Greetings everyone, let me begin by saying this is NOT fiction! This is me, Robert Vaughan, the author of One Writer’s Life. I wanted to take a pause, and share some of the statistics of what has happened since I began the blog.
I started on December 20, 2009. My ideas initially were to post once per day, and my intention was simple: share your work! Many friends, new and older, have known I write. But so few have had the opportunity to experience my work (other than e-mails or via social networks like Facebook). So, the blog began.
Now, nearly three months later, I’d like to share some of the results of One Writer’s Life:
I have posted 86 different times in 6 categories of writing:
Flash fiction, Short stories, Poetry, Journals, Book Excerpt (from Good Wives River), and Dead Celebrities (from collection of short stories)
There have been 744 overall comments, averaging 8 – 9 comments per day.
81 people have subscribed to One Writer’s Life.
And this astounds me the most: The blog has had 46,593 hits (When I last checked!)
Probably the most frequent questions (other than, how long do you think you will endure?) have been about the process. Where do you come up with all this work? Do you write something new every day? How do you decide what to post?
So, first things first. A writer writes. That’s what I do. Pen to pad first, then pad to screen. Certain days are easier than others, of course. Many of these original blogs came from writing prompts: a line of a book, a random lyric or quote, a photo on a wall, the room in which you sit. It’s that easy- you don’t need to search too far for inspiration.
I also keep an ongoing journal, have done so since 1978. Often I’d peruse them, modifying and embellishing (it is fiction, after all!). Because I write mostly “realistic fiction,” many of my ideas are character driven: what does she look like, how does she talk, etc. I also read, lots. (I think it is fairly necessary for most writers, but equally important is to filter WHAT you read!)
Many of the blogs were ideas or short fictional pieces that I had written earlier, but revised or changed. My belief is that something is only “finished” when it is deemed so.
I participate in a writer roundtable at Redbird- Redoak in Milwaukee where other writers lend support: insightful, sound, concise feedback for me to revise my first drafts. This process has been vital for me to take risks, to “put work out there” and to not get too attached to anything I write. Ultimately, it’s going to shift, modify, change. A lot like life that way. These factors, plus other intangible ones, are what has made it easier to create a blog every day since December, 2009.
And this week, like so many others of the past twelve, has brought about some personal complications. I travel a lot. Certainly not a complaint, I love to see other sights, and to experience new realms of existence. But blogging on the road? A different story. If you read the last few lines of my very first blog, December 20, I mention that I received a new, early holiday present: my MAC OS X Snow Leopard. It’s as sleek, fast and gorgeous as the name implies. I LOVE IT! (And yes, I’m spoiled, don’t remind me).
My laptop, a PC, overloaded with useless information and older than the average life span of any laptop, has multiple quirks. Then, will the place where I am staying have internet access? If so, does it cost additional money to get online? The questions get deeper, the process more complex.
Then there is the ‘life just gets more challenging sometimes’ factor. Last week, I received some shocking news. A dear friend, someone I’d loved like a sister while in our young 20s and 30s was suddenly gone. Melanoma. Ironically, her name is Mel. She was 47. I was devastated, and the aftermath has caused me to pause, to realistically assess my own life, as the shocking death of any loved one can.
Of course, I have written about Mel. And I was unable to attend her funeral, so on Friday, after my writing roundtable, I drove up Lincoln Memorial Drive staring out into Lake Michigan. Suddenly, I remembered Mel loved the musical group Journey. I found “Loving, Touching, Squeezing” on my sound system, and cranked it. As I crowed those lyrics, over and over, I imagined Mel in the passenger seat, singing in unison. Tears streamed down my face. I felt the painful, yet cathartic release.
I think it’s time to convert the blog to a once per week posting. For those of you who have supported me these past three months, I can’t say enough how deeply you’ve touched me. It has been a fantastic journey, for sure! A rich, magical and precious one. But, I also continue to submit my work to journals, magazines, contests, and plug away at projects (plays, books) in addition to One Writer’s Life. (Just in January, for example, I submitted over fifteen times, to twelve different publications; some print, some online).
I hope this makes sense, and it only means that whenever a new post appears, you’ll be as excited to read it as I was to write it.