I feel in a strangely retrospective mood today and I found myself feeling especially grateful for the readers of this blog.
The act of writing is so important to me. Under the desk at which I'm writing this, there are two metal file-boxes which contain English exercises from school, manuscripts of old poems, clippings from newspaper letter pages, college newspapers, community magazines, literary magazines and assorted other printed matter, all of which contain something or other written by me. They are pretty much all I have kept from most of my life. That, and a few souvenirs, like the miniature packet of playing cards that was in a Christmas cracker I pulled with my mother two months before she passed away.
Writing has always seemed solid and real to me in a special, unique way. I remember, seven years ago, I attended the thirtieth birthday party of a fellow I'd known in school. I came away from it enormously distressed-- everybody seemed so casual about the passage of time, the fact of experience, the journey of life. Never in my life did human existence seem more of a 'casual comedy' than that evening. I couldn't sleep. I ended up walking around my neighborhood by the light of the dawn. I only managed to quell my agitated feelings by promising myself I would write a cycle of novels in which I would capture my entire life experience-- not literally, but in a fictionalized manner. That is the novel which turned out to be The Bard's Apprentice, a novel I serialized here, and which readers of this blog received very kindly. (The idea of the novel cycle went by the board-- thankfully!)
Not only does writing seem solid and real to me, but putting thoughts and experiences and ideas into written form seems to give them a reality that was only latent in them before they were written down. Writing seems to make things more real. I agree that seems a little crazy, but there you go. Isaac Asimov said that he thought through his fingers. Sometimes I feel I live through my fingers. Which might sound more anti-social and otherworldly than I mean it; I'm not at all dismissing the importance of life experience, human relationship, and so forth. These things are utterly crucial and what life is all about. But somehow they seem to become more palpable, more vivid, more themselves when they are 'processed' through writing about them-- directly or obliquely.
Anyway, I am far from being a confident person and I don't have a whole lot of confidence in my own writing. So having an audience, and one that is indulgent of my meanderings into different genres and formats, means the world to me and has made me a bit more confident. (Would you be insulted if I said you feel like my 'home crowd?') I also appreciate the prayers that were offered whenever I asked for them. Life has been a very bumpy ride recently and it meant a lot to be in the prayers of people who, in many ways, know me better than many of those who interact with me regularly in person. I pray for you all too.
So...thank you. Very much.