I’m stuck. Can’t think of a single thing to write.
And that really, truly, sucks.
Like many of you, I write most of my stories on my iPhone: it’s always with me, and I like its form factor.
But it has its limitations: I can’t, for example, send a private message to anyone on Medium.
For that, I have to use my laptop. The powers that be at Medium have made it clear over and over again that neither the iPhone nor the iPad app are designed for writing.
In an age where more and more people are relying on mobile phones and tablets, Medium seems almost outdated in its insistence on using desktop or laptop computers for writing.
I would even go so far as to say that if another venue similar to Medium becomes available and has an app for mobiles and tablets as full-featured as the Medium browser-based interface, you’ll see a great migration from Medium to the new platform.
But I digress
Lately I’ve noticed that my writing has become more formal in structure and vocabulary.
More formal, almost stilted.
If you will kindly bear with me, I shall propose an explanation.
Growing up in a military family, I’ve lived all over the United States, as well as in Japan. Part of my strategy to blend in and seem as if I belonged wherever I was involved careful study of the local dialect and adopting it.
That’s why, for example, I know the difference between “y’all” (singular) and “all y’all” (plural). Same goes for “youse” and “youse guys.”
After several decades it’s become instinctive. I rarely notice when I’m doing it. You should hear me when I’m in a room with my cousins from Mississippi, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and California!
And it affects my writing as well
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of Rudyard Kipling, H. Rider Haggard, and other lesser-known British writers of the 19th century.
My own writing has, therefore, become imitative of those authors. And in today’s world, my words sounded to my ears as stilted and formal.
I had no idea what I was going to write when I sat down with my iPhone and my tea; this missive is the result.
But my tea is finished, and so is this story. And so I shall close, and open my library to Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, and Ginsberg and use them as cotton swabs to clear my brain.