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Forced To Be A Writer

July 20, 2017

Have any of you gotten the WiFi to work on the ship?

My brother asked me as we waited for the B.B. King tribute band to start their first set.

Yeah, I used it to update my blog the last three nights.

Was it hard?

Not really. You select HOLLAND-GUEST as your WiFi, and then open a browser. If the page doesn’t redirect, type in LOGIN.COM. Then, you have to create a ship account and tie it to your cabin. After you login with your new account, just select PAYMENT PLANS. You have the option for buying minutes. I just use the $0.75/min option. Takes about 3 minutes to upload the blog.

The group just stared at me.

That’s way too much work!

Hey, I’ve updated my blog every day for four years. I’m not going to let a little seventy-five cents per minute charge break my streak. Next week, when I’m camping with the boy scouts, I’ll write it on my phone and then drive out of the main highway to upload it.

Why don’t you just write them early and schedule them?

I’m too lazy.

For some reason they didn’t see my current approach as the “lazy” approach. Then, they decided to “help.” Something you need to understand about my brothers and me, we are a little competitive. Okay, maybe more than a little. My younger brother brought two pair of basketball shoes on the cruise because he knew his brothers would be here and the ship has a basketball court and he didn’t want to let the excuse we didn’t have shoes stop us.

Today was a “sea” day. The ship stopped at a glacier, but we stayed at sea the entire day. They were looking for contestants for a shipboard gameshow. I met my brother at the sign up desk. Fortunately, they put us on the same team. We won fairly easily.

So, my brothers, with plenty of encouragement from my sister-in-law and my brother’s girlfriend, decided they were going to force me to update my blog early.

Go ahead, we’ll each say a word and we have to keep the story going around the circle.

My brother John is an accountant, and a really good one. He’s not really a writer. I just pointed out to them how rude it would be for me to type away on an iPad while the show was going on.

When I was in high school, I made the decision to not drink. It was just something that I decided I didn’t want to experiment with. I have a pretty addictive personality anyway and I didn’t need any encouragement. My high school friends didn’t all make the same choice. I don’t mean to say that they put themselves in dangerous situations, but they would drink a beer at a party.

But, a funny thing happened as we got a little older. I’d had the same friends since I was ten years old. By the time we got to be 17, when we attended a party, I didn’t need to tell anyone that I didn’t drink. When the host would start passing out beers, my friends would speak up,

Oh, Rodney doesn’t want one. He doesn’t drink.

It became easy for me not to drink. My friends knew it was something that was important to me. And while they didn’t make the same choice, they respected mine and wanted to do their part to help me keep the standard I’d set for myself. I’m still friends with those men today. And they will still explain to people that “Rodney doesn’t drink.”

Lots of people say they want to be a writer. The piano player on the ship, Pearson Keating explained that he wanted to be a writer. Becoming a writer is the easiest thing in the world and the one of the hardest. Pearson and his partner Rachel Solomon do a dualing pianos show. They are both amazing muscians. I tried to explain it.

Look, here’s the thing. If I wanted to be musician, I’d have to have at least a modicum of talent. I couldn’t just announce that I was going to be a muscian without a lot of work.

Yeah. . .

But, you could become a writer right now today. All it takes to be a writer is to write. You don’t even have to write good.

Writing is the easiest thing in the world. Scribble some thoughts on a piece of paper. It’s not rocket science. And yet, there are many people who, as a writer friend of mine said, “Like to have written,” but not necessarily to actually write. There are people who will spend a lot of time convincing themselves that they cannot write without a prewriting ritual. Or, if it’s inconvenient. Or, if they don’t feel inspired.

Is it inconvenient to write on a cruise ship and arrange to upload it every day? I guess so. But, it’s not really about the convenience aspect of it. It’s about the process and the content. I’m not really a great writer. I think I’m getting there. I enjoy telling stories, as anyone who’s taken a dip through the archives will tell you. I’m learning to put two or three thoughts together and find some point. I know I’m a better writer today than I was four years ago when I started posting these scribbles to the internet. And, I would hope that four years from now, I’ll be better.

I know many musicians. They occasionally play gigs. I know many comedians. They occasionally tell jokes on stage. I know actresses and actor. They sometimes perform on screen or stage.

But, the writers? The writers write. My friends who are writers write every day. Sometimes the stuff they write gets published or posted online. Other times, it doesn’t. Writing is a solitary exercise. So, I’ll take the teasing from my family. But, then, I’ll pay $0.75/min to upload these musings using the ship’s WiFi, and next week, I’ll drive out to the main highway to post five updates.

Because, if there’s one true rule that I know: Writers write.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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