The Write Stuff

I started Surface Tension to help verbalize all the emotions that had welled up inside of me for years and years.
Then I met a therapist – a psychologist, actually – who showed me how to feel my emotions - and thus not to bury them.
What a gift.
What a change in the way I see the world, face the world.
But I continue to write here. To chronicle a life, I suppose, and to just create something every single day.
(I’ve come to realize that the act of creating something – anything – on a daily basis is giving back to, I dunno, the spirituality of the world that I am a part.)
Close friends, the ones who read everyday, marvel that people in Beijing, Casablanca, New Delhi and Saudi Arabia have become faithful readers of Surface Tension.
I marvel at, “What makes my life so goddamn special that people keep coming back?”
The train wreck possibility of it all, I suppose; but one writer friend said it was twofold: the fact that I’m committed to posting every single day – and the writing.
And there lies a fundamental problem.
Right now, all of the writing that I’m doing that excites me to the core is going up on Surface Tension.
I look forward to getting up and letting my fingers fly over the keyboard of my iBook. I’m gleeful when stupid, weird shit happens in my life (which, thankfully, is often). I think about posts in advance. I plan them.
I want to begin posting something soon, something I’m very excited about, called flash fiction. Short stories of no more than 1,750 words (because if you go over that, it becomes ‘sudden fiction’).
So what’s the problem?
The stuff I write for a paycheck, in my opinion, sucks.
Big donkey dicks.
But nobody agrees with me.
“It’s still ThomG worthy,” a writer friend said recently. “You’re one of only three people at the paper worth reading anyway.”
(Case-in-point; last week I didn’t start writing my weekly column until after 2 p.m. on a Friday – my deadline for getting my pages done is 4 p.m. on Fridays – and I cranked out what I thought was a giant pile of monkey shit. One boss comment, one Web comment, three people who stopped me on the street, 14 emails and five telephone calls all said it was great – and supported me in my quest to solo hike the John Muir trail next year. So go fucking figure.)
There’s a lot going on in the newspaper industry and at our mid-sized, corporately-owned newspaper. The industry keeps looking around for the next big fix (abolish corporate ownership would be a fine start) and our paper just offered voluntary buyouts to employees (which started a flood of worry among the younger staff).
I’m not worried. I’ve got a plan if the shit hits the fan here (it involves getting on at a weekly newspaper somewhere in Montana, where the long arm of corporate ownership can’t reach, and create for a readership that cares greatly for its locally-driven news).
I feel somewhat bad that my “A” game is going toward a little piece of the Internets that a few people see.
But I feel energized – OK, I get all a-tingly – chronicling myself on Surface Tension.
I guess I shouldn’t bitch.
I get paid to create.
And I get to create for fun.
And sanity.