Write On, McDuff.

The Sole Proprietor has been poking around some of the Journal Ring sites as well as The Web Ring home site. He had no idea it even existed. For someone who's been hacking computers for as long as he has, the Sole Proprietor is pretty naive about what's out there. Time to look around and learn more about designing and building these things.

The Sole Proprietor's Web site ties together some things he wants to learn: Writing, photography and web design. There are a bunch of reasons for this, most of which he'll get into as he starts running short of ideas and this journal drags itself into the heart of November.

Learning to write is not rocket science. You write everyday for a long time until you're a writer. One writer suggested you write 200 words a day every day until you've written one million words and then you're a writer. That's something over 13 years, but the time it takes is really irrelevant. You write every day so it becomes a habit. You order your life in such a way that you do that writing day in and day out. You'll know if you're supposed to be a writer or not by looking back to see if that's what you've been up to.

An artist friend named S. Clay Wilson was talking with a mutual friend, another artist who became an art teacher some years later. The friend showed him a drawing of a ship silhouetted above a dark and nervous sea, saying he'd really like to be able to draw water like that. It really was good, drawn with pen and India ink with wonderful lines that seemed etched into the page.

Wilson looked at him and shrugged. Why not? Sit down at your board and draw water until it looks like the water in the drawing.

The friend was startled, clearly taken back. That could take years!

Wilson waited until his friend understood. If its an artist you will be then you sit down and draw. If its a writer you will be then you sit down and write.

The Sole Proprietor has written sporadically throughout his life. There was a period when he wrote every day for three or four years. He was going to write a book come hell or high water! Right chief. Hell and high water. Original writing that hell and high water stuff.

But time passes and the Sole Proprietor is old enough by now that he's free of the need to write the Great American Novel. Or Short Story. Or Sentence. He wouldn't know it if he wrote it.

For whatever reason he's writing his 200 words a day. He shoots his pictures (notice how many of them are out of focus?) and that's OK too. You pack your camera, you see a picture and you shoot. With enough days, with enough pictures you start to get the focus right, the exposure follows and then, maybe, the subject fits inside the frame.

So its back to where this began, surfing similar sites and noticing ways to improve his own. Cop a page here, an idea there and it all adds up. Slowly but surely the site will develop. Along with the great American Novel and the Great American photograph, he doesn't have to build the great American Web Site. Well, maybe the Great Oakland Web Site. No, too many web mavens. How about the Great Angel Island Web Site (on the days when there's no visitors)?

In looking at the blurb advertising our Journal Ring I noticed that folks visiting us will be able to: "Take a peek into another person's life. Browse the many on-line journals on the World Wide Web. Read the intimate details of lives of people on the Internet."

I'm afraid that fretting over writer's cramp doesn't really qualify as an "intimate detail" of the Sole Proprietor's life and he worries he's not holding up his end of the bargain.

The Sole Proprietor doesn't mind writing intimate details in front of a Web audience. One of the advantages of using a pseudonym is most people don't have a clue who you are anyway.

There are one or two people at the office, however, who do know the Sole Proprietor and he'll have to think about how he handles this. But give him a chance. He's a geek and a bit of a nerd with not a lot going on at the moment, but he's had other lives and other adventures where he's played other roles. He'll relate one or two before this is done.


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