Writing About Writing

Typewriter LIFE 4

Yes, it has actually come to this. I’m writing about writing…

When I was in college, I worked in a library and often had to do “shelf reading.” This is when you literally go along a shelf of books or periodicals and make sure that they are all in the proper order, rearranging them as necessary.

Well, one night I was shelf-reading the bound, LIFE magazines.  And by “bound,” I mean, “a couple of year’s worth of giant, LIFE magazines, bound together as a hardback book, heavier than most old dictionaries.”

I was in the process of rearranging a few of these bad boys on the top shelf when they began to slide, toppling the ones next to them in a massive, avalanche-inducing “domino effect.” Suddenly, and despite my best efforts, it was raining boulders of bound, hardback, LIFE magazines all over my head and shoulders.

Seriously, it was like a cartoon. “Ow! What the -! Ooh! Ow!” Words were falling and they were heavy. I had bruises.

As I looked at the pile of rocks – I mean books – that I was standing in up to my ankles, a ridiculous and obvious thought dawned on me:  “LIFE is trying to kill me.”

Yeah. That’s how the writing projects I’ve been working on lately feel right now. Too many thoughts, too many notes, too many words all falling down around me.  Words may not be trying to kill me, but they have been beating me up a bit lately!

So that’s why I stopped writing for a few minutes and started writing about writing.

Instead of writing.

Which is sort of like writing.

But it’s not.


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