All posts by Mick

Confessions of a Shameful Time Waster

So, what kind of web experience have you had today? Mine has been long and laborious. I’ve spent 3 hours searching for houses online in my area. We need a bit more space. My wife and me and our 19 month old daughter, are very nearly being driven crazy in our 2 room condo. Of course, we have to sell the place before we can “actually” begin shopping, but as lifelong consumers, it’s so blasted hard to resist the urge to shop.

So totally useless. I hate the feeling of wasting so much of my day–especially when I could have been writing on the book.

It isn’t rare for me to waste time instead of write. Sometimes I wonder why I do it if I claim to love writing so much. Any little whim of an excuse not to write–this creative activity that occupies so much of my mind–derails my conviction and inspiration at the mere suggestion of a diversion. It’s as though since I’m thinking of writing all day long, when I actually have a chance to do it, I resist. Why?

And this evening, it’s the Olympics. I don’t usually watch sports, but the Olympics in Greece is not sports. It’s sort of history in the making, isn’t it?

Oh well. Can’t be helped, I suppose. Can’t spend all your time on the computer. Or maybe you can…

Behold! It is blog!

The reason it’s good blogs exist–besides all the great reasons we came up with yesterday–is that they provide an outlet for some of the less fortunate thoughts to be expressed. You know how you go through your day and don’t really keep track of the little things that pass through, the internal dialogue you never take time to give utterance to: your coworker’s strange habits, the unusual website you went to, the idea for a better particle accelerator you just didn’t stop to jot down. It’s all fodder for your blog! Nothing is wasted when you can blog it!

But the thing that came to me overnight wasn’t something I haven’t been thinking about for some time now. It’s just that as I was mulling it over again, it seemed to all coalesce into something of a “grand scheme.” And when that happens, I try to pay attention because it’s not often I get such validation of the evil genius my wife thinks I am.

The idea is this: “My Writers Group” is mine for now because it’s beginning as a group of one. Eventually, the idea is to increase that possessive “My” to include “Everyone” and then everyone who comes to “My Writers Group” will have a piece of it and a say in what goes on here. That’s my hope, anyway. It isn’t my intention to come here day after day and write something just to get it off my chest. I would hope all of us had a bigger purpose than that. We may be writers, but we live in community as well and we need constant support and feedback, maybe more so than others with “normal” jobs. We’re particularly prone to burnout and dissatisfaction and worry and all the other things that come along with the self-focused writerly personality. Without others around, we make rash, foolish judgments and lose track of reality rather quickly.

So when I say I hope to hear from you soon, I really mean, I hope you feel free to accept the “My” in that title as your invitation to join in the fray and add your lines. Writing can be a lonely, solitary experience. Writers groups are about coming together for recharge and renewal.

So have a search around and post some thoughts. We’re glad you’re here.

Justify Yourself, Blog!

I can’t think of any other reason to justify the existence of this blog–other than having something of value to share. I could just believe, like Ayn Rand, in the virtue of selfishness. Or maybe, in our increasingly isolated and meaningless lives, I could use this blog to avoid what Douglas Coupland termed in Generation X, the “Emotional Ketchup Burst”: “The bottling up of opinions and emotions inside oneself so that they explosively burst forth all at once, shocking and confusing employers and friends–most of whom thought things were fine.” I have this quote on my cubicle wall.

It’s hard–day in, day out–not to say anything about the gray, soul-stealing blandness of your pencil-pushing existence.

Or maybe what I most fear is the truest reason of all: blogs are just the newest excuse not to work on your novel…

Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t that I dislike my job. I just dislike going. I dislike very much all the time it takes. And most of all, I dislike the fact that I’m bound and gagged, prevented from saying anything disparaging about my well-known corporation, who shall heretofore and forthwith remain nameless. It isn’t even that I don’t think quite highly of the corporation I work for, the work they do, and the lives they constantly touch. It’s just that like many my age, I’m restless and disaffected. Overworked and underpaid.

I suppose it’s just fortunate blogs exist.

More on that tomorrow.

Blah, blah, blah = Blog!

Weblogs are a funny thing aren’t they?

What is the point of a “blog,” anyway? I mean, really. It seems like the equivalent of standing on the street corner and shouting at passing cars. Or is it more for the unusually self-absorbed of us who just can’t resist the urge to publish the personal thoughts we have in a given day? You can’t deny the demons of shallowness in us all who might tempt us to this. But to show the world? At any rate, I can’t help but ask why anyone would care. And even if they did care, shouldn’t we feel a twinge of guilt that they aren’t doing something more constructive with their time–like reading the rest of War and Peace or ruminating the intricacies of God’s blue creation?

Seriously. So when I approached the idea of the blog thing, I really wanted to come up with at least a passable reason to steal attention for myself. And you know, of course I couldn’t think of anything. I started out thinking of a website where creative writers could socialize, learn, develop and spout off. So I guess, in a way, a blog is a logical step for that. Maybe that’s the goal and I’m just setting the example, rambling on with no perceptible point. The first rambler.

So welcome to the blog, everyone! I hope to hear from you soon.