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    My daily writing--emails, journal entries, marginalia, more emails, blog posts, and tweets--shapes me as a writer, helping and hindering the big stuff I'm trying to accomplish. Every word counts.

    My name is James Black. I'm on Facebook and Twitter. Friend and/or follow me if you like.

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This Is All I Can Do

Bleary-eyed from revision. I finished, or so I thought, around 1:30 a.m. Went to bed. Thought of something I simply had to change. Got up to make a note, but Oh, I thought, if I just go ahead and make this one little change I’ll sleep better. Changing one little thing became a process. Like cooking without a recipe when you’re hungry for anything.

For a while when you’re drowsy, you feel light and just sort of float over and around obstacles your internal editor has set up. Ideas that were timid a few hours before suddenly have the courage to show themselves to you. You’ve got something else that you must do, but suddenly, there they are. Trying to limit the time you have–Just a few more minutes!–makes it harder to refuse them. These ideas have patiently waited until it’s safe for them to share their brilliance with you, and you’re going to abandon them so you can go snore? Come on, buddy, do you think the clich├ęs aren’t true? Writing is hard. And if being screwed up isn’t what made you want to be a writer, the writing process will sure as hell finish the job. I know you think you’re the most innovative writer of this blah blah blah, but hey, there are traditions that must be respected here.

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