Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

Do all writers lose their minds?  Surely not, but if such a high number of the famous ones go mad, I’m guessing that an even higher percentage of the lesser known writers tinker in madness.

Way before I even dreamed of writing professionally I had a certain fascination with the lunacy of the world’s great writers.  Talents like Petronius, Pound, Hemingway, and Nietzsche, who, for valid reasons or not, descended into madness, shortening their lives and their portfolios, forever robbing the world of what might have been.

Woolf.  Mayakofsky, Pavese.  Berryman.

It’s no secret that writers are susceptible to severe depression.  There are even surveys and studies that say so –

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/dec/13/writers-depression-top-10-risk

http://www.elizabethmoon.com/writing-depression.html

Hans Christian Andersen. Truman Capote. Charles Dickens. Henry James.

Does one need to be depressed to be a writer, or does writing merely lead one into depression?

Celan.  Sexton.  Plath.  Brautigan.

In the publishing world of today, writer’s often find themselves spending more time in selling themselves to the public than they do in producing written material.  Blogging, queries, synopses, bios, blogging, queries, synopses, bios. Rejection, rejection, rejection.  All of this leads to more self-evaluation than is necessary for most people.  It is easy to see how one’s self-image gets tanked through the 21st century publishing process.

This leads me to believe that the problem writers face with depression may be greater than ever before.  Writers of past centuries were not nearly as exposed to criticism and rejection as the writers of today.

Gray.  Wallace.  Thompson.  Kane.

It is important to keep your perspective as a writer.  It is important to keep your perspective as a human being.  You are just one tiny element in a grandiose world of mortal objects.  We want to feel important, yet what we do is really not all that important, except to those that are closest to us while we’re here.

Sometimes, for perspective, I like to stop what I’m doing and spend a moment with one of my pets.

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Ashes, the EMS Cat, at age one.

Ashes doesn’t care if I get published.  She doesn’t care what I say as long as I’m not yelling at her.  She just wants me to feed her and stroke her fur once in a while… and she wants to be able to crap in a clean box of litter, too.

Sigh.

I’m still sane, at least for the moment.

Stay sane, writers.

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Today I’m grateful for reaching 1000 followers on WordPress, an experience that I find delightful and humbling. Thank you to each and every one of you for becoming a part of my writing life.

Peace and love to you and yours!

The Unexpected Side-Effect of Creating My Blog

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I just read a post about Naomi and Logan battling for the Goblet at the Genesis Fencing Club.  That’s so damn ridiculous.  I don’t know anything about fencing.  I hadn’t planned on a fencing education.

I have as much time for reading about fencing as I have for bronchitis.

I’ve been at this blogging thing for two weeks or so now.  I didn’t get into this willingly.  Long story made short:  I did it because the publishing industry tells me I have to do it.  Am I really writing about this again?  I’m still trying to polish my manuscript and then begin my second novel.  With my job(s), my family, my hobbies, my whatever, I don’t have time for a blog.  Besides, who’ll read it?  What will I write about?  You get it.

Alright, I’ll write occasionally on this “WordPress” thing.

Woah, there’s a lot of people writing on this “WordPress” thing.  I don’t have time to read what anyone else is writing.  Too bad for all of them.

Hey look, some guy wrote a poem about aluminum siding.  Hang on, I’m gonna get me a cold pop.

An hour later, I’ve read posts about Joe Buck, Mount Rushmore, CSS guidelines, and Dungeons and Dragons.

I haven’t played Dungeons and Dragons in 27 years.

I get lost in topics like icebergs, iceberg lettuce, heat waves, and riding waves.  I’m fascinated by someone’s passion for table tennis and someone else’s lack of passion for passion.  I blushed at an excerpt from an erotic novel.

I read about “MAN STUFF,” like monster trucks and football.  I read about “WOMAN STUFF,” like doilies, and Longaberger Baskets.

