Friday, March 4, 2011

A Man's Got To Know His Limitations

I've often wished I was a faster writer. Oh, sometimes I have been. One of my best writing memories is finishing my first novel in a one-day marathon. Yep. I wrote the last several chapters of Slippin' Into Darkness in a blur, as close to a feeling of automatic writing as I've ever come. Seems to me it was about 50 pages, but that number may have been inflated by time and distance from the event itself. Memory has a way of doing that -- especially memories of the pleasant variety. Still, that one day at the computer left me with an amazing feeling that has endured... as did the novel I managed to write in six weeks (The Ten-Ounce Siesta).

But mostly, I'm not fast. I suppose I'd rather get a story right than get it done half-assed, and more often than not that takes time. Plus life and job and commitments have a way of bucking you out of the saddle at the worst moments. Still, I always think I can get things done faster than I can, and I'm always disappointed when I fall short. You'd think I'd learn the simple lesson Dirty Harry laid out in Magnum Force a long time ago: "A man's got to know his limitations."

Or maybe (with me, anyway) it goes like this: I know my limitations; the problem is I always think I can defy them.

Damn. I wish I was faster.