Posted by: jgurner | January 1, 2011

So, let’s see if I actually do this…

I’ve decided to be more like my friend David.

David is a writer and has a blog – Stores In My Pocket – and does a pretty good job of posting. I, on the other hand, do not. Days, weeks, even months go by sometimes and I go without posting anything.

Today, I read that David is participating in a little experiment here at WordPress which prompts bloggers to post at least once per day over the next year. This is where I plan to be more like David… Up to a point.

I know myself pretty well and I know that if I did the post-a-day thing I’d have blown it by tomorrow. However, they have an option for those of us who are somewhat less disciplined – Post A Week. And that’s what I’m going to attempt.

It’s rather appropriate that I would choose to be more like David when it comes to blogging. After all, he was the first person I know to have a blog. I don’t remember exactly what year it was, but I found out about David’s blog right before he answered my question “What the hell’s a blog?” At the time. I was still at the newspaper and writing a column almost every week so writing a blog as well was no real big deal. Sometimes I posted my columns. Sometimes I wrote about things I couldn’t write about in the paper. A lot of times, I just posted random crap.

Since I left the newspaper business two things have happened. First, I don’t write all the time like I used to. From 1993 to 2004, for approximately 572 weeks, I published at least one news article or a column or an editorial every week. Usually many more than that. I think 17 was the most articles I had in one issue that didn’t contain some type of special section I’d worked on in advance. But it may be more. I honestly don’t remember. But since leaving the paper, I basically stopped writing. I tried to keep blogging, but it just didn’t work out. I switched blogs a couple of times trying to get a fresh start, but it never really stuck. About the best I did was when I was still active on MySpace. I posted there fairly often in the couple of years after the divorce.

It’s a little strange that I do so little writing since for as long as I can remember I wanted to be a writer. I’m pretty sure I was the only kid in elementary school who wanted to be a newspaper man when he grew up. At one point, I planned on being the first newspaper man to go to Mars, but, in retrospect, I think I was over reaching. As I recall, at the time, I’d also decided I wanted to be a robot. Then decided the better plan was to build an exact duplicate robot replica of myself that I could send off to school. Unfortunately, we just didn’t have the needed material around the house to do that.

Growing up, I wrote all the time. In elementary school I’d fill notebooks up with stories that would involve me and my friends. We take off into space or tunnel deep into the earth or build a time machine. I pulled in a lot of ideas from books I read or movies and TV shows, but they’d inevitably spark other ideas. I wish I still had all those notebooks. Maybe they’re still in a box somewhere or an unopened drawer somewhere in my Mom’s house, but I doubt it.

I continued to write in high school. Several times I attempted to write something at was novel length just to see what it would take. By that time I’d gotten an aging electric typewriter, which wasn’t nearly as fast as writing by hand, but it was more readable. Not a whole lot more readable because, as anyone who knows me very well knows, I can’t spell.

When I got into college, writing took a different turn. Gone were the attempts at sci-fi and adventure narratives and in were the “serious” writing projects, the essays and the news articles. I took every writing course I could in both the English and Journalism departments (not as many as you’d think at the time). In college, writing became more about what other people wanted rather than what I wanted. But, I still did my own thing. I got into writing poetry for quite a while. I’m terrible at poetry, BTW, so, I concentrated on not really trying to write good poetry, but focused on writing bad poetry. I could do clever well enough, but that’s about as far as that went.

But, the interest in poetry kind of merges into the second thing that happened which, eventually, pulled me away from writing. Remember? Back several paragraphs ago I mentioned TWO things? Before I started rambling about the past and the fuzzy warm kid memories? Go back and reread. I’ll wait…

Got it? Good.

Anyway, the second thing was, I joined a band. One where I didn’t play French horn wearing a polyester Colonel Sanders uniform. A real rock ‘n’ roll band. Well, sort of real. I mean we played rock music in bars in front of people, but I don’t know how rock ‘n’ roll we really were. We never did drugs or had sex with groupies or trashed hotel rooms, though, we might have if we’d ever had the opportunity. We, however, were not the kind of band that attracted that kind of crowd.

