We’re in the middle of a winter storm up here. That means no school, heavy snow, clogged driveways and shoveling. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to upload the next installment of “Corruption” from my laptop so I’m posting this from home to stay on the daily schedule. Hope you’re all well and warm wherever you are! The “Corruption” series should resume later today or first thing tomorrow.
Here are 10 things I’ve learned over a year of writing Cracked Virtue:
1) A lot can happen in a year. When I started this project I had no idea. None. This past year has been filled with events I won’t go over because you can read about them all here on C.V. I’m incredibly thankful on this side of things to have been involved in this just because so many major (thanks Victoria) events occurred this past year. And thanks to everyone who has been along for this ride, it’s helped more than you can imagine getting your comments and responses to those events.
2) Writing, while its own reward, is more fun when people react and comment.
My friend Tim knows that any day that’s mail day is like a little taste of Christmas. I enjoy the process of writing immensely, even if I don’t do it well. Sort of like kissing, even doing it badly can be rewarding. But it’s been encouraging, challenging and shamefully ego stroking to get comments to things I’ve posted.
3) I’ve missed out by not keeping up better with old friends. And thanks to every one of you who has been the subject, disguised and uncovered, of one or more of my blogs. I’ve always like my friends, even loved them but at this point in my life I’m realizing I never properly appreciated them in the time we had together. How in the world did I let myself fall out of touch with friends who’ve been so formative in my life? How weird am I that I’d like to go back and have tea or a beer with everyone I went to school with just to see what their lives have been like, even Greg who punched me in the face in grade 8 to get the football in a game of keepaway?
4) I should have asked more people to tell me their stories. I live in the world’s biggest library and while I’ve read or am reading a lot of the books that surround my life there are so many I’ve just skimmed or left on the shelf when I wasn’t impressed by their cover. Dumb, dumb, dumb. My greatest regret this year is that I didn’t tape record interviews of my father in law. I really thought we had more time. My greatest joy has been getting to know my friend George better and better. We share almost daily hugs and cups of hot chocolate now. Who knew a guy who pushes a shopping cart around town collecting empty bottles could be so fascinating and so full of love?
5) I’d rather share stories than vent. I started this blog with the idea that I would rant about all the things wrong with everyone and everything around me. That got very boring very quickly. Plus I realized, to some surprise, that I really like people. Not love, like. Love is sort of easy unless you mean real love and then it’s hard as crud. I’m not sure how many of us really love people. But I know I really like ‘em, even the cranky, bitchy, unhappy people, the backstabbers, the betrayers, the crybabies and the chronically needy. Stories, everyone, and worth my time and with the author’s imprint hidden somewhere inside.
6) Hundreds of anonymous people like to stop by without saying, “Hello!” Seriously, hundreds of people stop by CV almost every day and I think I’ve heard from, um, 20 maybe. I understand lurking, I do that on other blogs, but hundreds of people just stopping by and staying hidden in the shadows? No comments, complaints or queries. Maybe I can talk the elusive Donna into offering a dollar, a Canadian dollar so about $1.05 U.S., to everyone who leaves a comment on the December 31st final entry on C.V.?
7) I’ve changed. I’m not the same person I was in December of ’06. Anyone who has followed the C.V. experience will have picked up hints of this along the way. I’m not talking about plastic surgery or even an extreme makeover. Inside, in the way I think and feel and see the world around me, things I believe about God and things I believe about people, these have all been changed over the last 365 days. Some I called friends have faded out of my life, others have been ripped. Expectations have gone un-met in some situations and vastly exceeded in others. Most of all this year of blogging has given me deeper glimpses into me. And I’ve gained weight. Shootthecat! (Thanks Shellie B, for the polite swear word…)
8) If there was a way to make money at this I could be tempted to do it full-time.
I love my full-time gig but if I could do this and earn a living simultaneously I would be very, very tempted. I love the process. I’ve rediscovered my love for words. While I’m clearly a hack, it feels good to write. And to be read. But no worries or sorry to disappoint depending for those of you who are part of my full-time gig on which side of that equation you fall. You’ll still be hearing from me weekly in the usual forum for my ramblings.
9) My wife is incredibly patient with me. She’s put up with lots from me in this past year. Posts that she was not happy to be included in, stories better left untold and brilliant moments of real life where she’s turned to me and said, “and I better not read about this on Cracked Virtue…” I love this girl! She’s also endured me disappearing “to write” and conversations where I’ve been only half to ¼ listening while I kept glancing at the computer screen. Thank you for not always being elusive with me my darling D.
10) Creativity comes and goes but it comes easier when you work at it. Turns out the more you write, the more you can write. Weird.
Well, that’s my list. Anyone who’s been a reader of C.V. like to comment on what you’ve learned from this past year? I might not have anything to do with my blog, that’s cool. Whether you’ve been here since last December or you just stumbled in over the last few weeks I’d love to read what you’ve got to say.
(Anyone WordPress savvy enough out there who can tell me how to insert some kind of countdown widget onto the blog for the remaining 27 days or so?)