In the last few years I've arrived at an answer for myself that amounts to a formulation like: This is what people do. This is what normal people do.
Even cavemen, in the midst of their struggle for survival, took time from hunting, eating, sleeping, lovemaking to create paints and painting tools. And I wager that somewhere, in a medium less durable than stone, they practiced to refine their technique.
Today, as I write, I am 43 years old, happily so, and have been working at writing well for over 20 years. During that time, I've overcome inner obstacles, learned to write as myself without posing, and made friends with other writers.
And though I've solved the problems of what to write about and how to write it, and even the problem of where and how to publish, I have never - except for one fine month - ever found enough time to write.
The issue of time seems more critical the more projects I accumulate.
I've thought of ways of trying to reduce my backlog and my paper load:
I've also had to face a few facts: (1) that I will never finish every project I've envisioned; (2) not all of them are worth finishing; (3) I may not find anyone who cares about what I write.
The last point turns out to be the least important. One of my aims as a writer is to write so well that anyone who begins to read at any point, will be compelled to finish. I don't say that I succeed. The point is, I am aiming at the reader, but if they will not read, I still need to write for my own self.
Like the caveman, I need to paint on my wall, and now the web has provided a rather nice wall.
Unlike the caveman, my scrawls tend to run into thousands of words.
Some of these I've "completed" in the sense that they have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Others are barely begun. Some are mere sketches. But none of them are actually done. They need more work; some cry out for more work. And I mean to do it, and I will do it when I can.
In the meantime, rather than keep them in some personal and unaccessible medium, I would rather put them out here, where friends and strangers can poke and pry, enjoy or make rude comments or both, and hopefully their presence out here will give me some reason to fix them up a little better and mature them to the point of being "done".
[ 2 September 1999 ]