Saturday, April 25, 2009

The writer as exhibitionist

[Here it is - the one I've been making you wait you've been waiting for!)

Why a blog? That's really the question, isn't it?

I could have picked almost anything to suck up all the spare time I didn't have (Facebook, Internet porn, rewatching old episodes of The West Wing). But I picked this. Why? Why?!

Well, if you'll hang on for a minute - I'll try to tell ya.

First - I enjoy writing. The first creative writing assignments I remember were in elementary school, fourth or fifth grade. Because I am a pack rat, I still possess some of my earliest efforts.

    The assignment was to take a picture from a newspaper or magazine and write a story based on the picture. (Some of you may remember being asked to do something similar in school.) I had the same teacher for fourth & fifth grade, Mrs. Smith. She liked me - and she liked my stories. She was so proud of my efforts, she had me take my stories to other classes and read them aloud. [Note to self: This may have contributed to your nerdy reputation and isolation from elementary schoolmates.]

    The enjoyment and pleasure I receive from writing has continued on from that time. In my younger days, I wrote poems and songs too (lyrics mostly). After graduating from college and going to work full-time, my creative writing output dwindled to nothing but the occasional letter. But nobody loves to crank out a humdinger of an email more than me!

    Although I work with computers, my current customer is a law firm - and being able communicate effectively in writing is important in that environment. Frequently, when there is a piece of correspondence coming out of our department that will be seen by all our users, I'm asked to do some "wordsmithing".

    Anyway, that's enough d*mn bragging.

    Clearly love of writing on its own does not explain blogging. As a friend of mine, the Phantom, said recently:

    "I can understand a journal or diary. But why would you want the
    whole world to be able to see that sh*t?" (Or words to that effect)

    My answer is pretty simple. I guess I'm egotistical enough to believe that somebody might:

    • Be interested in what I think and say, or
    • Enjoy the way I write, or
    • Be entertained, be moved, be exposed to a new idea (or a different view of an old one)

    Despite the provocative title, I'm not really in it to shock anyone - or to reveal my deepest, darkest secrets to people I don't (and, in some ways, can't possibly) know.* Like most other bloggers, I have a few readers who know me "up close and personal"** (or, as I've put it previously, who "get to see my live show") - but most wouldn't know me from Capt. Dumbass*** if they met me on the street. So, if I can make a few new friends (even if I may never meet them)...well, the world could do with a bit more of that, in any case.

    Mostly, I think I do this because I enjoy it. It stretches me. It makes do something I like to do - and probably wouldn't do otherwise. Maybe I'm just trying to slow down time a little.

    When I was fourteen, I wrote a poem that started with the lines:

    When I was a kid
    the stop at the stoplight
    would take a thousand years.
    And Christmas didn't come
    but once a lifetime.

    Now I have grown
    (not all that much)
    and I'm behind the wheel.
    Now stoplights don't last
    any time at all.

    I'm glad I wrote that down over 31 years ago (WTF!?). I'm glad I wrote this too.

    Take care.

    *I have another whole post (or two) I intend to write on that point - but I have no idea when I'm going to write them.
    **If you knew me, you'd hate me.
    ***a) he's my blogging hero; b) if the Sharks don't get their act together, Vancouver may get a one-series reprieve from getting spanked by the Red Wings


    Middle Aged Woman said...

    I like your poem very much. In my dreams, we win the lottery, so you can quit your job and be a full-time writer.

    Also: JimStyro = bald guy w/sexy voice. Captain Dumbass = bald guy w/sexy voice.


    Jim Styro said...

    MAW: You're having phone sex with Capt. Dumbass? (Well, at least one of us is getting some action.)

    In my dreams, we can go to dinner, see a movie, come home and fool around.