Thursday, April 12, 2012


I'm not closing this blog, but it has been, and will probably continue to be, a slow period for a while. A post every week or two.

I didn't report on Games Day in Jerusalem or any of the other recent session reports in Jerusalem or Raanana. You can go to the Jerusalem site maintained by Nadine or the Raanana site maintained by Ellis. They have more of a head for this sort of thing right now.

My life is focused entirely on writing a book, which is funny because I'm not actually doing any writing; I'm avoiding writing by watching movies, a few TV shows, or reading material irrelevant to my book. I lack discipline or purpose or a wife or something. On the one hand I feel that I am driven to do something worthwhile with my life; simply existing isn't enough. A book will not only contribute to the world in a permanent way, it will also make my life better: through the discipline of having done it and for the (minimal) prestige of having done it.

On the other hand, something there is inside me that fights against it. Maybe because my ex-wife told me I'm stuck and doing this would be something like what she would want me to do. Or maybe I'm depressed, or need a lot of wind down from my long but useful job. Or maybe it's too big a project for me until I break it down into steps. Blog posts a couple of pages long, even when they require research, telephone calls, and database organization, are so much easier.

Which is the point. I don't want it easy; I know I don't. Whenever I hit an amusement park, I go on a roller coaster not because I think they're fun but because they terrify me. We need to face things that terrify us once in a while. We need to break routines, follow a vision, make the world better. Make ourselves better.

If you have suggestions that can help me get started (I've actually culled together a few of my older blog posts and written a few pages of random material), please comment.


Steven Davis said...

Why not combine the two and write your book in serialized format?

I used my blog as the basis for my book "Protecting Games" and I am gearing up for another project using the blog more directly - writing section by section.

Best of luck!


Chris said...

Hi Yehuda,

Sorry to hear you're feeling low - I've been there, and there's nothing I can say to make that anything less than an unpleasant experience.

The best advice I can give you on writing a book is to establish a schedule for doing so. If you can, sit down for an hour a day at some convenient time and write *something*. It doesn't matter if you later scrap it, but make a commitment to work regularly on the project. Once you have a regular time commitment, finishing the book is a manageable goal and the only question is how long it will take.

If you can't spare an hour a day during the week, you can commit to an hour a day at the weekend, perhaps - the point is to commit to some kind of regular contribution to the project.

It's good if you can make your slot to work on it at times that you *could* work longer on it, if the mood takes you - that way, if you get some momentum you can make a lot more progress in a single sitting. But don't beat yourself up if you set it aside after the allotted hour: again, if you are regularly working on it, you will eventually finish and the only question is when.

Also: I personally recommend writing a proposal for the book *before* writing the manuscript. This has two advantages: any publisher who will want to take the book will want a proposal (something smaller than 10,000 words), plus the proposal allows you to structure your ideas. But *don't* use the proposal to lock down the content - just use it as a way of building a scaffolding you can later take down. Revise the proposal when you actually want to submit the book to publishers - use it to begin with as a tool to help organise yourself.

I hope these suggestions are helpful! Best of luck!

Batya said...

Hi Jon-this is interesting news. Perhaps chronicle the development and birth pains of It's Alive--the original idea, the thought processes involved, and the work getting it published, etc. But don't do something just because Rachel or Karen want you to-it has to come from the heart. In this case, your love of gaming, of the discipline needed to play and run a club could be motivators.Getting started on any project is daunting, and procrastinating is normal, but I know that when you put your mind to something-you get it done!

Terence said...

Great and lovely post. The idea of writing your own is an excellent one.

Anonymous said...

Yehuda dear,..I myself am in a similar situation..wanting and needing to write what I know I must write. My subject is no doubt that it is Biblical commentary which used to flow for hours..and now the spigot is dry. I do know that G-d has a specific plan in what He wants written and when. So for now I must wait patiently.. make frequent attempts and listen for the 'soft, still voice' calling me from afar to begin. Hang in there...Kim

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Thanks for the comments. I still have hope for turning things around.