I’m a bad blogger. I admit it. I have neglected my site for far too long. I released a book, finished rewrites on a second and signed a contract for it.
Blogs posts? Nada.
Excuse me while I hang my head in shame.
I’m a writer. It’s kind of my thing. I mean, I have a dull, yet well paying day job with benefits and lots of vacation and stuff, but the writing is the thing that gets me going, that makes me feel like I’m not just taking up space and emitting carbon dioxide. I love the act of creating the worlds and the people and moving them around. I even enjoy the times I have to do horrible things to them.
I even used to love the physical act of writing. My passion for pens still rages on. I even used to journal in the Eighties and Nineties. I still have those plain, cheap black bound books full of my often chaotic cursive writing. Oh, it started out quite tidy and contained within the lines, reflecting the quiet soul I once was. But as I grew, my handwriting changed along with the man that I was and am. You can see it in the pen strokes getting broader, braver, wilder. There were ball point pens and fountain pens and roller ball pens and calligraphy pens. And I was pretty conscientious about it, writing down the moments of my days, and pouring out the thoughts and passions that drove my days. To this day, I read through the entries and see myself professing aching desire for a man whose face I can’t even recall now.
But it’s a good way to chart the progress of the journey from who I was to who I am now. Even when who I was is someone I don’t recognize any more.
I remember my mother talking about how, in her lifetime, she went from horse and carriage to men walking on the moon. It hasn’t been that significant of a leap for me, but the world is a very different place now than it was when I was in my twenties. When I started writing, I used a portable electric typewriter that was about the size of a laptop, but had a screen that previewed about eight words before printing them onto paper one sheet at a time. Now, I work on a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard to my Dropbox account over WiFi. If you had told me that at the time, I’d likely have goggled at you, thinking I was in one of the Science Fiction movies I loved so much.
Though I drifted away from writing in journals as time passed (my apartments are littered with beautiful blank books with one or two entries and then nothing. And I’m not sure what changed. Maybe I got tired of recording minutiae, or maybe I lost faith in the things I had to say.
Then, I was diagnosed with cancer, a rare form of soft tissue cancer called synovial sarcoma. It’s a disease that kills 90-95% of the people who have it in the way I did. And suddenly, there was a lot to say. I wrote about how it felt to hear a doctor on the other side of a wall talking about having to tell someone they had cancer, and then walking through your door. I wrote about treatments and hospitals and aftermath, though it all came to a halt at one point, after the first surgery that removed my knee and reconstructed my leg. Suddenly, it was all too real to write down, too intense to encapsulate in words.
But those journal entries paved the way for my first book, Just Breathe. And that book managed to find its way into the hands of some people who needed it. And some of those people are now my friends.
And then came Livejournal, which was a revelation at the time. So easy to connect and to share posts and to write about my life again. And I could share with people, letting them now about books I liked and music that moved my soul. Through LJ, I made friends with people around the world, people I have never met, but who I consider my friends. But, like all platforms, LJ was supplanted as well.
And now, we’re in the age of Facebook, where we are not the user, but rather the product being sold. And yet, it is a seductive way of life that it is hard to resist. Many of my LJ friends have been ported over and my circle has widened immensely. But Facebook is all about the “like” or the “share”, the instant, zippy, quippy, Reader’s Digest version of content. Which has been condensed even further to the 140 characters of Twitter (which, I’ll be honest, exhausts me. I share things there, but actually sitting and reading tweets from all the people I follow is way more than I can handle.)
But, here I am, an obscure writer with books to plug and sales to drive, a writer still seeking his voice and his audience. And still trying to make sense of the chatter inside his head in a world that seems to spin ever closer to being utterly bonkers.
So, I’m going to try again. And again. And…. Well, you know how this goes, so bear with me.