Thursday, February 23, 2012
February has almost run out, it's "Foggy, then sun," in the daily forecast, April 22 looms ahead as the release date for my novel.
I've enjoyed the chance to focus exclusively on writing for the first time since I was in high school, free of the mundane need to "make a living," having the spent the last 46 years at that often unrewarding occupation. I can concentrate on writing what's on my mind, not what I must write in order to sell to an increasingly uncaring market.
It's been rewarding writing for the local newspapers, even as an unheralded and often excoriated "blogger." Somehow this craft of self-reliant writing has become a pejorative, seemingly less respectable than a "journalist," the apellation of choice held high by those involved in social mayhem and seeking respite from attention by the local constabulary. Bloggers don't have official ID cards dangling from our necks, giving us illusory immunity from truncheons, pepper spray and cold iron bars. We have only our words to proclaim our chosen profession and means of expression.
Be that as it may, bloggers are free to write what we want, often serving as the foil to "mainstream" journalists who must satisfy their editors and advertising departments in order to bring home a regular paycheck.
Better to remain independent, answerable only to the truth of the words we pin to these pages, squirming to break out and fly free. The Internet gives us a platform unseen since the days of Thomas Paine, when access to a simple press gave one an eager audience.
The trick, if there is a trick, is to stand out from the background swirl of contentless drivel, speak the truth in words many can understand, and keep pounding away at this defenseless keyboard until someone takes notice.
Thus, the writer practices the craft of translating ideas, ideals, hopes and fears into tiny words marching resolutely across the page, to be read by those eager for substantive comment, freedom of expression, the ideals of democracy, anarchy and mutual aid.