When I began posting writings on Open Salon as a way to relieve pressure brought to bear by my husband’s unemployment I originally intended to keep posting until “something happened.”
When my husband became re-employed in November at a good wage but on a temporary status, I revisited the issue and decided that I would continue to post until either the job became permanent or for a year.
I had really fixed on a year. It seemed like a nice, whole number. A year would show discipline and would be a real exercise in writing. One small regret that has developed over the course of the year was not reading and responding to any comments that had been left due to a combination of limited access to the Internet from home combined with a slight touch of agoraphobia, extreme reluctance to interact with the outside world online, and sometimes by telephone, and a long time ago in person. I had in mind that in the two weeks leading up to the one year anniversary mark I would go back and print out all the comments and respond to any that called for a response, however belated, and then follow through with comments to the end.
I had in my mind the date February 20th as the one year date. Last night I logged in to Open Salon, went to manage Posts and scrolled down to February 20th, 2011 and then past February 20th all the way back to January 20th, 2011 which is the actual date when I made my first posting to Open Salon! I had been a month off in remembering the date and I had overshot my intended end by a month!
I now find myself in the quandary of when do I stop? When I write these postings sometimes I have a subject in mind. Sometimes I will have several subjects in mind, as many as three or four at a time. Sometimes these subjects will get written as intended, sometimes some other subject will catch my fancy and supplant the original notions. Sometimes I have nothing at all and will come up with an idea that morning or even come up with an idea as I start typing. Sometimes, when I was very busy or when I didn’t feel like writing, I would post something already written though I have pretty much used these up months ago unless I wanted to start posting an executed woman a day and some of those are very short and devoid of real content.
I do regret not having time to polish and edit more. Writings are posted as soon as they are written and I don’t have time go back and change things unless someone emailed me to point out an error or I woke up the next morning with the realization that Debs is spelled with only one B.
Still, I am proud of what I’ve produced and feel like a more muscular writer because of it. I do appreciate the comments, even if they go unread and the people who have taken the time to email me including the person who, early on, emailed me that I should post an Avatar which really made me feel a part of things. The fact that some people have chosen me as a Favorite is such a validating honor. The postings which received an Editor’s Pick pleased me beyond measure and I was both tickled and humbled at the same time whenever one of my postings made the Open Salon Cover.
It is somewhat disheartening to consider the things that haven’t happened in a year. The local paper needed a writer and I was tempted to apply as it has always been something of a dream of mine to get paid to write, it would be the ultimate earning a living doing what you love situation, but I’ve never learned how to drive and I don’t think they would be copacetic with a reporter who could only report on things within walking distance of her house. I tell myself that lack of change can be good; I still have my father and my husband and my in-laws and my kids. We did lose a cat to a beagle attack and that sad event serves as a reminder of how fragile and unexpected life is.
My husband is scheduled for a performance review at his new job next week but judging from the fantastic emails that numerous high-ups and customers who have worked with him have sent up his chain of bosses, it will be a good one. Still, one woman told him she had been made a permanent employee after 18 months and that stands as a record for that concern.
I still have some ideas for things that haven’t gotten written yet. One was bumped this morning to make way for these musings and there are still all those comments to be answered. I can easily go another couple of months, at least, without breaking a sweat but sometimes I worry that posting this Blog has become somewhat of a compulsion and compulsion is something I must be careful to guard against.
I have begun to think about what I am going to do after finishing this. I am tempted to turn this writing exercise into actual exercise and use my more disciplined mind to enforce discipline upon my body, which had been allowed to slack off for far too long. I have also toyed with the idea of attempting to write a novel based on a local murder case where a professor of English was murdered by an Iraq War veteran after the professor took sexual advantage of the vet, but I run into the same problem of writing without a certain outcome or audience. Without that motivation or outlet I find it pointless to produce.
I have been inspired by a recent Post I read by another Salon contributor who wrote that the best writing advice he ever received was from someone who told him to produce a page a day. If he could produce a page a day, good, bad or indifferent, in a year he would have a book. Perhaps that’s how I should approach writing a novel, a page a day until I have a book while all the while saving to take an online novel writing course from Harvard.
So as I carry on for now, I would like to extend a sincere Thank You to everyone who has taken the time to read my work, and especially to those who have gone the extra step and responded to my work. It has really and truly meant the world to me.