Writing is very hard work.  I think it’s even harder than digging ditches, performing a lumbar laminectomy or even competition-level peach pit spitting.  Imagine how difficult it is for squirrels to run and up and down trees all day.  Much harder than that.  Let me tell you how hard writing is.  Writing is so hard because there are so many words to choose from.  I just came from a five minute exhaustive search of the internet and discovered that there are about one million words in the English language.  I was going to say that it might take me forever to run out of words but then realized you would probably stop reading me and go on with your life.  That will not do.  I just need to pick the right drops of water from the ocean and mesmerize and entice you until the world around you slips away and my story is a river that takes you over countless rocky rapids and miles of rowing until you come through on the other side having discovered something profound about yourself.  Tell me THAT ain’t hard.  I don’t know the first thing about rapids.

I believe writing involves a responsibility that should never be taken lightly.  It should be taken just before meals to aid in digestion.  Technology has given writing a towering platform in the form of texting from any number of devices, blogs, chat, email and others. (note to self: from now on, any time I say ‘and others,’ it means I ran out of examples)  Most texters today have caused professors all over the world to gnash their teeth, but I for one am in favor of anything that will make writing easier.  Fifty years from now novels will be reduced to a single letter.  Future teenagers will sit around breathing black market air and discussing their summer. “S?” (which means, ‘have you read the book S yet?’)  “N.” (you guessed, ‘no’) “W?” (use to be a curse word but now means ‘wanna hang out?’) “N.”  “H!” (I have no idea what that means . . .)  But for now, writers have a whole BUNCH of words and combinations of words to choose from, and to be accountable for.  Someday some brainy math demigod will finally figure out exactly how many choices the English writer actually has.  I’d be willing to bet it is WAY more than the number of people who get injured by folding chairs each year.  For now let’s just say for the sake of arguing (note to self: whenever I say ‘for the sake of arguing,’ I don’t mean it.  Arguing sucks) that we’re talking about a Huge number of phrases to choose from.  Because words have power (who’s going to dispute that?), mixing them together can produce toxic lies and incredible truths, gripping stories and paint-peeling drivel like this, can inform, delight, incite, quiet, give you a smile or take it away, make you mad, make you sad, make you full, leave you empty, show you the way, show you the way it was.  Words, words, wonderful words, the more you poop the more the turds.  This stuff is harder than you think!  To this point I’ve laid about five hundred and fifty words out on you, and if you think this train has jumped the track, leave the metaphors to the experts, hon.  Like I was saying, we need to own our words.

Don’t just go flailing your words all over the place like I’ve done for years.  They’ll come back to haunt you for sure.  I had a phrase that still gives me nightmares and anxiety.  Ever heard of an “Alabama Hot Pocket”?  I originally coined the phrase to describe the slightly-heavier-than-air farts that result from eating chicken gizzards, pickled eggs and Moon pies – a delicacy in Alabama, – but some pervert stole it and now it’s a disgusting – I’ll tell you later when we’re alone.  You’ll shudder.  You better.  Just be careful about what you write, unless you particularly like being haunted.  And it’s ok to say penis.  After 5pm on the east coast.  Unless you belong to a ‘Ban the Word Penis’ newsgroup.  If that’s the case, be a good Do-Bee and keep your hands away from the keyboard, but above your waist.  But if you have a pet name for it, write away!

Writers never get the money that they are worth.  If I had a nickel for every time I said ‘if I had a nickel,’ I’d have two.  I think writers should have a place to go where they can ply their trade, like going to work.  “Bye, honey, I’m off to work on my biography of Woody Harrelson! Remember, we’ve got that hemp party tonight!”  They can sit around all day and talk, two things writers love to do, because everyone knows the average writer finds it damned near impossible to write anything substantive when there are others around, especially people who understand the colossal amount of brain sweat it takes to crank out five thousand words a day. I’m telling you now, if publishers paid writers what they’re worth one of two things will happen.  Either the writer will step up act and write like the professional she is, fulfilling every nuance of the twelve page contract she signed without really reading it, or wait until the last minute of the deadline to crank out the Great American Novel.  I read it and it’s good.  Here, see for yourself:    M

About jaytharding
Christian Mystic-in-training, burgeoning Apologist, Writer, Poet, Philosopher, all-purpose curmudgeon Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 11 Corinthians 5:17

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