Saturday, September 8, 2012

Who are you?

Who are you? I just looked at the stats on this blog. Probably within a week or so I’ll have 15,000 hits. I’ve had 1,000 hits in just the past month. It is both humbling and a tad intimidating to know that so many people, some of you complete strangers, are reading this nonsense. Humbling because you actually read something I wrote, you care enough to spend a minute or so of your precious time with me. Intimidating because I feel naked.  I write some of these things just to clear my head, to rant, to praise God, to try to figure out the insanity of my life, never focusing on the fact that people are actually going to read it. It’s not hard to post on the blog, just hit publish and it’s out there for the entire world to see.

But it doesn’t feel so public when I’m sitting in my office in my paint-splattered sweats, staring at the computer screen, typing. (Luckily you can’t see me now—Junior Walker is playing Shotgun on my iPod and I’m dancing in my chair. Don’t tell anyone.) It may feel personal, private, but it’s not when I'm posting it on the Internet. I often question the wisdom of this blog thing. The other option is that I just write and write and write and do nothing with it. Maybe that would be the sensible thing to do. But not writing is not an option.

I write because writing is what I do. I used to make a living as a writer. Mostly I wrote health communications materials. For example, a number of years ago I wrote a whole series of health information pieces for WebMD—articles for the website about hepatitis and arthritis and gingivitis and testicular torsion. Yes, testicular torsion—you don’t really want to know what that is, do you? I wrote a lot of things about fetal alcohol syndrome and substance abuse prevention. I’m drinking a beer as I write this, but I’m not pregnant so it’s okay.

But things were tough in the health communications contracting world and I got laid off, along with every other writer I know. The others keep struggling to find new work; I just got tired of the insanity and decided to define myself as retired. It wasn't planned; it just happened.

So I paint furniture and sell it. I work in my garden and I cook and I take photographs of my feet. And I write this blog. Apparently people read it. Thank you.

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