Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Back in the summer of 2005, which was the last summer I spent sitting at a desk all day, answering the phone, filing appearance contracts and expense reports, searching for things on "The Google," as my boss called it--I wrote this, which is part of the first post on this blog:
In the last few months, I have been forced to think a lot about my relationship with my writing, and I discovered that my resistance had (really) more to do with a self-imposed division of what is meant only for me and what is to be read by others. A fake sacredness that I invented.

And I'm over it.

Thus, the work can be "the work." And thus, the work can suit the purpose, be it here, as viewed by me (and maybe two people plus my mother, if I'm lucky) or committed to actual paper and available at your favorite independent bookstore (if I'm luckier.) Whichever is most appropriate.

I hadn't actually learned that lesson when I wrote those paragraphs, that lesson about letting the work just be the work, but sometime between then and now--this is my 500th post for GrammarPiano--I did learn it. Writing is alchemy; you can make things true that aren't, or that aren't yet. This blog has, for the most part, especially in the years since I felt like a "real" writer, given me the relationship that I have with my work.

Blogging teaches you how to sit down with nothing and make something. It teaches you to put your work out into the universe and expect nothing back. Sometimes you do get small blips on the screen--emails, comments, references from friends in your actual real life conversations--all that is wonderful, and reminds you that people really are reading. But, in the end, blogging really teaches you that you do it for yourself. You do it because you have something to say and you need to figure out what it is.

This blog also helped me get over some pretty terrible events. It gave me a place for my grief, a place to turn that grief into something observed, something distant enough from my real self, something that wouldn't swallow me. It has given me creative, cerebral, often deeply touching relationships with other great writers like this one, this one, this one, this one, this one and this one. It has given me the confidence to write what I think is the most real, true, strong and meaningful, as well as the most strange, observational, small, re-county, daily, blah stuff that happens--and taught me (hopefully) try to make those things interesting to read.

All that...and I am getting luckier, just as I wished--Yield will be in bookstores in the fall of 2010.

I kind of think that my writing is who I am, and this is one of the places where the writing lives, and so, kind of, I live here, this is me, transposed. I have never felt more like myself, never had such a clear idea of who that self was. And, conversely, I don't take myself all that seriously. I'm more open, listening, curious. Forgiving. I hope.

Thank you to all my dear readers, known and unknown. I see your IP addresses....so I know you are out there.

1 comment:

your mom said...

I marvel at your being my (our) son and wonder how this miracle came to be. It was not an immaculate conception, but a miracle nevertheless. 500 thoughtful posts is a milestonic achievement. I and others look forward to the next 500.