I’ve always loved music and, in high school, the more I played music and the better I got at it, the more I wanted to keep playing music. College was pretty much like high school, centered around playing the French horn, but, my freshman year I bought a bass guitar (cause every groupie wants to have sex with the bass player if the lead singer, guitar player, drummer, keyboard player, sound guy and roadie are already taken and there’s nothing good on TV they have to get home for, or they rode to the gig with the girl [or girls] doing the lead singer and they’re stuck there anyway and it’s really boring and there are no more drugs). A couple of years later, I was in a band and I loved it. And I discovered I had a knack for writing songs. I may have been bad at poetry, but I was pretty decent at writing a song. Or, at least still very hit or miss but with a little more hit than miss.

I moved toward music more during my later years in college, though I still worked on my degree and did all the needed writing for that. I just didn’t do a lot extra. After college, I wrote constantly because of my job, but I did little that would really be considered creative. My opportunities to do music pretty much dried up as well and I went for many years doing very little with it.

Flash forward to 2004 and Steve Jobs was kind enough to introduce me to GarageBand. I was able to do high quality multitrack recording on my computer. I was hooked. A few months later, I said goodbye to the newspaper and hello to a 40-hour work week and more free time than I knew what to do with. Music took over the bulk of my creativity. It’s been almost seven years since I started and I haven’t really slowed down. I love making music as much as I’ve ever loved doing anything. And, even though I know it will probably never go beyond the enhanced hobby stage, music pretty much has become my sole creative outlet.

But, deep down inside, I still want to be a writer.

The funny thing is this. I don’t consider myself a writer. Even though I was paid to do it for more than a decade and have been published in one newspaper or another for more than 16 years, I don’t “feel” like a writer. I feel like a journalist – pissed off and discontent and quite often dunk – but that’s about it. But I do consider myself a musician, even though I’ve never had a “real” job as a musician. I’ve been paid to make music. I’ve gotten scholarships to play music. I’ve been paid to play in bars. But I’ve never earned a living at it. It’s never been THE thing I do like writing was.

I guess part of the reason why I don’t really think of myself as a writer and do think of myself as a musician has to do with my friends. Many of them are writers. Real writers. The kind of writer where you can go to Borders or Barnes and Noble and buy their books. They’ve sat down and poured the time and effort into crafting a novel or researching a non-fiction work. It’s gone through the editing process and the printing process. They have their pictures on the inside flaps of book covers. I do not.

But, I make music. I make music anyone can hear. You can go to several places on the Internets and find my music and download it on to your iPod and listen to it. Yeah, I don’t have a CD (yet) and I don’t make a dime. All my stuff is free. But, it’s there for public consumption. My creative work. Songs I’ve crafted. Works I’ve written and sequences of notes I’ve put together and played on a number of instruments. Songs I’ve mixed and mastered are all out there. As of today, there are 97 of them available. As of tomorrow, there should be 98. (And you can go to my page at MacJams to hear them all if you’d like. Not now, though. Finish reading this first.)

The time has come, however, to maybe balance out my creative outlets somewhat. I still see music being dominant, but I would like to spend more time writing. That’s where this challenge comes in. My blog might not be the most creative thing I do writing wise, but, if I stick with it, it will at least get me sitting at a computer and stringing words together on some coherent, or at least semi-coherent, form. Maybe I’ll even sit down and write a little bad poetry or put some adventure or another into words.

After all, it’s been a long time since my buddies and I fought the Lava Men that live at the center of the Earth…

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Responses

  1. tesekkurler admin güzel paylaşım

  2. At my job, when we do our annual performance reviews, we have to set goals for the coming year.

    Some of them we set ourselves, but some of them are universal things that every person on the team is required to include in their goals.

    After reading this post, I totally think “be more like David” should be a required New Year’s Resolution for everyone.

    Also, good luck with the challenge! Selfishly, I’m glad to see you’re doing it, and I look forward to reading.


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