Thursday, June 21, 2012

Not a Writer (Thursday LINKS)

One of my friends quit his job in "association management" and is trying his hand as a full-time writer, or as I like to call it "pushing off into the abyss."  He has fall-back positions available (man's not crazy), but he has been accepted to an all-expenses-paid writing workshop in the Midwest and wants to take the next two months to just write and see if he can finish the novel that he has been working on for the past five-plus years.

Whenever one of "us" (i.e., straight and narrow folks) interact with those cutting the bonds, we have an automatic reaction -- advice.  "Well, back when I wanted to figure out what to do with my life, I went on a long hike."  "Have you read..."  "My sister-in-law's best-friend's husband is hiring.  He works in sales."  I resisted most of these urges (I did recommend a book), but fell into a stutter of saying "That is really cool" almost as if I was trying to push back the advice/warning/snap-the-hell-out-of-it that was struggling up my throat.

Discussing his life as a writer, I couldn't help but bring up the a very self-conscious way.  I mentioned how I wasn't sure whether to consider myself a writer, but to the extent I was, the experience was much different than it would be for someone writing a long-form essay or fine-tuning a novel that will eventually be released all at once.  I receive automatic feedback from all of you regarding my facts, tone, word-choice, and even grammar (thankfully, the grammar comments have stopped).  I find a typo in just about every post, but you all have come to expect (and accept?) that as a consequence of a rushed post from a well-intentioned writer.

The funny thing is that my conversation with my friend turned off the subject of the blog, meandered a bit, and then he said "I need to find a writer's network.  I don't have any writer friends."

But...'member when I said I write every day?  That I spend at least 20% of my waking hours thinking about what I'm going to write next?  You do?  Ok.  So the alternative is...

I'm not a writer. 

The above soliloquy never happened.  I just let him say "I don't have writer friends" and let the subject pass.  But it did play around in my head.  I don't consider myself a writer, nor do I offer myself as one.  In fact, I would consider it an equally ambiguous and pompous way to introduce oneself.  I also don't consider myself "not a writer".

It really doesn't matter one way or the other, but I think it is an interesting consideration.  The blogger's place in the world is far from defined and may never be.  The closest description is being "one-off" from something else.  One-off from a journalist.  One-off from a food critic.  One-off from a writer.  Not necessarily a lesser form, but certainly not the same.


The 15 year old found shot in Marriottsville was from Baltimore County.  According to this article, he was driven to the location, exited the car, and shot.

One of my favorite Orioles of all time, Eddie Murray, has been linked to an insider's trading probe that had previously resulted in fines for another former Oriole, Doug DeCinces.  No criminal charges have been filed against Murray.

The Second Special Session is unlikely after the House Gambling panel failed to reach a consensus on opening a casino in Prince George's County or lower the tax on slot revenues.

The most recent session of the Board of Public Works ended up turning Governor O'Malley into a punching bag, as Comptroller Franchot denounced the Governor's efforts to hold a special session on gambling and only voted in favor of allowing the purchase of Rocky Gap by a slot company to take the "white elephant" off the hands of Maryland tax-payers.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: WB proves that you shouldn't make a blogger angry, (You won't like him when he's angry) when discussing Council-woman Jen Terrasa's no-show at last week's And Then There's That podcast.  Proving Jen the benefit of the doubt, I'm sure there was some uncertainty about her commitment, where one party took her as committed and the other thought it was "penciled in", but anyone who has seen ATTT in action knows that this is a professional outfit with a lot of prep and time spent on production.

Bonus Blog Post of the Day: Matt has found some really interesting articles/essays on the web that he has shared in a "Caught in the Web" post (I think we can reclaim this phrase from To Catch a Predator, right?  It's been five years or so).

That's all for today.  This week has been a whirlwind and will not calm down anytime soon as I head off to Ohio for my brother's wedding tomorrow.

Have a great Thursday doing what you love.