When I write about having nothing to write about, I inevitably feel as if people will abandon my blog in droves. Oh, no, they’ll be thinking, he’s going to write about having nothing to write about again. These people will then tell other people about how they should avoid my blog, because so much of my blog involves me writing about having nothing to write about.
In my defense, I do seem to have many ways of writing about having nothing to write about, and I do my best to make these pieces about nothing reasonably amusing. I have no idea if this works, and, as I said, I’m plagued with thoughts about people just concluding that there really is no point in going on reading what I write.
I hope, though, that in the same way that I practice writing every day (even on the days that the only thing I can write about is having nothing to write about), so do a few brave readers practice reading my blog on the days that I’m writing about nothing. I do imagine these brave souls joining me in that common feeling of nothingness, seeing that the title of my essay for the day is once again “nothing to write about,” and thinking to themselves that they may as well practice reading, because on the days that I actually write about something besides having nothing to write about, they’ll be ready.
I imagine these lucky people, having read word after word, being able to truly appreciate my dazzling wit and sparkling turns of phrase. Because these people have spent day after day wading through things I write that aren’t really that good, they’ve developed mental appreciation muscles that allow them to achieve a sort of transcendental state when they read my writing. Because they suffered through the boring stuff about having nothing to write about, these people, when they read those occasional essays I write that are indeed about something, embrace the meaning of that something, and enjoy an expanded world view that makes their lives fuller and more rewarding.
Because the truth is that if a person doesn’t read a lot, it’s going to be a lot more difficult for them to appreciate something that may very well appeal to them. Like writing, reading is hard; it involves a lot of brain work, and besides just knowing what words are on the page, in also involves thinking about the sentences and paragraphs that those words form, and weighing them in the mind. And the only way to get to that point in which really meaningful pieces of writing inspire is to wade through those times that the writing just isn’t doing that job.
Yes, it’s true, when I read, that the writing may not be doing its job because it’s bad writing, but I also notice that the more that I read, the more I see the intricacies of the way the writer put those words together. To really make good writing work, I need to do my job when I’m reading it, too. I need to be present, and I need to exercise those muscles of comprehension that allow that writing to work for me.
So much of life, it would seem, is about slogging through those times that the magic just isn’t there. It can be writing, and yes, it can be reading as well. It you got this far, I can only hope that you’re better equipped to enjoy those days that I actually have something to write about.
For now, thanks for slogging through the reading of these words that were such a slog to write.