Friday, October 28, 2011

My Wife, My Life, My Writing

A word about the pick of the week post from yesterday, if I may.

No objections, then? Everyone duly silent and relatively compliant? Good.

It was a pleasure to write the post on Julia yesterday and then interact with some wonderful people afterward both here n the comment section as well as on twitter. Being small and new in a fairly dusty and unused part of the blogging world, it has not often been my experience to feel part of the larger writing community. I felt that yesterday and for that, I give my thanks.

Now, enough of the sappy feelings and whatnot. On to my regularly scheduled post. (Though if I may again interject, I do still have this warm glow about me and a fuzziness in my belly. Just sayin’.)

It has been my desire to be a writer since I was a little boy and first understood the concept of what a writer was, what they did. I had no organization, no grand plan. Being shy, the stories looped in my head, my own private amusement and refuge. I wrote, but mostly I daydreamed and created. Prolific in my mind more so than on paper, I was a writer unequaled up until my early teens when, well, hormones took possession of me for awhile and writing themes became rather limited and... diverting. Diverting, but decidedly of a repeated and base nature that I’d be more comfortable alluding to than I would in describing. Moving on.

My writing enjoyed a renaissance once hormones regulated and in my senior year of high school I wrote a book- mostly (as I diligently avoided doing as much as I could that was actually school related). And I wrote on paper. It was derivative, juvenile and I cringe when I try to read it now. What I learned from the experience, though, was that I truly had the bug; I wanted to be a writer.

It was time to get serious, to get organized.

So blah, blah, blah and many years later, here I am. Not published, no second book, no closer to being a writer. I preferred keeping the stories in my head where they couldn’t be subjected to judgement or ridicule or rejection. I never grew out of being the shy introvert and was far too comfortable with the obscure, unremarkable me.

I began to write this blog because my wife prodded me when we were newly engaged. I dabbled. Felt awkward. Quit.

She kept after me, my wife. She encouraged, pressured (in a good way) and kept me going when I wanted to hide. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating; my wife is awesome. I love her for many things, but maybe at the top of the list is how she won’t let me settle or feel sorry for myself.

When I need a kick in the ass, she obliges. (Sometimes I don’t realize I needed the kick in the ass, but after reflection and grumbling, I have to admit I really did.)

(The direction of this post, by the way, is way off script. My intention, my careful planning, all stove to hell. That’s fine.)

Ass sore, but with my head on straight, I plugged away at the blog, this blog. My wife held my hand through several re-designs, made a banner for me, read each post, inquired on progress and gave suggestions. I was in the habit of posting everyday, seven days each week for nearly three full months but I still lacked organization. I have written posts about a lack of focus and direction. I write each post the night before or the morning of each day.

Some days I am desperate. Some days I am flat. Some posts suck. I know I can do better.

What I found was an editorial calendar, a thing I never knew existed. I looked several over before settling on one template which I am learning how to best modify for my purpose. Since my wife won’t allow me to settle, I am doing my best to learn and to improve and to improve I need to be able to create some order, to organize my thoughts and my writing, to be a writer instead of a wild man, stealing moments while at work to jot down thoughts and to sweat out last minute blog posts.

The better part of me is my wife. If I succeed as a writer, it is because of her and any failure due to reversion to a daydreaming boy who is too disorganized and ultimately too scared, to become a public writer of words instead of a private thinker of thoughts tucked safely inside his head.

Tomorrow? More technical, folks, with less ramble.


Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Oh wow. Your wife sounds like an amazing woman. I'm glad she encourages you.
You'd be surprised to find out how many of us are shy. In order to put myself out there, I've had to overcome that. But if you met me at a party, I might say absolutely nothing.
I think your blog is great. Don't expect perfection - not possible. And I hope you succeed as a writer. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

MT Nickerson said...

She is really cool and I'm very lucky.

As for shy... I try hard to manage but face-to-face is a continual problem. I'm not the center of attention at any party, either.

Hope you succeed as well. It's really fun, isn't it? This writing stuff?

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Don't forget, it is not the quantity of posts you write, but the quality. And like Julia said, you're doing great.

I blog very rarely. Not because I'm shy (because I am) but because my absolute priority is finishing my novel. Like you, I want to see my work on someones bookshelf someday. And the only way to do that, is to write. A lot.

Keep it up.

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Just one more thing ... I forgot to mention your lovely wife. She sounds awesome!

MT Nickerson said...

Hey, Wendy- Thanks for the comments.

I worry about quality but I know that if I don't blog everyday, I will end up drifting away from blogging for months. I need the discipline of a daily routine. The issue then becomes how to achieve a consistent level of quality and for that, I need to get organized, to plan better, to set deadlines.

I also need to get off my ass and finish a novel. I need to be organized for that as well and be more efficient in creating blog posts.

So... next week I will chronicle my other projects and hopefully I will be on track for increased quality and quality.

(And my wife truly is awesome.)