Monday, January 1, 2018

This is the End


            Okay, here's the deal: I hate blogging. I have for a long time.

I started blogging as a way to reassure my friends and family who were worried that all I was writing were dark stories, mostly with monsters and somebody (or somebodies) dying. I wanted them to see that I still had what they would refer to as fun. A good percentage of my posts had to do with my son and me, and were a way to keep my family aware of what was going on with him as well.

He's fifteen now, and he has school, and video games, and a girlfriend (whom I love, she's a terrific kid), and most of all he's fifteen, so the last thing he wants to do is spend any time with his parents. Hasn't wanted to for better than two years, really. And without doing stuff with him anymore, all I have to blog about is myself . . . and I think I'm done with that.

See, there are people persons, and then there are people like me; shy, lacking in self-confidence, socially awkward, having social anxiety—call it what you will—I'm usually uncomfortable talking to people, and it's because of one main fact: I'm 99 percent sure whomever I'm talking to, whether friends and family or total strangers, couldn't give a shit what I have to say. It's not them, it's me. I'm positive my opinions are shitty, or if what I have to say is okay then the way I'm saying it is shitty, or it could be something wrong I haven't even thought of yet, but I'm pretty sure they're wishing they were somewhere else right then. Anywhere else.

That carries over into my blogging, too. No matter what I write about, if I'm writing as me, I'm convinced no one's really going to care. I stumble over words and phrases. I struggle to come up with sentences.I rewrite passages again and again, then edit the whole thing a half dozen times, just looking for the part (there may be one, there may be many), where my reader will say What the fuck am I reading this shit for? and bail, lip curled in disgust at my wasting his time.

I know people—bloggers, good ones, you should read them—who complain that it may take them as much as an hour to write a blog post, when ususally they bang one out in thirty to forty minutes. They whine about the wasted time. The New Year's post that I kicked aside this evening when I decided to call it quits was just over a thousand words long and took me eight or ten hours to write, spread over the course of three days. Let me repeat that: eight or ten hours. A thousand words. And I hated about seventy-five percent of them. The other twenty five percent sucked. And I grew more frustrated and angry the longer it went on. This is what blogging often is for me: hours of frustration and trying to get the words out while convinced no one's going to read them anyway.

I've tried to draw out some kind of response in the past, asking questions, requesting suggestions, even posting polls. They've never worked. And I'm not pointing my finger at anyone and saying You people didn't support me, either; I simply can't draw people out like some other bloggers can. I get the occasional response on Facebook, but I could do that without the blog, without the aggravation and frustration. Without the wasted eight or ten hours.

When I write stories, though, people respond; I'm enjoying it then, and they're enjoying it with me. When I speak as a character, I don't stumble. I struggle a lot less. I have fun then, and love what I'm doing. Is it really any wonder that I'm more comfortable writing in someone's fictional skin when I'm so uncomfortable living in my own? I could have taken that eight or ten hours and worked on the novella I'm writing right now, or banged out a chapter in the collaboration I'm taking part in again, or maybe outlined something for at least one of the three submission calls I saw today that I want to respond to. A few people asked me over the course of 2017, Hey, isn't it time we saw a novel or something from you?

I think they're right.

If you're one of the dozen or so people who've actually been reading along with me here every post, please, if you've not looked me up on Facebook, do so now. I'd love to hear from you. We can keep in touch. You'll know what goes on with me even better over there. If you get a kick out of my writing, and want to keep reading it every month, check out my Monster Movie Madness column over at Cinema Knife Fight—I understand my reviews can be pretty entertaining.

For me, though, I'm going to focus on what feels better for me, and what people seem to enjoy more—and more people seem to enjoy. The banner at the top of the page says I write character-driven dark fiction, so, for now at least, fuck this blog, I'm out of here.

I'll see you in the story books.