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Tricentennial

Had to roll back to Joe Haldeman for this one.  After all, when you pen on of the best short stories of all time, you have to expect someone is going to rip off your title at some point.  But if I’m gonna steal, I’ll steal from one of the best.

Three hundred posts down.  That’s a lot.  That’s a hell of a lot.  Never thought I’d get this far when I first sat down and penned a very lame first time entry–which you’ll get to see next week, as another milestone is reached in the history of this blog.

My 200th post came on the last day of 2011, and I was sort of hitting my own rock bottom at that point.  I was ready to see the year go away, and I wanted something better for the one that was almost upon us.  I called 2011, “A year that tried to kick me in the head,” and that’s about as true as it gets.  Head, chest, stomach, groin–that sucked was everywhere.  But, somehow . . . I made it through.

Now, here it is very early in the morning on 5 April, and I’m another one hundred posts into a blog I never expected to survive, because, to be honest, I never expected to survive.  I was very close to being out the street and down for good.

Then some damn fool decided to give me a job.

It’s not a job that I like.  It’s not one that I enjoy.  It’s in a city two hours from where I live, and I spend a whole lot of time alone.  In fact, today I’ve got to go suffer through a 7:20 AM to 4:00 PM boredom before I come back to  The Undisclosed Location, pack, and drive home.  I get Good Friday off; I’ll take it.

When I got into my office the first time, I looked about and was dismayed.  I blogged about it; hell, what don’t I blog about?  And the day after my post hit the Internet, I found this in the comments:

 

George Bernard Shaw once said, “Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’”
Your description of the new office digs sounds like Shaw. Keep writing and let the 9 to 5 inspire you in a way that it wouldn’t anyone less creative!

 

I know where that came from.  It made me feel very good to see that comment, because I was really looking for shape objects after dealing with a first day at the next office.  The more I thought about it, though, the more I understood what it meant.

And I got down into some serious writing.

I finished Echoes; I finished Couples Dance; and, most of all, after 25 years I finished Transporting.  I’m working on getting my stuff edited and sold.  And every morning is Blog Post Morning, and I crank out five hundred words on something, because that’s the goal I set for myself when I told myself I’m going to write, and I’m going to be a writer.  You write, dammit, and this is one of the ways I fill that jones.  And when you do the numbers, that’s approximately 50,000 words just saying inane crap every morning.

Which means that since the first of the year I’ve cranked off three short novels and change worth of material.  Not too shabby, I’ll tell ya.

After 100 posts I could say I was writing again, but not a writer.  After 200 post I could say I’d worked my butt off and I’d suffered for my craft in my own ways.  After 300 posts I can say I’m a writer.  Maybe I don’t have a lot of books sold, or even a few, but that’s coming.  Because I know where that territory lay, and I’m headed in that direction.

Come post 400, and the scene around here will be much, much different.

11 thoughts on “Tricentennial

  1. What can I say really? I aspire to be a *writer*, I write stuff sure. People enjoy my twisty mind, but I don’t feel like a writer, I feel like a charlatan… So when you talk about the milestones i totally get you. The more I produce, the closer I feel to attaining that title. And it is a title, an accomplishment, an honour. Being a writer isn’t just throwing a few words around, it’s who you are, and of course, the ability to prove that. Raymond, you have definitely done that.

    • Yes, you begin to know when you are crossing that line. It’s like this with just about any creative endeavor, I believe. At some point you go from sort of pretending, to “being”.

  2. I must be a simpleton. My ultimate goal is to be happy. I’m been beat down so much with our little recession and the collapse of the housing market, that my books are an outlet, and a purpose…hopefully, one that will pay off. Unlike you, word count means nothing to me. I am trying to figure out how to get my message across with less words to be honest. I think after my next book, I’m going to try to come up with an orples ‘Junior’ series for the wee ones, just learning to read. It’s funny how our goals differ with who we are. Ultimately, it seems like the bottom line is survival, these days.

    • It’s not a matter of word count with me. I look at is as, “I’m producing, and I’m working the craft.” I’m a firm believer that the more we write the better we get, which is the only reason I say, “Look, I have been writing.” A lot of people put out enormous word counts, and never really produce anything–I only use it as a guide. ‘Cause if I wasn’t happen with what I was writing, the word count means nothing. I’d find myself producing a lot of crap, and that isn’t my goal.

      • I don’t disagree that with practice come perfection, and I certainly did not intend to imply that because your stuff is a lot longer than mine, any less love goes into your craft.

        • I know. It feels like, at time, people get hung up on the word count, as if creating a half a million words is proof you are “a writer”. My work happens to be long; I find it difficult to tell a short story. I only want to write. What the final count is–well, I’m anal. I’ll always keep track of that.

  3. I remember post 100 where a nervous and about to be published Ray blogged, “I am a writer. I really am.”

    Post 200 saw a baby stepping Ray, treading water and staying afloat blogging, “I want to write more stories. I want to see more things published. I want to entertain my readers.”

    And now, here we’ve landed at post 300 and it reaffirms what I’ve known since we first met. YOU are a writer, in every sense of that word. Always have been–and always will be.

    Not only that, but what you write affects people who read it–and THAT is what it’s all about.

    Your blog is filled with that evidence. Each post highlights a milestone of its own–bringing about another part of the metamorphasis into your own realization that you have arrived.

    I don’t know about everyone else but I can’t wait to see what lies just beyond, my friend.

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