I haven’t published a blog post here for a year and a half — but then, you already know that. What you may not know is that, before I started writing this post, Chocolate Sheep had six visitors for all of 2017. Six! After an empty, desolate eighteen months of non-publishing!
Now that’s a faithful audience. But then, I already knew that. (And thank you.)
My last year and a half has been busy and stressful and joyful and sorrowful. Many of the things that happened to me, I can’t write about. But that’s okay. I have been doing a lot of thinking and waiting and writing in my head during that time. I’ve studied my math, written an essay about various incarnations of Sherlock Holmes, switched jobs and switched jobs again and then switched back to the previous job, started a new blog (or maybe two) and posted for a while and then didn’t post, started reading a lot of books and finished reading
most some of them, knitted (and partially crocheted!) a few things, mourned Alan Rickman and David Bowie (ouch) and Gary Shandling and Prince (ouch) and Leonard Cohen (WTF) and Carrie Fisher (please, no) and Debbie Reynolds (wait, what?) and William Christopher (okay, 2016, I officially give up now, please take all my heroes) and so many others, and started writing here and there — journal entries, embarrassingly bad poetry, grocery lists, song lyrics, the aforementioned (and as yet still unpublished) Sherlock Holmes essay, love letters, parts of short stories and longer stories — and, as I mentioned, done a lot of thinking.
I have done a lot of thinking about who I am. I start a lot of stuff. And I have to admit that I don’t finish everything that I start. I have had that fact thrown at me like a poisoned dart in the last few years. At first it hurt. Maybe after a while, though, I got a bit more acclimated to the poison. Plenty of people start lots of stuff, including knitting projects. Most of it probably isn’t worth finishing and should just be frogged. Are you obligated to hunt down every wild hare and chase every wild goose just from a sense of honor? Or can you walk away from the hunt when you realize you didn’t really want Hasenpfeffer or Duck a l’orange anyway and a good tuna salad on whole wheat sandwich was more to your taste? And if you walk away, how do you deal with other people’s opinions about your change of mind?
You don’t deal with it. They deal with it, if they really care at all. And if they only cared enough to criticize actions they didn’t understand, they probably don’t need to deal with it either. Just move on. Really. Just move on.
So here I am, still thinking and writing, and trying not to beat myself up for all the loose ends I’ve left behind me. These days I’m getting better at not beating myself up unnecessarily. So when I’m able, I will weave in the ends that are important. Until I’m able, I may be casting on for something else that may be profitable. That’s how my brain works and that’s a large part of who I am. I do my best and I keep going. I don’t want to get stuck any more in the morass of guilt over my as-yet unfinished business. Sometimes I don’t keep writing because I don’t know the end of the story yet. I move on to something else until I do. Sometimes I don’t know how to take the next step in a project. I get something else done while I figure out that next step. It may take five years before I pick up that project again, but I did finish other projects in that five years.
A couple of weeks ago I took a new kind of step and applied for a writing fellowship that would provide professional support and structure to my writing. (Clearly, I need structure.) Whether or not I earn/win/receive the fellowship, I need to start writing again. Today is as good a day as any to start. Knowing that six readers were here waiting for me at a virtual blank sheet of paper is one kind of motivation. Even if they turned out to be six Russian spiderbots collecting subversive knitting lingo for Putin, well, it’s still nice to be waited for. (For the comrades: CO 4x+2. k2, k1 tbl, p1 across, end k2. Turn and repeat. For the Motherland!)
Today also happens to be my tenth anniversary of starting this blog. Online writing has changed a lot since I joined WordPress. So has WordPress, which (after I’ve published it) will probably tell me how many posts I’ve published. For what it’s worth, so have I.
I have started many blogs, all on WordPress, since I started this one — one for each particularly interesting-looking-at-the-time wild goose that crossed my field of vision. Most of them are defunct for lack of interest, lack of time, or lack of relevance to my current life. But there are two that I will most likely choose to maintain in addition to Chocolate Sheep, and they relate to my home baking and my movie reviews. If you’re not interested, then by no means should you worry about them (I haven’t seen a movie in the theaters since Interstellar). If I do post something to those blogs, I will link to it from here so you can see what my writing is like on the other side of the tracks. But frankly, it’s quite a bit like my writing on this side of the tracks.
There are so many things I want to do.(Don’t get me started. Seriously, don’t even think about getting me started.) But most of all, I want to be my best self and keep trying. I hate it when I give in to the dark forces — don’t you?
Keep trying, and keep reading. I promise to keep writing.