My friend Debby told me to start a blog, back when it was still a novelty. She was relentless (a former drug sales rep) urging me again and again. Then she asked for a good meatloaf recipe and said, "If you had a blog you could put your recipes up!" And later, "When are you going to join Facebook?"
When I first typed this tale into my "notes for later" folder, the word "blog" appeared underlined in red, as in flag, signaling fraud, if only to me. “But writing is introspective,” I had told Debby. “And if I start blogging my real writing will be replaced with a lower quality…” Lower quality what? I thought. Words? Ideas? Holier than thou sentences? I wasn’t sure.
I’m a writer. At least that’s what I tell myself. It even says “Freelance Writer” on my email signature. Upon reading my "title" people often ask, "What kind of freelance writer are you?" They sound impressed, likely expecting to hear, “I write speeches for the Mayor, articles for reputable local publications, and novels you can buy at the airport bookstore." Instead I smile and say, “I write and I don’t make any money. You know, I write for free. I'm a free-lance writer. Get it?”
Truth is, I write because I have to. The way my husband Todd must watch football on Sundays with our sons; the way my dad just has to play tennis; the way my brother craves swimming laps and running. I submit to literary magazines and writing contests and belong to a writers' group. Being paid is the ultimate goal. Taking away the “free” would be lovely. I’m working on it.
So why be convinced to replace writing with blogging? Well, I’m not. Still writing, hoping to publish, knowing I may turn 50 first, I’m surrendering, starting a supplement, if you will, and with that add this preemptive apology for future (and present) bad writing: please refer to this paragraph when reading low quality sentences. Thanks. I feel much better now. Now for why I ultimately let my once-a-sales-person-always-a-sales person friend close the deal.
In college my roommates accused me of “talking to much.” You never shut up, like the song. Too much for who? I would ask, ignoring they already answered the question.
“We’re going to sign you up for Onandonanonymous,” Roommate #1 said one afternoon. “Oh yeah?” I said. "I'll bet all of you I can stay quiet for one hour.”
“Can’t be done,” Roommate #2 said without even looking up from her Glamour magazine. “Okay, smart ass, the hour starts now.” I closed my mouth. Plopped down on the couch. Turned my face away from everyone. Determined.
Within the hour one person fell asleep. Two more left the room. The apartment turned into a ghost town. Even I left the room.
Rambling defines me. Always has. Even in my writing. When given an assignment to write a five-page paper junior year of high school, I wrote twenty (remember hand written, double-spaced on loose leaf narrow ruled paper?). I got an A+ and the teacher read the paper aloud in class. I felt at home in that spotlight. Being singled out has never made me uncomfortable; I’d sung in choirs, had a solo or two, but never was I as comfortable on a stage as I am right now. Whether it’s the joy of talking uninterrupted (isn’t that what writing is, anyhow?) or leaving my words behind in case I die suddenly, I know it’s where I belong.
So until I get "published" there’s still so much to say, always (really) and my friends no longer answer my phone calls for fear I will go on and on and on. Terribly frustrating when I want to tell girlfriend #1 what happened to girlfriend #2 (son picked up a dead rat out of flower-pot on the street), or post recipes (homemade flank steak huge hit at Saturday night potluck and how can I possibly remember after three glasses of wine who asked for the recipe?). Is Facebook in my future? Maybe.
Not until I get that meatloaf recipe posted for Debby.