Well, I'm back--after a (mostly) two week blog break. How is your summer going?
Mine's going well. While I didn't get everything done in these past two weeks that I hoped to accomplish, I got enough things underway to be hopeful that the momentum will carry me through. Sometimes the only thing that keeps us from accomplishing our goals is the inertia that keeps bodies at rest--well, at rest, don't you think?
But I also had plenty of time in these past two weeks to think about this blog, about writing, about what I do here every day and how I want that to change going forward. Some of my thoughts have been spurred by this terrific conversation Larry D has started on his blog ( I can't wait to read the rest of it). And because of all of that, I had one of those "Eureka!" moments in which the blindingly obvious suddenly becomes clear (although it was probably clear to everybody but me up until now).
And that revelation is simply this: blogging is not my life.
I enjoy coming out here every day and putting up a blog post. I enjoy the writing process, the sense of accomplishment, the discipline that makes it easier to work on other writing projects (because that Mason Cooley quote on my sidebar isn't a joke: it's impossible for me to work on fiction projects when all I can think about is health care or some other headline news topic or religious or cultural issue I read about or heard about; if I didn't have this blog as a venting option I'd get even less done than I already do).
But I do this only because I enjoy it. It's like having a journal, except that there's this accountability factor that won't let me ignore typos and bad grammar--well, at least, not on purpose.
I'm not writing to be the Next Big Celebrity Catholic Blogger--even if it were possible for me to aim for that sort of goal, I couldn't do it. My stats have remained remarkably consistent in the years that I've been blogging: I have a small but apparently tenacious reading audience. And I like it that way. The stress of having to worry about somebody paying me to do this and pleasing the tastes of my readers enough to keep them coming while still being honest enough to satisfy my own core values--truly, I feel my blood pressure going up just thinking about it. I can admire the big-name Catholic bloggers (some more than others) but I can't imagine what it would be like to want that, let alone to achieve it.
What I want next is to publish my intermediate children's science fiction book (closer and closer! Doing the final proofread! Amazed that I'm still finding a few minor errors despite having myself and others read the MS multiple times--it's odd, the power of our brains to "fix" small mistakes without us even really seeing them, isn't it? But I digress). And then I hope to sell it (it will be available on Amazon when the self-publishing process is finished) to those children/families who will enjoy it. And, just like the way I feel about this little blog of mine, I really don't care if I sell the book to three people or thirty or three hundred or three thousand or...well, I can't really imagine any more than that right now, so we'll see. It's not the number of readers I will sell to that motivates me: it's being able to sell this little book of mine to children ages 8 to 12 who want adventure stories without inappropriately sexy vampires in them, but with plenty of action and excitement and fun.
Writing fiction satisfies me in a way that blogging never can and never will, and that will remain true even if my total number of book readers is closer to three or thirty people than three hundred or three thousand. But blogging takes care of that part of my mind that will go on brooding about health care or the HHS mandate or the total collapse of marriage and eventually civilization, etc., just when I'm trying to decide whether or not the exciting plot point I've dreamed up for book four of the Tales of Telmaja series contradicts in a major way with anything I've written in books one through three.
So blogging isn't my life, but it's a part of my life that isn't going away anytime soon (good Lord willing, as always). But I'm starting to become dissatisfied with some of my more "rote" blog posts, in which I seize on a particular news article not because I care about it but because the Catholic blogosphere is buzzing about it. That's not me, and it's time for that sort of thing to stop. Let the Big Name Celebrity Catholic bloggers run with those stories, and let me get back to the quirky eclectic blogging I used to do, once upon a time. That's my goal for the present--subject, as always, to change.