Call me Chris.


Some days the topics I choose to write about on this site seem to fill my thoughts. Other days, I wrestle with a particular issue for a while before sitting down to write it. Days like today, though, are different.

My mind is blank. At least as far as this column is concerned. I don’t want to dive into anything topical from the news or current events. I do enough of that writing on other platforms. As a result, I am trying something different tonight. I’m simply writing. It is all free-flow with whatever comes to my mind connecting one idea to the next.

Perhaps, this is the most honest type of writing there is. I am not trying to push any claim down your throat. I am not opining on the troubles of mankind. Instead, I just want to write. In one regard, this is an exhilarating way to tackle the task. I’m so used to chewing on ideas before I set them to paper. In another respect, it’s frightening not to know what I’ll say next or where this column will go. Regardless, I set out (at least one paragraph ago) to create a stream-of-consciousness post, so that’s what I promise to do.

I’m enjoying my writing for other platforms. It’s more time-consuming than I would like not to get paid for it. I’m still a novice to that type of writing, so I have to prove my worth. I miss the time I had to wrestle with ideas about my fiction. As much as I would prefer to dedicate my time and energy to that area, it doesn’t pay the bills.

I realize that the previous paragraph is oxymoronic. I’m not getting paid in the area I’m investing my efforts. The place where I have made some money (about $100, thank you very much!) is the one I am neglecting. I do have a plan in mind. I promise.

I intend to keep plugging away on the next novel when I feel the creativity flowing through me again. It is not unusual for me to set aside a creative project for some time because I am not emotionally connected to the story. I know some writers believe in pushing through the project and editing the draft with major rewrites, if necessary. My method is focused on feeling the story flow through me as I watch it play out in my mind. Any editing I do along the way or at the end is always around readability and plot holes.

The writing on the news/opinion websites is creative. I don’t want to undersell that aspect. It’s a different type of creativity, though. You have a specific idea that you stick to predictably. Even if you spin your analysis in an unexpected direction, you do so in a reasonably prescriptive manner. I enjoy the work. It is developing a different type of storytelling for me. Who knows, maybe that will improve my fiction in the process. One can only hope.

I am also thankful to the platforms and editors who have taken a chance to give me an outlet to share my opinions. Without them, I’d be nothing but that crazy guy spewing his views to his dogs (yes, I do talk to them until they get bored and walk away).

Since I promised stream-of-consciousness, I am shifting in a completely unrelated direction. Sorry for the short warning.

I have something on my mind and heart that I won’t go into too much detail about. I will say that I’m traveling back home this weekend to tend to a family matter. I will be going alone. It saddens me to spend the night away from my wife, daughter, and dogs. I am the world’s biggest homebody. I am happiest in my humble abode with my loved ones at my side (even if they’re playing on their phones or watching a program I have little interest in). But I need to do this thing. I am not typically an utterly open person. There are areas of my life that I am happy to share with a stranger. There are other areas that I only share with people I’ve known, loved, and cried over for years. The family matter is in this latter vein.

The last thing I will share is that I’m at a weird place in my career and identity. It’s not a mid-life crisis. I went through that years ago. It feels like a muted opportunity. I am pursuing the possibility, and if it blossoms into something more, then I’ll go down that road. If not, so be it. I will be able to meet my Maker knowing I answered the knock at the door.

Of course, I’m referring to my writing. I would love to simply type away the rest of my days at a keyboard about whatever suits my fancy at that time. Most people don’t get to do exactly what they want in life. I suspect I’m no different. I do enjoy writing as a hobby, hoping it might lead to something more. Only time will tell.

If you’ve read this far, I salute you. I’ve never written anything in this style before. I hope it wasn’t a complete waste of your time.

As always, this has been the World According to Chris. Please hit the like button or leave a reply.

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