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.