I’m At A Loss For Words!
The columnist is clamoring for a topic this week. Let’s see what he’s come up with.
I’m struggling to come up with a suitable subject about which to pontificate this week. If I were you I’d take advantage of it; enjoy it; bask in my glaring deficiency of loquaciousness, because this doesn’t happen very often. Generally, even during the droughts when I think I have nothing to say, I manage to pound out a fairly substantial column.
It was about a year ago that I last had this problem. I was on deadline for my weekly contribution to the Mansfield Patch and struggling to put even a solitary word to paper or, to be more accurate, to computer monitor. But even in the midst of the worst brain freeze/writer’s block I’d experienced in quite some time, I managed to pen, I Couldn’t Think Of Anything To Write About So This Is What I Wrote – a compilation of some 1,100-plus words. Not bad, eh?
Truth be told, I typically have trouble bringing my thoughts to a close. I tend to go overboard. I’m verbose to a fault. Once my somewhat weathered brain gets cranked up into high gear, it doesn’t want to shut down. I’m pretty sure they have medication for that.
When I first began my stint with Easton Patch back in October of 2010, I asked Pat Maguire, the Easton editor, how many words he wanted from me each week. “About five-hundred,” he replied rather naively.
You see, Pat had just met me for the first time. He had no clue what he was in for. My columns probably averaged about 1,400 words with a few flirting with the 2,000 mark - and he had to read every word of every one of them!
But today is different. Today, trying to put a few cogent thoughts together is tantamount to trying to start a charcoal grill in a hurricane. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to get my gray matter fired up.
I think I may know what the problem is. Burnout! I’ve been working overtime the past couple of weeks putting together a book proposal. I have my book about half written, and I have to tell you, writing the book is much easier than writing the book proposal.
Book proposals are a pain in the derrière, but they’re a necessary function in getting a book published - akin to the beginning of the birthing process. Now please understand, I’m not a mother (though I have been called one once or twice in my life) and I don’t claim to understand the intensity of the pain of childbirth; though my wife did squeeze my hand so hard during the birth of our son, Chris, that she damn near broke it – my hand, not our son. He’s still very much intact. Who knew a woman with arms that thin could squeeze that hard? Coincidentally, that was one of the times I was called a mother. Sheesh! Women are so emotional!
While I was writing that last paragraph I got an email from the post office. It’s a confirmation that the publisher to whom I sent my book proposal received it at 8:37 this morning. I’m psyched! Now commences the long, arduous process of waiting with bated breath until I hear back from the publishing house. I’m hoping my breath will smell better by then. ‘Bated’ sounds a bit funky, don’t you think?
According to their writer’s guidelines, it’s about a three to four-month process, which seems like an eternity; but if they accept my proposal I’ll gladly accept the not-so-instant gratification of a book contract. I’ve set up a writing schedule so I’m sure to have my manuscript ready to go, should I be fortunate enough to have it accepted.
Now if I could only come up with an idea for this column. Oh, well! I’m sure I’ll think of something.
Make it a great week!
Bob Havey is a freelance writer and a consummate trouble-maker. His column, The Way I See It, runs every other Wednesday at http://norton.patch.com. Check out his author’s page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Bobfreelance