Saturday, February 1, 2014
What Went Wrong
This was my week. Finished a 40-page chapter I've been working on for 8 years. I didn't know what to write for that one—wrote it any way. I finished a blog entry for a local publication. Learned a lot about weight loss just doing the research. I'm happy about that. And I finished and sent off my first real, live magazine entry. First one in a long time. Turns out this kind of writing is a whole new deal.
My writing career started in the early '90s, working for the esteemed Boise magazine, back in it's hay day. John Rember, Bill Studebaker, Gino Sky, Judy Steele, Jeanette Germain, Colleen Maile, Ruth Wright, Chris Dempsy, Rick Ardinger, Mike Medberry. You'll know those names too. We've all moved on in one way or another. But that was a heady experience, I'm here to say.
I was writing on an ancient Apple, one of their first. It was out of date by the time I bought it, and the printer had it's own set of issues. Of course, it was incompatible with any other publishing system. Of course, it was unreliable. Of course, I was a newbie to both writing and computers. I was finishing up a story on a Friday morning, set it to print, left it to make breakfast, take a bath, get ready for work. I kept wondering why it was printing and printing and printing. My 1800 words should have taken five minutes, max, even as old as it was. We're moving closer to 35, 45, 55 minutes. I went in to check.
The dot matrix printer was working away, having filled my office with tear-off pages. It filled my little study about half full. The printer was lustily printing my work. . . one word on each line—about 60 pages. Each page had about 30 words on it. I was about half way through the article.
I stopped the printer, figured out what command I'd given it, fixed it and started over. I got it to the point where it actually "looked" like an article. Exit laughing.
But I'm still here, pretty much doing the same thing: One word at a time. And my articles still look, pretty much, like articles.