Inaugural

Against the screechings of my better judgment, I’ve decided to start a blog.

My judgment screeches because it knows it’s only a matter of time before I say something here that I’ll regret. I’m cursed with a big mouth, lots of opinions, and a somewhat deficient self-censoring mechanism.

But there are other considerations that outweigh my inevitable faux-es and pas-es.

I make my living as a writer. There is only one characteristic that distinguishes writers from non-writers: writers write. (That’s why there’s no such thing as an “aspiring writer.” A writer can aspire to sell or publish, but only non-writers aspire to write.) Anyway, writing for a living requires writing every day. Writing every day requires discipline. Discipline requires enforcement.

I’ve lost the habit of writing every day. I need discipline. I need enforcement. You’re looking at it.

I intend to post something on this blog every day. If I fail to do so, that failure will be very public, and I’ll be embarrassed by it. I don’t enjoy being embarrassed. So maybe, just maybe, making this obligation will help transform me into a habitual writer again.

And you get to watch.

I’ll try to make it provocative for you.

19 Responses to Inaugural

  • Christy Marx says:

    Great goddess, I hope I don’t have to go through this procedure to post every time.

    But at any rate, here I am, ready to be provoked. 😉

  • Taylor Grant says:

    Let me be one of the first to acknowledge the epoch of Steve Gerblog. As you say, writers write, and if there’s one thing I know about true writers, it’s that they MUST write.

    Alas, I don’t know much about blogs or the blog universe, so pardon my ineptitude of lexicon usage. As a matter of fact, I’m a bit embarrassed to say, this is my first blog interaction. So, let’s hope I don’t screw this up too badly.

    As I write this blog commentary, I am also intermittently entertaining my three week old son, Zane. Somehow, I managed to get appointed the 8:30PM to 2:00AM shift (outsmarted by my wife yet again!) And let me tell you something, after three weeks of late nights, I’ve re-discovered why I stopped watching television.

    So, thank you Steve. Thank you for giving me something to do to at 1:30 in the morning while I’m playing Mr. Mom.

    But, I digress…back to my original point. Yes, we writer’s write. I find this statement brilliant in its simplicity. But the concept is all but lost to many of the people I meet in Los Angeles on a daily basis.

    As you may have noticed during your stints in La La land, everyone in this town fancies themselves a writer. By Christ, I wish I had a dollar for every time I was trapped in a corner at a party or gathering by a wannabe writer.

    When the inevitable question “So, what do YOU do?” comes up, I’m often tempted to tell them I’m a plumber rather than admit being a writer. Yes, anything to avoid the dreaded response, “Oh? I’m a writer too!” Or “Really, I was THINKING about becoming a writer too!”

    I used to bite my tongue, smile graciously and take an inner journey to a happy place as they continued their tirade of insults to our craft and profession. But these days, I’ll press them on it. “Really,” I say with a barely restrained voice, “And what is it that you write?”

    “Oh…well, I have this great idea,” they say with the desperation of a teenage boy trying to get past first base on his prom date, “I’ve been thinking about turning it into a novel or screenplay. Would you like to hear it?”

    In years past, I used to simply grin and bear it. I’d sit there, watching my life tick away, second by excruciating second while they burdened me with their half-baked Tarantino-esque heist escapade (with a twist!) or even worse, a story about their terrifically underwhelming life!

    However, these days, I no longer suffer in quiet desperation. I am compelled to tell them like it is, somehow obliged to tell them the truth. For the publishing, film and TV industries are a harsh mistress, and I’ve seen more than a few hearts broken in my time.

    Including my own.

    Firstly, I start with an analogy. I tell them that, yes, I occasionally go to the gym and work out. Yes, I’ve used most of the gym equipment there and, yes, I’ve even been known to break a sweat now and then.

    However, I don’t tell people at parties that I’m an athlete.

    I mean, can you imagine walking up to an Olympian gymnast, NBA player or NFL superstar and saying, “Hi, nice to meet you…I like to work out at the gym…I’m an athlete too!”

    So, why is it that every moron with ten fingers and the ability to write an email, thinks they’re a writer?

    I’ve come to realize that the uninitiated and ignorant think that typing and writing is the same Goddamn thing. So, I try to explain the difference to said wannabes in an understanding, if not slightly firm manner.

    If the person I’m speaking to actually wants to attempt the writer’s life, I generally ask them, “What was the last time you sat down to write?” If they have to think about it for more than 20 seconds, I take a deep breath, find my inner Mr. Rogers, and explain the painful truth in a gentle way that won’t get me kicked out of the party…or worse, get my ass kicked in general.

    As you know, Steve, we writers MUST write. We can’t NOT write. It’s as simple as that. Sure, life can interfere. We lose our muse temporarily. Shit happens. Inspiration waxes and wanes. But after a time, we always return to the paper, typewriter or computer. It’s irresistible…inexorable. It’s who we are.

    When people say, “Oh, I have this great IDEA, but…I can never find the time to write.” Or “Writing is such a struggle; I have a hard time getting started.” Then, I know they’re not the kind of people destined to live the writer’s life.

    Yes, the writer’s life: that lonely, often thankless, underpaid and underappreciated life that no one truly understands…except other writers.

    Nevertheless, those of us destined for this life, somehow always find time to write. If it means giving up shitting and eating, we’ll find the time.

    Currently, I have the dubious honor of working full time as a marketing copywriter. Two weeks ago, I finished re-writing a piece-o-crap 8 million dollar horror movie for Lion’s Gate Films that I attempted to give some soul. Now, I’m about to start editing a film that I directed and produced in January. I also have a demanding three week old son.

