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Some Days in the Life - One Month Down

Posted 5/18/99

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It's May 18. It's also my thirty-first entry.

I've been doing this for a month, now.

More than that, I've literally been doing this for a month. I'm not sure how that happened. I'm really not stressed about putting entries up on these pages, and I certainly expect I'll miss days or entire weeks along the way, but to date I haven't missed a day. Something has appeared on this site daily the whole time. That's unusual, from what I can see. Most people who do one of these skip days semi-regularly.

I suppose I should review a bit, then. Where have we come with this journal in the last thirty-one entries?

Well, in a prosaic sense I started in a drought and ended up in a lush, green paradise. I used to get teased about such things by people who read this journal. "Geez, Eric, you're obsessed with the weather." And I was, because I wanted Spring to happen, very badly.

And the rain that came was wonderful, and the world bloomed. And now I hardly ever mention the weather unless it affects my mood, which is rare. I think probably you'll hear about when it's pouring and that's it. The drought ended.

Except the same can be true of my writing, in a way.

I like to write. I like it a lot. I like hammering my thoughts into something permanent and real. I like dirtying sheets of paper. I like letting my creativity filter through my ego and create something that didn't exist before. Maybe it's not something that needs to exist, but so what? I don't write because it's my job.

But I'd fallen out of the habit of doing something daily. I'd stopped doing the part I actually like, which is the writing. Oh, I'd talk about being a writer, but that's all it was. Talk. It was a suit of clothes I was used to wearing. It was, to paraphrase Gail, someone who I'd been that I was a bit embarrassed of now. I'd let him go. Even though I had a Children's Book I cowrote with others making the rounds, I wasn't doing anything new and I didn't think it mattered all that much.

In the movie Excalibur, Percival gives Arthur the Holy Grail to drink from. It revitalizes the King, who looks at his Holiest of knights (Galahad not existing in this version) and says "One never knows how empty one has become, until he is filled."

I missed writing, and didn't realize I was missing it. I used to do it all the time. And now? It was a chore at best. For the first time in my life, the words weren't forcing themselves out of me, and I'd convinced myself I didn't miss them.

Writing this journal isn't high art. You already know that the reason I write it is because I like writing it -- no more, no less. But it's produced a change in me. I've written more on my novel in the last month than in the six months previous to it. I've produced an outline for a children's story of my own, and started collaborating with my partners on a new children's book for the three of us (one I'm excited about). I've set up a protected section of this web site where I can store works in progress, and damn if there aren't works in there, now. Things to be done. Things I'm doing. There's nonfiction that's beginning to flow out of me -- I submitted an article to a new magazine that's starting up, and I have two others mostly written....

We are creatures of habit. And writing is a habit. Both in the sense of being something you do because you do it, and in the sense of being an addiction. A rush.

The drought was long. But when Spring comes, everything is lush and beautiful.

No clue how much longer my unbroken streak will last, as I refuse to see it as more than it is. And you won't hear me talk about it again, unless it gets truly obnoxious. When the rain comes, the drought's no longer interesting, and normal weather isn't worth mentioning most of the time.