I send out this newsletter every Monday. Usually it comes together. It's a sort of performance. I have some links to things I read and watch and so on that I like to pass on for others to read and watch and so on—that's the easy part, it just accumulates during the week. The performance happens in the few paragraphs before that.
I don't mind speaking in front of groups. Prepared, semi-prepared, unprepared, extemporaneous—it doesn't matter. Something always bubbles to the surface when I need it to. It's not always the best something, but I only need something something. The note that comes out flat can be the step up to the right note, and in that step sometimes a completely new pathway has revealed itself and we're off on a journey. Which is to say that I can talk about nothing forever once I get that something out.
The first few paragraphs of the newsletter are like that. I don't know what's going to come out. I stare at this infernal screen for a few minutes hoping something will arise—some distant noise, some distant memory, some minor irritation, something I saw but didn't see until I saw it in memory and now I'm ready to investigate its hazy impression from the periphery of my eye and mind. I sit and I fidget. I apply 80 proof directly to the frontal lobe with a brick. I glance at the clock and see midnight coming and step up to the line and jump. The words are going to come out—but which ones? Doesn't matter. Gather them all in a basket and then put them together in a way that works.
Sometimes it doesn't come together. It's not that it's bad. Some bad art is OK if you were really leaning into it, trying to make it work, trying to explore some new territory, trying to grab some idea out of the ether. The real problem is when it's nothing. Some words. Some thoughts. But no direction. No real attempt. Not enough speed to leave the ground—the blocks not even removed from the wheels, but I sit there in the cockpit mumbling VROOM VROOM to give the impression to nobody that things are moving, that we're going somewhere.
The delete button is my friend. We've undone a lot of bad work together. Tomorrow is also my friend because it ain't never said nothin' bad about nothin'.