Why I Write This Stuff

The things I write here are a combination of reminiscences, made-up stories, angry rants, half-baked political theories/complaints, ill-conceived philosophy and expressions of longing.

Sometimes I have an inspiration, and something flows. Often I think I should write something, and I try to force it out, an excercise that doesn’t always work. Most of the time I am aware that I have some readers, and I want to entertain you. Probably that’s because I don’t want to lose you.

There are few enough of you that I can sort of see you all. In some cases I know exactly what you look like, because I’ve seen your picture, but in every case I haveJones on the Tracks an image in my mind, pieced together from your comments here and the things you write on your own blog. I don’t know what I expected when I started this, but I certainly didn’t think it would ever be as personal as it has become. I have actually written posts directly to you, all but calling you by name. I’m sure I have a lot of one-second visitors, next-bloggers who don’t see what they’re looking for, don’t read a word and move on. But I’m just as sure that a small contingent of you check back regularly, read what I write, get it or not, and leave comments to let me know you’ve been watching, and this touches my heart.

I’m not, as some of you might think, a geeky, introverted, antisocial loser. Sure, I spend time with this blog, and more time reading yours, but I also have a job where I am inexplicably well-liked, and real-life friends whom I see socially. I have a wife and a cat, and I take part in household activities. I play guitar and write songs as a hobby.

I tell you these things because I think that I write a lot of downer stuff on this blog, depressed stuff, and I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. I am pretty even-tempered and cheerful most of the time. But a lot of the things that make me feel like writing are the sad things, the injustice, the sense of loss, confusion and fear. In meatspace* when I find something broken, I fix it if I can, work around it if I can’t and worry (and worry, and worry) if I can’t do either.

That worry often comes out in negative blog-posting, because I’ve worn out my real-life friends and family on certain topics. They just won’t listen anymore, God bless ’em.

But here on revision99, when you see some kind of Jonesian bummer coming, you can skim it and bail if you want, or just skip it all together. Please don’t think less of me just because I can’t contain my angst at this imperfect world we’re forced to live in. Take my negative raps with a grain of salt, a spoonful of sugar and a tongue in cheek, and don’t go away mad, or disappointed in me.

As always, my heart sighs with the joy of just knowing you are there.


*meatspace (noun): the space our bodies inhabit, also known as “real life”

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11 Replies to “Why I Write This Stuff”

  1. You’ve summarized what blog writing/reading/interacting means to a lot of us.

    Larry, I’m glad you’re here. I doubt I would have stuck around so long without you. You’re a treasure to me.

  2. I’m always lurking and learning from you Larry. I found this piece particularly interesting, as I analyze my own blog, and find I have a tendency to write a lot of cheerful stuff, avoiding those issues chaotic in my life. I wonder (but don’t worry) if I’m ever perceived as a piece of blond fluff without a solitary serious thought in my little head as a result.

    I’m feeling the need to “break out” a bit, and wondering how best to do it without sending my readers (which include ex-husbands and aunties and uncles) into total shock. Hm..should I ease into it…or start a 2nd, racier, blog.

  3. Theresa – How good it feels to have my ego massaged like that. You know just what to say, babe.

    GnightGirl – We all – and I mean all – have darker thoughts. You can hide them from me and others. You can even hide them from yourself, tenets of pop psychology notwithstanding. But I find it interesting, if not always illuminating, to dig around and try to find them inside myself. Of course, people who know me in meatspace could read this stuff, so I do end up censoring. Overall, though, I’m still more honest here than I would be face-to-face with people I know. They can always stop reading, after all.

    You’re on the frontier of blog etiquette, and you’ll have to figure out what you want to reveal, if anyone will be hurt/freaked out/pissed off, and what the ramifications are for you. A new, completely anonymous blog is one way to go. But I have to say that I usually can’t stay interested in those, because I need a human at the other end of the wire. If I want a one-way conversation, I can go to the library.

    And you don’t seem lightweight to me, much as I do love the blonde fluff…

  4. I think all sides of the Larry have been presented evenly in this blog so far, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Like, I know you’re crazy (aren’t we all), but not psycho, you know?

  5. Well, I couldn’t be (or haven’t been) committed, either, but there’s no guarantee! Still, I’m Just As Crazy As You Are! And don’t forget it. Why else do you think I hang around here? Not for the snacks; being diabetic, I can’t eat ’em much any more! But I get you. I knew all that stuff about you. I assumed it. I’m a fan, see?

    Massage over.

  6. Hi Larry! First let me say I loved your “stage mother” comment over at my place! Made me laugh.

    I started my blog to write essays about politics, but I quickly discovered so many people do that already! Sometimes I feel the same way as GnightGirl. I’ve gotten into the groove of writing puffery. I seem to focus on trying to make my readers laugh or at least smile. And of course, I crack myself up constantly! (Can you tell?)

    I never consider your writing/posts a downer at all. You feel the way most of us feel about stuff. And a blog is a perfect way to get it all out. My husband and I were out to dinner last night and I was telling him about you and Huge Corp. Everyone can relate.

    Plus, you’re a really good writer. Love the train tracks photo, by the way.

  7. Steph – As long as you know I’m crazy, that’s the main thing.

    Dick – I won’t take credit for “meatspace,” but I don’t remember where I first heard it.

    Ron – You’re scaring me now.

    Blue Girl – Telling people about your imaginary friends. Yep, you’re a blogger…

    MPH – I say to the readers, “Be afraid.”

  8. have you seen the hacker dictionary? if not, i’ll find/send you a link. i don’t remember if meatspace is in there, but it should be.

    and i’d be happy to send you a picture of me, too, if you want one, so you can put a face to the words.

  9. Goldie – Just the name “Hacker Dictionary” makes me think I must have seen it, but I have no specific recollection. I googled it and came up with this site, which lists “meatware” as a variant of “wetware,” meaning the human nervous system or the humans attached to a computer system (as opposed to hardware or software), but no meatspace.

    And yeah, send me a picture. To tell the truth, I’ve always wondered…

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