Friday, March 16, 2012

An Underwhelming Return for an Overwhelming Reason

Calling this a 'return' at all seems silly given that I have as many updates to this blog in the last year as Peyton Manning does passing TDs, but ya know what? I'm gonna do it anyway.

The return of this blog is a product of a bigger shift in my life that I'm trying to press upon myself. I've written more in the last two weeks than I probably did in the previous year. I'm working hard on a new novel and frankly logging on to the web and writing that out feels as comfortable as pissing in the pool. I've been trying to sneak this one by, keeping my face unreadable so no one sees me relieve myself, but in my mind it's pure ecstacy. Also I hope that little girl doesn't jump where I think she's about to...

I say this because writing, to me, has always been a lonely endeavor, something I do in my worst and loneliest of times. It plays like soft candlelight in my darkness, picking me and brushing me off so I'm never truly alone. But to share that feeling? Perish the thought. Not my style. Except now that's all different. I won't bore you with the why today, but know that the 'what' is real.

I don't know why I've held back the way I have in writing, but I suspect it has a lot to do with a lifelong fear of failure. I hate losing, I hate falling short and most of all I hate not finishing something I'm excited to begin. Every time I sit down to an empty Word document, I think of all the past beginnings saved as wimpy like 10-20 page documents in a sad folder titled 'Stories' on my computer. Stories. As if, I would say. Then I'd sigh and close the folder and look up porn for a while.

I don't want to knock porn here, but no one's interested in me cranking it. Trust me, there is court-signed documentation attesting to as much. Rather, I want to be honest. I want to tell people in my life what I'm really doing instead of hiding my (admittedly lofty) dreams and aspirations of finishing, revising, publishing and selling a novel, then doing it all over again. I want to tell people, or at least this piece of real e-state, what I'm truly thinking and what I'm really doing to get there. Porn aside that is.

I think another reason I never really talk about this stuff is because if you never tell anyone about side projects you're working on -- whether it be writing a story, writing a music album or training for a marathon -- then you feel no pressure to reach that finish line outside of your own means. Let's face it, while I don't want to disappoint myself per se, I am the master of self-justification. "Well, it's kinda early to write yet today, perhaps I should play videogames for three hours and think about what I'd like to write." Or "Well that's enough for today, I think I'll play 'Stone the Crone' outside." Do I really need to explain Stone the Crone to you? Bitches need to walk faster. But in truth, none of this crap helps. "Thinking" about writing is the dumbest thing I've ever justified. You don't 'think' about achievements. You work your ass off until you knock them out of the park. It's the only way. Now I'm finally ready to work my ass off and, frankly, it's a revolution.

So I'm inviting you, intrepid reader, to join me on what I hope will be a candid look at my mind's process as I get from where I am to where I ultimately want to be, if I ever do at all. As for the novel, I'm excited because it's the farthest I've ever gone into the annals of Microsoft Word. Right now it sits on my computer a beautiful, jumbled 55,000 word mess. It feels about halfway done. The arc is suggesting as much from my point of view, but frankly I've never done this before so it's all guesswork.

Important question: why should you find this even remotely interesting? Well, you probably shouldn't unless you're a good friend, in which case you're just reading things I've probably rambled at you in a drunken stupor, or you're my mom and you think I'm the best writer in the world. That's fair either way. I'm not one to break Mother's spell.

This is interesting, at least to me, because I have never tried this before. I don't know who has, but I'm sure there are plenty out there who have. I don't know them and they aren't me. Their process will undoubtedly be different from mine. I do know it's taken a dick load of discipline just to get this far. When I go out for the St. Patty's Day Parade on Sunday, it will be the first time I've willingly gone out since I started this book. You have no idea how much it kills me to admit I probably won't write a word on Sunday.

And that's why I feel confident I can share all this with you. Ever since the vision for this novel came to me, I've felt a powerful change. Videogames, TV, media, Stone the Crone, all of it feels dry and dull compared to the words and humanity just sitting in my head, waiting for me to unleash my newest friends in a world I'm trying to learn. In short, I think this time it's the real deal and I think it would be very cool, at least for me, to track my progress from the moment I looked in the mirror and said, "You can really do it this time." I think it would be neat if in a year I could look back at all the updates and see how I went from a half-formed idea to something real and complete that no one could ever take away from me, regardless of what comes from the effort. Ya know, if it ever becomes real and complete.

I will post snippets of the novel as they get revised once the first copy is done (and I'll probably put some early bits on here even before that), but I'll also treat this like any other blog, taking the time to rue the media, post good songs from Youtube and over-analyze Buffalo sports. I want to have fun here. I want you to have fun here too. So comment. Let me know what you think. I'm on twitter @TheBuckMopsHere. Follow me, I'll follow you, etc. The change starts today and I hope you'll join me. If not, at least forgive my shameless self-promotion.

Now then, back to it.


  1. As a fellow blogger slowly working my way out of retirement, I welcome shameless self-promotion, and am looking forward to your future posts. Shaking off the dust and buckling down does feel pretty great once you set your mind to it. I wish I had the dedication to keep with it, and wish you luck as you do. (Also, sign me and the Niz up as early editors if you're looking for opinions or just a fresh set of eyes.)

    1. Oh yeah, I already plan to have you guys cut the needless words. There will be many.