January 31, 2003

By Michael Strickland

One Down, Eleven to Go

One month down, eleven more to go. So far, my New Year's resolution to write every day remains intact. Happily, I've had more fun than frustration, a trend that I hope will continue for the rest of the year. In an interesting coincidence, the site to date has received 334 page views, which also happens to be the exact number of days left in the year.

Much of my enjoyment comes from the opportunity to express myself about the many things that interest me. This month's columns have ranged from such diverse topics as nuke-happy dictators and environmental activists to football games and time travel. The ability to explore my wide-ranging interests has been the main reason why I've always been drawn to writing. Rather than be forced to choose one area of interest and devote my life to that pursuit, I can explore it in my writing and keep all the other doors open.

For instance, astronomy has always appealed to me. Rather than focus solely on that field and earn an advanced degree, I delved deeply into one area—the science behind comets and asteroids—and produced a screenplay (Cold Fire) which dealt with the threat of cosmic collisions (a concept that was scooped by the movies Armageddon and Deep Impact not long after I finished my script). Similarly, I found an outlet for my fascination with history by composing hundreds of trivia questions on historical topics for a national game company.

Whether or not I ultimately make a comfortable living as a writer, I will always write. Full-time career, freelance work on the side, or strictly a hobby, it doesn't matter. All I need is an audience—so stick with me.

Some Writers on Writing:

"Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
—Gene Fowler

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."
—Red Smith

"When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day's works is all I can permit myself to contemplate."
—John Steinbeck

"Writing is a lot like sex. At first you do it because you like it. Then you find yourself doing it for a few close friends and people you like. But if you're any good at all...you end up doing it for money."


Development note: I've noticed that this site doesn't look like it should in Netscape Navigator. Rather than waste time jury-rigging it to look right in a soon-to-be-obsolete browser, I'll just add the cliché "This site best viewed with Internet Explorer."
Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Daily Chuckle:

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year, I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

Today's Column
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1/30: Eldred v. Ashcroft
1/29: San Diego Sleepy No More
1/28: Edith Keeler Must Die
1/27: Public Enemy Number One
1/26: Rondo alla Turca
1/25: Back in Uniform
1/24: Hitting the Wall
1/23: It's a Small Web After All
1/22: War is Hell
Watching the Wheels
1/20: Bring on the Mayhem
1/19: Pigskin Ponderings
1/18: More Stupid Lawsuits
1/17: Finding My Passion
1/16: Gulf War Memories
1/15: Meet the New Boss
1/14: Man's Other Best Friend
1/13: Sea of Fire
1/12: Back to the Books
1/11: America's Finest Climate
1/10: Sunshine in a Bottle
1/9: What Would Jesus Drive?
1/8: Southwestern Sojourn
Wheel of Fortune
Class Warfare
1/5: Very Large Dream
The New Nuclear Age
Going Solo
New Year, Old Cave
1/1: All Things End

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