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Monday, May 07, 2007

Unexpected Opportunity

Having promised Frank Paynter—and then the world at large in my previous post—that I would fulfill my obligations to get something up on this neglected blog at least once every quarter, my time is more than up.

Tax season is over. No more excuses, not even spring yard work, branch clearing, and all that other horticultural horseshit (how’s that for alliteration?) that would be oh so convenient to justify continued avoidance of my blogging commitments.

I’ve parked myself in front of the keyboard nearly every day for the past couple of weeks, trying in vain to compose something. I’ve been perusing many of my favorite blogs for inspiration. Shockingly, not even the splendid examples of these estimable people have been able to re-ignite the writing engine.

Something unpleasant seems to have happened. I’ve completely lost touch with the community that I used to value so much (although one could argue that there isn’t that much of a community spirit anymore. Frank, though, bless his heart, keeps trying to fan the flame).

Some formerly prolific writers—Maria Benet and Dervala Hanley being two excellent examples who spring to mind—appear to be cutting back on their posting. Unlike me, however, they don’t seem to wring their hands about it. They just put up another great post when they get around to it.

Using their example for inspiration, I’ll calm the agitated hands by applying them to the keyboard---and just go with whatever happens to come out. I really do want to get my writing chops back. How else am I gonna do it? It reminds me of the opening of my very first blog post (Feb 21, 2002):

“There's no way to start it except to start it. So here I go. After all, David Weinberger, who's probably my biggest source of inspiration for this undertaking, has as the motto for his blog, "let's just see how it goes,"

Which leads me to what’s behind the title of today’s post. The one and only Dr.W is appearing in San Francisco in a couple of nights to promote his new book, “Everything Is Miscellaneaous.” The affair is described as a blogger meetup and is taking place at the digs of Yahoo’s new venture, The Brickhouse.

Whathehell? I could jump on a train, walk four blocks, and be there in about an hour from my door. I rarely go out on weeknights anymore, but why not? Weinberger, after all, is the godfather of this blog. (Jeneane Sessum’s the godmother, btw, in case you were wondering).

To hell with my age. I’m not ashamed to be starstruck. And the Brickhouse is a stone’s throw from Dervala’s neighborhood. What if she happened to be there? God knows what other luminaries might be there, but W and D would be enough to make the trek worth it.

OTOH, most of these people, Dr. W excepted, are going to be young enough to be my children. The crowd at the Brickhouse will no doubt be uber-hip. Even though I’m no square, I’m clueless about Web 2.0 and all the other up-to-the minute goodies they’ll no doubt be talking about. And even though I was once a fair-to-middlin,’ almost daily blogger with a respectable audience, I’ve been out of the loop for a long time now.

Am I going to feel like an idiot if I show up at this affair? It looms as a distinct possibility. Then again, why not simply claim my space as a been-around-the-bend elder who knows that, in the blogosphere at least, words trump technology and always will, no matter how exotic the evolution of the tech stuff.

Well, I think I’m willing to risk it, because what I’ve really been trying to say in this post is that I’m looking for some way to get my spirit back. I don’t know what happened or where it went (I have a few theories but what do they matter?). I just know I want it to return.

As Paynter responded a while back in reply to his own question, “Why do we blog?. . . “Because we’re writers.” My blog’s motto, after all, is borrowed from a quote from Dr W--“We are writing ourselves into existence.”

I haven’t been writing. Ergo, I haven’t been existing. Small wonder I’ve been dispirited these recent months. Maybe putting my fears and embarrassment aside and hitting the Brickhouse will be the jolt in the ass I need.

If I end up feeling terribly out of place and convinced that time has passed me by, that I had my run with the blogosphere, etc., etc. and now it’s time to just go home and tend to the yard, so be it.

I’ll never know if I don’t go.


  • Tom, tell my handlers I said it's ok for you to approach me. Just remember, keep your greeting brief, and do not look me in the eye.


    Looking forward to seeing you Thursday...

    -- David Weinberber

    By Blogger joho, at 4:06 AM  

  • OK, David. Agreed. And I'll check my handgun at the door.

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 9:37 AM  

  • Good on ya, Tom. I wish I could be there too.

    By Blogger fp, at 9:43 AM  

  • Thanks, Frank. Wish you could too.

    By Blogger Tom Shugart, at 12:16 PM  

  • go tom go!!!

    By Blogger Jeneane Sessum, at 7:50 PM  

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