I suppose it's the non-conformist in me that took an immediate dislike to this blogging nonsense, yet it appears I am now posting to my very own BLOG. Wee. I'm somebody now. Look at me.
I'm not sure why I'm doing it, or what changed my thinking, but I guess I am going to find out. This may be the first and last post. Too close to call at this point.
I've always fancied myself as a writer, and I have enjoyed writing at various times in my life. At least I think I enjoyed it. Maybe, just maybe, I enjoyed the praise from readers more than I actually liked the writing.
I remember the very moment when I realized writing was merely a dream, a fantasy. I was in a bookstore scrounging through the bargain bin when I came across what looked like a nice hardback novel. The title escapes me now, but I can still picture the author inside the dustcover. He was about 30, average looking, posing on a split-rail fence, the ocean behind him. He had that "I'm on top of the world" grin on his face, the one that says, "I made it." It was his first novel. The original price was $24.95, but the book had been marked down to one dollar. A buck. This guy's crowning achievement, what may have taken years to complete, was worth a whole dollar.
THAT would have killed me. I couldn't even imagine walking into a bookstore and seeing my work reduced to bargain bin filler, a paper weight, a doorstop. My brain is not wired to handle that kind of rejection. At least it wasn't back then, back when I was writing.
The dream never really dies, though. Sure, you're never going to be paid to write, but you get your fix here and there, whether it's telling your buddy a story through e-mail, or making the driest software manual somewhat entertaining, it never really dies, this dream. Like that girl next door you grew up with, one day she just looks different. She was always there, but now you really see her.
Now I'm 37 and my first child is 15 months old. I've been in the computer industry, the path I stumbled upon when the writing stopped, for 14 years. For some reason, on this day, things seem a little bit different. Perhaps it's my age, or fatherhood, or my computer industry shelf-life expiring, or simply this blog giving me the outlet. I'm not sure what it is, but today the feeling is different. Today I think I can write again.
So I type on the keyboard, just like I do every single day. Yet today, these words, they just look different.