Today is the final day in the year-long experiment that was titled, naturally, A Year of Living Bloggily.
I’ll start off with a song I recently fell in love with. It reminds me of my friend Jason (he once gave me a CD full of Ohio songs, though this one, sadly, wasn’t on it). It also presents, in miniature, my aesthetic in writing. It has magical realism (“I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees”) and it is the essence of hope seeded in a story of sadness.
It’s strange to me that most of my writing is pretty depressing, looked at objectively. I find nihilism utterly useless and stories without hope dire, but my stories and poems and plays often fail at finding happy endings. That is to say, it’s hard to imagine that the characters live on happily ever after.
But my writing, to me, is always hopeful. What I’m interested in is the struggle against overwhelming odds and the behavior of people in untenable situations. I’m interested in the struggle, not the result because – as we all know – life is, by definition, a tragedy. It’s impossible to win, so the point is to play the game the best you can.
I think that’s why I end up setting myself projects to complete such as the Poem a Day Octoberthon of 2009 or Write 1 Sub 1 or A Year of Living Bloggily. I’m proving that I can do what I set out to do. More importantly, I’m proving that I’m a writer (which, in my view, I can only be called when I’m actively writing, which means these projects are undying. Oh zombie-projects, why do you hunger for my brain?).
A few weeks ago, Megan expressed shock when I told her that I constantly doubt my writing ability. Why don’t I just know that everything I write has some quality in it that other people can enjoy? It’s the curse of art, I suppose, and similar to the writing-to-prove-I’m-a-writer conundrum, i.e. Just because I’ve written something that’s good in the past is no guarantee that what I’m writing now is any good.
Okay, enough, here’s another video.
I write because I don’t know myself. I don’t know myself, and therefore I can’t trust myself. This is why I’m drawn to songs like “Conversation 16” where the speaker is afraid of what they’ll do. It’s why I’m drawn to movies like Angel Heart and The Thin Red Line. It’s why almost everything I’ve written circles mysteries without offering up hard explanations. It’s why I spent a year writing a blog post every day: to see what I’d offer up to myself and to you.
And for those of you who have been reading as I’ve been writing, thank you. I appreciate your coming along with me on this journey.
Don’t worry. Just because A Year of Living Bloggily is ending, this blog isn’t finished. It’s just that, for a year, my main responsibility every day was to write a substantial blog post and post it here. Now I’m turning that focus back to creative writing, and the blog will come second or third or fourth.
I’m not abandoning you. It’s simply that I hear the buzzing.
There’s a swarm of bees coming my way.