So I’ve been gone for awhile.
I will try for a graceful re-entry, but I’m not exactly sure how to do that, so bear with me.
Maybe I can start by explaining something:
I’ve had a wary relationship with this blog since I started it several years ago. It’s actually more difficult for me to seek the spotlight now than it ever was. But even as our fame-hungry culture makes me cringe, I still give in to moments of self-fascination.
Personal hang-ups and contradictions aside, writing is a lone venture, and unless you want to write only for yourself (by all means a worthy thing), you kind of need people to read your work. Hence, you experiment. You stay open to ideas. You start up a blog because someone told you to. Then you might leave it all behind for awhile until you can re-evaluate (like I did).
About three or four months ago I needed to make a decision. Do I scrap the blog and focus on just writing my books? Or do I consider the writing impulse within me as an indication that it can—indeed should—be shared in more than one way?
After two conversations—a serendipitous one with a kind stranger and an emotional one with an old friend—the answer began to materialize. Then a third conversation happened, with myself, and it went like this:
Me: “I don’t like my blog.”
Other Me: “Why?”
Me: “I didn’t write anything good. It all seemed so pointless.”
Other Me: “Are you sure about that? Go back and look.”
Me: “I really don’t like sharing myself in this way. It feels fake. There are nine million other blogs out there with people doing the same damn thing. This is all so stupid. I just want to write books.”
Other Me: “Stop distracting yourself with drivel. Did you go back and look? Go back and look.”
Me: “OK, fine. Geez.”
I did go back and look. That’s partly how I found out that I’ve changed and grown a bit. The motivations I had back then were inclined toward the superficial (how does this make me look?), but also the tentative (do I have permission to even call myself a writer?). I wasn’t convinced, but I wanted everyone else to be.
And yet, I found that I loved the girl who was writing back then. I loved her words. I loved what was making her tick. I loved what she had discovered and was eager to talk about. I loved that she took a chance despite trepidation. I loved that she set down a few rough, raw stones on the path upon which I still find myself walking.
Ultimately I decided that whatever the vehicle, whatever the outcome, I accept the gift of writing I’ve been given, and therefore I accept its challenges both to my persona and my soul.
So. How will it go from here?
If I may borrow the wise words of Philip Henslowe in Shakespeare in Love: “I don’t know. It’s a mystery.”