Thoughts Of A Writer Pt 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A writer is under deadline from his editor. He is having trouble getting started with his story.

Submitted: September 20, 2016

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Submitted: September 20, 2016

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Six months.

I had six months to get the book done. It was very simple. So simple. 

It all came down to one.

One story. 

All that was needed.

One.

One is the loneliest number.

That was all I had to do. Was come up with one story and the book was finished. I had 12 stories complete. But I needed 13. Lucky number 13.

I had originally submitted the book with 12 stories. I thought it was my best work. Great topics and themes. The idea was "Road Warrior". More Anthony Bourdain than Mel Gibson. It was about a Travel Writer and about the places he had been. It was truly my best work. I spent six months putting the book together, after a year of writing it and putting it together. The research was hard but it was worth it. This book came together real easily.

My editor didn't think so.

He told me that it was great. Excellent work. My very best yet. But he wanted one more. 

Could I deliver one more story?

Three minute pause, I told him yes.

It was no problem.

So I got up at 5 AM. Fired up my MacBook and decided to get to work. 

My worst enemy appeared on the screen.

A blank page.

Every writer hates this. When they see a blank page, feelings and emotions get put into a blender and it is hard to define. A writer starts out with a blank page and makes a solemn vow that no matter what, he will get words on that page. No matter how long it takes.

That is why I got up real early. I knew what had to be done. It was gonna be painful, brutal, and it's gonna take a lot out of him. But by the end of the day, it will have been worth it.

After 15 minutes, I found my idea. It was a doozie to.

Is doozie a real word?

It was about a recent trip to Gardiner Montana. Gardiner was a unique town in the state. It was the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. It was a small town with a population of almost 900 people. Beautiful mountain scenery. Very much the mountain west. It was the perfect spot for my story. 

Coming up with the basic premise. A cowboy I had met took me for a ride in his pickup and told me of how the town had evolved from the 1970's to today. It was a very conversational piece. He told of many local characters, and how celebrities have been in and out of this town. Some who have lived there, and some that have had memorable moments. 

It was coming along perfectly. After 2 hours, I realized I had one problem. 

I made it too boring. Seriously, who thinks a pickup truck ride with a Cowboy would make a great story? I took that draft and saved it. For a reference point. 

Damnit.

Back to square one. Blank page.

Now, wait a minute. I at least have an idea. I wanted to write about small town Montana. It had some compelling characters. Great ideas. Very much like "Horse Whisperer" or "Crazy Heart" or even "SecondHand Lions".

Wait, that last one was in Texas.

Well it was the idea that counted. I couldn't put anything on the computer. So I reached for a notebook and a ballpoint pen. I figured I would come up with some notes for my ideas. I spent two hours writing notes in the notebook. I could feel it in my left hand. Now I knew why they decided to write on devices like Typewriters and Computers. I put the pen down and looked at my notes. There were some good ideas on there. 

I like it. I got something here. Maybe I should put this on the Computer. I think it is gonna be pretty good. 

The premise was pretty good. A letter to a friend describing the town I had recently visited. Livingston, Montana.

But there was another problem. 

Who would be the "friend" I would write to?  

I reached and opened my desk drawer to pull out my phone book. I thumbed through and found my friend. It was my old friend Molly. I grabbed my cellphone and sent a message.

"U wanna be in ma book?"

After I sent the message, I took a look at it and shook my head. I can't believe I just wrote that message. I'm a grown up and a professional writer. I will have to scold myself later. After a minute Molly sent back her message.

"For sure. It would be an incredible honor. Thank you."

What the hell? I really was gonna yell at myself later about this.

Anyway. I got the letter going. I put in a lot about the town and put in some personal stories about people I had met. It was going real great. The flow and words were coming easily. I spent three hours working on this story. I felt what many people called "In The Zone." Nothing was gonna stop me. I was there and by god, I was gonna finish. 

The phone rang.

I yelled. "DAMN YOU! NOT NOW!" 

The phone still rang. I stared at the writing, thinking the phone would stop ringing.

It did not. I screamed and picked it up. 

"Hello,"

It was my editor. He was wanting to check on the status of my story. I firmly but politely told him that I could get it done by the end of the day and have it emailed to him if he would get off the phone and leave me alone. 

He sounded stunned and almost a little hurt and offended. He tried the approach of saying he was just a friend and wanted to know if he could help. Again, I had to tell him that he needed to get off the phone. Before he could keep talking, I hung up and threw the phone as far as I could down the living room.

Not a bad throw. Finally, I can get back to work. 

I turned to look back at the screen. Scrolling down and looking at the work so far, it was looking real good. As I made it to the bottom of the story, I saw something that I should have caught. Something that every writer fears. When a writer comes across this problem, it is the equivalent of a red alert. Battle stations. Prepare for incoming missles.

I froze. I couldn't believe it. That stupid editor. Idiot had to call while I was in the middle of working. But wait, I am an idiot too. I answered while I was working. That was a big negative in the rulebook. You can't have any distractions. It screws up the story. It could possibly show in the work. 

I got up and grabbed my notebook, looking through it for any inspiration. I took a highlighter out and started to highlight certain words and thoughts. After two hours, I found my ending.

It was brilliant. It was the best ending I had. 

Truthfully, it was the only ending I had. 

I wrote it in the story. After another hour of debating and throwing paper into the garbage can, I decided to hell with it. I was gonna send it to the editor as is. I was covered in sweat and was exhausted. 

I pressed send. After thirty seconds, it dawned on me that I forgot to do something. Something very important.

I forgot to write my name.

Well it isn't that important, is it?


© Copyright 2017 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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