    And yet, through all of this craziness I still find the urge to write. Admittedly, I’m insane. I sit in front of a fucking computer all day, only to sit in front of fucking computer all night.

    What do I write? Something. Anything. Doesn’t matter what it is. I just need to write. I can’t help myself. I will literally go bonkers if I don’t.

    So, Mr. Gerber. Here’s to your sanity. Your muse. And most of all, your blog. To be honest, I’ve never had an interest in blogs but in your case I’ll most assuredly make an exception. Because, if there is one thing I can be absolutely sure of, your auctorial views will be nothing if not original.

    You can’t help yourself, my friend. And fortunately, the Web and your audience will be all the better off for it.

    Your brother in arms,

    Taylor Grant

  • Alex Krislov says:

    Well, it’s about time.

    Of course you should have a blog. You, suh, are an internet pie-oh-neer. You’ve been online since the days when nobody cast nets. We were just “online” or “logged on.” And now look at the world. Filled with young’uns who don’t know arpanet from internet, bbs from blogs, and forums from fruitcakes.

    You owe it to the world to educate these young folks. Besides, I missed ya.

    –Alex
    (his mark)

  • Bob H says:

    Hey Steve, looking forward to reading what you put up here. I’ve been re-reading DESTROYER DUCK recently, as I wind my way through my entire Kirby collection, and still really enjoying it.

  • -Mark says:

    Hey Steve. It has been awhile as usual. For a guy that says he likes to write one would think there would be a bit more email from you. Then again, that would be in a logical, normal world. I don’t live there.

    I’m not a writer. I don’t aspire to be a writer. Been there, done that, got published. That means I’m a reader. I like to be entertained by my reading. Unfortunately most of the time these days I read to absorb information. Dry, boring information.

    So Steve Gerber, entertain me.

  • Is DC really going to do a second season of Hard Time and if so when? That book was so good that I had to fight my wife to get to read it first.

  • B. Slick says:

    Your blog reminded my of my own neglected
    effort and I was inspired to
    get in there an add another paragraph. I think that makes it a total of
    four paragraphs long. I hope you have more discipline than I do. By the time I get home from the job, my brain is good only for watching America’s Next
    Top Model and The Surreal Life. But I’ll watch you, too.

  • gene colan says:

    It’s amazing I’ve been able to wait this long to once again enjoy what’s in your always creative mind!
    Everything you’ve ever said or written has been a treat for my ears, my heart, my mind and my funny bone. And always enlightening.
    Congratulations and welcome to the world of blog.
    Adrienne and I enjoyed “Ownership Society” “what’s that Abstain on your Shorts” (the title alone is worth the price of the ticket)…
    Checking out daily what’s on your mind will continue to be a daily treat in the Colan household!
    Thanks good friend. 🙂
    Gene

  • Spence says:

    Congrats on the blog. I know we agree politically (in fact, some of your writing had a big influence on me), I love your writing, and I’m sure I’ll be a regular here.

  • Matt Maxwell says:

    Not to pick a fight with a writer I’ve got a great deal of respect for, but some folks would argue that blogging isn’t writing. Certainly not writing fiction, anyways. Off the top of one’s head thought-fixing (as my blogging tends to be) is a pretty different process from my scripting/plotting.

    Either way, glad to be getting a further dose of Gerber beyond HARD TIME and my occasional re-reading of HOWARD, etc.

  • Roger Green says:

    Congrats! I was a big fan of HTD, Swamp Thing and much of your work when I was reading comics in the 1970s and 1980s. I look forward to your musings, which I came across thru the musings of one Fred G. Hembeck (www.hembeck.com/fredsez).

  • heather says:

    Is provocative really the word you want to use?

  • Jennifer Meyer says:

    Steve: I only have one query, that being: how do you really feel about “George” nucular? Sorry, but I just feel that our president (?)should minimally pronounce the word correctly. I’ve heard it’s a “Texas thing.” Excuses, excuses. Lah-di-dah.

  • Steve Gerber says:

    Thanks to every one of you for your great comments and encouragement.

    A few quick replies:

    Taylor — I should probably retire and let you write this blog.

    Beth — I’ve put a link to you on the main page. Try not to hate me for nudging you to write.

    Heather — Provoke: 1. To incite to anger or resentment. 2. To stir to action or feeling. 3. To give rise to; evoke: provoke laughter. 4. To bring about deliberately; induce: provoke a fight.

    Yup. Right word.

    Matt — Stretching isn’t running, either, but it’s useful for warming up. (Yeah, right, like I would know…)

    Thomas — Yes, DC is really going to do a second season of HARD TIME. I’ll be posting something about it soon.

  • Murdok says:

    Steve – Hey! I finally got this thing working! Now what was the orginal topic? :- ) BTW – I saw you and the word “running” in the same sentence – are we talking about Steve Gerber – the writer?!?!?

    Just curious….

  • -Mark says:

    Let’s try this one a fourth time. You really should do something about that security code thing. Just to keep you in the loop. I am starting a special interest group. The Citizen’s Coalition to End Same Sex Boxing.

  • -Mark says:

    So the blog appears to work. You have plenty of friends and fans who are encouraging you. So how is the writing coming?

  • -Mark says:

    Earth calling Steve….. Are you writing yet? Have you ever considered writing on U.S. foreign policy as it is viewed outside of the United States?

  • -Mark says:

    I have just got around to reading one of the funniest books I have ever read. The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams. It fits right in with a movie that is a big hit with some of my students. Bubba Hotep.