|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
EVENTUALLY YOU HAVE TO ASK THAT QUESTION. I TRY TO LIMIT IT TO A DOZEN OR SO TIMES A DAY.
What is this all about? This whole writing life? The blogging about writing and the business of art? The challenges to meet everyday - posts, word counts, new pieces, revisions and rewrites, submissions - making it to readings, signings, releases, the constant networking, workshops and meetings? Why not be satisfied with the fact I've got a retirement check in the not too distant future and am looking forward to losing my watch and calendar?
Well, the writing part is probably the hardest to explain. I've always done it. I did it when I didn't know what the hell I was doing and I did it later, when I still didn't know what I was doing. I've walked away, and back, a half-a-dozen times. Away because I couldn't accept the fact that some other pretty damned talented people found what I was creating noteworthy. Back, because I always reached a place in the road where I had to make a choice between this life or one in the middle of the herd. You know, the one I don't speak very highly of most of the time.
The rest of it...this string of advice I keep unrolling from a ball of bits and pieces carefully tied together over the years... is something I wish I'd had 'way back when I was trying to feel my way ahead. Insights and experiences that were never written down anywhere, to be passed on at odd moments, usually in alcohol fueled lectures delivered by some of the most memorable artists and word manglers I could have wished as friends and acquaintances. A place where someone tried to lay out his or her thoughts after a life in this magical carnival of similes and metaphors without sugar coating it all.
What's the pay off? Mostly, I have to actually sit here and consider my own motivations. I have to decide what parts of my ravings are real and what parts are just absolute bullshit. Luckily, I have help in that department from those of you who take the time to read what I have written here and in other venues. Those who return to tell me that I helped them in finding their way through this rat's maze of the business of art and the art of business. And others who have thanked me for a comment or critique in regards to something they've had the courage to give to the world.
That feedback is part of what I have recorded in this near stream of consciousness and later returned to and read as if I were not the author. I try to see the words as you have and to comprehend what they have meant to you. In this way, your comments become an addendum that clarifies what I have tried to impart all this time. I thank you, one and all.
In the end, I look forward to, hopefully, a long and productive run. Part of accepting the challenge has been to return to that manic drive I had when I was a much younger man with far less control and an ego the size of Antarctica. As I've aged (sort of like sun dried leather) I've let go of those beliefs that I was always so damned good, or right, and learned the discipline it takes to move forward with resolution and recognize when I haven't a clue where I'm going...Still.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Tomorrow and, once more, thanks,
Dane F. Baylis