Here We Are. Where Are We?
At the risk of starting off on a tragic foot, it's important to point out that this blog is ten years in the making. Actually, no--longer than that, read my about page if you want to see some boring stuff about how a writer was born. Back in the early 2000s, when people still got these wonderful things called "book deals" just for writing on the internet, I spent much of my time on LiveJournal. Some of what I wrote was pretty good, a lot of it was garbage, embarrassing attempts at trying on different suits (poet, chronicler of the human condition, wry pop culture pundit, etc.). Either way, I developed a modest but loyal following, enough that I thought "Hmm...perhaps I should start a separate blog, and maybe I too can get one of these "book deals.""
So I did. I started one on WordPress. I started one on Blogspot. I started another one on WordPress. You're looking at my fourth attempt at a blog, my sixth if you count collaborative efforts. I tried, for a little while. The effort seemed to offer little payoff, though, and even with social media I couldn't seem to draw the audience I had once had at LiveJournal (if you're wondering why I simply didn't stay on LiveJournal, well, it just didn't seem like "real" blogging to me). I somehow expected to get discovered, Lana Turner style, without having to promote my work, network with other bloggers, etc. It all seemed very exhausting, when, really, my work should have spoken for itself. It was a rather arrogant mindset for someone who watched movies like Caligula and then wrote about them for fun.
I didn't get one single book deal. After a while, no one did. If you weren't on Twitter, you weren't shit, and, as it turned out, I was very bad at Twitter.
Naturally, this is the best time to not only try to start a blog again, but to purchase a domain and hosting services. Yeah, put some money into this failing industry, where major effort is rewarded with even more minimal results than ever before! I had never taken that extra step before, probably because some part of me knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with it. Money is, of course, the greatest motivator of them all, though, so if nothing else I'll feel the pressure to keep posting content--at least till next December, when I have to re-up my domain.
It's not just that, though. At some point within the past year, I suddenly decided, at the ripe age of oldie-old, that it was time to take myself seriously as a writer. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I think it has something to do with making time to write every day, building a "brand" for myself (ugh), and learning how to get better at self-promotion (double ugh). I have a podcast to promote, and, with any luck, maybe, possibly a book, once I get done editing it. I have to suck up whatever anxieties I have about "imposing myself" on people, and do what I should have been doing at least ten years ago, with a minimum of dwelling on how much time I've already wasted.
If you're reading me for the first time here, you'll think that I sound confident and ready to take on the publishing world, what's left of it. If you know me, though, you'll know that I'm scared shitless, and that while I'm up my own ass with confidence right now, a month from now I won't be. A month from now, I'll be back to playing the songs from my Anxiety/Depression Greatest Hits Collection: "You're Too Old," "It's Too Late," and "Nobody Cares, They Just Feel Sorry For You (Diplo Remix"). But I have to try. It's not just the money factor, but the fact that I don't know what else I can do. If I weren't writing to entertain and get the attention I so desperately crave (and there's a subject for a post in and of itself), I'd still be writing anyway. I can't foresee a time when I will wake up one day and not want to do it anymore, at least in some small way.
Here is where it will be. Here is where I will try, and if I slack off, then I'll try again, and if I slack off again, then I will try a third time. Giving myself a chance will be one of the hardest things I've ever done, but doing nothing is always worse.