Friday, September 5, 2008

Midblog Crisis

So, like, how long are blogs supposed to go on? Until death? There's no real way to complete one, as far as I can tell, especially one with an amorphous raison d'ĂȘtre like this one.

I took a month off because I thought the blog was getting stale and gimmicky. I didn't want to dogear the books I was reading any longer, nor did I want to create lists or other excuses to talk about records or movies or whatnot. Most of the issues and ideas that had been rattling around in my head before the blog had now been transcribed, and they weren't replenishing themselves at the kind of rate that would keep me posting a minimum of three times a month (one of the rules I made for myself when I started things off in May of '07).

Another rule I made was no pix of me, but what the hell.
This is from a picture booth strip I took in London for my travel pass
during my brief stint working on B. MONKEY there in May '96

I wanted this blog to be spontaneous, not canned, and the last thing I wanted was to sit at my desk and wonder "Hmm, what should I blog about now?".

I was so hard up for material that I dug up my old journal, curious to see what my writing style and thought processes were like then compared to now.

Let me tell you, if you're interested in humbling yourself real quick, dig up your old journal or diary and give it a spin. "Stupid feeling" galore. That said, it felt really good to see that some of the anxieties and doubts and insecurities that plagued me in my twenties have been dealt with or overcome to some degree.

The journal was a gift from my dad for my 21st birthday, and the first entry is dated September 15, 1992 (shortly after my senior year at UNC began) and the first words are "Hello Cleveland!". The last entry is dated October 28, 1999, and the final words are "I'm going to ask (Mrs. Word Player) to marry me as soon as possible." We were engaged less than a month later, on November 24.

Reading the gory details of the seven years from 1992 to 1999 was very weird. It's not that I'd forgotten the names of some people who were apparently important figures in my life, I'd forgotten they ever existed. It was often a very pleasant jolt to read details about some people who I still think about, but in more fond, hazy ways.

From 8/23/99 entry: "Driving cross-country to move back to Georgia in the spring,
Brett (Kinard) drove too late into the night on a rainy night in Texas.
As was his custom, he wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
No one knows the specifics of his last moments, but in my mind he was singing "My Wild Love" by The Doors wearily, with a Marlboro Red dangling out of the corner of his mouth.
God we had some good times together."

BUT, it was not a treasure trove of quotables that would make for a good blog post. That leaves me with... not much. The blog has been a lot of fun to write, but in many ways I see it as a disappointment. It rarely if ever generated the kind of comment-board discussion that I'd hoped for, and the vast majority of the 14,103 site visits and 21,248 page views came because people Google image-searched some of the pix that I myself had snagged during my Google image searches... which doesn't really get me off that much, to be honest.

Me and Dodger scout Mike Brito from Mr. CFA's trip to LA in August of '95.
Mr. CFA used his Savannah, GA press credentials to wangle us amazing
submerged seats behind home plate to watch Ramon Martinez pitch.
That green Hawaiian shirt is my favorite all-time garment, may it rest in peace.

I have a big personal writing project that I've just embarked upon (writing a novel) and I wonder if the blog is something that I want to keep doing. Maybe I should throw off all the "rules" I've created for it and post only whenever I feel like it, even if that's every three or four months. Maybe I should dream up some blog stunt that I could document without much brainpower (365 Days Without Deodorant!). Maybe I should shutter this one and start fresh elsewhere when I have a stronger central concept to build around.

Honestly, I just don't know. Anyone have any ideas?


Anonymous said...

if it takes posting less frequently to get you to keep going then do it. why not let us hear commentary on the novel? You don't have to share the actual prose with us, but it would be fun to follow your progress in real time.

(damn, that picture at Chavez is sweet. I hope you have the one of me with him b/c, as you know, mine were lost by the photo people).

Mr. Word Player said...

sadly Mr. CFA, the only pix I have from that game are this one and one of you and me in the parking lot.

I may end up taking your suggestion and write about the writing process as it occurs, but as of this moment I'm feeling a bit self-conscious about it. just as it took me years and years to feel comfortable with saying I was a writer, i feel weird saying that I am writing a book. I feel pretentious in a way, even though I'm dead serious about it.

well, I'll give it a shot.

today I worked on fleshing out the three primary characters as well as the narrative timeline. names were named. I've been dreaming about the story I want to tell, which is usually a good sign with me.

Mr. Word Player said...

well, the people have/haven't spoken.

I am taking an indefinite hiatus from posting on the word player.

bobo said...

Thank you for the picture of a missed friend... I would really appreciate seeing more photos you may have of Brett... all I have left is a terrible Sophie Hawkins cassette tape...But in 1993 it wasn't that bad and we road way too fast down Lenox Rd to give it much thought... Thank you ps there is nothing pretentious about being creative...good luck. bobo

Mr. Word Player said...

Hi Bobo!

Always good to hear from a friend of Brett. Sounds like you knew him in GA. I met Brett in LA in 1995 or early '96 and we became fast friends. I have at least a few pix of him that I could scan and send to you. Post your email address and I'll send you what I have.


Matthew Hennessey said...

I'll miss checking your blog. These pictures have managed to make me very happy and very sad all at once. Aint that a bitch.

Good luck with your novel. I'll be looking for it.