OK, so now what? Why did I reserve this domain name? Why am I starting the blog? And what will this blog end up being?
Good questions all. First, a little background. I work in the financial services industry but I’ve always had an interest in writing (I’m a former journalist) and over the years have tried my hand at various projects, most of which withered on my hard drives unfinished, and none of which I’ve showed anyone but the closest of friends and family. But at least I was writing; for the past several years, even that rather sad, lackluster Muse of mine seems to have taken an indefinite leave of absence.
But within the past couple of months, an idea has been percolating in my head to write a novel about a slacker who is diagnosed with terminal cancer and decides to finally make his mark on the world by starting a blog called Dead Man Blogging, which he basically uses to track his journey toward Death. In the process, he gets into a rivalry with another cancer blogger, who is actually faking his illness.
Like most of my ideas, I only have a very general outline of the plot and little idea how the story will end (which may be why most of my projects don’t get completed), but I envision it potentially addressing a whole bunch of larger themes: The ways in which virtual communities and relationships lack as adequate substitute for real ones; the protean nature of identity on the Internet; the sanity of insanity; the end of detached, ironic postmodernism and the beginning of something both more involved and yet more bathetic; and yes, the importance of living every day like its your last. In short, it’ll likely be a bunch of crap that could probably be somewhat decent in the hands of a more skilled writer.
As usual, I found myself procrastinating when it came to actually writing the damn thing, so I decided in the meantime to at least reserve this URL, which I thought was a pretty decent one anyway, and pretend I was moving ahead with the book.
At first, I planned on turning the site into some sort of meta-project where I’d make like it was actually being written by the main character in the book (and thus in some way I’d end up being like his not-sick rival blogger/poseur), but thought better of it after spending some time reading a blog from a real cancer patient – one of the saddest, bravest, and most compelling tales i’ve read in some time. it seems a bit cruel to pretend you have a terminal disease when there are so many people out there really fighting the fight and so many others who then get invested in those fights as if they were their own.
So instead, I’m going to use this blog in a similar way that most people do – as a quasi-diary, quasi-OpEd page. And in the process, it’ll hopefully give me more inspiration and food for thought for my story (at the very least, it will get me back in the habit of writing, which I have totally lost) . These first two postings have been very long, but I envision the rest of the blog will consist of very short posts where I sound off about any number of topics on my mind – religion, politics, love, work, friendship, my past, my family, my life (and yes, my death too). From the broad to the narrow, the personal to the universal, the deep to the trivial, basically anything and everything will be fair game, and I’m hoping to write something at least five days a week. It won’t always be insightful, or even interesting, but it will be honest. That much I promise.