I said it last Monday, at our writer’s gathering, which consists more of beer drinking and talk of writing than actual writing. “Hi. I’m Sue Claridge. I’m a blogger.”
“Hi Sue,” the group responded with giggles.
It’s not an anonymous meeting and it’s in a pub, so nothing with twelve items that involved steps or traditions were read. A few of my peers were brave enough to share work aloud or in a notebook passed around. By the time it was my turn to speak, I announced that I was a blogger. Beer has a way of loosening the tongue, I suppose. I can't believe I said it.
Later in the week, I was putting away some dishes as a semi-written blog post stared at me from across the room: the cursor blinked accusingly to prove that something in this house worked despite distraction.
“I don’t want to be a blogger,” I thought. “They sit around the basement in their pajamas and that isn’t me.” I looked down just in time to see my nightgown get wet from the splashing water. The sink in the basement is small and that happens a lot.
“Oh my God! I am a blogger!”
As I write this, I am sitting in a sandwich shop, after having lunch with a friend. I do have friends, unlike other bloggers. I am sipping diet pop, not coffee! I am fully dressed with an appropriate amount of makeup on. My hair is brushed and to my knowledge, I look like any other citizen of my big town/small city home. It’s not so unusual for someone to type on a laptop here, except for right now.
Of course, they don’t know my secret. I’m a blogger, and I am blogging in public. As far as they know, I’m checking my LinkedIn account.
I started writing this post and tried to save it. It’s what I do, part of my process. I get an idea, write the title, add a few comments, then I let it sit for a day or two, a month, maybe more, a lot more. When I need to write but don’t have any ideas, I start looking at the scraps of posts I’ve started, to see if anything inspires me. It’s like dumpster diving behind a fast food restaurant to see if there is anything in there that’s kind of fresh and isn’t too awful.
This post is saved in a folder called 1Blog, not original, but the number makes it fall at the top so I can find it easier. In 1Blog are about forty half-started blog posts waiting to be made funny, lucid, or poignant. When I tried to save this post, I couldn’t bring myself to write its full title, so it is saved under “I.” I couldn’t even finish typing the rest, the shame of it all.
Just for your information, there is a 2Blog folder, as well. I put finished blogs ready to be published in there. It is nearly empty.
Well, at least now when people ask me what I do, I can give them a more definitive answer. What I’d like to be called is an author. Until I publish my book, which requires me to first write a book, I am just a writer.
Everyone writes, though. Don’t believe me? Go look on Facebook and Twitter. Everyone writes, not everyone is published and that is the Holy Grail, being published. (Cue: angels singing.)
I am a musician. I have been for decades. Few people pay me for this skill, although I do occasionally make money at my profession. Is it really a profession if all you can do is buy a couple of weeks of groceries with what you are paid? Yes, when you’re a musician, it is.
For a while, I used to tell people, “I’m a musician and that means I have a day job. I also work with children on the Autism Spectrum.” That my friends, is not a glamorous job, but it does engender respect and impressed looks. The actual work is amazing but exhausting, so physically I can’t do it anymore. And, that’s okay.
But, listen to this. “I’m a musician, so I have a day job. I am a blogger.” If that statement conjures visions of someone living at the poverty level and eating cheap food, you have a clear picture of my lifestyle. However, what you would not know is that writing charges my batteries as much as performing music does; and, I have never been able to say that before about anything else. Well, Jesus, you know, Jesus is always the answer and He is awesome. But, besides our Savior and Lord, writing makes me feel alive like music feeds my soul.
So, I live very modestly and I have just enough. But, there is nothing I want to have more than this lifestyle that I am buying. Strange that.
Blogging helps me avoid both rejection and steady income. However, I feel like I’m building something important in my existence. It empowers me to observe my world and report on it. Sometimes, that is a silly observation about life as an empty-nester. Other times, it’s a rant about what in the heck is going wrong in Kansas government. It is often a supportive newsletter for my fellow parents and caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. But, expression is what it is.
So, I blog. I write. I play the flute.
I live modestly and accept donations. Please see my website for contact information.