Hi, there, Dear Reader. It is midafternoon in Lithia, Florida, on Friday, June 24, 2022. It is a sizzling summer day in the Tampa Bay area. The current temperature is 94°F (34°C) under mostly sunny conditions. With humidity at 55% and the wind blowing from the west at 8 MPH (15 KM/H), the heat index is 106°F (40°C). Today’s forecast calls for thunderstorms to pass through our area. The high will be 97°F (36°C). Tonight, scattered rain showers will be around once the thunderstorms move away. The low will be 76°F (24°C).
I usually start writing blog posts for A Certain Point of View, Too between 10:30 AM and 11:00 AM Eastern, although sometimes I have started working on a post earlier than that. Today I am way behind on my schedule because I had one of those rough nights when I just couldn’t fall asleep at a decent time and still woke up at my usual time of between 6:30 AM and 7:00 AM. I think overall I slept only about five hours.
There once was a time when I could stay up late at night, wake up early the next morning, and face whatever challenges I faced during the day. I rarely did “all-nighters” to prepare for exams in college, nor did I ever write a research paper in one night because I had procrastinated, but I did sometimes study till late at night and then had trouble sleeping due to stressing over the upcoming tests. I wasn’t a party animal when I was at Miami-Dade Community College, so I avoided the “going to class with a hangover after a weekend of hard partying” thing.
Anyway, when I was in my 20s and had a penchant for watching TV into the wee hours of the morning – cos I didn’t have a sex life at all then – I could get by on maybe three or four hours’ worth of sleep and still got things done. It did not happen regularly – when I attended classes at M-DCC (and even when I went to Sevilla as a participant in the University of Seville/CCIS Semester in Spain back in 1988), I usually tried to get at least eight hours’ worth of sack time.
Well, I’m not in my 20s anymore. Next March I will celebrate – for lack of a better word – my 60th birthday, so my 20s are way off in the distance in the rear-view mirror of my life. I might have some of the same hobbies and interests I had as a young man, but I don’t look – or feel – as young as I did in the 1980s and early ‘90s.
So, Dear Reader, I’m tired. I’ve been up since 7:00 AM and only now do I even feel capable of stringing words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into a coherent blog post.
For folks who don’t write – or read – much, or understand the writing process, it might seem like hyperbole when I say that writing, I mean, really writing something, is hard work. Especially if a person – namely me – says that he is, in fact, a writer. Writing is not merely an action I do when I sit at my keyboard (like I am doing now); it’s a craft, and I take it seriously, whether I am writing a blog post or a work of fiction.
Writing well – in contrast to just typing something fast without even a single editing pass or relying solely on your word-processing software’s spellcheck function – takes time and effort. It usually takes me at least one hour to compose a short blog post; my average writing time for a WordPress blog post is usually between two to three hours. Sometimes, if I am doing a book review that requires an excerpt from the book I am critiquing, I can spend four hours or even five before I hit the PUBLISH button to submit it to A Certain Point of View, Too.
And although non-writers might not believe or understand this, by the time I’m finished with a blog post, whatever the topic might be, I feel like I went to Miami – which is 254 miles away from Lithia, as the car drives – and back. On foot. And without resting.
Okay, maybe not that tired. But there have been many times when, after I finish a blog post, all I feel like doing is grabbing a bottle of Seagram’s Escapes, plopping down in front of the TV, and watching escapist fare until I get a slight buzz from the Jamaican Me Happy or Bahama Mama and don’t feel exhausted from a long stint in front of a keyboard and a glowing computer monitor.
I sometimes flirt with taking a short break from blogging every day. I mean, it’s not like I am a blogging superstar with millions of followers and so much ad-generated revenue that I can afford to own my own house and date hot blonde models from Miami, and I am not getting a salary from WordPress, so if I took the day – or several days off – I seriously doubt too many people would notice. Some of my regular followers would, but the wider blogosphere beyond? I think not.
The reason I don’t take the day off is, of course, that I feel that something is amiss when I break away from my writing routine. Even when I am unhappy about the way things are – both in my little corner of Lithia and in the greater world beyond – I feel content when I am tap-tap-tapping away on my keyboard, sharing my views with the world.
So, Dear Reader, I guess you’re stuck with this nearly sixty-ish writer for the time being, even if the said writer is tired and dreams about dating sexy blonde models from Miami.