In ten years I’ve written very little, not nearly as much as I should have. Yet I call myself an aspiring writer. But it says so on my Twitter profile! After all, if it says so on Twitter, then is must be true.
Ten years is a long, long time. Ten years is a childhood. It’s the length of time you might cherish a family pet, or own a reliable car. Ten years gave us Central Perk, The Rachel haircut, and all the other shenanigans on ‘Friends.’ Ten years is a good, hearty, old-fashioned DECADE.
Ten years that I really have to look back and reflect on all the writing I haven’t written.
At my age, Mortality has gently – but freakishly! – rested its hand on my shoulder. “Yo, buddy, I’m right behind you,” It whispers like a mob boss, “just so you know.” I should be scared shitless by this, but I know it’s nothing more than a nudge. A friendly reminder, if you will. This isn’t The Reaper, merely his Messenger. Your time is limited, make your mark while you still can.
I shouldn’t feel old at 38. I’m sure there are 50, 60 and 80-year olds who would be tickled to backhand me senseless, give me a firm what-for, then send me off with a piece of hard candy. Honestly, I don’t feel old (though my gout might disagree), but rather I feel I’ve…wasted a lot of time.
Here we are again, back to time. Ten years to be precise. Where are my novels? My files and files of short stories? Where’s the large, southern mahogany desk piled high to the ceiling with dusty galleys and hiding cats? How could I have been so careless as to let grand expanses of days, weeks, months and years go by without producing a shred of anything I might be happy with? I know writers who would have maimed small animals for even just a sliver of the time I wasted.
I was explaining this to my partner, Keith. He laughed at me. That doesn’t happen often; he’s usually laughing with me. “Just shut up and write. That simple.” Bitch. And not just that, but this post is beginning to reek of woe-is-me. That was so not my intent.
The past ten years has definitely taught me a lesson or two. I came to realize, with relief, that I’m not a great writer. By no means! But I’m a good writer, a fair writer. I’ve learned there’s more to just writing than typing. I learned a story should have a purpose. I learned writing a novel I’m happy with is mind-numbing work. And I’ve learned patience.
DUH! That’s what the past ten years has been all about – PATIENCE! And here it is I thought I’d been wasting time. Silly, Sean, self-doubt is for teenagers!
It’s time to start blogging again. The decision has been made. It’s final. Unless, of course, I decide not to. Like an ornery teenage girl, I tend to change my mind a lot.
I will try to make my posts brief. Why? Because there’s nothing worse than a long-winded diatribe about politics, or religion, or how to bake perfect cookies, or where I went to buy a new pair of shoes. That’s what Facebook is for. If you have to scroll down a War & Peace length blog post, then there’s something wrong. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to be entertaining, intelligent, profound, humorous, and interesting in several short paragraphs.
But again, being like that ornery teenage girl, I might just say “fuck it” one day and write as much as I damn well please.
The problem I’ve had with blogging in the past has been a theme. Apparently a theme is like the brick-and-mortar of blogging. I get it, I really do. As humans we crave structure. We want things to be simple and easy. I think this is important, but I don’t think it’s always necessary. Sometimes it’s just as crucial to step outside the box (or, in some cases, jump). For example, Beyonce just released a new album out of nowhere. No promotion, no advertising, no pre-release single. Talk about shaking things up. Well played, Beyonce, well played.
So here I am, no theme. I’m themeless. Without theme. And, if you say theme over and over again, it starts to sound totally ridiculous. Like a speech impediment. And now you’re trying it, and you’re ticked off because I manipulated you into it. But it was all in good fun.
That’s what I’ll go with for now: all in good fun. Does that mean I have a theme now?
Oh, and here’s a kitten.