John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Just Write It!

Everybody has at least 603 thoughts or memories or reflections or random thoughts or nonsensical ramblings in them that they can write about. It’s a fact. You may think you don’t, like I did once. But you are wrong. Trust me. I know. From first hand experience.

About 2 years and 8 months ago, my friend Jonathan Miller asked me to write a biweekly column for his new blog (one column every two weeks). I agreed and wrote the first column for the blog’s launch in March of 2011. It was well received and now it was time to write my next column but I lacked the time or discipline to put together another 1000 word piece.

Jonathan was eager to get that second column and I told him I was working on it…even though I really wasn’t. I was trying to think about something to write about…which is sort of like working on it but not really.

Jonathan reminded me he had offered me no pay for this venture. Just the satisfaction of getting to write (even if no one ever reads it other Jonathan, me and my mom) and I was cheating myself of this personal satisfaction. I naturally felt bad about all the personal satisfaction I was missing out on but mostly felt guilty because I couldn’t think of a second substantive column for Jonathan’s new blog.  Jonathan gave me an extension until mid-April and I took full advantage of it using the Derby (which was still 3 weeks away as the reason for not being able to write a second column). I convinced Jonathan that after Derby had passed my mind would clear and a second column would be forthcoming ASAP, even though  I don’t even bet on horses.

By June, a month after Derby had come and gone, I told Jonathan …..something. I don’t even remember what. But I told him I was still working on my second column and just needed a little more time. In July I pointed out it was summer vacation. Not for me but for my kids. And that it would may be August before the second piece would be fully ready.

With school starting in September, I had to ask for another extension for my second column. It had now been 6 months and I was 12 columns behind. Jonathan’s wonderful and very wise wife, Lisa, reminded Jonathan that “John is just like this sometimes and for some reason we still like him, more or less, and have for many years.”  That seemed to help and bought me a little more time—at least through the end of October, for my big second post. Thanks, Lisa!

With the holiday season approaching it only made sense that I may need a little extra time to put the finishing touches on what I had apparently been working on for nearly 8 months now. And Jonathan patiently agreed.

jyb_musingsI have a phrase I like to use in situations like this. And use it often. It goes like this. “If you’ll just give me one more chance, I swear I won’t let you down again. Really. I mean it this time.” And I used it on Jonathan….and bought myself another two weeks.

It was about this time that Jonathan had a brilliant idea. He noted that we were Facebook friends and I had recently posted several silly things just for fun. Jonathan said, “Look, John. I can’t wait another 8 months for you to get me a second column but I have an idea. How about you continue to write these posts on Facebook about whatever you want whenever you want. They can be serious or silly; random or timely; about what you are eating or what you are thinking. It doesn’t matter. Just write. Whatever you feel like writing about. Take a few minutes each day and post it. At the end of each week, I’ll collect a few of them and run them the following week as John Y’s Musings from the Middle on the Recovering Politician blog. What do you think?”

That was around Dec 1st. I asked for two weeks to think about it and finally said, “I can’t think of any more excuses, Jonathan. OK? You got me. But what if I don’t have much more in me to say?”

I don’t remember what Jonathan said. I’m not even sure I asked this question. But I sure did worry about it.  Anyway, as it turns out I have already come up with 603. In fact, this is 604. Like most the others, it has my trademark rambling confidently toward no particular destination. At least not a very important one. I thought I would run out of silly random things to say at about 20 posts. Maybe 30….45 at the outside. But I was wrong! And you may be too if you don’t feel you have much to say.

Dig deep. There is a lot of deep thoughts, absurd thoughts, pointless nonsense and seemingly sensible things you have to write that may or may not be important. But write them anyway. Who knows. Maybe a lot more will come pouring out. And it’s not a matter of the more you write the more you’ll teach others. Not at all. But the more you write the more you’ll learn about yourself.

And if you are reading this and asking yourself, “What is the point of all this, John?” If you were expecting a point, I really can’t help you much with that. But don’t feel like reading this entire post was a total waste. Think of it this way. If you read this far you now have something in common with my mother and Jonathan and me. I doubt anyone else read this far. Sorry. But we now have this common bond that the four of us have having read this post.  And I won’t tell anyone if you won’t.

But let me ask you this, Would you rather read 602 more of my posts or start coming up with 603 of your own rambling thoughts, ideas, musings, insights or attempts at humor?  So…..Go for it! And know the hardest part isn’t writing the 603rd post or 457th post or 123rd post or the 19th post or even the very 1st one. It’s that dang 2nd one. It is a bear! Trust me. And may take up to 8 months to finish it. But if you can get past that second one,  you are one your way. And even though, like me, you probably won’t be getting paid anything for it, as Jonathan Miller reminded me, it’s the personal satisfaction that you’ll get. I’m glad I did it  And glad Jonathan kept prodding me. Thank you, Jonathan! And Lisa!  And I hope you don’t cheat yourself out of the personal satisfaction of your own writing either.

Let ‘er rip!

Just Write It!


Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




The Recovering Politician Bookstore


The RP on The Daily Show

John Y’s Links: