It’s been months since I’ve updated this blog. What can I say? I’ve been a Bad Blogger, and I vow to do better.
What have I been doing? Working on some long-term writing projects. Working on something big, like a book, for me is a bit like diving underwater. It requires a kind of ruthlessness, putting everything else aside—as much as that is possible. I’ve had a few months now—a rare period of not travelling and diving into bigger pieces of work. And honestly, I’ve loved it. It’s what I thought a writer’s life would be like, and so rarely is. For the reason that writing, as a career, as a way to make the house payments and put food on the table, is not really about writing, unless you happen to be Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. It’s actually a career of lecturing and teaching, punctuated by short periods at the computer. Lecturing and teaching require answering emails and writing up course descriptions and sending out announcements and a thousand other details that eat up time. Then there’s catching cold and being forced to retire to bed with a whole season of Grey’s Anatomy. I love medical dramas—no matter how much your sinuses ache, at least you’re not being helicoptered into Seattle Grace with a spike through your abdomen. No matter how unsympathetic your housemates and partners might be, at least Doctor House is not ordering thousands of dollars worth of invasive, painful medical tests and ordering his beleaguered interns to try some drastic, toxic treatment that will kill you if he’s guessed wrongly about the obscure cause of your suffering.
So, underwater with a big project, when you occasionally surface for air you’re also subject to constant demands to write this little thing or that little article—none of which you’re getting paid for but which have some promise of good to be attained. The internet is a great way to get people who once maybe made some kind of living by writing to work ten times as long and hard for free.
The result—the blog falls on the back burner.
So, what can I say? I’ve been doing Helpful Things to Change the World. Someday you might get the benefit of those longer term projects—or they might sit in my Documents file forever and never find a publisher. I’ve been teaching kids in Bayview Hunters Point how to garden. I bought a bellydance workout tape which sometimes I actually put on. I’ve been taking long walks in this beautiful green spring. My favorite wild irises, white with a blush of lavendar, have bloomed and faded.
And now that I’m about to start in on my summer travels, I’ll try to do better.