Words, writing, and books….these are topics I can talk about for hours, and typically do with a friend who is as into these topics as I am. Recently, this friend and I were talking, trying to determine if we could live one day without encountering the written word. Not necessarily in book format but in any form. We decided we couldn’t but to help us reach that decision, we walked through a “normal” day. Below is a sample of a normal day for me and as you’ll see, I could not avoid the written word all day (of course this makes me happy).
A Normal Day:
I wake up and start journaling my dreams and thoughts. Words. Before I finish journaling, I want coffee. So off I stumble to the kitchen to make a few cups. Since I’m a coffeeholic, there’s no bumping into written words since there’s no need to read directions. All that’s required is action (an aspect of writing that we’ll leave for another day) and barely any thought.
Resettled in my favorite chair, the bed or the sofa, I sip coffee, finish journaling (is one ever finished journaling?) and decide to catch the morning news as I wait for my computer to boot up. Turning to a local channel, I see words on the screen. Did you catch that? …words on the screen.
My cell phone dings and by the sound I know it’s an incoming email—words. I turn off the TV and turn toward the computer to check email and then write, write, write. Nothing but words. (Okay, so maybe that’s cheating since I am a writer and that’s what I do most days.)
Some hours later, it’s errand-running time. I turn off the computer and dash out of the house. Again no words, but lots of action. As I’m running errands, I read billboards, road signs, traffic alerts, etc. Words, words, with a few numbers thrown in (yuck to numbers!). I sign my receipt at the grocery store (one of my errands) and see enticing words offering me a percentage off of this, a percentage off of that, words and numbers (yuck to numbers!).
Back at home, I settle back into my work, writing, which is not work at all except when it comes to editing (yuck to editing!). My stomach growls and it’s getting dusky outdoors so I know it’s time for dinner. But it’s also time to exercise so I grab a quick snack and off I rush to the gym or track. No written words required. Just action and sweat. In an hour, I am back home and seriously scouring the fridge for a real meal. I throw one together which does not require written words except when I decide to try a new recipe, then it would be an encounter with written words. But trust me, that doesn’t happen often. I try to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen.
To end the day, I watch TV–no words unless I accidentally hit the subtitle button or view certain commercials such as those featuring class action law suits against drug companies or Meow Mix or the starving artist art show. Finally, after the evening news, it’s time to read myself to sleep–words, words, and more words. Hmmm…are there words in my dreams?
What about you? Can you make it through a “normal” day without encountering any written words? If so, how in the heck did you do that?