“All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery.”
– George Orwell
“Who are you calling vain and selfish?”
– Michael Wolfe
OK, maybe I’m a little selfish, and there’s nothing more vain in the digital age than starting another blog. Except “selfies”, those are worse. But as a writer (and maybe a few other things), I fly my lazy flags at full mast.
It’s an odd thing really. I enjoy writing more than any productive leisure pursuit in my life. I suck at golf. I can’t play a musical instrument, unless it has an “i” in front of it (I can play an iPad and iPod like a virtuoso). And in the kitchen, my specialties include mangling poultry and setting random appliances on fire. But writing…I enjoy putting thoughts to paper, it comes fairly easily and I seem to be pretty good at it. I’ve written dozens of short, quippy essays that people have enjoyed over the years, some of which have been printed (by no less an esteemed literary journal than The Westport News…yes, I know, it’s impressive). My annual holiday letter satire has a huge fan base, most of them proud members of the Jewish retirement community of southwestern Florida (thanks, Pop and Grammy Milbauer). And after someone encounters one of my essays, I’m often asked a simple and direct question, for which I have no good answer: “Why don’t you write a book?”
After careful consideration, I think the reason is clear. I’m inherently lazy. I put enough effort into my job and my family that the thought of taking whatever free time I have left and sitting in front of a computer screen makes me a little queezy. I lack commitment to the idea of writing a novel, and it seems like the short essay is where my level of energy is best suited. And maybe there isn’t anything wrong with that.
So, this blog. I’m making a few promises here, for myself really. I’ve been writing a ton lately (in spurts, between binging on old episodes of Downton Abbey and House of Cards, and maybe The Bachelor but I’ll never admit it), and don’t really have anything to do with my pieces. My fragile ego won’t allow me to officially submit them anywhere. So it seems that Too Lazy To Write A Book will be where I plan to publish whatever short pieces I’ve been working on. I also hope to add some small thoughts, insights and recommendations from time to time. If I’m feeling particularly motivated, I’ll start to structure some regular features so that I can make sure to update this on a more regular basis. I’ve been down the blog road before, and it’s too easy to let it slip. I’m hoping not to this time, but remember…lazy is the operative word, so best to keep expectations low. But who knows, maybe I’ll surprise myself. And maybe, just maybe, over the long haul, I’ll collect enough writing here to fill the pages of a book, and without all that messy “commitment”.
As for the “mystery” of my motives, they should be clear to anyone and everyone who reads what I write. I’m a self-deprecating humorist who both celebrates and denigrates the travails of the modern, professional, suburban father. If I’m at all decent in what I do here, you should laugh a little, groan a lot, and maybe even see yourself (or your wife, or your kids, or your bad eating habits) in some of my stories.
I only ask two favors:
1) Let me know what you think! This lazy writer needs all of the motivation he can get. As long as it’s positive.
2) If you like a piece, share it. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, InstaFitter, MegaGram, and any other social media outlets you use to let everyone know about the clever stuff you come across online. I’d be honored to worthy of your likes and links.
And we’re off!