The question is, does every word count? As a writer, it’s nice to think it does. But, as a writer, it’s impossible not to realize that it doesn’t — even, and perhaps especially, when it seems that it does. On the other hand, what a writer writes can also count when he least expects it — after he is dead, for instance, or after he has set writing aside in order to pursue a saner occupation. So the best advice I can give my fellow writers — not that any of them have asked for my advice — is to always write as if every word counts, while remembering that it doesn’t. And the reason it doesn’t is because it can’t. There are simply too many complex variables that go into the making of each day for it to be otherwise. Is this a bad thing? No. But it’s easy to perceive it as such, because one likes to feel he is in control. But the truth about writing is, some of the best things happen when you are least in control. The same is true of life. A rigid, predictable existence might be comforting in some ways, but it isn’t likely to be very interesting. In my opinion, it is good for a writer to have to squirm financially, psychologically, or philosophically, at least on occasion. It is also good for everyone else, even so-called normal people, living so-called normal lives.


Every morning
I dig a hole
in my memory
big enough
to drive a truck
Without fail,
words rush in to fill
the empty space.
I am left
with a choice:
ignore the words entirely,
or pretend
they have meaning.
Either way
I win.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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