Back in the Saddle Again

Image: Tiago Aguiar via Unsplash

Image: Tiago Aguiar via Unsplash

I`m back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly gypsum weed
Back in the saddle again

American singer, actor, and businessman, Gene Autry, was born on this day in 1907 (died 1998)

To be fair, I’m not sure that I’ve ever really been in a saddle. Maybe once as a kid at carnival or circus I got to ride the pony around in a circle. But I’ve never been horse riding as an adult.

So, I’m not sure the significance of that other than the fact that I needed a lede for this post.

Don’t let anyone fool you. Writing is hard. Writing is very hard.

Sure, anyone can sit down and put words together. But to do it well takes work. And it happens word by word.

I’ve had to learn that the hard way.

Granted, most of the brilliance you get here on a daily basis is just inspired rambling. What you don’t know, and don’t see, is the struggle I have almost daily of answering the “what the $%#^ am I doing to write about?” question.

So, I guess in that sense, I’m not necessarily back in a saddle, but I’m back in the office chair, sitting at the keyboard.

Sometimes staring at the keyboard. Or sometimes scrolling through Facebook.

Just. One. More. Refresh.

Keeping the discipline of writing is a challenge. And it means turning off Netflix.

Recently I thought it was a brilliant move to binge-watch Mad Men again. I’m currently in Season 6 (out of seven), so I sort of have to finish.

But I am not, I repeat, am not, going to binge-watch another series. At least not before I make some significant writing progress.

Besides, ABC snuck in new episodes of Once Upon a Time and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. without telling me. Fair enough, those are the only two hours of television I ever watch on ABC so there was no way they could warn me.

I can multi-task. I can take care of bills, and emails, and other pesky little projects whilst I’m streaming one of the above mentioned shows.

I can’t productively write the “real” stuff while multi-tasking.

Stephen King said “You can read anywhere, almost, but when it comes to writing… most of us need a place of our own… and it really only needs one thing: a door you are willing to shut. The closed door is your way of telling the world and yourself that you mean business.”

That doesn’t mean a door you close so that the family doesn’t know you’re streaming Star Trek…or Mad Men.

Putting words together is hard. Putting them in the right order is harder.

So, call the Netflix research if you will. But the time comes when you have to push the off button and stare at the screen.

That’s how the real writing gets done.

Saddle up.

Also born on this day in 1942, American actress and singer, Madeline Kahn (died 1999).


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