Dear Diary

Marbles the cat

For pretty much as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be the kind of person who keeps a daily journal. I’ve wanted to produce years of writing and sketches and document my growth as a writer, artist, and human being; a ledger of a life; a record that I was here, that I created, and there was significance to my words. I imagined shelves lined with mostly-complete notebooks jammed full of ideas and observations, a reckoning of emotion, an honest reflection and historical record of life’s event.

I’ve never been this person.

The closest I’ve ever come is having a blog on and off (mostly off) over the years. Or various writing projects. Or participating in online discussions on Usenet, metafilter, reddit, and now Facebook. I write daily, but the writing I do on these sites is generally lazy, half thought-out, inflammatory, reactionary, masturbatory, and while they feed my need to string words together, they lack artistry or substance. Often I am clever for clever’s sake without considering if there’s any value to my participation. There’s little evidence of growth, and less evidence of reflection, no “body of work.”

Look, I hold no illusions about what kind of writer I am. No one is going to be studying my canon of writing. I’m not making the world a better place through my words. I have little influence or audience and I will not be making my living through writing anytime soon.

But I still like to write.

Writing for oneself still holds value even if no one else ever reads. Writing is therapeutic. The act itself can be confessional, entertaining, educational, revelatory. I often learn what I truly think about something when I attempt to articulate an argument or even an explanation or observation. Words are fleeting, but using them to capture a moment, to scrawl fear or desire, to record a goal or achievement, to codify, to write, makes everything a bit more real. Words are powerful, moving, and yet, can be fickle. I love writing even if what I do is mostly equivalent to singing in the shower.

Sure, I have several websites containing my writing (fervorflower.com & jackassletters.com), and I’ve even managed to publish a book, but I want more. I like to imagine myself as a writer. It’s part of my identity. A writer writes. I write, therefore I am (or something). But I want more. I want to produce and to publish. I want to strive and challenge myself. I want to be one of those who are “putting it out there.” I want to write poems again, and stories (both long and short), maybe another book length fiction, or even tons more content for Jackass Letters. I want rejection slips and contracts. I want an audience and I want to do something with my writing. I want to see my name in print and read reviews of my work (both positive and negative). I want to engage in robust dialog with my fans. Hell, I want fans.

Hopefully, This Flap First (this site, you monkey) will be a first step toward making this happen, a rededication to the craft, a hobby and a habit.

Did I fail to mention I also want paid? I don’t want to make my living through writing. I don’t want it to ever become a career or a job, but I do want compensation. I respect writers too much to do the work of one for free. So if you want to hire me, reach out: cjorgensen@thisflapfirst.com. I’d be happy to talk.

Until then, I have this idea for a story I want to work on.

• Christopher

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I own these words.