I sometimes find myself thinking that we each and every one of us on this merrily spinning ball are conducted our very own circus with the people around us in our lives. It’s as useful a notion as any for a frameword through which to view and talk about life. It’s been a busy weekend for my pseudonym that lives and writes about things I never ever talk about on this blog or publicly under this name. I feel a tiny bit guilty about neglecting this blog and all of my friends in all of my networks. Though like a kid playing hooky it does feel kind of wonderful to slip into and live under my pseudonym for a few hours at a time and to repeat the trick again and again. If I were just a teensy bit more pompous I’d no doubt have been a terrible actor who believed to his dying day that he was a great Shakespearean. I feel blessed in having long ago realized that writing is what I do best. I will never claim that I write as well as any of the great writers I am forever reading. But I write as well as I can and leave it for my readers to judge how compelling my stories, how well I hold your attention, how much I make you think.
So my apologies for neglecting you while my pseudonym has been having a good time and keeping me away from the computer :) One of the most difficult things to do well in writing is to change the subject and seamlessly blend three discrete topics in three discrete paragraphs into a single flowing blog post that grabs and engages your readers and shares a little bit of useful information, a bit of good humor and perhaps causes some readers to think a new thought or two. I’ve come to realize that the three hundered word three-fer is a rather distinct art form. And I honestly feel guilty on a day like today, where I will top out right around 350 words, without having said much of anything at all other than I’ve been busy under another name. I find it so strange when I hear all of these people talk about using only one name ever online. And I have to think that some parts of their lives must be inescapably dull if they share every bit of it with all of their Facebook friends.
“….sometimes a fantasy, is all you need.”
I often say that I live so much of my life inside of my head. I think I have a healthy respect and appreciation for fantasy. Though some times you definitely need real life things too. I went and got my insulin today. I was thrilled that with my new insurance the co-pay was only three dollars and thirty cents. Given that Walmart charges $120 (the cheapest regular retail price I know of) this alone makes the insurance a great value. I will have to make an appointment and go back and see my doctor. I am going to insist he refer me to a shrink to manage my psych meds. I am a happy camper to be getting most of my meds at this point and look forward to having them all in the not too distant future.
I’m honestly not sure where I am at the moment on the manic-depressive scale. I seem to have backed off the major mania and have been sleeping more or less regularly for several days now. And I am definitely finding it difficult and a struggle to write much of anything at all. I am doing some socializing and some game playing (I continue to really enjoy The Sims on Facebook. I was sad to find that my current lappy just isn’t up to playing the current version of The Sims 2 (the CD Rom game.) But I haven’t been able to bring myself to touch the manuscript for the Missions Guide I have been planning to release on July 1st, on the one year anniversary of the initial publication of Walking Down The Avenue. And after putting up a web site and writing some introductory bally hoo, I haven’t really worked on the pseudonymous project at all either. (Sighs.)
I know that if I am going to have the new book ready for release July 1st I need to start writing it in earnest like yesterday. Yet as I gain more experience with Empire Avenue missions each day, I find my perspective shifting so rapidly that I’m honestly not sure what I am going to write. I try to comfort myself with the thought that when I am quite certain what I want my guide to using Empire Avenue missions to say I will be able to knock it out in no time at all, and aren’t I wise not to try to force a book that just isn’t there yet. I find this small comfort compared to my serious writer friends (who aren’t collecting disability) who set themselves a budget of so many words or so many pages and force themselves to work at it each day until the day’s budget has been produced. Writing on a drop dead line really is so much harder than writing when the inspiration strikes.
There is I believe a saying that “Nothing concentrates a man’s mind like a hanging. His own.” And while I can see how facing one’s own imminent demise might concentrate one’s thoughts, I’m honestly less than sure how useful deadlines really are to writers and bloggers. I know from experience that if I wait until the last minute, I will certainly pull some rabbit out of my hat and write something so as not to blow the assignment. Yet I can hardly say that the pieces I have cranked out just to meet a deadline are always my best work. For this blog, I have taken to writing the articles in advance and scheduling them to go live just after midnight in the server’s Australian (I believe) time zone. As a result I am, as always, typing these words three days before the calendar date that appears to the upper left.
One suggestion I always make to new bloggers who are going to try to be serious about sticking to a schedule is to write a couple of “Emergency Posts”. These are posts that fit your blog’s niche and are are of approximately the same length as your other posts. You write them and get them all linked and tagged. And then save them as drafts. And you just leave them there all ready to go, so that if you have an emergency, suffer a case of writer’s block or have to rush to your child’s school and just don’t have time to write a blog post you can schedule your emergency post and your readers will never know that you encountered a personal problem. (Unless of course you choose to write about it in a subsequent post.) I actually do have an emergency post standing by for this blog. I wrote it and submitted it to a friend as a guest post for her blog. She never replied to me about it an when I went and re-read the post I realized that the tone and theme were just not right for her blog. I suspect that her ignoring the submission was a question of tact rather than a slight or mis-understanding or a Google glich, any of which she might blame if I ever asked her about it.
While I advise every blogger to get a few emergency posts written and on hold before they begin blogging on any regularly announced schedule, I know from my own experience that coming up on a deadline does not necessarily inspire a writer to great creativity nor fill the mind with things to write about. I know that posts I crank out just because the deadline is nearing, rather than because the words are flowing through a secret channel from my soul where the things I care most deeply about reside are not necessarily my best ones. I do believe the fact that I can crank out an acceptable post just because I’m on deadline, makes me a real writer.