Monday, January 09, 2006

On Writing

I enjoy writing. I was really happy when the blog medium became available, and I've been taking advantage of it in one form or another for several years now. It's a great release, and hopefully there are those who have found my writing informative, entertaining or otherwise not nauseating.

But a blog is like a kiss with a stranger in a dark corner in a strange bar. It can be exciting and titillating, but rarely is it very satisfying in and of itself. I want romance. I want a serious relationship. Yes, that's right. One of my secret fantasies is to publish a novel.

I know, I know. Me and every other dork that ever found blogger, spent 20 minutes putting up a shingle and fancies himself a writer. But you know what? I am a writer, if not yet a novelist. I can't seem to help myself. Ever since I discovered the internet I've been posting to usenet, contributing to forums and bulletin boards, and blogging. I also have a habit of getting, uh, exercised and firing off a letter to the editor of various papers.

I once began what was supposed to be a quick-and-dirty comment to the editor of the Minneapolis Star/Tribune and it got a little out of hand length-wise. I sent it anyway because I couldn't bear to cut any of the fat...and they published it as a commentary. It was pretty fun to see my words on the editorial page next to pieces by Paul Krugman and Newt Gingrich. It was also sort of intimidating when I got home after work and there were three messages from anonymous callers, one complimenting my work, one offering to pay for psychoanalysis and the third simply wishing to inform me of my lack of anything resembling coherence or common sense and questioning my lineage. It was then that I decided that perhaps political writers have to deal with rather more hassles than I would be willing to put up with.

Mom always talked about how she was going to write a book about the many things she's observed in her life. The problem is, she has difficulty finding my blog to read it. Much as I love her and admire her intelligence, I have to face the fact that she's just technologically challenged and in this world you really have to be able to type well and communicate via the internet if you're going to have much of a chance to publish. Plus, I don't think she's really interested in publishing per se, just writing the book for herself. And lately I've realized that it's probably just a dream for her, not something she's likely to actually sit down and start.

I'm not my mother, at least not in this way. I'm an alcoholic, and I quit drinking as of July 4, 1999. My life has been gradually blossoming ever brighter and growing ever richer since that day, and so has this ambition of mine.

I think the time is near when I'll actually begin, and it's probably less than a year away. Maybe much less. It received a bit of a kick-start as well when my sister-in-law was kind enough to let me read a chapter or two of a book she was writing (didja ever finish that thing, J, and if so when do I get to read it?)

I now have three possible themes on which to build a plot framework, and I'm leaning heavily toward one in particular. It has to do with foster care, it's semi-autobiographical in nature and many of the items I've touched on in this blog would feature in any novel I would write on that theme. In fact, I sort of think of this as a training ground for what I might be doing soon.

Really, all it's going to take is a particular mood to strike me when I have the time. A mood that will allow me to actually sit down, put on my favorite music, put myself in the right frame of mind and actually, you know, start typing stuff.

It should actually be a lot like blogging, only fictional and with a particular long-term direction. It's just so hard to really, truly, actually decide to start. I can see why so many people want to write a book and so few people actually do it. I suspect I'm having the same thought as most who consider this endeavor: what if I give it everything I have, and it sucks like an electrolux?


At 2:49 PM , Blogger The Wandering Novelist said...

Hi there,

Was really interested about your thoughts on blogging... I've just started blogging myself, in an attempt to chronicle my attempt to write a novel.

You're right, they're pretty similar (but a little bit different, all the same).

Anyway, just thought I'd say hi.

The Wandering Novelist

At 5:02 PM , Anonymous Auntie J said...

My favorite auther once told my fiance that maybe he was more in love with the though of writing than the actual act itself...Do you really want it? Do you?
If yes than just thow out your thoughts..start with a paragraph and run from there...
And yes my book is done but i am stuck in perpetual edit..LOL


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