100 Sonnets – Final Thoughts

All right, so… here we are. Oh right, no need to be in italics all the time anymore. Got to be a reflex.

I’ve been known to go on, so if you’re just here for the pretty pictures, here’s the TL;DR:

Be back here Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays for new stuff in the future. Gonna be a lot more words and pictures both.

I’m gonna be honest, guys… I didn’t think we’d get here. I really didn’t. When I made you a promise on August 2nd to write a hundred sonnets, I was pretty sure I was going to let you down.

I write the way I do – to you, as if I know you, as if you’re here with me – because I’ve always found it very hard to get things done just because I know that they’re “good for me” or I’m “supposed to.” But as a perfectionist people-pleaser, I can do anything if I promise someone else I’ll do it.

I could move the mountain to Mohammed with a melon baller if I told you I’d have it done by Tuesday.

I’m better about sharing with you, more honest and more consistent, if I treat you like you matter. And that’s good, because you do matter, for more reasons than just that one.

I watch my blog’s traffic stats with the same insecure thirst everyone else does, which means that as I’ve been working on this project I’ve gotten to see a couple of things that helped me stick with it. One of them was expected: posting every day attracts traffic, which I had heard but, as usual, had assumed I would somehow be the exceptional failure. That tends to be an operating principle of mine, you see – I embark on every endeavor assuming that, even when it defies statistical probability, I will manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Absurdism! *jazz hands*

So sure, the little bars went up, that made me feel good. The other thing I saw meant more to me, though: there were some people I started to recognize. Some people who came back every day. I don’t know a better way to convey what that meant to me except to say that I cried when I told my wife about it, and I’m crying again now. I’m an absurdist because continuing my life has required a belief system and a reason for living that doesn’t depend on success or good fortune. The fact is that I’ve been writing the things I couldn’t say to anyone else since I learned to write when I was four. It’s what this machine is for. I’ll be here doing it forever even if nobody ever sees it. So I hope you understand that I’m not trying to solicit pity when I say… the idea that a stranger even could give enough of a shit about the wide range of nonsense I think to come back and read it every day genuinely did not occur to me. Nor did the idea that I might actually write a sonnet every day for a hundred days. I didn’t imagine for a second that I might finish, or that it might be interesting to anyone.

My brain is wired backward, you see.
Hope is suicide.
Success is never possible.
Which means failure never matters.

I don’t tell you how things affect me because I want your pity or your money, and I hope that’s clear; I tell you because I want you to be certain that I’m always going to tell you the truth, and all of it. That’s the deal, that’s what I do here: I tell you honestly what I see. The nonsense I see is under Stories; the rest of it is real. If you want to see more, you stay. This relationship has become important to me in a way I didn’t anticipate. There’s a different echo to the ether when I know someone’s listening, how’s that? I never dreamt of you, but you’re precious to me now.

Since I turned around from puttering with my altar to discover that a few lost souls actually did wash up in the pews, (here please imagine me blinking owlishly and groping about my person for spectacles to see if you are real) it seems to behoove me to have something to offer you on some kind of schedule. That said, there are things that I would like to work on – rewrites, practicing with a new artistic medium, that sort of thing – that aren’t necessarily spectator sports, and I don’t want to feel pressured to always be creating “in the public eye,” as it were. So while I often may have things to show you every day, I’m going to make a promise to you for three days a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. They’re days when I have a lot of time to write or draw and should reliably have something cool for you to look at. No promises what it’ll be, mind. I’m not part of your system, maaaaan, I do what I want.

What’s next then?

Well, I know this is going to come as a shock, but I am stoked as hell to do anything that isn’t a fucking sonnet. My preference – forgive me, your poor heart – is long-form writing. I also want to do more visual art than I have in the past, and move the site itself in a different direction maybe? Here are some thoughts:

  • I’ll be doing a full rewrite on Shadowplay, but I won’t take what’s up there down until I’ve got something substantial to replace it with, so I guess enjoy the shitty first draft while it’s there and know its days are numbered!
  • There’s going to be a lot more Bluebird coming; that story has been bubbling on the back burner and is starting to boil over.
  • There’s going to be a LOT more Sects; that one is starting to take over my life and my desk. And I got fancy new pens! So much more drawing incoming. I often post in-progress stuff (and thrift-store vests) on my Instagram if you like those things.
  • Advice for Sluts is still a thing; I will probably steal a question out of the mail of someone more important fairly soon, but if you want to motivate me, you could ask me a question yourself.
  • I’ll still rant about my broken brain and backward emotions, if that stuff is of interest to anyone. I’m thinking about ways to tell some stories from my childhood, some things that aren’t about trauma and some things that are, and there might be more in that vein going forward. We’ll see.
  • In terms of overarching site stuff, I’m probably going to switch to something other than WordPress around March of next year when this re-ups. Feel like the money could be better spent in terms of functionality. I’ll let you know when that’s happening, and there’ll probably be a sexy redesign, but ideally the URL shouldn’t change so you won’t notice. Maybe we’ll even slap an M on the end of that .co like a big boy website.
  • It’s come to my attention, from my porch from which I shake my fist at the sky, that nobody reads anymore. This is a problem for me as I am a very wordy person. However, I’ve always enjoyed reading aloud, and I got this great new vest you just have to see, so I’m considering reading some of my words into a recording device of some kind and posting the resulting shitshow on Youtube. I’ve been reliably informed that talking heads reading their own words into webcams are what The Kids(TM) are all about these days. We’ll see how quickly I get on that. I’m an Elder Millennial; I interact with the internet at the speed of a BBS, not Twitter.

So that’s about the size of things! If you made it all the way to the end of this, you’re my kind of person, and I’ll be capering for you from here on out. If you like it, don’t be shy – the best thing in the world to me is jamming with people about ideas, creating with other people. If you want to make a friend and make some art, or something I’ve written around here resonates with you, let me know. Pester me on Twitter if you must, or email me. Share with me your delicious brainmeats. Let us nobble them together.

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