Shelf Life

RogerandOutJournal log entry – “Hello … my name is Roger. I am a status addict.” The circle of knowing faces reply, “Hi, Roger.” “It has been six weeks since I last viewed the status page of my blog,” I say. At this, someone emotionally close in this respect pats me on the shoulder for a good job, the strain in his eyes tells me he’s been through it, but probably not over it. No golf claps here, there is a sincere flesh slapping flesh at my progress. “Good for you,” another says, followed by a stream of dissonant congrats and further adulation … but then my imaginary counterparts disappear, my ring of empathetic supporters has vanished … and it’s only me, alone with my laptop, me and my words.

Words are friendly enough. They are. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve revisited the words that have escaped me, escaped me in that my mind and typing fingers once held them, but understand they were never my prisoners. Some I never even realized I had until they were gone to paper … or rather … to a word document. It’s so strange, yet magical, the flow of words. Some I work for, but others come as freely out of me as an exhale and I have to think: Did I write that? How did I write that? And the binding question: Can I write like that again? Yes, they are all my friends as long as they are friendly to each other, and if not to each other, then I need just tweak the words and reacquaint that lot again. The love these words have for their brethren parallels the love I have for them.

The numbers though, got in the way. They didn’t prevent me from writing, but they were an added pressure that needn’t have been there. So much healthier it is to be sober with the words than to be drunk in the numbers, though for a writer it’s probably equally better said that if one has a choice in being sober with the numbers, it is better to be drunk in the words.

You say, “Isn’t it the numbers though that will push you to write?”

Maybe … maybe not … true, they pushed … but you have to push back … and who wants to keep pushing back? A tired writer is not a good writer. An empty tank can’t run the engine.

“Take it as it comes?” you ask.

That might be a bit too lax, if one is to be productive.

“Then what?”

I’ve heard some songwriters say that if the words didn’t just come to them … then the song wasn’t going to be any good and they’d drop it. I can see the value in that line of thinking … for songs … but not stories. I’ve written a few songs and pretty much stuck to those that rolled off my tongue, but stories though, that’s a whole other animal all together.

Where am I going with this? I don’t know. No … no, yes I do. I’ve missed writing.

“But you’re writing now.”

Indeed … but when I said writing I meant writing a larger story. Don’t get me wrong; I thoroughly enjoy creating what I put in this blog, without question, but those which put me here in the first place were my novels, and it is those I miss, the continuation of one, the beginning of others … something with a larger plot. I can’t seem to do both the way things have been.

“So are we at the crossroads?”

No … I just believe it better if this road forward becomes less of an expressway and more of a walking path … with some time to kick the stones … or even to pick them up and skim them off the nearest pond. If you can’t tell that I’m even enjoying writing this, then you haven’t gotten to know me and my words and who we are to each other, and I invite you to read me again and discover and rediscover … but if you can sense it, by the way I choose my words, then you no doubt will know I will still be writing here when I can … and I will … just not as often. At least within every week I will put out something new. I hope you fancy my writing enough to want to come back if only for that once-a-week. Who knows, maybe one of my books may make its way to a shelf within your reach … and you may just want to pick it up and read it. Wouldn’t that be lovely? I think so.

Just thought I’d let you know, since there has been quite a lot of days missing their daily, and I didn’t want you to think I was giving out. I’m just reorganizing for a longer shelf life if you want to say that … seems to fit. Thanks for your patronage. I hope my words find you here again.

Signing off,

Roger and out

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