Trying To Keep My Mind On Writing

Back when I was in high school (waaaaay back when in 1989), I used to hate to write. I mean, I didn’t mind creating, and I loved me a good fantasy fiction book series. I just hated the writing part of the creative process. To be honest, it was because back then I would have to use a typewriter in the best case, or write everything by hand in the worst.

If you have never been subjected to my atrocious handwriting, you’re lucky. When my handwriting is viewed by the uninitiated, it appears that my hand was moving in convulsions to the thoughts that were coming out of my brain, sort of like an EKG machine maps out a heartbeat but instead mapping my erratic thought patterns. While there are no discernible words that can be made from the swooshes and swishes of ink, you can almost feel the mood of the moment by watching for the amount of ink on the page.

Yes, it’s that bad.

Because of my horrid handwriting (and being too poor for a decent typewriter or, heaven forbid, a printer that did not exist for my Atari 800XL Personal Computer), I simply decided in my head that I probably couldn’t write well and that I didn’t want to write in the first place. It was compensation; I know that now. So for many years, I would create and create, but never write an iota of it down.

“Instant burnout. I let the domain name go and didn’t think about it again for a long time.”

This became a bad habit, as later in life I ended up getting a printer, but by that point I had talked myself into believing I wasn’t cut out to be a writer. It didn’t help that I had never taken a typing class in my life. I had to look at my fingers, and that caused me to go slowly and have to go back and correct many, many errors. This was another dissuasion from writing.

On top of all of these thoughts, I had never taken an actual class for “writing”. I read on the internet about there being different styles of writing, how there needed to be certain elements because the reader will always have certain expectations, etc. Therefore, I wasn’t cut out to be a writer physically (typing), intellectually (writing classes), or psychologically (self-doubt).

Later, when the internet was cheaper and CMS software was more robust, I tried my first hand at writing on an ancient Blogger account. I wrote sporadically. I never managed to get myself into a groove to write with any practical regularity. There would sometimes be up to eight months between posts. Eventually, I deleted the account.

Next, a few years later, I had a domain name and I decided to turn that into a blog. So I set up a fresh WordPress install and started blogging. Daily. Sometimes, even blogging short-form blogs up to three times per day. I kept this up for about three months and then didn’t write in it again for a year. Instant burnout. I let the domain name go and didn’t think about it again for a long time.

Fast-forward quite a few years (enough to make Doc Brown jealous) and here I am, trying to write as often and for as long as possible.  I have already written more in this blog for a longer period of time than I did in all of the other blogs combined.

This time, I want to do things differently. This time, I was to concentrate more on my strengths and less on my weaknesses. I still don’t type the way you are supposed to. My typing style is so erratic that it makes my wife giggle when she is watching me type between 70-90 words per minute and never look up at the screen because I am imagining the screen in my head as I am concentrating on the keys.

Currently, I have been writing in this blog for over a year now. I’m starting to get reminders from Facebook saying that “one year ago, you posted a link” and there is my link to a blog post here in my blog. I am proud of this, and will write posts like tonight if necessary to keep writing, to keep moving forward. I don’t want to burn out. I don’t want to quit or start over.

I want to have fun, and even fun takes work to keep it fun sometimes. So, here’s my work. Let’s look forward to the fun.

About Burt Kilgore

Burt Kilgore is an amateur writer, dispatcher, filmmaker, husband, father, and grandfather. You can find most of his work here, but he hopes that you will be able to pick up one of his stories in the future at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Audible.Com.

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