Okay, here is my assignment for today, 20 minutes of writing that I do not have to go back and fix the punctuation errors, so many thought there may be, but I might at the 18 minute mark. I signed up for this to help me with my most significant problems related to writing. These are not the actual writing itself, because I feel like I have an okay grasp on that. It is about what it is always about for me. Sitting down to write every day. When I first moved to Portland, OR, driving across country from Massachusetts, knowing no one where I was headed, never having been there, just doing it because it felt like the right thing to do, and I was age 59 at the time, I used to sit in a Starbucks on East Burnside and read “Writing Down The Bones”. And I would sit there with a $1.19 notebook and do writing assignments, very much like this, except I had a pen and paper instead of a keyboard. So there were no typing errors then. Anyway, I did that for a few months and hopefully it helped at least a smidge in my goal to be a writer. Then a year or so later I bought on Ebay and Read Julia Cameron’s “The Artist Way”. One of her first suggestions was to write what she called “Morning Pages”, three pages in a notebook every day, without fail. For the 12 weeks to complete the “course”. That was a little more than three years ago and I have been doing my pages every day since then. It takes me about 20 minutes to write them, so when I saw this assignment I was just going to write that I already did it today — trust me on this — which would be true and also, alas, not in keeping with this daily assignment, which if I do this for the next 20 days means I will be writing at least 40 minutes a day. Oh woo is me, he says, forgetting that only a few minutes ago I was leading up to my real problem with writing, which is a lack of perseverance, a lack of persistence, a lack of just getting in the car, as a guy I heard in AA say over and over again one morning in a meeting in the town hall basement in my home town, where I was actually drunk once in high school. Anyway there is no need for me to complain I guess, then, about writing for 20 minutes twice today since it is my hopeful goal to write at least for an hour five days a week. The only thing keeping me from that is me so here I am. By the way, my elbow really hurts from fast typing here, I need to slow it down a little. Stephen King, in the best book I have ever read about writing – “On Writing” – says if you really and truly want to be a writer you need to create a writing space to which you can close the door and you need to show up to your writing space every day, at least five days a week, for an allotted amount of time, he uses as an example four hours. That would be so cool, hmmm, what is keeping me from doing that? Oh yeah, me again. Remember that song by Todd Rundgren, “Hello It’s Me”? Well, there is my friend and my lazy bum. When I call myself a lazy bum my wife says I am being mean to her husband. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I try to do it only when she is not around. I am a nice barely writing guy I guess. Well, so there are references to three people who I believe have had a great influence on whatever writing life I have: Natalie, Julia, and Stephen. I do have a blog, where I guess this is going at least for a day or two, and I am sort of “working” ( the crowd bursts into howling gales of laughter) on a couple of books. So hopefully I show up for the next 20 days and do the right thing. I guess it is punctuation time.