I started writing this blog just over a month ago. I’m doing it for a variety of reasons, but like anything, there have been benefits that I did not expect. Exercising my mind has been the most wonderful personal experience, thank you all for reading. I started with the desire to publish an article every day on a different topic, encouraged by my wife who, while not bored, could see that I needed to get my thoughts out to someone other than her. I scaled back in that I take Saturday off now, and I have published a few entries that were under my eight hundred word goal, but I look at writing as a job, and not just a project. I derive a certain amount of joy watching the statistics on my blog, as of now I have forty one followers, largely people I have never met, and have readers in twenty countries, circling the globe.
Unlike other endeavors, I have yet to encounter “office politics” (which I have even noticed on the farm) in writing. Quite the opposite. I have met the most supportive group of people, and have become open to a world in which colleagues understand that there is no loser in self expression, everyone who participates wins.
I met Barry Parham on the internet a few years ago, when I was working on “Surviving“. Barry and I enjoy parallel political views, and I would like to think I have his level of wit. Although his work is mostly humorous (with the current administration he has an abundance of material) the piece that assured me that I needed to work on my writing skills was “Clay Pigeons”, completely removed from his typical work. Barry has been a constant encouragement, and a wonderful introduction to the world of writers. Barry has published several books and also writes a weekly humor column, and still has time to interact with people like me.
Lucy Pireel has so many projects going I may not be able to mention them all, only out of ignorance. Most importantly, she is an absolutely tireless promoter. She is constantly promoting the published works of her colleagues, as well as her own, not to mention writing her own books, poetry, and blogs. Lately, she’s started a publishing service to enable more writers to publish. I do not have that much energy. One of her favorite expressions is “Wheeeeheeee”, similar to the sound my wife makes when I take a corner at higher gees than she is accustomed, so I think Lucy is on the ride of her life. Two of her latest books, “Bound” and “Red gone Bad“, display her versatility, “Bound” is a fresh, feminine view of the world of BDSM (do not confuse “feminine” with “sheltered”), and “Red gone Bad” is a delightful twist on faerie tales. Neither is for children.
There have been several writers I have met online, each and every one of them have been supportive. I hate to mention any for fear of leaving any out, but Cheryl Nicholl, A.M. Sawyer, Norma Beishir, William Kendall, Leanna Harrow, Timothy Hurley, Mari Collier, and Mike Saxton are only a start. Feedback from other writers is crucial, and I have found that just discussion, off topic jokes and such, with others who are fluent in the English language has improved my writing. Improving my writing is one of the many purposes of writing this blog. The historical goal of a good writer is publishing, and publishing traditionally infers a book. Another goal is to write another book.
One of Lieve’s dreams is to escort me to book signings, and to fend off my “author groupies”. Writing a book that people buy will be essential in fulfilling that dream. My first book, “Surviving“, allowed me to share the experience of my previous wife, Emma, and her battle with pancreatic cancer. It was largely culled from the blog I began shortly after her diagnosis, and was never intended to be a best seller. The original intention was to continue writing, but life got in the way. I am back on the path again, thanks in no small part to you, my readers. I have found not only the tools that I need, but the processes I need to refine, and ways to refine them.
I’ve always been a sponge for information, but my experiences in the business world have caused me to shy away from seeking out my colleagues when looking to advance myself. There was always the competition, jealousy, and flat out back stabbing. Now I share my experiences, and learn from the experiences of others. Last night, I saw Steve Schirrripa (best known as Robert “Bobby Bacala” Baccalieri, Jr. on “The Sopranos”) with my wife and a friend. He was signing his latest book, and spoke interview style for quite a while with the audience. Aside from agreeing with his point of view, he was exceptionally entertaining. His sense of humor and sense of priorities were excellent. I felt thoroughly inspired, Steve has had several careers, and is about my age, so I have confidence that I can proceed as an author. He signed my copy of his book, and I gave him a “Save the Dinky” button (my wife had designed the buttons), Bobby Bacala was a train enthusiast. Photograph courtesy of Elizabeth Tribble McKinnon
It was a nice moment, we spoke about writing for a bit, and he mentioned learning from the experiences of others. Something my grandfather has mentioned on several occasions. It always comes down to seeing the lesson in every experience.