A Good Writer Goes To War

The Shmata Queen once looked at me and asked if I ever held still.

I laughed.

It is a fair question and one that has been my entire life. Sometimes I respond by telling people I have two speeds, glacial and warp, but most of the time I just smile and nod my head.

That’s because I have an imagination that never quits, more questions than a classroom full of toddlers and a need to find answers to all the hows and whys that come with it.

When things are really clicking it feels like energy radiates from me or at least it does to me, can’t say what it is like for others.

That is part of what drives me as a writer and why I have tested so many of the blogging tools and platforms out there.

Granted some of it comes from a love for gadgets and tools and some of it is a never-ending quest to find a better way to tell a story.

A Good Writer Goes To War

I haven’t decided if it would be smarter and more accurate to say a good writer goes to school because every day I attend the Steiner school of writing.

It is where I spend ridiculous amounts of time trying to learn how to become a better writer and a better storyteller.

One of the tools I once used in class was something called Posterous. It was a blogging platform that was particularly easy to use on mobile devices.

I really liked using it because it was ridiculously easy to post from my Blackberry.  I wrote a post called That Crazy Feeling using Posterous and my BB while sitting in a waiting room.

If you don’t want to click on the link you can read the story below:

I have that crazy feeling again. The whispers in the dark and the sense of something waiting for me in the dark is back.

Like an old friend I welcome doubt with a hug and a smile. Call it a front, a clever facade constructed by a man who wishes to pretend that things are other than they are.

The great contradiction of my life lies among the leaves I step upon. I hear them crunching beneath me and feel branches scrape against my body. I have walked through this forest so many times that I can’t help but to be surprised by the presence of things that I have never seen before.

I stop and stand in place, ears straining to pick up on the sounds around me. The forest is a place that guards its secrets well. Treasures and traps are hidden inside. Step carefully or risk waking the demons. Walk with purpose and strength so that those who already know of you recognize that you are not be trifled with.

Spinning slowly I try to determine if lack of awareness is to blame. Perhaps these things were always here and I never noticed. It is possible as is the possibility that these things have always been here.

The forest is constantly growing and changing. Evolution is part of its existence. I am forever amazed by this and touched by how light can impact my view of it.

In daylight it is always warm and inviting, but night time is different. At night the warmth changes and places that never see that sunlight take control.

Are the beings that roam nearby friendly or malevolent. Do they notice my presence? Can they feel the flame that burns inside or is it too slight and insignificant for them.

I am here because I have questions and doubts that must be addressed. I cannot ignore them any longer.

Awareness is a double edged sword. I cannot walk naked through the garden anymore. I am aware of all and the consequences that come with it.

But awareness means that I can revel in life and experience the sort of joy that makes a man weep with joy.

So here I stand, in the center of the forest. When the rage and frustration come I allow them to wash over me. I bathe in them and drink deeply from the cups they offer.

It provides me with protection and with strength but only at great cost. When it comes I do not sleep. For days I engage in battles I dare not lose.

No one can help me, no succor, no aid to be offered. No quarter is asked for and none is given.

Eventually exhaustion sets in and I am forced to lay down my arms. For a while I am too tired to sleep and then I do.

Beloved rest takes me in its arms and as I close my eyes the blackness takes me. I dream of things, of people and places. Blissfully unaware I slumber.

Seconds turn to minutes and minutes to hours. The days pass and I wake up refreshed and ready to resume my quest.

I am centered and focused again. The search for the answers has resumed. I know nothing and I know everything. My heart and soul are scarred but those are signs of life experience. I bear those symbols gladly because the life I wish to live demands nothing less.

It is better to reach fore that which lies just outside of my grasp than to settle for the fruit that has already fallen.

The end
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

A Good Writer Goes To War Continued

If you want to know more about why I say war it is because it is a constant fight to do more, be more and improve upon what I have done.

Some days are easier than others. Some days the words flow freely and others…less so.

But I never quit and I never stop. No retreat, no surrender.

Ask me what the goal is and I’ll tell you it is to improve. Ask me to provide you with something more specific, something tangible and I’ll say 98 Pulitzers and a handful of Nobels.

One of the things I love about this is that it is not like the sports I love to play. I am a better basketball, baseball and football player now than I have ever been,

But the tragic thing about that is I can’t really show you because my body isn’t what it once was. I can’t run or jump the way I used to.

That is because time has had its way and I am subject to the same laws of physics as you. My physical skills aren’t what they once were but my mental/emotional are a thousand times better.

Smarter and tougher, but it happened too late for me to make the kind of impact I would have liked to.

But that is not the case with writing. There are no limitations placed upon us because of age.

broken heart
Those words above resonate with me as a man and  a writer. There is a simple elegance to them.

That is the kind of writing I want for me and to be but with my own style and touch.

(Visited 239 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Tim Bonner November 12, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I’ve only ever used WordPress. I haven’t lived!

    I still don’t feel like I’ve found the perfect solution to getting words from inside my head onto my blog. I’ve gone from using the WordPress editor to Word and lots of other things in between. I’ve now gone back to just using the WordPress editor again. Trying to keep away from shiny new things syndrome for a while.

    • Jack Steiner November 12, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      Shiny new things is a double edged sword. It can make for a big distraction, but sometimes it is the tool you need to use to cut out the extraneous and run with the stuff that is important to you.

  2. Danny Brown November 12, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Oh man, Posterous – NOW you’re taking me back!

    I LOVED Posterous! Like you say, it was so easy to use (especially when you had the app). Like Medium, simply show up, write, post. Shame it never took off the way Tumblr did – Posterous was the platform that enabled me to experiment with really short-form content that eventually became my “Why Simple Works” ebook. Fun times!

    Your post reminds me of why I love pure blogging, and the peace that comes from just sitting down in front of a keyboard, and letting the thoughts take over. No premise, no overall story arc – just the willingness to put everything out there, and see how it all comes together.

    I had a discussion with a friend on Facebook today, and her belief that having a typo in your first sentence means you’ve lost her interest. And, while I can see why she might feel that way, I couldn’t help but disagree.
    The beauty of content (for me) comes from how it makes you feel, or how it educates you, or how it inspires you to think differently.

    If we get sucked into making sure every single word is just so, we lose that spontaneity that all great content and writing seems to possess. Long live the typos and all they mean!

    • Jack Steiner November 12, 2015 at 10:04 am

      We’re in agreement about the typo. I produce a ridiculous amount of content and I couldn’t do it if I labored over each and every word. That is what editing is for and none of us are perfect at it. It is easy to look over and miss something and it is not because we are not interested.

      Posterous really was fun and easy. When I think about it, I wonder sometimes why I never started a Tumblr blog, got one for Medium. I guess I just don’t try them all out. 🙂

      The joy of pure blogging in my world is tied into free writing and not worrying about every detail, I can always go back to it.

      • Danny Brown November 12, 2015 at 10:13 am

        I once read a fairly well-known blogger’s blog frequently, and he made his fair share of typos. But it didn’t matter, because the content was so good.

        He moved into video blogging, and it was so overly-produced, so perfect, so edited, that he lost the magic along the way. Never watched an episode since, and I miss the typo-ridden flaw-fest that was his blog, because it was REAL.

        Ah, well…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like