As I start this post, there are 43 minutes left in the one-year anniversary of this blog. This is because I’m a dipshit, and I forgot.
And I was busy. I was in court for a while, then had some meetings, y’know, stuff. But still, no excuse. So let’s go straight to the recap.
A year ago, I started this blog to try and develop some discipline for writing. I had always wanted to be a writer, from when I first started typing stories on my father’s Royal typewriter and when I got my own first typewriter — an old one of my mother’s, I think — in roughly 1980. I wrote a number of science fiction stories in high school and college, none of which (thank goodness) were ever published.
I also wrote a couple of “literary” stories while in college. None of these went anywhere, either, except the one I read over the air on WHPK because a friend of mine who worked at the station had decided to fill some open time with student-authors reading their work aloud. I understand that they recovered their lost listeners in a couple of years.
I started a novel after graduating college, and worked on it off and on into law school. It was about 75 pages when I gave up on it.
And that, ladies and germs, was it. In my head, I still thought of myself as a writer. When being a junior litigation associate sucked or I got bored because I didn’t have any new cases, I bought a copy of Writer’s Digest. But then I’d get busy or something new would come in the door, and the magazine would get recycled and I wouldn’t write anything. When I got passed over for partner at my old firm, I stalked out of the building, walked over to Borders, and bought a copy of Writers Market. Then my boss called my cell, and she and her boss met me for lunch, and promised I’d make it next year. So the next day I went back to work, and the next year I made partner, and I didn’t write anything.
A couple of years later, I changed firms. And I still didn’t write anything.
Then last year, in mid-December, I burned out. I’d been working my ass off, and I was bored out of my skull. I had interesting cases, terrific clients, senior partners I respected and could learn from and people junior to me who I wasn’t afraid to delegate to, and I could barely drag myself out of bed in the morning.
An old friend had recently suggested that the Mrs. and I start up a joint blog to post our every day witty banter for others’ enjoyment — it’s like a frakking sitcom around here, all the time (and yes, I do play the clueless dad, thanks for asking) — but the Mrs. declined. I got a kick out of the idea, so without having any idea what I was getting into, I registered half a dozen domains and settled on this one.
Four days later, on Dec. 21, 2007, I came home from work and didn’t go back to work until Jan. 2. I worked from home, hung out with the Mrs. and kids, and thought about what I wanted to do. The goal, I decided would be to get in the habit of writing with the blog, write one short story and maybe an article in my field, and then do NaNoWriMo in November.
Then I started writing.
This has been a lot of fun. The biggest surprise has been meeting people through the intertubes — you’re all on the blogroll on the sidebar, you know who you are — which has been a lot of fun. I think this blog has served its original purpose, too, which was to force me into the habit of writing regularly, which it has done with the blog entries themselves and with my constant public posting about word and page counts, did I write today, didn’t I write, yadda yadda yadda. It may be boring you, but it’s keeping my ass planted in my chair and forcing me to write because I hate the posts where all I can say is “Today I sat on the sofa and ate Ho-Hos and watched Stupid Pet Tricks. Damn, those pets say some wacky stuff!”
16 minutes until it’s over.
So thank you for being out there. Thank you for reading my occasionally coherent ramblings. Thank you for commenting, for applauding my rare successes and my more frequent defeats, and for shaming me back to my desk when I need a good shaming.
And now (14 minutes to go) for some stats:
Writing: 153,000 words of fiction, which includes one complete first draft of a novel (104,000 words, 500 printed pages), one 13,000-word novelette (drafted, multiple revisions, submitted to multiple markets), two short stories (revised and out on submission), one short story (first draft completed), and two flash pieces (one posted here, one accepted and published at 365tomorrows.com), plus innumerable drafts and projects started that will probably never see the light of day.
Plus 178 blog posts.
So now I’m a writer, for real, not just in my head. Now when I read books on writing, or even Writers Market, I’m not just daydreaming. This is a good thing.
I used to say that I could get back into writing when I was older and had more flexibility, or retired. All I did was put off doing what I wanted to do, which means that I’ll simply do less of it than if I’d started 10 years ago. But at least I’ll do more of it than if I had waited another 10 years.
Happy blogiversary to me. It’s past midnight. Time to blow out the candles and go to bed.