One of the tips that the admin for the ChicagoNow bloggers likes to share is read more blogs. the thinking being that one will get some ideas of what to write about, get inspired and as a nice side benefit, drive a little traffic to a friend and or colleague’s stuff. Also, I’ve found the more I click on other sites, the more clicks come my way. While I appreciate the idea of writing for one’s self, I also realize that the great thing about blogging is that it is shared, otherwise I might as well write a journal. (not saying journaling is bad, just private) Even if a blog gets one reader, I’ve shared my ideas, it’s OUT THERE and that is a good feeling. I need to write for myself, be true to myself, but I also need to share. If I don’t it feels like yelling at the sea.
So, I’ve been following my friend’s blog, Outlaw Mama for quite awhile. Christie is a great writer, honest, funny and insightful. For my money, it’s what good blogs are: a balance between personal and social observations with a healthy splash of humor. She is currently working on an interesting project of her own making, “30 Opening Chapters in 30 Days.” It is pretty much what it sounds like, a new beginning to a story each day for thirty days, ambitious as hell too. Christie laid out that she doesn’t know what’s going to happen to the chapters; she might hang on to some, she’s encouraging her readers to pick them up and run with them, and she’s even cracked the window and let us know that she might just quit. I hope she doesn’t, but I get it if she does. My blogs are littered with the corpses of abandoned series and projects.
Which brings us to me and a new project. Taking the lead from Christie, I’m going to start writing a story on the blog. I won’t be taking one of Christie’s starters, but cutting from my own cloth. I’m also going at it from a different perspective. I really love a quote from George RR Martin that some writers are gardeners and some are architects. I generally fall into the latter camp. This time though, I’m going against my personal grain and taking a page from Martin and Stephen King, just starting and seeing where it goes. Basically what you’ll see is a slightly less than rough draft. I’ll try and keep it pretty organic, but I want to at least read through once or twice before out it goes.
In the next day or so the first installment should appear. Like so many good ideas I’ve had, it came when doing something ordinary. The first paragraphs you’ll see came to me while I was trying to fall asleep the other night. I should have written them down right then, but I didn’t want to get out of bed. For some reason though, the thoughts, the feel, and even some of the words have stuck with me. I’ve plopped them down in another draft page, so any day now. Also, I make no promise regarding length or frequency. I’ll post when I post and the entries will be as long as for as long as what feels write.
Also unlike Christie, also taking the lead from other writers, namely Neil Gaiman and Brian Michael Bendis, I’m going to try my damnedest to finish what I start. We’ll see how that goes. To say the very least, I’m already excited and terrified. Full disclosure, I love writing, but I’m scared to death of writing fiction. For the record, writing fiction is ten times harder than writing non-fiction. It is so much more personal, so much closer. I’ve written one story to completion and allowed, I think, one person to read it. It wasn’t that their criticism was harsh, it was the most exposed I ever felt. So here goes nothing. I have no idea how often I’m going to write this, no idea what is going to happen, even what to call it, but I’m on the edge ready to jump off.