Great…ly Reduced Expectations

To quote Britney: oops…I fucking did it again.  Every time I promise myself I’m going to be better about not neglecting this blog, I do it…I write like the dickens for, well, a day, and then this thing gathers dust. 

There are a myriad of reasons for this. 

Well, really, there always are, aren’t there.

But really, this time, they’re good reasons.  For one, I have a new job.  After two years of coasting (although if you’ve ever read Wade Rouse’s excellent and hysterical account of life in an admissions office, Confessions of a Mommy Handler, you know that even ‘coasting’ comes with its share of bizarrity) (and yes, I think I just coined another new word. Sue me, Webster), I’ve landed myself a position that keeps me on my toes, both from 8-5 and, more than occasionally already, at three o’clock in the morning. 

For two, it’s pool season, and that means I’ve been busy making new friends. And inventing new poolside drinks. (Hic).

And for three, I’m…well, actually writing. I know, right?  Weird.

It’s the last of these things that is the subject of today’s post.  If you’ve been a long-time reader of this blog (like, way back when it actually was a blog, not a stop-start-stop-crickets-crickets-crickets-start-stop endeavor), you know I’ve been working on what is surely going to be the literary masterpiece of the modern era, a heart-rending and beautiful opus to shame everyone from Ayn Rand to Toni Morrison to Hemingway (who might have been alive when I started the damned project).  You also know that I’ve…err…had a slight case of writer’s block-inspired ADD, and that I took a little breather from this project first for grad school, then for work, then for more grad school, and finally to recharge creatively with a stint in creative non-fiction…which I promptly lost in a catastrophic hard drive failure.  And that then I abandoned that project to work on it’s sequel, only to turn around some thirty pages later to focus gung-ho on blogging.

And we know how that story turned out.

But voila! I’m back.  And I’ve been on the writing wagon (an hour and a half every day, even!) for some two weeks now. 

This is a good thing, to be sure, but it’s not something I’m not without ambivalence about.  See, rather than pour my efforts into The Narcissist Chronicles or the Great Universal Most Beautifully Epic and Haunting Novel in the World™, I’m writing…well…let’s just say I’ve lowered my expectations somewhat. 

Blame Stephanie Meyer.  Blame that Hunger Games chick.  Blame Amazon and its Kindle Fire, which lured me into the muddy bottom-feeding world of disposable pop fiction. (For that matter, blame my old job, which left me poor enough that those $4.99 Amazon steals were the only books I could afford to buy).

Yeah. The latest project is…entirely run-of-the-mill boy-meets-boy fiction.  Not quite bodice-ripper (codpiece-grabber?) glittery-vampires drudge (because I’m a modest, respectable gentleman, remember), but not exactly high literature.  It’s the kind of stuff that would probably make my creative writing professors weep, gnash their teeth, tear at their hair, and consider new careers in sanitation management.  And even now, I can’t quite bring myself to believe I’m writing this stuff.

But you know what? It’s writing.  Its dialogue, it’s third-person narrative, and its making me remember all those long-dormant creative writing skills.  And also, it’s a genre that’s crying out for new blood.  Trust me…I’ve read some of this stuff.

And it’s…fun.  I’m not worried about readers misconstruing a dryly ironic account of something dumbass-tastic I’ve done and thinking I’m a self-congratulatory asshole.  I’m not petrified by the thought that a genre will become passé before I even get halfway through my first book, or that I’ll run out of material three memoirs in and become a shadow of my former authorial self (hi, every multiple-book memoirist I’ve ever read!). I’m not concerned with taking myself so seriously in my craft that I slip into a pile of my own rose-fragranced crap (hi, James Joyce!).

In fact, the only thing I’m even vaguely troubled by is the off-chance that I finish this thing and, heaven forbid, find a publisher for it.  Because then I’d have to come up with a pen name, since this can’t be sold on the same shelf as The Funniest Memoirs Since Augusten Burroughs Was Good or The Greatest Most Fantastically Tragic And Transcendently Sublime Tome Ever Conjured By The Magic Pen of The Best Writer Ever™.

Because yes, those little gems will still be written.  In time, they’ll see the daylight that’s been promised them for…well, if I tell you how long, I’ll have to admit I’m at least that old.  And they will be splendid.

But in the meantime, sit back, relax, and loosen your bodice.  Because it’s about to get a whole lot more lowbrow in here…and I think, for now, I can deal with that.  Because…at least I’m writing.

Now, somebody go find me Shakespeare, because I need to make him roll over in his grave.