I’m having a total Summer Rain flashback right now. It’s hot and muggy outside, about twenty degrees warmer inside my apartment, and I’ve got a box fan running on overdrive. I’m listening to Chick Corea and eating a bacon double cheeseburger meal from Burger King. It makes me think I’ve got a radio show shift coming up at WQAX and it’s going to start pouring rain two minutes before I have to leave. Although I don’t enjoy the weather, I do enjoy the temporary glimpse back 13 years. For whatever reason though, I don’t look back at it as fondly as I did before. I mean, nothing’s wrong with it, but I’m just getting bored of looking back and being nostalgic. It’s something I do too much, and I’d rather look forward. And that means I’m sick of writing these books about the past and about my life, because they always seem mediocre to me, and there are too many problems involved. I try to write something that’s a metaphor for youth and age and whatever the fuck, and the only comments I get back are “D00D MY CAR HAD 15 INCH RIMS, WTF?” and it makes me wonder why I don’t just take up golf and fucking give it up.
That’s why I haven’t been writing here. I don’t know what you expect out of me, but this isn’t a blog. And I wish it wasn’t a “here’s the latest news on Jon’s personal life”. When I first envisioned this, I thought it would be just a bunch of writing exercises; a chance for me to sit down for twenty minutes during my lunch break and hash out some writing. But then it became a personal journal, but not really – I don’t like to write about all of the intimate details of my life online, unlike many LiveJournalers out there. For example, I never, ever write about my dating life here. That’s pure suicide right there. And I never talk about my job. I also don’t post the kind of pure brain diarrhea that most blogs do, like a bunch of links to other content, or political links, or whatever else. A blog is a (we)b log, or basically just a list of favorite bookmarks you see during your daily surf. It isn’t content, it isn’t creative, and it isn’t art. Okay, there are some good blogs that consolidate content and showcase news stories or whatever, and I read them, but I’m not a new-age journalist. I’m a writer.
I also recently discovered that I’m really sick of writing travel journal stories. The Hawaii one just about broke my back, and I think about three people read it. Writing about my own life has become akin to eating my own shit. It’s something I really hate doing now. And it sucks because I have almost an entire book done, a bunch of short stories about Bloomington, and I don’t even want to share them with anyone because I already know what the reactions will be, and looking at them makes me retch as much as if you somehow turned up a Dungeons and Dragons-themed paper I wrote in the 7th grade and then forced me to read it to a stadium of people holding cartons of rotten eggs.
I think that Rumored to Exist was/is the one book that I am truly proud of, although I see that as my first real book, and the next one needs to be more of the same, but exponentially better. And I’m working in that direction. But it makes me wonder what I should be doing with this journal. I see the marketing potential of having a little thing where I can tell people what new book is coming out, or where I am reading, or what friends of mine have released new stuff worth reading. But I feel like there’s a lot of bad energy in having all of these archives of old shit, with people coming here thinking I’m going to write some giant diatribe about my girlfriend or whatever the fuck people think blogs are supposed to have on them. And I worry that people see this thing and think it’s my life’s work, much like how every hipster doofus starts up a blogger page and then that’s their big project, and that’s going to get them a hundred grand publishing deal. This isn’t my life’s work. For every word I write here, I probably write a hundred in my real books.
In the last month, I’ve thought about entirely removing this thing from the web, and leaving a big 404 sunken crater to greet all of you. I’ve thought about making this page a symlink to a livejournal with only the occasional update. I’ve thought about scaling everything back, mothballing the archives, and coming up with something stripped down to put in its place. I still don’t know what the solution is.
I do know that I need to clean all of the Burger King wrappers and bags off the desk, start up another fan or two, and start work on the layout for Air in the Paragraph Line, which will be coming out soon…