós Watering Hole.