Why am I here?

So I’m back, back online, back to the blog. Why, you might ask?

Who am I kidding? No one’s asking. No one’s reading this. I have thought about sharing this blog with my friends on Facebook, which is the only social media network connection I have, but so far, I have nothing on here worth looking at. The first post was entirely for me. This one is, too.

I suppose, then, that I’m asking myself. Why am I here?

The main reason is that I need to write. I have found that when I write every day, I get more written. Jesus, that’s profound.

That’s not what I’ve found. I’ve found that having ideas doesn’t make you write, and wanting to be a writer doesn’t make you write (Totally started writing “right” there — “Wanting to be a writer doesn’t make you right.” Also true. Also something I should address.), and having something you want to say doesn’t make you write, and even sitting down to write doesn’t make you write. You make yourself write.

Sorry: wrong pronouns. I make myself write. I make myself write because I like myself more when I write. I like looking back at what I have written, especially after a time has gone by; I find myself quite witty and often insightful. I get all my jokes. I agree with all of my observations about the world.

I don’t know if other people do.

I’ve been told that people enjoy my writing, and yet, at the age of 40 and having written fairly prolifically for the last fifteen years, I have never had my work accepted for publication or representation. I have been published, because I published myself; and though it didn’t make me much money, it did make me happy. I want to repeat the latter result, and improve the former.

Because I plan to self-publish my work, I need to get deeper into social media. I need to promote myself. I need to advertise, I need to network. I don’t like that I need to do this. I don’t want to do this: I am an introvert. I hate meeting people. Which is funny, because I went into a very people-centric career, as a high school English teacher, and though my writing has so far been largely echoes in an empty room, still the intent of the endeavor is to communicate. It is to speak to other people, and to have them speak back. So really, the networking? It’s just more writing.

So that’s why I’m here. Because I intend to write every day, 500 words at least; more frequently that will be my fiction, but not today. Today I am here.

I still don’t know why. I mean, I know why, but I don’t — I don’t have a reason why anyone else would want to read this. So while I have a reason to write, I don’t have any reason to be read. Seems like I need that.

What I don’t want to do is become yet another one of these people that use social media in order to be social. They call themselves writers, but it seems like all they write is self-help instructions on how to be a writer. I don’t want to write writing about how to write about writing writing. I don’t want to sell people my system of making a living as a writer when my system of making a living as a writer is selling people my system. I do want to make a living as a writer, but that’s my concern, not anyone else’s.

I also want to be alone: a state that does not exist often enough in my life because I absolutely love being with my family, and given the choice to be alone or to spend time with them, I choose them, every time. And then I suffer (which in turn makes them suffer as I get snappish and pissy) because I don’t choose me-time. But writing is a solitary act: it’s just me and the page (the screen), me and the words, and nobody else until I choose to let them in — which, if I have any actual advice to give, is what I would tell people to do: do it, and do it quickly. Don’t think about it. Don’t worry about how they will take what you have to say; it is easier to apologize than to ask permission. As soon as you finish writing, publish. Don’t think twice.

Of course, that’s coming from a guy whose thoughtless publication of unpleasant sentiments very nearly got him fired and banned from his profession. But I always thought that would probably be a good thing.

Anyway: I am here so that I can be alone, and so that I can find a way to share what I have to say — and I really do have things to say — with the world at large, with as many people as I can connect to through words. I am here to be alone with other people who are alone. I will be very happy if I can figure out what will make you all come here and share my space and my mind, but I don’t have any problem with being told what I should say. Because I don’t have any idea if this is the right place for me to be, and the right way to go about accomplishing what I want to accomplish.

But the only way to write is to make yourself write. I have to make myself write. And I do it to communicate with others, and that means that I need to make it available to others. And I have found that I shouldn’t think too deeply about it before I go ahead and throw my words out into the world. Though I have realized that I probably shouldn’t do it when I’m angry. Writing? Good. Publishing? Good. Calling people assholes? Probably should be avoided. Like assholes.

I wish I knew what to say.


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