Gotta Love Erma Bombeck

Keeping with the theme of my previous post on writing, really, you’ve got to love Erma Bombeck, gone from this world way too soon. She entertained, enlightened, and exhorted. She made us laugh and cry, knowingly nod, and then sheepishly hanging our head in shame. And gosh, she handed out some valuable advice. It was the very wise and witty Erma who said, “There’s nothing to writing. You just sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

That thought affirms what the wise guy said, whoever he or she be, which I posted last week: Writing is easy. All you have to do is just start writing, finish writing, and make sure it’s good.

What the reader, and wannabe writer, needs to extrapolate here is the sarcasm. There is nothing easy about writing. First of all, you have to do it. That entails this: sit down, tune out the rest of the world, turn a deaf ear to all of your obligations and responsibilities for hours upon hours, focus, focus, focus, and let your life blood flow. Then, after making a mess — what with blood everywhere — you have to clean it up, hide most of it away where no eye will ever see. Then, hope against hope for a little leftover, publishable snippet, which will look to the reader like it took 15 minutes to produce. Yeah, it’s easy, simple as that.

Writing is fun and oh, so rewarding. After all that work, I’m talking blood, sweat and tears, you have something you’re pleased to have someone else read. If that someone laughs or cries or is moved in an intended way, you did your job and you did it well. There in lies the reward. And getting paid real money makes it all the better, wink, wink.

Writing is not all torture. Occasionally I laugh. I laugh at myself and I laugh at my own jokes, because yes, you can tell yourself a joke you never heard before. Ask my brother, Scott Bruce, the comedian, his livelihood depends on it. And he’s done the Bruce name proud. He has even given me some opportunity for success in the writing field. All sibling rivalry aside, bless his heart.

It looks to me like I began, and this is a fine place to end. Whether the writing is good or not is yet to be determined. However, this is not at all what I was going to blog about today. I was going to tell of how lucky and blessed my life is. The 28th day of August marked our 41st wedding anniversary. Tom and I have a lovely home (albeit, it’s been years getting that way — which only adds to the richness of our relationship and the wonder of its survival), an idyllic and private space, green in spring and summer, mulitcolored in fall, which is fast approaching and pure white in winter on days the snow isn’t dirty, opportunities for wildlife viewing abound, and French Creek runs through it. This is our sanctuary these days, and we are more than grateful for all we have. If I have no inspiration for writing it can not be blamed on location, location, location.

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