May 5, 2003

By Michael Strickland


Another fabulous trip, another head buzzing with new experiences. That's why "The Daily Strick" hasn't been a daily for several days. Sometimes—as often as possible, actually—a writer has to get out and dive head-first into life instead of just observing and documenting. This weekend, I did just that, both literally and figuratively. And I don't feel the slightest bit of guilt for not writing a single word.

I have sometimes looked back on my professional life with an occasional regret. In hindsight, I see a patchwork quilt of jobs and careers: radar navigation, desktop publishing, sailboat repair, filmmaking, customer service, Web design, diving. Such diversity, while interesting, is not conducive to becoming "upwardly mobile." Thank God I have no ambition to define myself with such a term. I've done my share of time in cubicle dungeons in order to pay the bills, as I'm sure I probably will again, but I wilt under the monochromatic weight of fluorescent lighting.

The events of this past year, and this daily "exercise" in particular, have helped me focus on what I really want out of life, and what path I truly desire to follow. And with such clarity, I've reminded myself of something I've known all along: that one cannot be a writer without experiencing as much as possible, without fully immersing oneself in the eddies and whorls of life. Sure, my career path has zigzagged in all directions instead of following an upward, linear direction. But each zig and each zag has added layers of experience that—to me, anyway—have far more value than any promotion from assistant to coordinator to manager to director. As I grow older and write more, these layers give my writing more and more depth.

Perhaps it's most simply summed up with the term I used to describe myself to a friend yesterday: sponge. Nothing turns me on more than learning and experiencing new things. Throw me into a new environment, and I soak up everything around me. Eventually, however, I can't absorb any more, and I'll sit stewing, waterlogged, until I'm wrung out. And that's why my writing has always been there, no matter what else I've ever done in life. It's my way of wringing myself out.

I took on a lot of water this past weekend. Check back soon as I squeeze out some of the excess and fill in the gaps of this daily column with a report on the weekend's activities.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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.

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5/4: MacGyver
5/3: Mike's Sky Ranch
5/2: Baja Bound
5/1: Ice Moon
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