“I try to build the work around my life as opposed to my life around the work.” I have it taped inside the first volume of 2018′s daybooks, because that’s what I’m shooting for this year.
I gave up on the social web for three months in an internet purge to reboot and focus on what matters most to me. I deleted my Twitter, Facebook, and didn’t post to Instagram for about two months. I read Cal Newport’s books So Good They Can’t Ignore You and Deep Work.
But I realized that to be a writer today you must have a blog and a way for people to connect to you. Austin Kleon, in his ever-present wisdom helped me realize this. While I have a Twitter and Facebook, they will only be places that serve as a feed of what I post on my blog. I’m not friending anyone I don’t consider personal friends. I won’t be on those services more than once a week, because I don’t derive much value from either of those services. And they probably won’t be around forever. They don’t really help me be a great husband, parent, or a writer. They exist mostly for promotion and freak outs.
So I pared down on what social medias I’ll be using. Instagram for reference photos for future stories I’ll be writing. The blog will catalogue once a week thoughts on what I’ve learned throughout my writing life and come to grips with how writing has helped me with my learning disability. I’m also working on creating a landing page with Squarespace that will serve as an introduction or lead paragraph into who I am, where I am, and what I’m doing right now. This place will be the story. So on with the story…
Brian Dillon in Essayism talks about the first essayist Montaigne and why he writes:
Montaigne, who writes in his essay ‘Of Practice’: What I write here is not my teaching, but my study; it is not a lesson for others, but for me. And yet, it should not be held against me if I publish what I write. What is useful to me may also by accident be useful to another. Moreover, I am not spoiling anything, I am only using what is mine. And if I play the fool it is at my expense and without harm to anyone. For it is a folly that will die with me, and have no consequences.
So this is the mission statement: What may be useful to me and what I’ve learned in my life as a writer may be useful to others. Specifically others who have self-esteem issues. Issues that stem from their intellectual “disability” and told over and over again they can’t do something because they don’t fit into the box that school or society wants them in. I’m not a classroom teacher anymore but in the five years that I did that I realized that I love teaching. The way I teach writing is through everything I’ve struggled to learn so that’s what I will be doing here.
Next week, we’ll talk about Ken Follet and Life’s Three-Act Structure. Thanks for being here.