Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Get over it

Round about Christmas time the words just dried up. I gave up writing my blog. I could barely write my name.

I was bemoaning my fate to my wife. Forty years of struggling to be a writer had come to this, to nothing. She was sitting on the settee across from me marking a doctoral thesis on macular degeneration. She raised her eyes wearily. "You're a failure", she said, "Get over it."

I think it's called tough love. It made me laugh anyway.


  1. Anonymous5:17 pm

    Hi, Bill. A friend sent me these some time back. Thought you might get a kick...

    A government agency which shall go unnamed had an opening for an assassin. After all the background checks, interviews and testing were done there were three finalists: two men and a woman.

    For the final test, the agents took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a revolver. "We must know that you will follow your instructions, no matter what the circumstances. Inside this room, you will find your wife sitting in a chair. Kill her!"

    The man said, "You can't be serious. I could never shoot my wife." The agent said, "Then you're not the right man for this job."

    The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room. All was quiet for about five minutes. Then the man came out with tears in his eyes. "I tried, but I can't kill my wife," the man said. "You don't have what it takes. Take your wife and go home."

    Finally, it was the woman's turn. She was given the same instructions to kill her husband. She took the gun and went into the room. Six shots were heard, one shot after another. The agents heard screaming, crashing and banging on the walls. After a few minutes, all was quiet. The door opened slowly and there stood the woman. She wiped the sweat from her brow, and said, "The gun was loaded with blanks. I had to beat him to death with the chair."

    A little old Irishman gets pulled over by a policeman, who says,

    "Sir? Do you realize your wife fell out of the car about a mile back?"

    The old fella replied, "Oh, thank Christ. I thought I'd gone deaf!"

  2. Ha! Thanks, anonymous, that first one really did make me laugh. And for some reason it also reminded me of my wife...

  3. Hi, Bill

    No, but seriously...failure is the necessary condition in which to approach a piece of writing. No matter what you've written previously, good or bad, the writing process is by nature exploratory and experimental. If you come to a piece knowing exactly where it will come out and how it will get there, what are you actually doing? What value does it actually have? Flannery O'Connor: "As soon as the writer "learns to write," as soon as he knows what he is going to find, and discovers a way to say what he knew all along, or worse still, a way to say nothing, he is finished."

  4. Wise words JTA, I'm sure you're right. I particularly like the bit about it being experimental - I think you lose your courage a bit (or a lot maybe) as you get older. But the fact that it didn't work in the past is a good reason to try something different.

    Hm. You're definitely right. Writing HAS to remain a voyage of discovery or it's nothing.