I always chuckle when people refer to me as a prolific writer. If anything, I’m the opposite. Sure, since 2003, I’ve put out 10 different books, and written countless stories for SLAM! Wrestling, The Hockey News, and various other newspapers and publications, but there’s a deep shame in me that knows there could have been a hell of a lot more.
Today’s one of those bad days, where I can hardly build momentum to do anything. There’s transcribing to do, editing and posting of wrestling stories, interviews to conduct (none scheduled, so they are mostly cold-calls), some pieces to write for future books, filing, a documentary script to attempt, publicity to beg for … but I find myself unable to do much.
Writing a blog post counts, I guess. That only came about after a second cup of tea though.
In the past, I’ve asked other writers about it and all will confess there are days like this, where you throw on the jogging pants and don’t get much done. It doesn’t mean your brain isn’t working, it just isn’t focused in the most productive way. Being alone in the house instead of in an office environment is part of it, of course, and why I often make myself go to the local library to get some work done.
Perhaps it came to light particularly after the book launch last night of Stephen Smith’s book Puckstruck: Distracted, Delighted and Distressed by Canada’s Hockey Obsession. I only know Stephen a little, and we’ve helped each other out as fellow hockey historians a couple of times, but I went to the launch as you never know what you’ll find. For a while, I got to spend some time with D’Arcy Jenish, a writer I really admire, so that’s a bonus.
What struck home, though, was when Evan Solomon of CBC was introducing his friend, Stephen, and teasing him about how long it took to get the book out. Years and years. And years. From all accounts, the book itself is worth the wait (my copy is on its way), but it speaks to the complications of this trade.
I have NEVER found the writing to be the issue. The words seem to come easy. After labouring to gather up the interviews, newspaper clippings and with the browser open to hockey stats, I banged out six write-ups for the next book on hockey documents yesterday without much effort. No re-writes, no second guessing. Just writing.
There is no solution. It’s not a crippling issue by any means, just something that will pass. Eventually.
Maybe after another cup of tea. And chocolate.