Beware of the blog
I donâ€™t consider myself to be a trendy person. More importantly, no one else considers me to be a trendy person. Yet, here I sit, typing the first words into my new blog. The question begs itself, simply because nobody else is around to do so: Why?
I have finally decided what I want to do when I grow up. I want to be a writer. I say this with some irony, since technically I am a writer, or more precisely, a technical writer. However, thatâ€™s not the type of writer I want to be. I want to be the type of writer who lives in Vermont, wears a turtle neck sweater, and smokes a pipe. Iâ€™d have a â€˜60s-era Corvette in my garage (for the times when my publisher wasnâ€™t sending a limo), and a large stereo in my living room playing classical music to inspire my wordy wisdom.
Scratch that. I have no interest in being that kind of writer either. Except for the Corvette, perhaps. And the stereo. And the limo, I suppose, although it would have to be a small one, because I donâ€™t want to be ostentatious. Usually. Fresh maple syrup aside, Iâ€™m much happier in Chicago than I suspect I would be in Vermont, I find turtle neck sweaters uncomfortable, and donâ€™t get me started on pipes.
Which leads me to this blog. After years or months or whatever of viewing such exercises with suspicion, I have finally broken down and find myself on the trailing edge of trendy. Yes, it turns out that I canâ€™t even get trendy right, because the rest of the world has already moved on to podcasting, and I have absolutely no intention of getting involved in that. I have my pride, after all. For now.
So, what does writing a blog have to do with being a professional writer? The me of a few months back would claim almost nothing. I would have said (and probably did say) that if you want to write, great, but if youâ€™re good enough, youâ€™ll get paid and if youâ€™re not good enough, youâ€™ll write a blog.
And I do want to get paid. Iâ€™m not quite good enough for that yet, I suppose. Seems that my degree in audio arts and acoustics doesnâ€™t exactly jibe with my goal of a writing career. I also lack a portfolio, or at least much of one. The blog allows me to cover two needs at onceâ€“I can practice my intended craft, and perhaps create a large enough pile of chaff to cull a few grains of literary wheat with which to demonstrate my impending greatness.
Pride forces me to mention that I have had a web site for around ten years as of this writing. Honesty forces me to point out that laziness has led to that web site being neglected for long periods of time. Using blog software allows me to now focus on writing instead of markup codes, even as realism forces me to confront the fact that almost no one will read these words.
It doesnâ€™t matter. I have a blog now, and only myself to blame if I canâ€™t keep it updated. I plan to spend a certain percentage of the space here detailing my attempts at jump-starting my writing career. Those who know me can probably guess that I wonâ€™t shy away from politics either, although I do not plan to turn this into some sort of rant fest. I have lots of other interests as well, like music, science, history, aikido, photography, coin collectingâ€¦well, you get the idea. Many of those things will probably show up here sooner or later, along with the occasional bit of fiction.
As an aside, it occurs to me that, however unlikely, my current employer could end up reading this article. Iâ€™d like to point out that, even in the best of circumstances, it could take a very long time for my writing career to take off, and there are no guarantees that I wonâ€™t fall on my face. Donâ€™t fire me now, and Iâ€™ll try to remember you when I donâ€™t need you anymore.