I started writing on the web in 1996, when I was lonely, unhappy, and bored. Today, I might have stumbled into the toxic embrace of any one of a dozen online communities that would have told me that, no, bro, it’s everyone else’s fault that things suck, not yours. I’m glad that part of the world wasn’t an option back then.
Instead, I found other writers who were working to amuse themselves first and everyone else second (or as a distant third, as others were trying to amuse potential employers with deep pockets who were trying to figure out how to turn hyperlinks into money). I hope I haven’t lost that sense of play over the last twenty-three years. I know it’s carried me through my fiction, even during the parts in the middle where everything is hopeless and impossible and man writing is hard. Well, good writing is hard, which is why we should all get paid for it. On time.
I got paid a few times for my words in the last decade, which was a pleasant surprise after years of not getting paid for them. I’m sure some of you have wondered why nothing else has happened since Like A Boss, and the answer is that it hasn’t been for lack of trying. I have a couple of finished yet unpublished novels sitting on the hard drive, and they remain unpublished because they just aren’t good enough yet. Writing is editing, and editing takes time and energy, two things that have been in short supply since we moved to Seattle and the Republic decided to commit suicide. It’s hard to focus on making up stories when you’re too busy making sure the PTSA has enough money for arts education and snacks and a cheap thug in an ill-fitting suit is busy selling off the nation for parts.
Or maybe that’s just me.
I know that 2020 will have to be a year of changing my habits and patterns for the better, which is why I’m bailing on Twitter for the foreseen future. I’ve taken a few breaks, and they were so invigorating because I wasn’t throwing my time and attention down a well that was filled with bots, monsters, and influencers. I plan on continuing that for a good long chunk because a) I went back to school in the fall to get a paralegal certificate and the next quarter is going to be a bear and b) I have stuff to write and edit and get paid for. The only person getting paid for me writing on Twitter is Jack Dorsey, and that salt juice-drinking, white-supremacist-enabling dingus can go to hell. I’ve enjoyed some of my time on Twitter, but not so much in the past three years. I got books to write and sell, man. Twitter isn’t going to help me do either.
Also, once I’m done with Ye Olde Certificate, I need to get me a job, partly for the cash but mostly because the law is weird and I want to keep learning about its weirdness, all while getting paid. Assuming the United States doesn’t implode next year, I foresee the need for motions and research and other things, and all that stuff fascinates me. With any luck, it will fascinate me for money.
Will you hear from me? If you’re on the Mailing List, you will. I’m not sure what else I’m going to write on this site until I have new books/stories/interpretive dance recitals. It feels odd that I was prepared to share all kinds of bits of myself in 1996. Now I want to keep it close to the vest. Or, at least, away from the eyes of bots and jerks. There weren’t as many of them back then. It would be great if there weren’t as many of them now.
2020 is going to be strange, and I think the best way to get through is kindness toward most and closed fists for bullies. I hope we’ll see each other in the middle of it, with a wary eye and a plate full of tacos. Do something good.