Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Nobody Cares

Hey, y'all. I'm back. Yes, it's been a very long time. And I'm sorry. Not sorry. Well, I'm mostly sorry. Not for those people who don't read this blog, but for the dwindling number of those who do. God bless you for having nothing better to do than read my sanctimonious drivel. It isn't all drivel, but enough of it probably counts as such that I am being nicer to myself than needed.

I was going through my Gmail today, deleting old shit, wondering how I get off of certain auto emails (hello, Pinterest and Facebook...stop emailing me with every single notification. Damn. I get it.) I saw an email about this domain being renewed and told myself I was wasting money. I should either write or shut this down.

But two sides of my brain started battling before I could make an informed decision. I don't even know how much this damn thing costs me each year. I'll assume it isn't much. You might know I'm not one to waste money on something other than my motorcycle.

Anyway. Keep it or shut it down.

Nobody cares what happens to this blog if I'm being honest. I don't make money from it. I don't use it as a platform to do anything other than tell you what I think and hope you find what I say important enough to read to the end or refrain from rolling your eyes. LOL. Jesus, I'm self-absorbed. But that is the way I'd think ANY writer would or should be when it comes to their own creations, no matter the genre or if they're being paid to espouse them. I used to get irritated when people read my writing and dared to give me critiques or 'helpful suggestions'. Pretty sure I was an asshole about it. What the hell do you know what I was thinking when I created this masterpiece? Uh, well, it's shit. Hahaha. I was such a dick then. I'm still a dick, but at least I come at critique from a different, more adult, angle these days. Hell, I have five pre-readers of my novels whom I ask to pointedly give me what they like and don't like about the book. It makes me a better writer is what I tell myself. Hopefully, I'm not doing it for nothing - maybe their advice and critique and suggestion help make my books easier for other people to read and enjoy, as well.

But nobody cares what I write.

Or so I thought. The blog is a different animal. It's nichey and small and something you have to seek out. I don't think I get much word of mouth advertising. And that's fine. This platform, if you go all the way back to the original Magnolia Rambling posts are all about what I wanted to write as it hit my brain. That still happens. And it's still good. But just as I moved on from judging readers and reviewers, I seem to have shifted a little bit from the original intent; I'm not focused on not being focused. It started to feel as though if I WASN'T pontificating, it wasn't worth putting down for you to read. That's a lot to deal with. I stopped writing for a while on this because it became something of a chore. Hell, that's why I haven't written a novel in four years. Writing has turned, or had turned, or is turning into a chore. And that's no fun. I want it to be fun. It might not always be funny, but at least writing should be fun. Fuck if you agree with me or if you don't think I'm crazy. On some level, I'm super crazy. And I love it. Will you ever know the real me? Probably not. That's a little too dangerous still. Society isn't ready. But because nobody reads this blog I could admit to being a 2 on the Kinsey scale, or a serial killer, or addicted to painkillers (pour one out for Prince), or anything. It's whatevs.

I've written three novels, and the other day I was tagged in a Facebook post by an old friend of mine from high school. He was hoisting a copy of my latest, 'The Rest Is Still Unwritten' and said he was excited to read it and that he would give a full report. Before I knew it, people in his network (some shared with me, some complete strangers) were saying they wanted to read it, too. I am always humbled when someone spends their hard-earned money on a gamble - I am always nervous they'll hate I've created. But several of our shared friends co-signed and said that he would love it just as much as they did. Wow. Heart full. I hope that sentiment is contagious and he really does love it.

So nobody cares until you find out they do. That's probably how I'll approach this blog in its next and maybe last phase. Just write what I want (hello, intent) and fuck anybody who doesn't like it. Or read it. Until they do. And hope like hell they love what I've put in front of them.

I might need to see a mental health professional. Chris Stapleton is in my ear scream-singing his Traveler record. Very appropriate.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Hi. That just seemed like the right way to begin this. It's been a very long time. I mean a very, very long time since I've written anything for this blog. At times I can say I don't know why I haven't written anything. And at other times it is my blatant desire to do just about anything other than write which has kept me away. I discovered YouTube videos and my world changed forever - I still can't decide if it is for the better or for the worse. Maybe I don't care.

