I had to take a break from posting these past few weeks. It occurred to me that this could quickly become a dangerous outlet of unfiltered thought. I don’t want that to happen. Although, it might be some form of artistic outlet; an electronic version of Tourette’s syndrome. Seems to me there are enough of those in existence.
The initial point of my hiatus was to focus on NaNoWriMo, to actually finish a book. I made some great progress in comparison to last year. And I think I will actually finish that book. Truth is I went a little scatter-brained and lost focus on just about everything. The election had to do with it, but I spent a lot of time reading other blogs and made sure to follow back everyone that is following me because that’s just the right thing to do. Some of you are incredibly focused. You’re writing is very specific to one thing and I have more appreciation for that than ever before.
When I started this it was because I wanted a place to share some of my stories. That was all I wanted to focus on but as you know that didn’t happen. This is the central focus of my frustration with trying to identify as a “writer”. I don’t want have to limit my focus but I also don’t want to turn this into a ranting that everyone eventually ignores. There’s also a part of me that still thinks you have to have some kind of pre-qualification to claim that title. Some of the greatest writers in history didn’t fit into those categories, so I’m not sure what my problem is. There is always the hazard of self-doubt.
Recently I was asked to begin contributing to National Road Magazine, an online publication started by a good friend of mine. I was flattered by the offer and of course accepted. The benefit to writing for NRM is that I have to stay focused in a particular topic. I hope that continues and also hope you take a chance to look at the site. Not just for me, but because it’s good. To me, it’s the beauty of the freedom of expression. I read the posts in NRM and see the good in West Central Indiana. It sure as hell beats watching the news in the morning. It’s no wonder we’re all depressed.
My hiatus also rekindled a need for me to organize all the stories that I have finished. I’m blessed to have been supported by some amazing people in my life and I am even more grateful that a few have agreed to help me further edit and organize that pile of imagination. Some of them I’ve shared here and some I’ve kept offline. At some point I decided I wanted to try submitting to publications. They typically don’t like it if the material has already been shared online. For free. The question of whether or not to self-publish is a big one.
I keep asking myself if it would be worth the effort to attempt something like that. It would only be like everything else that I do, just to say that I did it. I have no delusions that this hobby will ever become anything else. No different than building a shed out of pallets or splitting an entire tree to build a fence. I just want to know if I can. But, writing feels like it should mean something, doesn’t it? Like, what’s the point of putting it all out there if it just floats into the interwebs? I think that’s a central problem with my personality, honestly. It’s a consequence of being a historian because you realize that the things you do eventually fade and will someday be summarized in one sentence.
Anyway, I’m going to refocus and get back on track. I’ve started another collaboration with a friend in a separate blog called Our Shambles. It’s another chance to focus on something I love without mixing and confusing the message. So if you want to get weird, stay tuned to that site for some fun exploration of metaphysics. And don’t make that face. Try having an open mind for a change. Sheesh.