A long, long, time ago I started to write. I used to use an 1890’s Underwood that my mom had, a bulky, heavy beast, that would have made a great weapon in a murder mystery.
Let’s face it. My writing stank. It was awful. So I stopped.
On and off over the years I’ve started writing again. I’d usually get going, write for a short while, and stop again. My usual reason for stopping was frustration. Let’s face it. I was producing shear and absolute garbage.
Somehow over the years, the reason I was producing shear and absolute garbage with such regularity just didn’t occur to me. A lack of practice! You’d have to be insane to make a mistake like that! Such a simple thing. When I was playing hockey, I practiced. When I was boxing, I practiced.
But when I was writing, I just sat down and expected things to work. Rather silly of me, wasn’t it?
Over the years I slowly built up a library of books on writing. A library of books, which turned out to be totally useless, for one simple reason. I wasn’t writing.
Those of you who know me, know that I’m pretty crippled up now. I no longer am capable of working. In fact I spend my days stoned on prescription medications (necessary to keep the pain down to a dull roar). When the pain got to the point where my mobility was severely compromised, I got a laptop, and we went wireless. That way I could sit in a comfortable chair, and surf the net.
It also meant I had a keyboard with me all the time…
I started to write again. In bits and pieces. The idea hit that maybe I should start a blog, to practice. The first one I had was on Live Journal. It’s still there, and I still post on and off. Live Journal is more about what’s happening in your life, and let’s face it, when most days you don’t leave the house, not much happens, so I don’t post very often.
I also tried Yahoo, but didn’t like it. Then I tried Blog Spot, and while it had some severe problems (the software was the pits) it did work, and that’s what I used for a year and a half, until my brother-in-law gave me this domain for Christmas of 2009. I’ve been writing here ever since.
Some of the things that have happened have been amusing. There was the guy who posted saying that if I wanted to convince him of my viewpoint I shouldn’t be so confrontational. I posted in response that I really didn’t care what he thought, that the whole purpose of the blog was to practice writing. Never heard back from him.
Then there were the pro-Microsoft trolls that used to pop up every so often. Curiously since I’ve implemented comment moderation I haven’t heard a thing from them…
In the mean time I’ve been working on two books, one a fantasy novel with a fairly violent protagonist (he’s averaging one killing every five pages) and a non-fiction book about the schools in the Township of Markham, a political entity that no longer exists. I have some beautiful pictures of the old one room school houses, several of which I went to school in.
And doing more blogging. And setting up some more websites. And being used as bed by my editor (Beagles sleep. A lot). And reading things that I think are going to help. Like an excellent article by Kristen Lamb, the author of We are Not Alone, titled Blogging and Maintaining Our Sanity–Part One, which is why the name of the blog has changed 🙂 Hey, if someone smart makes a suggestion, I’d be stupid not to use it.
Because things are changing, even if I don’t get out of the house. I’ll be finished the first draft of my fantasy novel by the end of March, if nothing goes wrong, and since I’ve been editing it as I go along, the first draft won’t be as rough as it could otherwise be (I’ve already gone back and fixed a whole bunch of mistakes – and I mean a whole bunch of mistakes – I’ve actually totally overhauled the cultural background, and then adjusted it twice further).
So I’m feeling productive for the first time in a long while. A very long while.
Oh, and I will be posting the first three chapters of the book later tonight on Weblit Canada. Someone has to test the ‘Book’ functions in Drupal, and I guess it’s got to be me!
Wayne aka The Mad Hatter
Friday March 11, 2011