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Friday, June 17, 2005

To Blog or Not to Blog

I started thinking, recently, about the gung-ho way in which I've been attacking my blog. I'm averaging about 5 new blog posts per week lately, which led me to wonder if it was worth it.

I had to step back and consider the reason I started doing this. There's a quote from Hugh Prather that I used to keep within sight of my writing desk that goes "If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing, then the desire is not to write" - I had many different fun quotes like that posted all over my apartment when I was single, just out of university and trying to write every single day (Fran has since cured me of posting little hand-written notes all over our home but does support my efforts to write frequently) But the only quote that stayed with me all these years is the Hugh Prather one. I often found it inspirational. It reminded me that I can't avoid who I am. No matter how crazy the rest of my life gets, I never stop being a writer in my head - there's never been a shortage of ideas - damn, that's the easy part - anyone can have a million ideas - but it's committing words to paper (or fingers to keystrokes in this case) that is the real challenge. If I had a nickel for every person who told me they had an idea for a book or story (yet never wrote a word of it) over the years, I'd be able to quit my day job and write full-time, regardless of if I ever sold any of it.

The blog, then, became a way for me to attempt to write frequently (I remember another quote suddenly that "the act of writing begets writing" - and, since there's a chance that my blog writing might be seen by more eyes than just my own, it had to at least be a little readable, hopefully sometimes bordering on enjoyable, etc, etc. It didn't matter what I wrote, just that I wrote, and continued writing something. I've chosen to write mostly in a humorous voice, something my buddy Steve Gaydos always wished I did more writing in, and that seems to be working for me.

But the "telling" thing is that since I've started this blog I've finally sold a story that's been dear to my heart for many many years (Being Needed), and I'm back on track writing new pieces and re-writing some of my unpublished works and actually going so far as to submitting stories regularly again. (I currently have at least 5 stories circulating out there and it's a good feeling to be "back in the game" - I might be sent back to the bench often, but at least I'm in the game again) It's been years since I've maintained a steady diet of writing and submitting - and, without doing both, you're just a writer in your head and not an actual writer.

So, thank you Blog (thanks, Mathew Growden, for pushing me into this -- and, thanks Easter Bunny - Bock, Bock! -- just because) - it seems to be working.

To Blog or Not to Blog? There is NO question. 'Tis indeed nobler in the mind to not just suffer the slings and arrows of the outrageous fortune of what it is to be a writer, but to take arms (such as a pen or keyboard) against a sea of insane ideas, and by writing, conquer them. To write, to sleep no more - Ay, there's the rub.

3 comments:

Taki said...

The desire to express oneself, be heard, make a favourable impression, garner consensus and like minds.

And on a completly different note, I'd like to see those fridge quotes again some day.

Mark Leslie said...

I've still got the compilations that Zaki and I put together - maybe I'll post SOME of the cleaner ones to a blog......

Michael Kelly said...

Mark,

Glad you are getting stuff back out there. It's a good feeling, I know. As you say, you can't win if you're not part of the game. Good luck!