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(Note: This entry was first written in October 2012 when I was experimenting with an iWeb-formatted blog that didn’t quite leave the ground.)
OK, let me start by assuring you that I’m already aware I’m doing this bass-ackwards. Putting the cart before the proverbial horse. I have no idea if my puny literary output over the last couple of years represents any spark of viable life, or whether my aspirations — which continue to exceed my actual output by several decades — have already miscarried.
It would help if I could simply sit my ass down and stay focused long enough to actually write. I know I should be writing. Instead, here I am writing about writing. Those who can do, those who can’t. . .
Still, as limited as my success has been to date (i.e. none so far), I think I’ve absorbed enough to know that writing about writing isn’t really writing. Writing is writing. Writing about writing is only writing when you’ve met your word count for the day (week, year, etc.), otherwise it’s merely procrastination, a long slow descent toward a sort of creative onanism.
But while I may still be in the process of earning my spurs as a full-fledged writer, I am, at the heart of the very DNA that defines my presence in this world, — and like the majority of my authorial brethren, apprentices and masters alike — something of an expert when it comes to procrastination. Take this blog for instance. The only reason I’m even writing this blog — which I’ve now been working on for more than a week because as soon as I wrote the opening sentence it immediately gained “project” status and thus became “procrastinate-able” itself (*consults dictionary to no avail, shrugs, sets it aside and pauses for another drink*) — is because I need an entry for my new website. And why do I need a new website? Well, because — and here we start in earnest down the rabbit hole — everything I read about trying to gain leverage as a writer (reading being that other viral time-suck in my life that keeps me from finding time to write) informs me that I’ll need a “platform” for my new novel.
Ah, my novel. Well, it sounds cool to say out loud anyway. . .
So, given that I’ve already managed to generate an entire chapter thus far (there’s six months of my life I can never get back!), I figured maybe I’d just open up iWeb and see how difficult it might be to design myself a wee, writerly site to fiddle with. Well, unfortunately, it was easy enough (damn you Apple!) that I was soon dropping photos into it and tweaking layouts, and the next thing you know I had generated enough blog headings at the top of the page — everything from the “Environment” to something, I’m not quite sure what yet, entitled “The Ennui Project” — to keep a menagerie of typing monkeys busy for several generations.
The point, of course, which I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, is that had I simply stuck with continuing to work on my novel “project” I’d probably have a couple of more chapters written by now. I would have moved that much closer to actually needing a platform from which to launch the aforementioned literary epic in the first place.
Then again, maybe I should be looking on the bright side. This website thing is starting to look so onerous to maintain as an effective pseudo-commercial initiative (all the more so considering I don’t yet have a product to flog) that I’m already looking for a way to duck my responsibilities to it as well. Maybe, if I’m lucky, it might even drive me back into the arms of my novel!
And maybe, from my wife’s perspective, both the novel and the website will become such a chore that together they’ll drive me back into the arms of the dozen or so different home renovation projects I’ve started over the course of the last decade but have never quite managed to finish. Hope springs eternal. The more likely course of events, however, is that the exponential weight of all of it combined will simply set me on the road toward an entirely new, shiny, and as yet unsullied, project.
I think I’m done for tonight. I’m not completely happy with this post, but will I ever be? In another week? A month? I dunno. So I’m holding my nose and uploading it now. If you like it, great, there (might) be more to come. If you don’t, well I was never quite satisfied with it myself in the first place, was I?