I was sitting here at my desk researching a topic for a blog post that I'm writing for a client. I have my classical piano playing in the background, and I was somewhere else. I was reading, but I wasn't invested. Ingroups and Outgroups in marketing rarely suck audiences in, let alone keep them reading for the purposes of entertainment. There are so many thoughts going through my head right now, and reading about a topic I'm not super enthused about - and trying to find a way to make it sexy enough to compose 500-700 words for my client's readers to absorb was beginning to fade in its importance.

That's when I thought about my poor, abandoned, neglected Magnolia Rambling. I thought about how much I missed sitting down and writing whatever I want; nobody reads this, and I'm not going to advertise my posts. So unless there is some eagle-eyed follower out there, or if somebody was unfortunate enough to not edit my name or my blog from their Google Alerts, Magnolia Rambling is going to revert to what I'd considered in the first place, but never went through with it due to my outsized ego: a place where I can emote, bullshit, lie, praise, joke, and otherwise word vomit to my heart's content. It feels like I'm back to the freedom that I found when I picked up writing in the first place. I'm not worried about my critics or fans or grammar (lie) or anything else which can be used to measure the success or failure of the words I pour out. It reminds me of when I wrote Five Minutes in my Psyche - that's probably the title, but I'm not sure.

Here's a funny - I looked up and realized I'd been writing under the wrong blog. #FirstWorldProblems

I fixed that. I'm in the right place now.

It might have been subconscious of me to title this, 'Something Borrowed, Something Blue'. That's kind of the beauty about the way my brain works. As I looked back at the title, and realized this was in some way tilted toward starting over, or starting anew, I saw what I did. When I write, often the title comes to me first. It always has. I can't explain it, and I've never really considered fighting it. It works for me. So, it's whatever.

So many people don't start over. They don't take fresh looks at something, no matter what it might be, and they languish in something that can make them unhappy and miserable and sick. And for what? I wasn't writing because I was being lazy. I wasn't writing because I didn't know what people wanted to hear from me, to read from me. I was thinking more about my audience - how ridiculously grandiose is that? My 'audience'? Wow. It was cool in the beginning when I was writing stuff because it hit me, or because I wanted to see what I could do. But then it got to a point, probably after my third novel, when I got scared. People were asking me for sequels to things I'd written. I'd become invested in my characters, but not in creating. I started to think about storylines and potential plots and alienated the reason I loved to write in the first place - the creativity of it all is what makes me come back, to try and reinvent myself. I started writing for my audience and not for me. And that sucked. And because of that, I didn't write anything creative. I HAVEN'T written anything creative since 'The Rest Is Still Unwritten'. And that doesn't make me feel good. Because it doesn't feel good. It sucks. Because I'm a very fucking good writer. I'm not apologizing for that. If you don't believe in yourself, you should immediately stop what you think is your passion and go do something else.

I am fucking awesome. And I love writing. And that's part of the reason why I didn't want to force myself to write for my audience. I've reached a point where I don't care what they think. Jesus, there are so many people in my own family who haven't read what I write. That pisses me off, but it's not worth debating. They will or they won't. And I've stopped asking. It'll be interesting to see if I even tell anybody about the next novel I publish.

Months ago, I told a friend of mine I went to school with that we'd form a writing group. He's super talented, and I loved reading this piece he sent me. He has stories to tell. And he needs to get them out on paper or the computer or whatever medium works best for him. We called ourselves the Jedi Council. Pretty fantastic name. It's time I actually do what I said I would and write. But not for an audience. Not for my family or my supposed fans or for 5-star reviews on Amazon. Not even to please the Jedi Council. I need to write because I'm awesome, because I love it, and because by not writing - by languishing and soaking up the lazy - I'm doing a disservice to myself. No, thank you.

Time to pull on that wedding dress (as it were), stand up at the altar of awesomeness, grip my something borrowed and something blue, and knock my own socks off.

Fuck yes.