What is the Point of Writing? A Navel Gazing Blog.

We interrupt the reviews and such for a bit of an introspective blog.  What can I say? The recent blogs between here and the ChicagoNow stuff have definitely been more of the reporting/observing nature. Nothing wrong with that to be sure, I enjoy it quite a bit.  That isn’t all that blogging is about, at least for me.

I may imagine being a cultural critic and fantasize about filling the vacancy left by Studs Turkell, but the truth of it is, I’m not.  Writing will probably never pay a dime nor podcasting or a potential radio show currently in development (I always wanted to say that 🙂  Some of that comes down to talent, to be sure.  I’ve faced it, if I was good (and I don’t think I’m bad, mind you) I would have been discovered long ago.  In addition to that, I firmly believe, after reading and watching enough interviews with writers and other artists, one has to hustle, work at it, and keep working at it.  Um, yeah.  That just isn’t me.  I’m not adverse to work or working hard, but when that bleeds into self-promotion I find it excruciating.  I just watch some of my fellow bloggers over at ChicagoNow and am simply amazed.  Some of those are just relentless in getting their names and work out there.  There are many adjectives to describe me, relentless probably isn’t one.  To split that hair a little, it isn’t that I don’t finish or pursue things either, see PhD, marathon and the like.  I love the longue durée, and seeing projects of weeks, months, years come to fruition.  It is that…sales aspect I just don’t have.

Deep down, it is lack of confidence.  After the thousands of words I’ve written, with some great praise and wonderful feedback (thanks everybody!) I don’t believe enough in my own work to promote it.  I’ve haltingly put my stuff out there, drips and drabs of things, mostly academic writing.  It wasn’t so much the rejection; I was expecting that.  It was so much the futility of submitting something either, but rather the lack of satisfaction with the whole process.  Honestly, ever since I’ve put pen to paper and finished something, I feel good.  I hated editing in the past, but the dissertation pretty much cured me of that.  Editing and proofing isn’t so bad.  I don’t do it a lot for the blogs (as I’m sure you’ve noticed) but I don’t feel like my thoughts are complete as is, take it or leave it.  I think it comes down to the aforementioned lack of confidence and the overall lack of interest I have in the process, if that makes sense.  Don’t get me wrong getting some things published would be great but I won’t get much more personally, emotionally if it were to happen.  I’ve pretty much got to a place where I like writing, I like that it is out there for anyone to see and it is a relatively easy to accomplish those things.  Why bang my head against the wall if I’m otherwise feeling pretty good?

To answer my own question, it would be friggin’ cool to get paid to write.  I would love to sit in my office all day and blog, blog, blog.  That is a bit of the rub though isn’t it?  The truly successful blogs are those that are very focused, one key topic or genre of material like sports or motherhood or just about anything.  A dedicated blog to fishing lures is going to find its audience.  Another knock against me I suppose.  I write about a lot of things all interesting to me.  I am not the one stop for anything in particular.  My dilettante nature pretty much assures that I will never make many inroads in the business side of blogs.  Seriously, I’m just some dude writing about shit I like, not exactly a great selling point.  The real truth: anyone can, and many people do, exactly what I’m doing now.

If you’ve made it this far in this extreme navel gazing regarding my lack of desire, drive and focus when it comes to writing.  Oddly, I feel better than when I started and it makes me want to start something…long.


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