Day 3: Things Are Starting To Move Forward

Yesterday was a good day.  I got a lot of writing done.  I still haven’t caught up to where I should be at this point, but I have the confidence I will get there.

One of the criticisms of The Newsroom is the arrogance of the premise.  A news show that does news the way most of us actually want without regard to ratings and advertisers.  In writing his show Aaron Sorkin takes actual news events and has his characters report on them putting the story and the truth first each time.  That annoyed a lot of critics because they saw it as having no basis in reality.

Much of the criticism went like this, “Yes, it would be great if news show could operate without care for the show’s ratings or how its advertisers reacted.  That’s just not reality and Sorkin should not peddle in this type of fantasy for something so important as a television news show.”  What Sorkin is doing isn’t reality it is an aspirational version of reality in which people do the best they are capable of always.

This isn’t to defend Sorkin or The Newsroom.  I just wanted to use the title of the first episode, “We Just Decided To.”  It comes from a story the president of the network, Charlie Skinner, tells the anchor Will McAvoy.  Basically, Murrow, Cronkite, etc. were able to do such good reporting back in the day because they just decided to.

Why was I able to finally turn the corner and get the novel moving?  I just decided to.  It goes back to yesterday’s update.  Once you figure out that you are not writing for anyone else but yourself because you have something you think is interesting to say and that it won’t kill you if no one else likes it as much as you do, you can write anything.

One last thing, decisions are pretty easy.  We all know instinctively what the right thing to do is most of the time.  It is just getting comfortable with living with consequences of the decisions that makes coming to them hard.


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