I am often asked on Twitter about my bio, and here’s the essence of it, so we’re on the same plane of thought:
This is the text of my Twitter Bio, in case the image is hard to read:
MFA @Columbia Author of 50 Books, 25K Articles, 2MM Words a year. Publisher, Writer, Lyricist, Producer, Director. Stage, Film, Web, TV. Human Meme podcast host
Some on Twitter don’t believe I can produce that much work year — but I do, and I have for the last 30 years or so — and it takes an average of 5,500 words written every day, 365 days a year, to sustain that 2,000,000 words-a-year of moral duty.
My workday is busy. I write this blog. I host the Human Meme podcast. I write and publish at David Boles Books. I create online teaching content for Hardcore ASL. I do the Social Media thang. I write and fix scripts for Script Professor. I write the Mechanized Morality newsletter. Plus, a whole lot of “other stuff” I write and produce that I’m not contractually allowed to mention here.
Why do I spend so much time writing and creating content?
The simple answer is because that’s what I’m intended to do.
The more complicated answer is that there is an urge to set upon the world ideas and thoughts and debridements that cannot be sustained alone, inside one mind, forever.
Playwright Henrik Ibsen said the writing process for him was like a scorpion stabbing its tail into a peach and releasing venom. My process is not quite so romantic — but as venomous! — and the key to my relative success is not only “ass in chair” but rather, a body in windowless basement for half a life.
Yes, I’ve spent most of my adult life locked in a basement — a modern day dungeon — willingingly chained to a desk and chair and computer, all alone, in order to produce content. Writing is a lonesome lifestyle. There’s no drama in it — only dirt and bugs and musk.
If I’d lived my life aboveground, in the sunlight, with other people — I would not be the person I am now — and I would not be able, in any way, to write two million words a year, every year.
Other people need care, and conditioning, and time, and expectation — but that is a niche commodity in a writer’s life, and few people understand that fact of birth.
Some feel the dungeon life is like being imprisoned in solitary confinement — and it sort of is for the body — but never for the mind. You are never freer than when you are creating something outside the self.
The internet helps. You momentarily connect beyond the dungeon into the rest of the world — and you’re able to keep pace with 5,500 words a day because being online expands your research, and wonderments, and inspirational possibilities.
You may be one of me, and if you are — I’m delighted to at least see your eyes here into the light of the magical warp and woof of the web!
Do not let anyone aboveground influence you, or recall you from your dark room. Close the door, and lock it with chains! Dare them to interrupt! Battle for solitude! Fight for aloneness!
Begrudge no one access to the soul you own — and curate, and develop, and prepare, each moment at the crossroads of every waking interstitial — just to get ready for the flight of day.