Breaking the Habit

This blog is making me insane. My writing (or lack thereof) is making me nuts, too. As much as I wish both of those statements were true, I know that they are not. The only thing really making me feel bat-sh!t crazy right now is, wait for it… Me.

There is a maxim out there that defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. That is my problem. I’ve been going about both my writing & my blog with an old set of tools, and it’s not producing the desired result.

I started this blog a year and a half after my accident, my mind still reeling from the shock of my injury and simultaneously trying to make sense of my new reality. I was stuck in bed with my first pressure sore, with nowhere to go and all the time in the world, so I started writing.  I wrote what I knew, primarily about my past experiences and it started to help. By living vicariously through my old self I found a way to piece together my fractured identity. Which was great, downright vital for my fragile psyche at that time. But I’m no longer in that place.

It’s a lesson that fully revealed itself during this last road trip. Life was happening at warp speed, and it was all I could do just to keep up. When I finally got home, it took me a full month and a half to grind out a recap  of a three-week span. Meanwhile, so many cool things happened that I wanted to tell people about, but I was too busy writing about what happened before to even mention any of it. At this rate, I’d be lucky to get a book written by my 100th birthday. The ever-increasing stack of ideas builds into a suffocating pressure that is overwhelming.

Adding jet fuel to that fire are two of my most glaring defects of character – perfectionism & the desire to please people. I’ve written about them plenty of times (yes, I get the irony), but haven’t been able to fully push through to the other side. I have so many stories inside my head that are as clear as a Blu-ray DVD, so I am never satisfied with a first, second or even twelfth draft. Plus I have it in my mind that I need to wrap them all up with a neat little Hallmark-y after school special message for the masses, so I put them through another dozen cycles of editing. The end result is a well neglected blog, nothing more. I’m missing the point.

So I’m writing this to remind myself that this is a blog. It’s not a book, nor is it Rolling Stone magazine. The last time I checked, they don’t hand out Pulitzers or Nobel Peace Prizes for blogs. What this is, is a tool. It’s my place to practice, much like the wrestling room was all those years ago. It’s my little corner of cyberspace where I get to be me. Not the me I think everyone wants me to be.

Another of my new favorite lines says that if you keep doing the same things, you will continue to get the same results. I don’t want that. I want to evolve. I have a lot of irons in the fire that are reaching the critical temperature for molding, and if I don’t break this habit of meticulously writing my story in reverse, those opportunities will have gone cold long before I get a chance to do anything with them. After all, the tattoo on my wrist doesn’t say “did life,” does it?

I know that in order to do something well, I have to be willing to do it poorly first. So guess what that mean? Anyone following my site is going to get a much different version of me. Unpolished, maybe a little watered down in some respects, but hopefully a lot closer to the real me.  Some people may not like it. F#ck ’em if they do. It’s harsh, but I need the reminder that it is not my job to care what people think. Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business. My only job is to be me.

So for now, I’ll get back to practicing, work on my craft and then charge them all for the book later. I have a good feeling that even the haters will buy a copy. Wish me luck.

Comments

  1. Sarah mathew says:

    I will be first in line! I have followed you since the msn blog way back when, and am excited whenever you post. just JOT would ya? No one wants perfect, just the authentic Kenny!

  2. Good for you- and my brother reminds me of that quote often- What others think about you is none of your business. Very true. Yes, do life not did. For sure. I like that. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the book- whenever it may appear and in the meantime will enjoy the blog as always. Still taking it day by day over here. Some days better than others. Friday will be 3 months since I lost my brother. We got a puppy last week – getting some happy over here is what I say. He’s a lot of work but a lot of joy too. And yes, this is a blog- all forgiving and should not be a source of stress for you- write it enjoy it and post it.

    • In time, the one day at a time things eventually stretches into a couple days at a time, then maybe a week at a time. Glad you found some happy in your life, though! Dogs the best!

  3. Kenny I’m so happy whenever I see a new post from you! I’ve read your blog since I saw it on msn and I’m hoping that you will be writing and posting more, whatever you want to write! Even though we don’t know each other I almost feel like I have an old friend back in some ways. Look forward to reading more soon.

    • I’ll try to keep them coming… Thanks for reading & commenting!

      • I think it’s pretty amazing that so many people are still following you since that day on msn. That was what like 2005 maybe? I know I have and Sarah posted on here that she has too. And I definitely recognize the name Paul’s Mom (seems like a very nice person by the way). I don’t think you know how much you have impacted people to still 8 years plus be waiting to read what you write. Well maybe you do but people still have checked randomly all these years later to see if there is a new post and that’s pretty amazing.

      • You know, it’s something that’s always been really hard for me to wrap my head around. When things went viral, I couldn’t read the comments fast enough, let alone reply to any of them… So I have this very odd, detached relationship to my “fans” – if you will excuse the admittedly absurd term – as well as any affect I may have had on them. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beyond flattering… it’s just that I am still unsure of how to respond.

  4. Paul's mom says:

    Be true to yourself . . .

  5. Katie Isabella says:

    Hi there! I am new to you. We blogged on MSN Live Spaces but I’m not sure if we followed one another. However I am happy to meet you. I was an am Ramblingon. However my cat Katie has a log and it may be she who comes up when I sign off here. See you soon.

  6. I could read your blog all day long….you’re so brilliant….Love you!

  7. Love it cousin! You are a great writer; influential in it’s entirety. Keep it coming!! ❤ ya!!

  8. We need your voice, Billy! We need warrior that warrior spirit… Jump back in, buddy.

  9. I am a one of the msn followers too, I also look forward to your posts. I admire your perseverance and what can only be described as strength. I don’t think you could ever offend me and not that it should matter anyway. Not only is this blog your therapy/release, it has become mine as well. Thank you for sharing it with me.

  10. You should go back to blogging. At least consider it. I’m sure people miss you.

  11. Hi Kenny, I too started following your blog back in the day when MSN featured you. I was at a crossroads in my life then, (however it was nothing compared to what you were going through) and by following your blog, you were such an inspiration to me. You made me realize the things I thought were so wrong with my life, were nothing compared with what you were dealing with at the time. I could easily fix my problems, whereas you couldn’t. If nothing else, you taught me to suck it up cupcake, get over myself and appreciate the things I did have. I remember thinking you were so brave, and I was just a big chicken. So, see! You are an inspiration for everyone, even if they aren’t in similar circumstances as you. I look forward to hearing more from you, I feel as if we are old friends even though we have never talked.

  12. inourasha says:

    I’ve been following u for long time…and suddenly u stopped… It just crossed my mind to search for any new update… and here u r…I wish u luck…and I’m waiting for ur book…must be signed :)…keep it up

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