One of my favorite TV programs was “Everybody Loves Raymond.” It still is because I watch its reruns whenever I can.
For the benefit of the few of you who may not have a television or like to laugh, it’s a comedy show that revolves around Ray Barone, sports writer and family man, who lives across the street from his brother and parents. Take their picture and they could pose for a dysfunctional family poster.
One episode dealt with Ray showing his wife, Debra, his process for writing each day. The first thing he did after turning on the computer was to click to a game of solitaire and begin to play. Debra was confused, but Ray explained to her that it was the way he started his day; a way to relax as he got ready to write.
Not everyone may find that segment especially funny, but I did, in a couple of ways. First because the characters and the writing for the show are truly funny, but also because that particular situation mirrors my own so closely that it was also a bit weird-funny. Then I realized that maybe I’m fairly normal and not the only one who actually does stuff like that before I get down to the business of writing.
My computer routine goes something like this: first check email and fire off responses to those who need it; call up worldofsolitair.com and find one of my favorite games (there are several); play a couple of rounds and then force myself to get down to business. And I do mean force myself because the card games are a lot more fun and somewhat addictive compared to sometimes sitting here racking my brain for inspiration.
I do eventually get around to writing, and I thank Raymond for showing me that it’s okay to sometimes take the indirect route in getting there.