Eight years ago I made my first post on this blog and I have consistently put something new up each Monday since then. While I know this is not a Monday, it is the actual date, September First. By the way, the eighth anniversary is the bronze anniversary. Am I rambling? Keep reading.
Originally, I created this blog so I could share my first novel, Chosen, with whoever wished to read it. I can confidently say that most of my readers were friends, as is customary with these sorts of endeavors. So I’ll say thank you again to those of you who read it. Hope it was time well spent.
Long-time readers know that I wrote Chosen the year before and spent time editing it, with some help from friends and family, before posting it. It’s fifty-seven chapters long so it took over a year to put up, doing one chapter a week. This was for two reasons. One, people are more likely to read something new in installments rather than in one lump sum. Two, it gave me time to polish it some more as I put it out. Is it as shiny as it could be? Probably not. On the other hand, it is a complete novel, beginning, middle, and end. Considering the number of unfinished books that are languishing in notebooks and hard drives, it’s an accomplishment. #humbrag.
Once that was done, I started posting other works. Short stories, my thoughts on any number of subjects, even some haiku. My D&D haiku, which got more likes than my novel, inspired me to start a Twitter account on which I post a new D&D-themed haiku every day.
You might be asking, “I mean, why is he telling us all this stuff? I didn’t ask.” Fair point. I’m sharing this with you faithful readers because I am proud of having written so consistently for eight years and to give you an insight into my process.
There are a lot of difficult things about being a writer. It’s a lonely vocation, you rarely get the immediate feedback that a visual artist or musician does, and with all artistic endeavors, reactions are entirely subjective.
A writer friend of mine recently asked, “Why the hell are we doing this?” My reply was, “A combination of talent and self-loathing.” She agreed. If you take issue with my implication that I have talent, don’t forget the follow-up of self-loathing. It’s a heady cocktail.
I digress, but this is my blog so I can natter on as I see fit. My point, which I have now arrived at, is that the hardest part of writing is sitting down to do it. The blank page or screen is daunting, or answering the question of ‘what happens next?’ I struggle with that last one, in particular, quite a bit. Sometimes I know exactly what should follow, but more often than not I don’t have the slightest clue as to what that will be.
A lot of writers will tell you that writing doesn’t happen just in front of a keyboard. All I can say is, AGREED. I find myself as I go through the day mulling and ruminating on the next part of whatever I’m currently working on. This is also writing. Once, another writer friend of mine and I were asked by a mutual friend how often do we think about what we are working on and we both replied, ‘all the time.’
So, I will tell you before I started this blog I was a writer, but, not nearly as prolific as I would like to be. There were many long stretches of time when I considered myself a writer while not doing any actual writing. I did say not all writing happens in front of a keyboard but eventually, you need to sit down and put some words down.
I have a contact with myself, to post something new every Monday. It’s been an excellent motivator for me to write. I like to think that those who follow my blog look forward to reading what I post, I know for a few of you that is true. Mostly, it’s an empty-handed leap into the void with little in the way of feedback.
So why do it?
Excellent question. Certainly not for fame or fortune, which is convenient since I have neither. For me, I’m happier when I’m creating something. This blog gives me the outlet to do so. Do I wish more people read my work? Of course! It’s the rare creative that is looking for a smaller audience. There might be a reason for that but I’m not well known enough or known at all, to have such artistic affectations. Am I asking you to share my work with others you think will enjoy them? Yes. Yes, I am.
Now, after eight years I can say I am proud of what I’ve done. I have written more since starting this blog than in the rest of my life. Clearly, I needed structure. It works for me. Now all I have to do is figure out what to write next. Yeah… Hmmm…