I Do Not Watch Great TV Shows, But I Am A Great Watcher Of TV Shows
I recently heard of a writer whose “well had run dry.” I don’t really understand how that works. Maybe I’m permanently attached to an underground spring (or a whiskey still), but I can’t even come close to imagining that ever happening to me.
I can understand not having anything particularly great to write about. But that kind of concern doesn’t seem to slow down most writers, as evidenced by the amount of shit that fills our newspapers and our television and movie screens.
I can also understand how a person might feel that what they have to say is important to them but not of much interest to others. That one doesn’t affect me, though, since I know that I’m only writing for a small fraction of society anyway. My readers fall precisely between the IQ categories of “moron” and “genius.” More specifically, they are people who can tell the difference between the two.
You know, though, there was a time when I thought I might run out of things to say. I think that was right around the time when I believe it was I who said, “The one thing that will always be worth saying is that everything worth saying has already been said.” Perhaps it was the sheer hopelessness of that saying that forced me to somehow reconsider everything I believed in, and to allow myself to repeat a few of the good things.
There’s actually nothing wrong with saying the same thing again and again. In fact, it may be impossible to do otherwise. Someone other than me once said, “All books are the same book.” By that, they meant that at the heart of all stories are a small set of fundamental truths. The journey of literature is the different ways we arrive at those truths.
Another guy once said, “I don’t have a great voice, but I am a great singer.” That’s a fundamental truth in itself. Having the confidence to push through any artistic experience and to deliver your message - trivial as it might on occasion be - in a way that satisfies you alone is all that is ultimately required.
For instance, I was watching Wheel of Fortune the other day, and I became pleasantly aware during the Bonus Round that I do not watch great TV shows, but I am a great watcher of TV shows. I made this observation when it was revealed that the hidden word was “dignity.” The contestant failed to solve the puzzle, and I believe that because the category was “noun,” he was almost inevitably destined from the outset to fail. Dignity, to me, is not a noun. It, like vulnerability and confidence and obsequiousness, deserve their own category, which I would call “approaches.”
Approaches are our way into life, into stories, and into each other. They profoundly affect they way we live and even the way we watch TV. If we learn more about them, and are open to trying new ones, we not only enrich our lives in new and unexpected ways, we always stay rather moist around the brain, one might say.