Introduction to Part 3 - Strike, Strike, and Strike Again

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Strike, strike, and strike again.

Life is short, memories are fleeting, and words are bound to be lost in time. But as a writer, you can strike. You can write the day in a way totally unique to the universe, in a way that changes the universe even if only for a moment. You can be a different kind of writer than you were the day before. The day before you were alone, ignored, your words were lost on an apathetic readership. Today, you strike. You practice a tried and true punch, you try a different kind of punch. Your lunge is completely different, even if it has more of the same. The important thing is that you strike.

You miss your landing. No worries. Strike, strike. Another chance. Not much is needed. Ten minutes at work. Twenty minutes on the train. Write down your idea on a piece of scrap paper. In the meeting, when your bosses see you diligently writing away – strike.

I write them short; I write them imperfectly; I write them passionately; I write them now. I don't ask permission. The time it takes to ask permission is another chance at a strike.

Take people by surprise. The other day a family member received something from me in the mail. They thought it was a letter – surprise, a short story. Strike!

I sometimes write them daily, I sometimes write them hourly. I write them to prove that I am a snake in the grass ready to strike. I write them to prove that I can invent myself over and over again. I write them because I am a writer. I need no other justification.

I write them for my blog. I write them on Facebook. I write them for magazines. I write them for friends. I leave them in office drawers. I leave them on buses. Some think of them as public nuisances. For me, they are my reason for being.

When rejection comes, as a blow on the chin or a punch to the gut, I try not to be in defensive mode too long. Each breath is a chance to strike anew. When the enemy lets his guard down I strike.

Not once. Not twice. Not three times. But over and over and over again...

This next section is filled with the many breaths I take in a long journey up a mountain. I step, I strike, I step, I write, I strike, I write. How long is the mountain path? How many steps? No matter -- step and strike. Each step a new affirmation of my reason for being.

Strike, strike, and strike again. 

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