(n) essay (an analytic or interpretive literary composition)
(n) essay (a tentative attempt)
It’s not that I have anything against blogs, blogging or bloggers. It’s the new publishing, an outlet for the legion of writers who, like me, are aching to be published. If I didn’t have the access or the skill to create my own little corner on the Internet from which to deliver my thoughts, opinions and rants in about 800 or so words, I probably would have ended up like the guy I saw in Union Square last July. Under a scaffolding across from Whole Foods Market, a tall black man dressed more for November than July in a heavy gray overcoat stood at an upturned crate handing out sheets of paper on which he had copied, by hand and in pencil, his various poems and stories for the low, low price of five dollars each. There were plenty to go around as there were 3 or 4 stacks weighted down by rocks on top of the wooden crate. But, I’ve had the means and the desire to carve out my own little niche online to basically do the same. But for free.
And I am going to continue. Good news for all you constant readers to know that access to my inner psyche will not come at a cost. The difference now is that I am now going to be an Essayist with a Website rather than a Blogger with a Blog. It’s my official announcement as I plod along the path to become a Published Writer.
This may not sound like a huge step, and in fact you won’t notice much difference when you visit this website. I do hope to upgrade the WordPress software that I use so I can change the colors of the heading. You may have noticed that the color hasn’t changed in several months – or maybe you haven’t but I like to change the look every few months or so and the software has stopped allowing me to do that. The format will remain the same as well – I’ll email everyone every time I publish a new essay – or not, depending on the topic or timeframe. There will be little for you, the reader, to have to acclimate to as I evolve from Blogger to Essayist. You will enjoy the same witty, frank and insightful writing you’ve come to love and expect.
No, the difference will be in me and how I commit to making my work a more integral part of my life. I recently wrote to a prospective employer the following statement:
I recently turned 50 (you can read all about it on my website!) and it has sharpened my focus toward the kind of work I do, how I live my life and what that all means as a responsible citizen.
When I wrote that, I was trying to, obviously, impress Mrs. Prospective Employer with my maturity and responsibility. After the words were down on paper, I realized that I had just written my mission statement for the rest of my life. I don’t know if it was the magic of turning 50 or just something getting through my thick head, but certain things do come into focus eventually. All the noise of who one should be fades to the background (it never really goes away) and who one wants to be starts taking shape. Maybe this happens to others much earlier (remind me to tell you of an incredible young woman who I met this week who finished her first 2 years of college – last year), but for me dawn broke over my marble head. I can be a responsible, contributing and happy human being and still do what I want to do. I can let all the strictures that bind my actions and decisions – health insurance, societal expectations, ancient self-imposed limits – fall away without fear of failure. Suddenly it makes sense to focus on what works for me and who I am as a person without worrying that I am not doing a good job – for someone else.
I was a blogger with a blog because that’s what people do when they want to write and don’t have and agent and a publisher. I fit myself into a neat description created by people I don’t even know so that I would be accepted. But now I cast off that description! I am an Essayist! With a Website! Yay for me!
So, now that I’ve made these profound and climactic decisions, I’ll be right back. I have to go upgrade my website and find an agent.