This is all written on the bus from work this morning, in regards to an as-yet unannounced project (I have lots of these going on).
Writing is exhausting work.
It's a craft I have dabbled in for years -- having completed a book at the ripe old age of 14. It was poorly written with plagiarized themes and plot devices, but it was probably a solid 200 pages. That's no small feat at that age. I wanted to be C.S. Lewis or Raymond E. Feist. I envisioned myself to be, to use a contemporary, J.K. Rowling, and I genuinely believed this book would take me there.
Now, I get to play at being the gay Carrie Bradshaw, but the perks of being a "writer" are amazing -- you set your own hours, people listen to any stupid thought that pops into your head, and the long hours in front of the computer are finally justified.
Of course, days of thinking and planning -- hours of revising, reworking, and rewording to evoke every subtlety, every nuisance equates to five minutes or less of your time. I hope that five minutes is multiplied out by hundreds of people that later read your work, but few enjoy the luxury of being widely read.
So, I continue with my notepad and the inevitable carpal tunnel I will suffer in the hopes of sparking interest in a handful of people. If you're reading this, it worked.
Sending my work out -- the process of "publishing" -- is the worst, and the top of many books. Check your local library. Even sending out to just my "editorial board" is painful as there is, inevitably, a lag time between when you send and when they finally respond. Clearly, they don't understand the importance of immediacy.
Judge me NOW.
After blogging, particularly after poignant, thought-provoking, or controversial posts -- or, for that matter, just about anything I spend more than a second or two on -- I wait for responses or some sort of indication that someone is reading. My blog counts the number of unique IP addresses that stop in, and I have a device -- a widget -- that tracks who is stopping in, where they come from, and how they got here.
They are the most annoying things in my life, but also the most invaluable because it helps me gauge my work.
More importantly, the single best gauge is the occasional comment from a friend or a random person: "I was reading your blog the other day..." It fills me with excitement because not only is someone reading, they might actually be paying attention to what I'm writing enough to reference it later.
And, of course, there are always doubts. I know I'm doing ok because I've convinced myself that I'm always wrong.
I know nothing I write seems like anything important -- usually just flippant ramblings -- but I write like I talk. And, when I put it out there to be read, I'm putting everything I am out there to be judged.