Monday, August 24, 2009

Navel-Gazing

It's interesting to me (and me alone) that this blog had spawned three spin-offs: focii upon writing, traffic, and stationery. I'm toying with the idea of yet another, a politics blog. I've tried this several times in this blog, examining news stories and summing them up for my comprehension. The only thing that would stop me from trying this in its own blog is, no freakin' way would I write to that on a daily basis. Maybe I could collaborate on one with my wife, since she is way more politically savvy and educated than I am, but I'm good at research so any point she brings up, I could support with a dozen sources or examine for enhanced comprehension.

It's ironic that I would consider a collaboration, since it would basically take an act of Congress to get her to sit down and write out her opinions. They're well-formed and substantiated, but I'm the only person who gets to hear them, at high volume, right after she's read some horrible revelation in the news.

But why do I want to start so many blogs, anyway? My readership is less populous and less guaranteed than my tedious little updates on LiveJournal, but Crom take my eyes if I'll go back to LiveJournal. Yet I have this urge to write, and not just to write but to indulge in the delusion of publication. I could sit at home and write out stories in Word, print them out and bind them, actually hold them in my hands. But then no one would see them, and even though very, very few people see them online, there's still the potential for an audience, for a fortuitous link from another forum drawing attention to my writing and then I... well, what? Then what? Even if 300 people read me daily, then what? Does this magically convert to a job, somehow, by which I could somehow make an income? I don't see how, and even if I did I'd have to concede the odds are remote at best.

Yet there is something therapeutic in writing with the illusion of a potential audience in mind. I don't think I could do my "short story a day" exercise only for myself, writing for myself, saving every effort on my hard drive rather than on Blogger. I know I wouldn't keep a traffic diary very long, and if I did there would be no potential for growth: my acerbic tone would worsen to acrimony, whereas because I'm deluded into thinking someone else may be reading, I feel an instinct to behave myself somewhat, moderate my misanthropy, and find more amenable ways to relate my message. For a while, exchanging glances with whatever hipster sailing through a stop sign on his fixed-gear café cruiser or spindly 10-speed (or whatever the fleeting trend may be this month), I had to wonder, Does he read my blog? Is this going to result in an altercation? How hard can a hipster hit, anyway? I could bring myself back down to Earth by reminding myself that very, very, very few people read that blog, but still... When I got my brakes replaced at Freewheel, did any of them know about ,Small Laws? Did they know about it at Commuter Connection, when I claimed my prize? I wonder.

So, no, it's not therapeutic to cultivate potential enemies throughout the Twin Cities. It is therapeutic to vent my spleen rather than grow increasingly furious with every transgression committed on the mean streets. It's therapeutic to share my interests in postal correspondence and linoleum carving, and it's therapeutic to produce a short story (nearly) every day, to feel like I'm actually producing something as a writer, even if I'm not published. At least all that.

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