A Fool’s Paradise

April 2, 2012 at 8:45 PM | Posted in Personal | 2 Comments
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I might have tricked myself into thinking that I was actually writing, for a while.  But the truth of it became glaringly obvious when I saw all the empty folders–folders I had created, with plans to fill them.
I had been writing steadily, continually (not continuously, which is a different thing entirely) since 2005.  Hundreds of entries I’ve written.  In fact, my ridiculous blog keeps track of the statistics, and I’m numbering in the 700s.
Long about last summer, I discovered a website, Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds.  He had these flash fiction challenges, and I got sucked right in.  I participated fairly regularly, and whaddaya know!
–I had some readers.
And I wrote some pretty good stuff along the way, stuff I’m pretty happy with.  And I learned about writing on a deadline, and editing.  I also learned about honest feedback, and how to take it.  But more than that, I had people who read my shit.
In the olden days when I started the blog, I had readers.  If you go and look at my early stuff–most of which is grammatically horrific if not downright unreadable–you’ll see a host of comments from people who came to read and enjoyed what I had writ.  Over time…it all fades away.
I missed that.  In the meantime I poured my heart on my blog, exposing myself and my secrets, leaving me vulnerable.  I was harsh and honest.  But what if someone reads my dirty little secrets?  I wasn’t really worried about that.  The surest way to have privacy on the internet is to have a blog that no one reads.
I thought mayhaps I got away from my original goal…which is writing…by writing something else…
It’s all very confusing to me, and solipsistic in nature–this only matters to me, and all the voices in me head.
I decided long ago (and I realize now it wasn’t a firm resolve preceded by deep thought and heart-wrenching agonizing over the choices) that my blog would be defined sort of this way, in this style:
  “My blog is about my life.  It’s an on-line journal where I tell the stories of my life and what I’ve been through.  Not in the trudging, weary monotony of a diary, but essay style, wherein I pick a topic or theme or event and write about it.”
And then I added to the theme and expanded on it:
“I’m going to tell the stories of my life as they happen, but also dig into my brain and pull out the memories of things in the past, and write about them also.”
It sort of congealed like rancid grease into this:
“I’m going to collect all the stories of my adventures working in foodservice and management, because surely there’s a story there.”
There may, in fact, be a story there, but don’t call me Shirley.
And I’m comfortable enough with myself to play around with different styles of writing.  After all, it’s just my blog and no one reads it, right?  I’ve done the first person, essays, rants, third person, fictionalized essays, historical fiction, humor, drama, fantasy–
All  the while maintaining the highest grammatical standards.
I’m not sure what goal is or what it should be.  I guess I want to write, and be published.  I used to think it was for the money, but I’m too realistic for that.  Also, I’m too narcissistic.  I never thought I could be too narcissistic.  That’s like being too smart or too clever or too good-looking–and I am all of those things as well.
Because of the narcissistic thing, I crave attention.  I don’t want to write to be rich.  I want to write to be read.  I want people to read these words I put down and enjoy them.
I want to be on the escalator at the mall and over-hear two women:
“Oh, that new Bushong book is out.  I want to stop by the bookstore.”
“I’ve heard of that new one.  I really like his older stuff, though.”
“They’re going to make a movie out of that one–”
“Ugh.  I know they’re going to ruin it.”
Then I introduce myself to them, and one of them blows me in the food court bathroom.  (I may have confused two different fantasies there.)

I want to write, and yet this little bit right here is the most I’ve laid down on the screen in many, many weeks.  And I haven’t worked on my novel since November, doing that damned NaNoWriMo.  If you don’t know what it is, I’m not going to explain it.  But it sucked the writer’s soul out of me briefly.  Good thing the lint screen caught it, because I feel it starting to come back.  Kind of like the pilot light on the water heater, you know?  You have to hold down the button and wait, and hope it stays lit on its own when you let go.
I’m about to let go.
Dammit all, writing isn’t hard–not for me.  I’m not trying to sound elitist; I didn’t say that what I write is good.  But I can do it.  I can put the words on the screen.  I can lay down the tracks.  I can put on the miles.
I’ve had some distractions, which is not a reason or even an excuse, but more like a symptom.  I think I had some low-grade depression over the winter, compounded with real-life issues that are just naturally depressing, unless you’re a sociopath.
And I may still have it, but I need to funnel this shit somewhere.  Maybe it’s because I need to take a dump right now, but I feel like I have a cosmic constipation of my karmic energy.  I need to get this shit out.
I think I’m ready now.

  And yeah, I know.  I know without going back and looking that I’ve done this before.  This re-evaluation of my worth and examination of my heart’s desires and my deep meditation on the whole meaning of the universe and my place in it.
  I’m not going to say, “But this time I mean it.”
  What I am going to say is, “I know.”  And then I’m going to dig in my heels, roll up my sleeves, adjust my balls, and try again.



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  1. I enjoy your writing- you have a unique take on things.
    I’m enjoying Chuck’s challenges because I can see my writing betting better, little by little, each week.
    I’ve done maybe thirty challenges so far. And getting better works for me. I may have a novel in me, or maybe not. But if I’m becoming a better writer and taking all these exercises about POV and Person and Setting etc. a novel is more possible.
    Same for you.
    If you want to write, write.
    You work hard, and everybody has a crap load of crap going on in their lives.
    I read yesterday that Tolkien took 12 years to write the LOTR Trilogy.
    I feel it takes the pressure off me to produce a novel in one month.
    You write very good romance. If you like it, that could be a first novel.
    Just sayin.
    : )))

  2. Enjoyed this 🙂

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