“They” tell me that your writing only gets better the more often that you do it. I am still not quite sure who “they” are; all I know is that they are people—authors, presumably, or people who have had stuff published—who have some authority over writing and know what works. And what doesn’t. I can still remember middle school, in which we were just given the open-ended directive to “Write! Write anything!” And I frittered that time away. Some days I would draw stupid advertisements (e.g., “Chemical Wholesaler & Sons’ Fine Ladies’ Clothing”). Other days I would write notes to people in my “reading journal” that had no relevance to anything school-related whatsoever. Most of the time I would sit by the window on the foam rubber cushions that the teacher had upholstered using tube tops (this is true) and talk to random classmates about the writing project I was supposedly going to start the next day or next week or sometime. (Motivation has never been my strength.)
This past summer I took the equivalent of French 111 and 112 at a name-to-be-withheld North Carolina state university. The courses themselves were actually very informative, but it is hard to concentrate on the lesson when there are really atrocious dolts (and I’m talking about the pinnacle of incompetence, really) surrounding you.
I run into a lot of bizarre and dumb situations—more than my share, in fact. At first I used to think, “Hmm, maybe I’m hallucinating. Perhaps I hit my head on the cinderblock wall adjacent to my rickety school-provided bed.” But bizarre, stupid, weird and oft-scary things keep happening around me at such a frenetic pace that I either have severe head trauma that is causing me to constantly hallucinate, or I have some kind of “unlucky dummy field” surrounding me.