Since I’ve been blogging compulsively, I’ve lost most of my other Internet obsessions. I don’t check weather.com set for five different geographical areas every two hours. I no longer obsessively think about my novel without putting pen to paper or really finger to keyboard. I just do it.
Blogging lets me get out all the thoughts that run around around my brain like mice on speed. Somehow it lets me organize them more thoroughly. I don’t really understand that one. I would say it’s because I’m writing more but I’m not really, just putting the words out there.
I love words. I would never use “obsessive” when I mean “compulsive,” or “they’re” for “their.” But I do have problems spelling and my word editor doesn’t work when I write directly into Blogger. So forgive me any sins.
Before I began using a word processor in the 1980’s I couldn’t spell to save my life. Now I can spell a thousand times better. All the flash cards, that my poor parents used to have to quiz me with, were useless compared to seeing words over and over again in type; and the miracle of spell checks. For some of us they are true miracles as we couldn’t even use the dictionary. So don’t put us down!
I used to write strictly for fun. In the 1980’s I wrote stories about my three best girlfriends and me trying to navigate life in New York. My friends called them my “girl stories,” and each new one was eagerly awaited. We were divorced, in our 30’s, and at times living with men, at times totally single.
Lucia and I went out at least four times a week together. Men would buy us champagne and/or whole meals as Lucia and I continued our ever going conversation that had begun one night in the 1970’s. Sometimes if the men were cute enough or funny enough or something enough we would actually talk to them, and things might or might not happen
My writing teachers would beg me to try to get them published and I would say:
“Hah? This is what I do for fun, not for a living.”
I couldn’t imagine being published in the magazines that they suggested I send my work to.
The New Yorker was a family bible that I had been taught to revere. (My sister’s Sweet Sixteen, arranged by our mom, had a Black and White theme very closely based on Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball.)
About three and a half years ago I decided that I wanted to be published. I would read the message board for my old high school on Classmates and realized that people were fascinated by the trivia that had made up our lives. When somebody wrote that he wanted to communicate with any hippie girls who had gone to a certain college from 1968-70, I laughed. That was my “It girl” school. I didn’t want to communicate with him; I wanted to get paid for my writing about that era.
The funny thing was that my mom said that she thought I had to go for the whole enchilada. I couldn’t believe that she gave me her blessing though I would have done it anyway.
About three years ago an old friend began a new newspaper and asked me to come along. Somebody wanted to pay me to write about me. I was in writers heaven. Of course he had been my first real love and was a little prejudiced.
The column was actually read, but I didn’t live in the geographical area that the column was supposed to talk about and have you ever tried working for your first ex-husband?
We remembered everything that we hated about each other, along with everything we liked.
I gained an immense amount of experience in a short time. I went somewhere and realized that the story I had been told would make a great cover story. It did.
I went from never having been published to having a cover story in a bit over a year. However my mom had died suddenly and I went through a protracted mourning period and was in general a bitch. I apologize to anybody I might have offended.
Somewhere along the line writing became a job rather an a joy. Compulsive blogging has brought back the joy.