Wednesday, July 25, 2018

They WILL Write!

I spent most of my Monday at the hospital (and yesterday and today, of course, and this will go on for a few more days) waiting while my father was in surgery. To pass the time, I listened to Tom Snyder interviewing Harlan Ellison over the years on old Tomorrow Show clips posted on YouTube.

I watched one a few weeks ago after Harlan Ellison died and I was just blown away. There is so much good stuff that he says, great stuff in fact, that I think people need to hear.

Of course, only a very few people listen to my podcast but I decided for the benefit of those folks that it was important enough to go interview by interview and write out the starting and ending times of certain clips so I could go back at my earliest convenience and edit them into one nice, consumable audio file.

That file is right here: http://upinthisbrain.com/up-in-this-brain-388-tom-and-harlan

It's probably in the top 5 of the most important episodes of the podcast I've done in 388 episodes. Maybe it's even in the top 2.

I keep returning to this quote. It opens the podcast. I've been feeling guilty about not writing ever since I heard it.

"It's a very simple philosophy. Anybody who can be deterred from writing should have been. People who want to write really want to write and they WILL write." - Harlan Ellison

I have not been writing. It's not that I don't love writing. Maybe it's that I am distracted by life lately and maybe I shouldn't be letting life distract me. Maybe it's laziness. Maybe it's lack of focus. Maybe it's all of the above.

Whatever it is, the wheels are turning in my head and my fingers are moving across the keyboard again. I'm writing and it feels good.

Now, if I could just harness one percent of Harlan Ellison's confidence and conviction:

"Are you loyal to the United States of America or are you loyal to your writing? Forget it, jack. The country could sink into the ocean for all I care. I only care about the integrity of the work. That's really all I give a damn about and I'll kill to keep those words that way. I spent twenty years of my life doing what I do and I think I do it very well indeed and I'll be damned if I'm going to let people mess with it. That's my religion. That is precisely where I am.  " - Harlan Ellison


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