Has it really been over a month since I sat down at the keyboard and knocked out a blog post? Well…yes and no. I actually have five essays – count ‘em, five! – that I started but haven’t finished. I also have a couple more that are fighting to come out. So what’s the problem?
I seem to have hit a wall.
This isn’t entirely surprising. During the fall and early winter, I act as commissioner of an office fantasy football league. Each week I write a recap of the previous week’s action, complete with memes that make fun of my coworkers as well as extol my greatness (have I mentioned I won three Super Bowls in a row? Did I, huh, did I?!). After six years in this role, a pattern has emerged: in September I’m full of piss and vinegar, creating comedic commentary that stands side-by-side with the all-time greats (or something like that); by December and early January, I’m like a car coasting on fumes, spluttering toward the finish line. When the season concludes, I’m happy it’s finally over.
[I commish the Dirty Dozen fantasy football league. It’s a shitty gig, but someone has to do it.]
And so, I’m working through a number of issues in regard to the blog right now.
First, there’s no offseason with this site. It’s always sitting out here, waiting for words to be typed. As I stated above, my choice of topics is plentiful; I constantly have ideas rolling around in my head. Unfortunately, time and sleep are not plentiful at the moment. When I started the blog a year ago, I was up a lot at night with my then two-year-old. I did most of my writing in one-hour bursts during the 1-4AM time frame, depending on when she was awake. A year later my daughter is still getting up at night, but I can no longer keep my eyes open any longer than necessary. I’m too damned tired.
Another reason for the slowdown in 2018 is that my chronic migraines have gone into high gear. I’ve let a number of activities fall by the wayside in the last couple months, writing among them. I’ve been working with doctors to get them back under control, and I’m hoping that’ll give me more energy and focus going forward.
Before you start rolling your eyes, it’s not all whiny doom-and-gloom in my life. Part of my absence is due to other pastimes calling to me in the New Year. First, after a serious reading drought last year, I’ve been cranking through some stories again. Many of them have been audiobooks and comic books instead of novels, but it’s still been nice to enjoy some fiction after a long absence.
Another project I’m mulling over is drawing comics. I’m thinking about an original weekly comic for my Funny Friday segment on the Much Ado About Nothing Facebook page, and I’m deciding between a couple of options: one is a character I created when I was a kid and the other is a new idea that’s been percolating for awhile. Not sure which direction I’ll go yet, or if it’ll even get off the ground, but it sure would be fun to try.
The item that comes up the most lately is something I started twenty years ago when I was a wide-eyed college kid. During my junior year I decided I was going to take a crack at writing a novel. Over the period of a few months I churned out 150+ typed pages and another 15-20 handwritten pages. My progress put me about one-third-to-one-half of the way through the story, and I knew all of the major scenes that were forthcoming, down to the specifics of the finale and afterword.
At the time I thought I was writing the next Great American Novel. More arrogant than that, I would read through my progress each day and think to myself, “You are killing this. You’re going to finish this novel and not have to edit a single thing, you’ve done so well.” In actuality, the writing is complete horseshit. I mean an out-and-out turd of epic proportion.
[Number Two indeed.]
The shell of the idea is a good one, I think. It’s not F. Scott Fitzgerald by any means. Hell, Fitzgerald could probably write a better story this very morning, and he’s been dead almost eighty years. That being said, it’s a tale I had a blast writing, and with twenty more years of experience using the English language, the writing would be much, much better than that of the naïve twenty-year-old sitting on a bench in the quad with a notebook and pencil.
Once I graduated, I figured the project would be dead-and-buried until later in life when the kids were gone and the house was quiet. Then I started this blog, and in the 60 posts published in 2017 I wrote well over 100,000 words. 100,000! Now, a novel would have to be *much* more thoughtful and polished than the unending ramblings on this site, but it shows that I had the time and ability to crank out a lot of writing, even with my busy schedule. Seeing these numbers gives me hope that I can put in some time on the novel – sooner rather than later – reworking the existing text and adding new material. I have no delusions of ever publishing it or becoming an author; the novel would simply be a personal challenge, only written to see if I could actually do it.
Anywho, that’s what’s been going on in my world. I’m not boarding up the doors and windows on this place, but rather letting you know about the ebbs and flows I experience with my hobbies. There will be times I pepper you with a bunch of posts in rapid succession; there will be other times I go a month or more with nothing but the sound of crickets to offer you. I’ll try to keep you updated during those stretches. If you find that you miss me (haha), visit the blog’s Facebook page. I usually post a few times a week, so I’m out there more often than I am here.
Until we meet again…