Friday, June 06, 2008

A Gentle Nudge.

I got a bit of a drive in the ass from a friend a couple days ago, regarding this blog.

Oh sure, she tried to soften the blow somewhat, calling it a "nudge" instead. But I could read between the lines. Basically, from the few words I saw on screen, what I read was:

"Dude, what's up with your blog, man? You've got this blog (noun),!!"

Yeah. Like I haven't been telling myself that for days upon days upon days.

But...I value her opinion. And her nudge. And I had the gist of this post formed in my head yesterday, ready to send through the keyboard. But then Ed McMahon saved me as I channel surfed past Larry King Live, so I made fun of him instead, and rolled this post around for another day.

What I've learned from this highly scientific experiment I've been conducting over the past couple months's easier to not blog, than it is to blog. It's true!

Don't believe me? Try this simple test. Go and get yourself a blog, if you don't already have one. And then when you've got one...ignore it. Just...don't blog.

Pretty simple, isn't it?

Not very fulfilling. Not the most productive creative outlet.
But boy, is it easy!

However...hopefully the Un-Blog has worn out its welcome, and it's time to get back to The Blog again. We'll see how long I can make that statement stick.

One of my very favorite writers, Anne Lamott, talks about writer's block in her book, Bird by Bird, and also in an audio tape I have of one of her workshops, called Word by Word. (I highly recommend both the book and the workshop-on-tape. Or...disc, as it's available now.)

Lamott views writer's block not as being blocked or stuck, but as being empty instead. And that every so often, you've got to refill this rag bag that writers carry around...and that memories and sights and sounds and snippets of daily life and stories and conversations all serve as the rags for our rag bag, which we then dip into when we sit down to write.

Perhaps you find a piece of burlap or a shred of canvas, or a piece of muslin or maybe a torn T-shirt, or an embroidery thread. All these pieces are collected and used to fill the rag bag.

I love that example, and I'd totally steal it and try to pass it off as my own idea, but I don't have a fuckin' clue what muslin is, so therefore...proper citing of my sources. (And I wouldn't do that to Annie, anyway. Or anyone else.)

I've spent some time with her audio workshop in my car over the last several days, and then I got the, just the right time from the friend I mentioned. So I figured it was time to put ass in chair and get to work.

I've managed to continue to bang out a column for the paper over these past weeks, but when it came to something voluntary, like Ton-Fifty-ONE, ohhh it was so easy to let it slide. And then of course I'd beat myself up for ignoring it for another day...and another...and another.

I don't know if my rag bag is as full as it should be, or if my rags will be worth writing about.

But at least I'm collecting.

"Seeing yourself in print is such
an amazing concept: you can get
so much attention without having
to actually show up somewhere.
You don't have to dress up, for instance,
and you can't hear them boo you right away."
—Anne Lamott


  1. No explanations required sir. Sometimes, when my wife catches me staring off into space for two months, she finally throttles me, screaming, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU BUM?!?!" To which I smile and calmly say, "Why I'm writing, of course." "But...but..but your not anywhere near your notepad or laptop!!!!"

    Those that don't do this never "get it."

    Of course, the fact that she DID marry a bum does't help matters much but...

    Even though my blogs in the "blogger" world have all but vanished (quite simply, it was time to move on), I am still active on the web but I'm not sure it's something you'll be interested in. I was taken on to do screenplay and script-to-screen reviews for a nifty little website called If you go, click on the "script school" link and my work is there. I go by the name "Major Hockshtetter" (obscure Hogan's Heroes reference!)

    Always nice to see your work on here at the Ton Five One Cafe!

  2. I call umbrage!!!

    I distinctly remember (loose term considering I was drunk for 2.5 days) giving you a nudge (i.e. some crap) about your blog over Memorial Day Weekend. But, I never got credit for the beltless trench coat (freak’n Morty Seinfeld) so I won’t expect any for this…

    Nice to have you back Vach. I can now remove your bookmark from the buried folder to again something a little more up front for ease of perusal on a semi-weekly basis.

    I look forward to a future blog about an aquarium trip in a city that remains on my banned list.

  3. The blog is so much more fun than the un-blog!! I can't say much - mine had some cobwebs on it, as well. Feels so good to be back in the land of the the living/writing.

  4. Jeff..I suspect you'll be back in the blogosphere before too long. At least...I hope so. Meanwhile, you continue to play havoc with my bookmarks with all your creating and deleting and creating and deleting.

    I'll keep an eye on your Script School link, to see if there are any movies that I recognize.

    TheKid...I know, I know. I thought about adding a paragraph that mentioned all the grief I took over the weekend, from you and a few others who shall remain nameless. Especially during our early evening driveway sit-around, when I was so unnecessarily attacked from several angles.

    I guess I left it out because it didn't qualify as a "gentle nudge." You guys can be so cruel. :O)

    Glad you haven't given up on me. And yes...sometime later this month I'll be writing about my adventures in one of your favorite cities. (wanna come along?)

    Rebecca...I couldn't agree more. The Un-Blog sucks. But it's so easy!!