Friday, December 8, 2006

Circular Reasoning

For months, maybe years, I've been thinking about starting a blog, but I couldn't figure out how. How do you start blogging without sounding cheesy or pretentious?
Instead of start a blog, I thought about starting a blog. I just kept the idea in the back of my mind and let it sit there and fester. And I was fine with that because I knew, somehow, when the time was right, I would just start.

It was like trying to negotiate a traffic circle. Whenever I come to a traffic circle (a common occurance in my home state of NJ), my worry is twofold; 1. how to enter this centrifuge of cars whizzing past and flying in all directions like atoms in a particle accelerator, and 2. how, upon becoming an atom, I get out of the circle and continue on my way. Without, of course, looking stupid or dying in a fiery crash.

But one day this week, I decided to make my move. It's time to get where I've been wanting to go. There was nothing special about this day and anyone but me might find that my epiphany was silly at best.

At 8:45 am I was waiting for the 1 train in my usual spot at Penn Station. The spot is toward the front of the Uptown local track, where right now there hangs an advertisement for the Will Ferrell/Emma Thompson film Stranger than Fiction.

In September I interviewed for a job as an assistant to the Director of the Producer's Guild of America East. The job was part time, paid $10/hr and the Director wanted a commitment of at least 4 months. None of this worked for me, and I told her as much. She understood, told me that she would stay in touch, and that she would put me on a list for free screenings. Whatever. Well, two couple months later, I started getting flooded with emails for free screenings of movies. And I took one such opportunity to see a pre-release screening of Stranger than Fiction.

As I suspected, the movie appealed greatly to my sensibilities as a writer and as a sucker for a quirky romantic story. After the screening, the film's writer and producers addressed the crowd and took questions. The writer described his work ethic as sporadic and impulsive, and it made me think of all the people who say you have to write every day to be a writer and prescribe all these other rules. This guy wrote the screenplay in bits and pieces over the course of two years, he wrote when he felt like it, when stuff came to him. I thought "that's me!" And all I could think was "I need to write more. I can write when I feel like it but I still need to write more. I need to go home RIGHT NOW and start writing." And then..."I need to start a blog. But how?"

And then back to this week, where I get on the Uptown 1 train at 8:45 am in front of the Stranger than Fiction ad. And I go to work, and I go have dinner after work someplace in the Village. So it's later than I usually go back to Penn Station, it's around 8:30 and I'm on the Uptown 1 instead of the Downtown A/C like usual. And by some magical twist of fate it's 8:45 pm when I step off the train, right in front of the Stranger than Fiction ad on the Uptown 1 track.

And I've come full circle. And I think "I need to start blogging."

So I did.

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