This, my friends, is a test.
A test not of WordPress, but of myself. A pre-test, one you took on the first day of school or before a three-hour informational session at the last work convention you went to, that gauges your innate ability or unprepared knowledge. In this case, it’s testing my willingness to write this lame, introductory drivel and post it. Whatever poor, tired soul may stumble upon this page may not know this, but I didn’t spend much time proofing this. Well, I proofed, but didn’t edit. Really. Which means nothing to anyone but me, I’m sure.
Since the advent of blogging, I’ve been averse to it – others’ blogs, yes, but mostly to my own – for a number of reasons. My first objection was always that I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to read whatever may pop into my head at any given point. Second, I take so long to write anything and everything I try to write that I could only imagine blogging becoming some huge time commitment. And third, time is something I do not have a surplus of, and whatever hours I’m going to spend writing outside of work, I figured I’d much prefer to spend on fiction.
But a few things have finally gotten through my thick skull.
First off, I’m finally able to cop to my egotism. Fact of the matter is I’ve always thought everyone wanted to know all about whatever I was thinking, and in person I’m never too shy to bogart your attention and bury you under a landslide of my worldviews and opinions. My feigned humility/cynicism was simply a way for me to never actually have to test my theory, which risks the opposite of my assumption coming true – NO ONE being interested at all. So much for that. We are an emotionally open group of people, my generation (I’m amongst the vanguard of The Millenials, The ’82nds, The Waterborne Dogs, hoo-rah), and I will not disappoint those looking for underlying causes and psychoanalytic conditions of the various attitudes I may express herein. But I will also try not to overindulge – no one likes a whiner, after all.
If I relax about how many people may or may not love this blog more than any other blog ever created, I can also relax about hangup number two, and (hopefully) just write, review, publish – without going back to reread and review each sentence nine million times. If I keep the blog light, or at least my attitude towards it light, I can do this while watching TV (which I don’t do a lot of) or procrastinating at work (which I do a staggeringly immense amount of).
Which obviously leads into number three – I do the blog in times I wouldn’t be writing fiction anyway. I’ve never been a laptop-on-the-lap multi-tasker, really. But I’ve never tried creating and publicizing a virtual literary persona, either. And let’s be honest – this is what I’m doing here, in part. Writing my way into being. Desperate times call for desperate measures, as the saying goes.
Which begs – Am I desperate? Have I reached the point of desperation, where I’m resorting to the fabrication of an avatar in order to Establish My Presence in the virtual literary world, when I don’t even love the virtual literary world and I pine like someone thrice my age for A Simpler Time when books were books, goddamnit, and had souls instead of megabytes? Is it any different than the fabrications others create and have created for themselves in the public and professional realms? Lady Gaga, Truman Capote, Donald Trump. Illustrious company, them, but effective examples.
No, of course the answer’s no, it’s no different. There is no Authentic for me to be, let alone to try-to-remain. Even between the sheets we’re something different (usually less, but definitely different) than what we wished we were at core. And this is the game, or part of the game, that I’ve got to play.
If there were no question of time or money, of hours in the day or months on the calendar, I likely wouldn’t do this. I may not care who knew me or when they did or what it would or could or may mean for me and my prospects as a professional writer if they did (I’m vain enough to imagine I’d still want to be known, of course – I’m no Beckett or Nietzche compelled to write even in the absolute vacuum absence of audience). I’d be writing a different novel, that’s for sure. A long, sprawling, 1,000-page California epic that covered everything but few would want to read, instead of a somewhat safer, more traditional first-novel bet. I guess I think of this as a career move, a professional investment of time and energy. The world tweets, I’ll get a twitter. The world blogs, I’ve got a WordPress.
How much will it help? Probably two, maybe three iotas, at best. A couple dots, if I’m lucky. The writing will ultimately decide. Or so one still hopes, at least. But the effort, the action is representative, no?
If you’ve gotten this far – thanks. I’d say that I’ll do my best to make it worth your while to come back, but I don’t know what your whiles are worth. I don’t know if I can afford you. But as to what you can expect, see About – musings, mostly, on culture – pop and otherwise – on books, on writing, on travel, on friends and friendship, on philosophical matters of the body-soul-and-mind, on whatever’s gurgling up out of the water table of my brain. I’ll try to do like I said above, and limit the editing, keep it raw, direct from the source (hence the blog’s clever name).
Lord. Nearly 1,000 words. Too many. Au revoir.
Header image: From The Styx