It’s occurred to me that as of this year (wish I had the actual date on a plaque somewhere, or the date I started Richard Matheson on Screen), I have been writing professionally in one form or another for a quarter of a century. First as a book publicist, then a freelancer, then a film journalist, then a contributor to other people’s books, then the copy manager for a home-video company, then an editor, then an Internet content creator, then the copy specialist for a collectibles company, and now the author of my own forthcoming book, I have worked in quite a few of these capacities concurrently. Strange to think that there’s anything I’ve been doing longer than being a husband (22 years) or a father (21 years).
Lacking the imagination to write fiction, I know I’ll never create the Great American Novel (or Screenplay), so I just muddle along in my modest nonfiction way. And while my current day job no longer affords me the opportunity to write about entertainment full-time, I firmly believe that any kind of writing, if done seriously and consistently, can help one’s craft for when it really counts. Like Gerard Ferguson, Felix’s writing teacher in the classic third-season Odd Couple episode “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Pencil,” I’d include almost anything there, from press releases and video jackets to stamp captions and even e-mails (especially my celebrated subject headers, an art form in themselves).
For those of you who are undoubtedly wondering by now, there’s no actual point here, and this isn’t a veiled come-on for The Matthew R. Bradley School of Writing, just some more of my musings. I feel like I’m honing my abilities in some way every single day, and of course this blog serves partly as a vehicle to do just that, when time permits. I’m enjoying the freedom to mix it up—which I hope is pleasing to the reader—in terms of the topic (Movies? TV? Music? Books? Comics?), format (List? Essay? Review? Obit? Advisory?), length, tone, et cetera, and to make a post be about something else in addition to its primary or ostensible subject, although the latter method has its detractors.
Writing comes as automatically to me as breathing, sometimes completely unbidden, and when I have something to say, be it pithy or ephemeral, it’s usually difficult for me to focus on anything else until I get it down on paper (or screen). Then I’ll spend far too long re-reading, revising, and polishing, searching endlessly for le mot juste or the right diversity of punctuation (commas, dashes, and parentheses) or the proper detail or fact or transition. And, of course, after I’ve decided it’s perfect and submitted or posted it, and then I see it in print or online…it isn’t, and there’s some nagging little thing that I wish I could do over; in most cases, it’s too late, but maybe I’ve learned a lesson for another day.
Is this a real post? I dunno. But it’s something to write about. Bradley out.