MacGyver was a Really Good Show

Blog No. 82

Last year (I’m not exactly sure when) I was working a late night shift and the topic of old TV shows and their theme songs came up. I was probably the person who broached the subject, but I mentioned MacGyver and I couldn’t remember how the theme song went. It bugged me all night and somewhere around one in the morning I remembered how the song started, with what was an 80s electronic melody. From there it was only a mater of time before I connected it to the rest of the song that, after a few bars, burst into the orchestral perfection that was 80s TV theme songs. The song was of course accompanied with scenes from the show, depicting Mac himself diffusing bombs with gum wrappers, and foiling criminals with rubber bands, paperclips and a pen cap. The opening to the show was great, but the show itself was amazing. I have the first four or five seasons on DVD and I’ve rewatched them a few times of the years, so I know what I’m talking about.

My point is, that while the show was great (and the theme song catchy as all getup) some individual episodes were pretty bad. That thought led me to think about my blog. Both TV shows like MacGyver and my blog are done weekly (though TV has seasons and I go year-round). MacGyver had some not-so-good episodes, and my blog has had some crappy posts. It’s like they’re twins. One good thing for my blog is that it entirely rests on my shoulders, where TV has several writers, directors, and actors. While I get to gloat that I do it on my own, I also don’t get to blame anyone for my mistakes. I’m not saying that my blog is anywhere near as good as MacGyver. I just see the odd similarity and I’m still feeling odd about writing this every week and not having a steady, big, or established audience. Perhaps that will change and I’ll be happy I persisted and perhaps not. For now I’m going to plug away at the weekly schedule until I mess it up or decide to take my ball and go home.

I suppose the few readers I do have would like to hear about the trip the Adventure Worlds crew took last weekend though. I’m not one to let down my readers (at least that’s what I’m striving for. I will admit that I was a little hesitant about the whole trip. One of the writers in our group was struggling with his writing and even groups that get along most of the time can have issues in close quarters. Also, I had my heart set on a different location than the house we went to, so I may have been a little bit bitter about that. As it turned out, all my dithering was for not. There was a bit of friction, but nothing that wasn’t either easily ignored or dealt with. More importantly, everyone had fantastic output with our writing. Christian took the prize with over ten-thousand words, but the rest of us weren’t far behind. I’d like to say that I’ve kept up my pace, but I think Justin is the only one who has managed that this week.

Personally I’m torn with my writing. I didn’t quite hit my target (though I chose a tough mark), but my real disappointment came with my consistency and dedication. I did some writing the night we arrived, but it wasn’t much, though I finished a hefty story. The second day I did a whopping four-thousand plus. (I say plus because I write by hand and it was more than my rough page count – I round down). But that big chunk of words probably really took my five hours or so. I didn’t use a stopwatch to time myself, but I was prepared to spend eight hours in four hour blocks to reach more than five-thousand words a day. I know I didn’t come close to writing eight hours and the time was spread out across the whole day and evening. I suppose I should be happy that I can do that much writing in less time, but if I did manage to wrangle myself and go four my planned time, I (theoretically) could have done way more.

Part of my issue is that I failed to force myself to sit that long and trudge through my word count. I know that’s not necessarily the way to get great writing, but I’ve always prided myself on my ability to push through, dig deep, and do what I have to do. It’s a little silly, but to me, even though I had no real yardstick and tried to set goal at the upper limit of what I thought I could do, not achieving them was a pill I had/have to swallow. I am happy with what I got done, I realized I may have a lot more material than I need for the upcoming collection and I got to start on a really exciting personal project. All those things are great, but I didn’t reach my arbitrary imagined goal and I feel guilty about that. Still, I managed to have fun and to relax along with write a decent amount in a couple solid days. I’d do it again.

4 thoughts on “MacGyver was a Really Good Show

  1. Hey Ben — I really like your analogy between McGyver and your blog. I don’t think there is any single dedicated creative work that is perfect, I think that when you are doing something week in, week out, and are consistently hitting your mark you are going to find yourself with a few stinkers. I remember getting a piece of advice from a comic writer I admire, he said something along the lines of:

    “When it comes to getting ideas for stories he doesn’t go to all the great stuff, all the stuff that I liked. I go to the stuff that was terrible, that is where I can find the tiny things that were good and did work and use them to tell an even better story.”

    I’m paraphrasing there but the important thing is that while you might think you have had some duds and trust me we all do, I mean I just took down my own incredible failure over on Adventure Worlds down, because I just couldn’t stand the thought of having something so bad represent what I want to achieve, you by no means have any of those over here.

    As for the retreat, I personally felt it was a huge push in the right direction, not only in the fact that I got to produce some good words, which I’m very proud of but also because I know I can do it. Heck I’m so overloaded with stuff to write I’m having a hard time juggling, but I think I learned foremost to priorities and work on things that are more time sensitive first and then move forward with those that are just developing.

    Keep Pushing, and you never know maybe new voices will come along and ignite something new.


    1. Thank man. It was actually more work to make the comparison than it would seem. You’re right in that nothing is perfect and we should try to learn from our mistakes. I’m not sure I fully understand that quote you shared, but the important part is that we are all trudging away and are starting to get on the same page with our future endeavors. It’s great to see your stuff coming together.

  2. Christian Laforet

    You know what? I have literally never seen a single episode of MacGyver. So I can comment on that. But I will say that I was sure you were building to announcing a bi-weekly schedule the more I read along. But you’re a trooper and I was wrong.
    The Adventure Worlds getaway was a big success. I know that we all didn’t hit our goals but still we did a lot. I think we all managed to finish several things while there. And although I would love to pat myself on the pack for the 10k words, it was all undone this week when I wrote 0 words 😦

    1. Tsk-tsk Christian. I do understand your passion for horror, but you are certainly old enough to have watched the greatness of MacGyver in it’s day. I would say go back any watch them, but they have lost a little something over the years and you really should be spending that time writing (as I should). I don’t know when I’m going to fold and go to a different schedule, but it’s not today.

      I’m with you, after the trip I’ve gotten very little done and it’s shameful. I’m going to take a crack at something today though. No time like the present!

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