The Graffito of Esmet

November was National Write A Novel Month, so, I wrote a novel.

National Write A Novel Month, known as nanowrimo, after it’s website name (it’s easy to say and write after you’ve done it a few times) is an online project that encourages people to write a 50000 word novel annually during November. There are regular emails of encouragement, and a vast forum filled with advice, trials, tribulations and triumphs of other writers to get you to write and to keep you writing.

The content of your novel isn’t judged. The only thing that matters is getting to 50000 words by midnight, Dec 1. It’s simply an exercise to get people to write which, as anyone who has ever aspired to be a writer knows, is half the battle.

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Musings On A Warm Day In January

I made a resolution at the turn of the year to try to write a blog post every week. Well, that’s not really the resolution, because if I’d resolved to try to write a blog post every week, I’d have nailed it. I resolved to actually write one every week.

As the week dissolved away, however, I found excuses not to make an entry…my latest being that I am sick. I also couldn’t thing of anything to write. This is a hangup…probably the hangup, I have about writing. I don’t write anything unless (I think) I have something to say. Something profound, relevant. And I don’t write anything unless I think someone will read it.
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My primary reason in starting this blog was to get myself to write every day. I figured that if I had a place such as this to write, I’d be a bit more disciplined about it. As far as discipline is concerned, I’ve had mixed success. There have been periods where I’ve written almost every day. Sometimes I’d go a month without writing anything here.
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Fear Factor

About a month and a half ago I happened upon an announcement in the Washington Post about the Next Great Pundit contest. It urged budding pundits to write an opinion piece and send it into the Post. The editors would select the top fifty entries, which would then be put through further filtering processes until a winner was crowned. That lucky person would get paid to write a weekly column for the Post for three months.

With Leslie’s encouragement, I wrote something about how the American people were sick of the three ring circus in Congress and sent it in. I’m thinking really hard and trying to remember whether or not I’d ever submitted a piece of my writing to be judged. I can’t come up with anything. I’m 47 years old, I enjoy writing, have been told I could be quite good at it and I’ve never sent anything in to a contest or to be considered for publication.
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Yet Another Start Following A Long Fit…

I haven’t written anything here since March..almost four months ago. Every time I think “I really need to sit down and blog about something”, I find it hard to do so. Thinking about it just exacerbates the guilt I feel at not having written anything in so long. This, in turn, makes me feel kind of stupid. Why the hell should I feel guilty about not writing? The answer is simple: I’ve been given a talent I’ve sat on for the last forty years of my life. I should attempt to do something with it. Too many people have told me too many times how well I write.

Of course, there’s a lot I could blame for the inactivity. There are the constant demands of work. Our home the land on which it sits demand a lot of attention. I’ve grown quite fond of Zynga Poker since I joined Facebook last November.

But these are not reasons so much as excuses.

I started this blog as something to help me write on a regular basis. Over time, a (very) few people started reading it. I got a little feedback (good writing…too much politics) and began to fall into a trap which had me wondering what so and so would think if I wrote about thus and such. Quite ridiculous, really, getting puckered up over what an audience of maybe ten people think. But this has been my problem with writing my entire life.

“What will people think?”

I’ve read, from a bunch of different sources, that first drafts are always horrible. Whether you are a 46 year old who has spent a life wasting writing potential or Stephen King, first drafts are almost always unreadable. “What will people think?” of this first draft. Probably not much. And what about later? There will always be those who don’t think very highly of what I write.

My wife would probably say that my “Libra-ness” is to blame for this. I have a need to please everybody. I should do my best to turn from that Quixotic path. Whom I please is probably the last thing I should be thinking about when I sit down and write.


2666I’m reading a book now called 2666 by the late Chilean author Roberto Bolano. I picked it up about a month ago. I’d gone to Borders looking for something to read and the cover art caught my eye. Clocking in at nearly a thousand pages, the book is divided into five parts, which Bolano wanted published separately. His literary executors overrode him and the work was published in the form of the gargantuan tome I have sitting here in front of me.
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Eagles Diary – 11/9/2008: Blogging The Birds

Eagles – Gnats: I haven’t blogged about the Birds very much over the last couple weeks.  The Eagles dispatched the Seahawks easily last week….I guess I’ve just been nervous about this game. The Eagles can make significant strides in digging themselves out of the hole they’ve dug themselves in the NFC East.

So here’s Al, John and Jack….Jack Daniels….I’m ready to blog the Birds. Ahh…one more thing…blimp shot of the city lit up at night. I’ve been all around the world and love no other town more than I love Philly….
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In A Funk

No writing here for..what…two weeks? Shame on me. This is a habit I have that I need to break. The last two weeks have been miserable. The economy has spiraled out of control (details another post), the NostraSeamus weight loss program is off the rails (details in another post), the Eagles suffered a very bad loss a couple weeks back (details in another post), the McCain campaign is headed for a cliff (details in another post) and, most horrible of all, I was subjected to French Canadian hockey fans at the Flyers game I attended last night (details in another post, if I don’t manage to purge the memory from my brain).

When things are going into the can, I have a tendency to want to hide my head in the sand. Another thing I do is think of something to write which will involve a lot of work, and work on nothing else until the project is complete. For example, I’ve had an idea for a post about Barack Obama: The Dear Leader. It involves researching some sound bites and includes some Photoshops I’ve done. I haven’t had time to put it together. My problem is I don’t feel like writing anything before I get that under my belt.

If nothing else, I should be writing here everyday to justify the $120 I’m spending on this for site hosting over the next two years.

Education Of A Blogger

Well, I signed into the admin site for my blog and was thrilled to find that one of my blogs had a couple comments. Great, I thought, someone is actually reading this thing. The commentor asked about the theme I was using in one comment and asked if I wanted to exchange links in the other. I went to his/her/its site, which contained political commentary and the photo of a nice looking woman who claimed to the author of the blog.
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