I’ve been misty and angry about lost loves, cancer, rejection, betrayal, rape, and attempted murder.  I’ve been amazed by the resilience of people who have survived the most dreadful events possible and yet can still see the good in God, the world, and their fellow-man.

I’ve read posts about diapers and menstrual cycles, my brain absorbing each one like a….

Sweet Brown!  Did I really almost make that joke?

I’ve spent more time reading YOUR blogs, my fellow bloggers, than I’ve spent in working, writing, editing, eating, and driving in this past week.  Yesterday, someone accused me of “spam liking” posts.  Is that really a thing?  Spam liking?  I promise:  If I liked your post, I read your post.  I may not have understood it, but I read it.  I am guilty, however, of “following” more bloggers than I could ever legitimately follow.  Need a follower?  Just cough.  I’ll probably jump and click it.

I’ve read spectacularly worded posts about the most boring, trivial things.  I’ve read posts in need of spell-checks and major grammatical overhauls that tell the most fantastic stories.

I’ve laughed, cried, cringed, yelled, smiled, frowned, shared, screamed, and rolled my eyes because of YOUR posts.

I stopped reading books when I started reading your posts.  Last year, I read 108 books.  I was in the middle of “Intelligence,” by Susan Hasler, when WordPress kidnapped me.  I’m wondering now if I’ll ever get back to it.  Right now, I don’t give a shit.  No offense to Ms. Hasler.  I was enjoying her book.  If she’d share chapters of it in a blog I’d be sure to read them.

When I’m not reading blogs, I’m thinking of tags to enter, such as “leotards” and “Casper Weinberger,” just to see what pops up.

God, help me.  This is addictive.

Alright!  Everybody stop writing for the next four years or so.  That’ll give me time to catch up.

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Well looky here… I’m a blogging machine.

The publishing industry says I should put my name out there via websites and blogs, so that’s what I’ve been doing.  I’ve written more over the last year and a half than I’d written in the previous twenty years.  Funny thing is:  Most of what I’m writing has nothing to do with my manuscript, my search for literary agents, or my quest to get myself and my work published.

Yeah, I know.  I KNOW.  It doesn’t matter what I’m writing.  The publishing industry says I need to put my name out there so as to have a following ahead of time.  I also need to build a nest so that I have a warm, dry place to nourish my work once I get it published.  I understand that most of my current work — this type of sidebar — is necessary to the end result.

I’d love to go back in time and read the blogs of Edgar Allen Poe and Walt Whitman… you know, the ones they were writing to build their followings and to impress their literary agents when their real work was ready.

My second novel, “Working Title,” has just 1,452 words out of a probable 55,000.  I’m neglecting it at this very moment so that I can add this current blog to my body of work to impress those that will one day shatter my dreams.

Please note:  I haven’t been rejected.  My first novel isn’t quite ready for submission.  This blog is in response to all of those future rejection letters, as well as those that I’ve had the pleasure of reading through other bloggers here on WordPress.  Those are so very joyful.

I’ve said it before.  I’m really not into attention seeking behavior.  Part of this stems from a fear of failure.  Wait, that’s not exactly true. Yes, I fear failure, but it’s more accurate to say that I fear people noticing my failures.  I don’t like people to see me at my worst.  I don’t like it when I appear flawed.  I don’t like it when people criticize my work.

Oh God.  Why the hell did I write a book?

People love to tell me that J.K. Rowling was turned down __ times.  Stephen King was rejected __ times.  Hemingway had the door slammed on him __ times.

Is this really going to make me feel better when the rejection is pouring in?

I’m supposed to show the world that I can write.  I’ve done that.  I’m supposed to show the world an occasional excerpt from those things that I want published.  I’ve done that.

What if all I’m doing is leaving a trail, like a snail, of my failures.

My followers encourage me not to give up.  If I never give up and yet never get my work published, then the only thing published shall be rejection and failure.  I’ve done so many other good, positive things with my life.  Maybe I should stick to blogging about my successes, instead.

I’ve got a beautiful wife and three lovely children.