I have come to love blogging. It fits my personality. It fits my style. In the world of writing, you have to treat it as a job. Writers have routines. They write for a certain amount of time every day. Every Day! There is a commitment there that rivals the greatest athletes. They persist. They rewrite. They are organized. They have outlines and develop characters. They understand the difference between writing in the first, second and third person. Writing with a narrator. Grammar. Punctuation. Their book is like a child to them. It hurts the head it does. And so I think I have finally learned why I have never written a book. I am a blogger. Actually, the truth is I keep a diary. Its online and I let my daughter read it. She shows it to her friends sometimes and boom. My diary is a blog. I have kept diaries most of my life and trust me when I say there is no way I would put some of that stuff out there for others to read. I’m good with it as I have very few secrets. The thing is my kids are already embarrassed.
There are days that every thought I have gives me the urge to write. Reading a newspaper story gets my juices going. Basically thoughts swirl around and around my brain like the little ball in a pinball game. You never know when its going to slow down or speed up and ultimately you can never be ready for the direction the thoughts take. I often tell people that is what it is like to have an ADD brain. I remember the frst time I read an article on Attention Deficit Disorder. I felt an awakening. An epiphany. This was my brain. I turned to Rene’ and said “I think I might be ADD!” Without batting an eye he just replied “No shit.” I also realize why I am the ultimate idea guy and I have little ability in finishing things. I get bored. I pull out my computer and start to type and then mid thought I start a new draft. A new topic. Something random has crossed my mind and I need to write it down. This is why there are editors and publishers and all those other folks out in book writing land. They keep people on track. These are the people who actually make sure books reach the reading public. You see their names all the time at the beginning of books on the dedication pages. Never gloss over those names. These are the people who truly make things happen. They are very responsible in making sure the creative geniuses actually finish.
I have mentioned that I have started many books in the past. I have file folders full of clippings which have sparked my fancy. News articles that made me think that would be a good way to murder someone. My life is mysteries and I see them everywhere. So what will happen with these articles and news stories I have clipped out and saved? Well, I think when I die they will be something my kids will wonder about before they throw the whole thing into the recycle bin. They will find all of the diaries I have written throughout the years and feel somewhat intrusive when they read them. For the most part I have taken a page from my own mother. She never finished much either. She did enjoy life though. And I do enjoy writing. I enjoy all of the things I do. Or I wouldn’t do them. Will I ever finish writing a book? Highly doubtful. Idea people are not big on follow through.
And so as I sit here writing my thoughts I am struck with the fact that I am able to finish a blog. Not in one sitting perhaps, although that has happened. Normally I just type away and when I am tired or bored or I look out the window and decide to weed the walkway, I close the lid and walk away. I am done. The drafts add up and wait patiently until I decide to revisit them. That is when I reread my thoughts and look at them through the eyes of a stranger. That is when I edit. I correct spelling mistakes and grammar. I try to eliminate the word “but”. What I avoid is rewriting my thoughts. What spews forth from my rambling brain is cathartic. I have come to understand that writing for me is a form of therapy. Rene’ has always said I am opinionated. We all are. I am just a little more vocal and perhaps honest in my opinions. It may be my age or the fact that I am a double Aquarian or even the A.D.D. thing that prevents me from filtering my thoughts. And so I hit the publish button. Ultimately this is my diary. I finish the posts as a personal accomplishment. Looking back at written diaries I find I always finished my thoughts. Wrapped them up with a tidy conclusion. My English teachers would be proud. Maybe not Frank although I have read a lot of Shakespeare due to his class. That grade 8 language arts teacher was awesome. I forget her name and she probably can’t recall my very existence. She taught me so much. I will always remember her. Just not her name.
And so I have learned one very important thing. I am a writer. Perhaps not the one I have in my mind. The novelist who writes numerous New York Times bestsellers. The books that everyone talks about and are made into blockbuster movies. No I am a blogger. A keeper of diaries. Or in the words of a grown up, journals. I guess that would make me a journalist, although I don’t fit my own description of a journalist. It isn’t how much you earn or how popular you are. I make zero dollars and I have five followers. Recognition and popularity are not what defines us. We are what we do. Remember that one? Aristotle? Well for a few hours a week I am a writer. We are fortunate to live in an age where ideas are freely exchanged. Whether we agree with others or not doesn’t really matter. Sharing thoughts keeps the world on its toes. It makes us all think beyond the limits we place on ourselves. It helps open the little boxes we put our brains into or maybe just gets us shopping for a bigger box. We all limit ourselves when we think the task is insurmountable. Just suppose we take a smaller bite? What can happen then? I took a smaller bite. There is no pressure, no deadlines and no regrets. And I became a writer. Life is awesome like that!