Assuming I stick to my schedule, this Sunday I’ll publish my 100th post. (Actually it’s my 101st, but there was a post that I deleted before anybody could read it because it was stupid, so it doesn’t count.)
I think now is as good a time as any to take a look back, and think ahead about the future.
I started this blog almost a year ago, basically out of spite. I was mad at my boss and decided to show my displeasure by no longer coming in an hour early to catch up on email before the morning meetings. (I also stopped attending the morning meetings, because I was catching up on emails. So take that, Boss! Even better, I still won an award for my good work, and the one time someone asked me about my attendance at morning meetings I threw such a fit that they never asked again, so really it was a win-win for me all around.)
Because of the realities of crosstown traffic and downtown parking, however, I still needed to leave my house at the same time, which meant that I got to the office an hour early and needed to kill time. I took a booth at a coffeeshop near Panfilov Park and started to write. In about three months, at the rate of forty-five minutes plus one croissant each working day, I wrote an honest-to-goodness novel. (Want to read it? Send me an email and I’ll send you the PDF. For real.)
I started a second book but that one proved harder, so one morning, after having taken a 40,000-word wrong turn, I decided to put it on hold and go to WordPress and set up a blog. I didn’t really know what to do with it, though. I had a couple of half-baked ideas that I’d been kicking around, so I put them up there, but that was about it. I quickly reverted to my usual writing habits:
1. Think of a character/scene/title that might be interesting.
2. Interview myself in the shower about how awesome my masterpiece is.
3. Tell myself that I’ll actually write it tomorrow.
4. Give up.
5. Rinse, repeat.
Having actually completed something, though, I was determined to keep that momentum going. One morning in September I woke up with what I thought could be a really good idea, and somehow found the discipline to sit down with a box of cereal and a bottle of Coke Zero and in a marvelous 5-hour writing spree I ended up with Ada. I was so pleased with myself that I posted it, and then challenged myself to do the same every week. And I have, every Friday since then.
Around that same time I was unpacking from my most recent move and came across a box of old pictures, taken back when I had a real camera and not just my phone. I decided to pick out some of my favorites and post those, too.
Lastly, I forced myself to write other things, too, with a semi-serious rule that I wouldn’t write about politics, food, or how I don’t know what to write today–because knowing myself, if I go down any of those rabbit holes I might never crawl back out.
Altogether, it’s the most productive I’ve been since people stopped grading my papers. (And another thing–how the hell did I get so old? Should I learn how to play canasta?)
I’ve learned a bit about myself doing this blog. For example, it turns out that I take a lot of pictures of water. Rivers, lakes, oceans, pools. I didn’t realize how many pictures of water I’d taken until I put them all side-by-side. It’s a lot.
Also, my obsessions aren’t necessarily what I thought they were. You think you know a person, right?
And, unfortunately, that as much as I enjoy doing this I do have some other responsibilities that get in the way–family, chickens, auto repairs, etc. I thought I didn’t give a crap about those things but it turns out I do.
I look forward to writing my next hundred posts, but I might have to change a few things. I think that some of my stories deserve second drafts, and I still have that novel that demands my attention. (It calls to me in the night sometimes: ‘Write me…’) I might have to post new fiction every other Friday to accommodate those projects. Or spend less time eating and sleeping. Most pressingly, though, I’m running out of good old pictures so I’ll have to figure out something soon.
Whatever happens, though, I want to thank all of you who have read my stories, looked at my pictures, and spent a little time with me. I hope you’ve been at least a little entertained, and I hope you choose to stick around a little longer.
Here’s one of my favorite water pictures. It’s Lake Nahuel Huapi in Argentina. Some trees are reflected in the lake, and if you look closely, one of the trees looks like Rowlf from the Muppets.