Thursday, August 13, 2015

So anyway, where was I?

Over the past two years, there have been many times that I've been tempted to just throw something random up on here, just to see if anybody's still out there. (I know Travis is still out there, because Travis often tells me he is still out there) Truth is, I'd essentially written off the possibility of coming back to blogging. First, it's just not as "cool" as it used to be. Look at the blogroll on the side of my page. Very few of the people who were keeping personal blogs back when I was doing so regularly have done much in the past year. Facebook statuses have replaced blogs for most of my friends as jobs and children have begun to sap all the time and energy from our lives. Second, there are already a ton of words and opinions all over the Internet. I don't generally feel as though I have anything worthwhile to add most of the time. So many blogs are just adding to the noise, and lately I've become disenchanted with the whole "saying stuff just to say stuff" way of Internetting. I'd think of something to write about, and then I'll ask, "Now, is that really worth my time to write or anyone else's time to read?" And with dishes and scripts and housework that all need finished, the answer is frequently, "Nah, not particularly." Third, the Internet is just a mean-spirited place. If I ever click over to an article or an op-ed that a friend has shared via FB or email, I sometimes make the mistake of scrolling down and reading the first few comments and I start to lose all hope for our species. People are just vindictive and hateful online, and I'm afraid that sometime, when I do have something meaningful to say, it'll end up on some lonely troll's Google search sometime and I'll go viral, and then people will be threatening my children and finding out where I live so they can drive by and yell hurtful things at my wife. It's a long shot, yes, but it's the sort of thing that happens these days, and I just don't want to deal with it, so I tend to stay away from saying much online and instead prefer to have discussions about meaningful topics in person, where ideas can actually be exchanged and questions asked without fear of venom and international infamy.

When I first started this blog, I was blogging daily for an entire year, and it was a great exercise for me as a writer and a lot of fun. I also attracted a decent following of friends who encouraged me in my process and my output. I attempted a "sequel" 365 project, but because I had already accomplished it once the thrill was gone and my heart wasn't into it, so eventually it failed. Also, most of my friends stopped reading, because they'd been reading every day and after a while you move on to other, newer Internet things. I resurrected the blog a couple of times and produced some decent entries, but my blogging had become so irregular that my audience had dwindled to a handful--which isn't necessarily a bad thing, because I appreciated the handful, but it's easy to look back at all your friends who used to find you interesting and don't anymore, and wah wah wah. More than anything, however, I had come to care about the quality of my blogs. As such, I wanted to produce entries that were long enough and solid enough to merit reading. I couldn't post one-and-done paragraphs as I had when I was a beginning blogger. I wanted to write blogs that weren't crap. But those sort of entries took more time, and as I found myself more and more fatigued from the raising of two kids (and then eventually three) and doing whatever I could to make whatever money I can to keep the family afloat, I didn't have the time or energy to craft the sort of thing I wanted to see on my own site. So it went away.

What, then, is this?

Well, a new blog, duh. And thus far, a fairly boring one at that, but sometimes you have to wade through a ton of exposition if you want to get an idea of what's really going on.

Lately I find that there are nights when I need to write, but no progress on any of my current projects is forthcoming. These blocks often completely derail me and I find myself stuck in a marshy swampland of creative impotence, and sometimes the frustration leaves me at such an impasse for weeks at a time. After such lulls, I return to the craft to discover that I've lost some of my skill, and then that's discouraging and then comes the whole "Oh no I'll never write anything decent again I peaked with the last Hero Squad script it's all downhill from here" Cyclone of Cynicism which lads to more inactivity.

(By the way, I promise I'm not pathetic. Most writers I've spoken to or read about--in fact, artists in nearly every discipline--face these same traps throughout their lives. It's a constant battle to overcome the paralysis that comes from your own fears. So STOP JUDGING ME)

So, once again, why are we here? Because I have realized that I need to be pouring words somewhere. I would prefer for them to be poured into a project that will eventually touch dozens if not hundreds or thousands of others, or if not at least into projects that will provide some sort of financial support for my family. But currently, that's not happening, and I need to be writing something. So I'm telling Travis and anyone else who happens to find out that I'm "back" how pathetic I am and why I've been gone for so long. Because I want to write, and at the moment I have the energy to do so and no other responsibilities, so I have to write something.

I imagine that, whenever I do post on here, it'll be a night like tonight. I've got the time, and I'm stuck in another project, so I come here to keep the creative muscle working through the lean times. I may just shoot some thoughts off the top of my head, or I may try to be a little on the entertaining side from time to time. (Most who know me best have commented that the inner-workings of my mind tend to be at least mildly entertaining more often than not anyway) I still remember the old features and I love them, but I don't have a plan, for example, to make sure I actually do a Random Nintendo Game of the Week every week. Or every month, for that matter. Though I loved that series. But again, time consuming, and I'd like to be a little more spontaneous in my blogging moving forward. I will endeavor not to worry so much about readers, comments, feedback, etc, because I know that's a trap, and anyway I'm supposedly blogging for my own exercise anyway, but I realize that a blog is a public thing, and in case anybody is reading it I'd still prefer for it to be something worth his or her time.

I'm currently in a hotel room about two thirds of way home from our vacation at my parents' house. Everybody else is, thankfully, asleep. School starts for the boys in a week. Tomorrow night I have to work at the ballpark and next week I'm holding auditions for the next show I'm directing. This is going to be a long, tough year, but I believe there's some light for relief at the end of the tunnel. If you're reading this, I hope you'll say a quick prayer for me, for my whole family, for rest, for perseverance, and for faith.

Another reason for blogging tonight was that I was wired and couldn't fall asleep. It seems as though throwing these thoughts into the little square text box has helped with this as well. I believe I shall turn in for the night.

Maybe I'll see ya around here later, eh?