’ve heard of people who occasionally imagine their own obituaries. It is, I suppose, a morbid accounting of one’s life, to consider what one has achieved and how far one has climbed.
For me, it’s the occasional imagined writing of my final Dog Ear piece. “It’s been a long road, but one that’s come to an end…”
Sometimes, when I write about writing, I realize how little I know about this strange thing publishing has turned into. The idea of harvesting hits and reciprocal reviews and playing the Amazon rankings leaves me cold. As I see people hit big time with yet another reheated vampire high school book, some fan fiction that taps a market and shoots to the top of the lists, it’s enough to make a traditional writer despair. And I look at my own two hundred hits or so per blog and think why bother? I put these out in Facebook and they sink under the weight of more relevant postings, like quizzes that will tell you which Lord of the Rings characters is most like you.
But then, occasionally, that glimmer. I also write a blog about model trains, specifically the operation session I attend (where we run the railroad like a real railroad, with timetables and fast clocks and the like). So the other night I was at the train club, just considering this scratchbuilt pedestrian overpass I was going to construct. A visitor was in from Tampa, who was checking out our club and strongly considering joining now that he was moving into town. “I know about you guys from that blog someone here posts, all about operations. Love it. I check back every week or so for more entries.”
So queue the cartoon dog eating the biscuit, where he vaults into the air, to float down like a leaf, in pure contentment. Ahhhhhhhhh!
A reader! I got to meet an actual reader!
We chatted and laughed about a couple of the sillier blog entries, just sharing it for a bit.
So I drove home, thinking, yeah, maybe I have a couple more Dog Ear pieces to write. Because even though I don’t know shit about churning hits and playing the rankings, I do know what it’s like to be a writer.