I wish that I could tell you that I always write these essays the day that I publish them. It would give them a particular freshness, so that you can imagine me toiling away a matter of minutes before you read them, posting it just in time for your morning coffee.
Alas, this is not the case.
My morning routine is this. I copy and paste an essay that I’ve written into Weebly, proof read it (and sometimes miss something), and then run it. After doing that, I index it on my Essays web page. Then I check my analytics figures, noting with amusement any instance in which someone from another country checked out my writing (someone from Canada checked me out for four minutes…cool).
Then I fire up Scrivener, and write.
It takes the pressure off the morning. If I faced the morning with the prospect of having to write an essay right then and there, I’d no doubt be in a state of paralysis. When I write, I’m not writing for today; I’m writing for the next day, or the day after that.
I like to have a stable of essays and stories, ready for publication. In the same way that a newspaper comic artist prepares a batch of strips for the that week (or that month), so do I toil away, sometimes writing two essays in a day, sometimes more.
The whole thing, to the reader, must feel a bit like listening to a radio show that you find out is prerecorded. Before you find this out, there’s this wonderful feeling of intimacy, as if the deejay is talking to you and you alone. Then you find out that he’s not even in the studio, and some of the magic fades.
Yet this is the way that it has to be, unfortunately. I need to have that stable of work so that my morning has one less “have to.” It’s just a lot easier to wake up with the prospect of running my daily essay or weekly story instead of having to write it then and there.
Granted, whatever your getting is a slice of my life…just not the slice that’s occurring at the moment you’re reading this. Right now, as your eyes move across the screen, I’m busy on tomorrow’s essay or this coming Friday’s story, tapping one word after another.
I find this time difference between writing and reading fascinating. Right now, as I write this, it is 6:30 AM, February 12th. At some point, in the future, you will be reading it. In other words, this piece of writing has actually travelled in time.
Stephen King discusses this in his excellent guide to the craft, “On Writing.” How incredible it is, he muses, that he can sit there, in one place and time, and catapult his words to a page where someone else takes them in. Someday, Stephen King will be no more; yet those words will live on, traveling through time, making their way to a reader who Stephen King shall never meet.
So it is with this piece of writing. I am here now, but the now I inhabit is not the now you inhabit. You live in the future, and my present, as I sit here, becomes my past, but when you read it, these words become your present.
Nice to see you.