Some of my friends think my devotion to writing Writing Boots daily is senselessly slavish. A couple summers ago one friend suggested I cut back to something he called “summer hours”?
How fine that sounded! But I didn’t do it. Why?
I used to have a publisher who put out a newsletter for professional speechwriters, weekly. Surely that then-sleepy business didn’t need such regular news. But my publisher knew: It’s good to become a regular part of your readers’ rhythms. Lots of Boots readers tell me they read this every morning over coffee; every midday, over lunch; every evening, with a drink. When you’re something your readers can count on, they’re something you can count on.
Also, as another daily blogger remarked to me recently, “it’s easier to do every day than twice a week.” Do it once a week, and people expect something comprehensive and perfectly proportioned and weighty. Once a day, and it can be a little more casual—more of a scrapbook.
That same daily blogger is also a newspaper columnist who once lost his column for a time. “I remember feeling that not having a column was like drowning,” he told me. “Not in an abstract way, but like someone holding my head under the water and killing me.”
I do understand that feeling, too. So Writing Boots might be a form of breathing for me. Out, and in, out, and in.
I’ve had this peculiar need to breathe in print for a long time—since I published my sophomoric ideas in a four-page newsletter starting in 1992, when I was 23. Eventually I was getting published elsewhere regularly enough that I ran out of interest in writing, editing, laying out, printing, pasting up, folding, handwriting addresses and mailing this thing every month.
But I like writing every day. It forces me to find something honest and believable to say.
But after …
I ain’t got shit today.