Saturday, June 13, 2009

Early wisdom

I'm getting ready to move and going through a lot of boxes, as part of which I came across this 1976 Doonesbury that once adorned the wall next to my desk, in the basement office where I worked in my freelance years, a little more than a quarter century ago.

I used to spend the day with the kids and then go down into the basement to write after putting them to bed, but I kept an alarm set to 12:30 AM but with the pin not pulled out. In the olden days, a mechanical alarm clock would "click" when it hit the time that it was set for, if it wasn't actually armed to go off.

That was all I needed. I'd hear that click and know that it was time to wrap up, that anything I wrote much after that would be crap and I'd have to re-do it the next day anyway.

It was one of the first solid pieces of maturity I achieved as a writer -- knowing when to knock off and get some sleep. It may not sound like much, but there aren't many lessons of any greater import than that.

Oh, and the cartoon also makes me laugh. And now that I've put in some time as an editor, it makes me laugh even more.

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