Pressing “reset”

It’s been brought to my attention by numerous loyal readers that I’ve been lax in keeping up my blog content. I’ve been slacking. Mailing it in. Goofing off. I’ve seemed uninspired, full of contempt for the writing process, utterly unable to engage that person staring at my maroon and cream website in any sort of logically intelligent thought. What’s with the lack of writing? What’s with the incredibly slow trickle of quality words?

What has happened? That’s an answer that can’t be summed up with just one definitive reason. But there are three things that have contributed to this sudden shut down of non-“random link” posts and an unfortunate uprising of YouTube videos.

First, there’s a lack of time – the recent synching of my schedule with Kerrie’s has actually given us less time for extra curricular activities. We come home, eat dinner, and –boom!- it’s already seven. The summer is always filled with excuses to waste time, and each excuse has been realized in full. A garden will need to be planted. Then, a basement redone. After that, a floor refinished. Mix this together with the usual laundry and lawn mowing, and you’ve got little left.

And little left leads me to the second reason: the lack of motivation to make time. I am lax. I am mailing it in. I’ve been unable to convince myself to make time for blogging – time to write anything, really. I don’t have the usual drive because, well, I get paid to do it now. Before, it was a need – a disease. Now, it’s just an extension of what I’ve done at work.

Finally, there’s a lot of missed opportunity. I’ve become accustomed to traveling without my Moleskin, a note-taking book of miniature proportions and my old stomping ground for dictating anything I had possibly wanted to say. Now, when inspiration strikes, I find myself trying to store it away, pushing it further back in an effort to recover it later. It never works. I always forget. And for that reason, some of my most brilliant work (if I do say so) has been locked away in my subconscious only to reappear in dreams.

I’ve tried, over the past few months, to write less about myself, to touch upon other things – life, politics, sports, and the like. I’ve hit sparse areas for both. When I’m happy, I’ve got nothing to write about. I’ve got no motivation. I’ve got no stress, no need for a release.

Along the way, I developed some notion that this blog was for the public, that I needed to cater to the grand populace and create work that would be revered on a national level. Unfortunately, I mistimed this notion – I should’ve waited a few years, when a grand mass of people actually gives a damn about what I’m writing. For now, I’ve only got you – the reader who keeps posting comments, the friend who uses BMOWP to check in with the household happenings, and the random somebody who loves to sneak inside someone else’s head and see what makes things knock around.

Things are going to change around here. As much as I enjoy writing copy for advertisements, I still need to express what I’m thinking and write the way I love – this way, person to person, from my overflowing head to yours. I need to develop some thicker skin and a more relaxed opinion of myself. I need to try harder (more about this later in the week) and not worry about what I’m writing about. Just write, dammit. Just write.

So Black Marks on Wood Pulp is going back to what it originally was meant to be – a personal journal. The musings of some South Dakota kid with his own web space and a flair for spilling his guts. My new goal is to write more – more sports commentary, more political musings, more musical ramblings, personal viewpoints, and dull (yet strangely universal) ideas on living life at 27, owning a house, building a career, and loving friends and family. Greg Veerman will be very upset with me – after all, there’s nothing worse than bloggers blogging about blogging – but I’ll take all of the open pooh-poohing I can take. I will embrace it. I will consider the pooh-poohing my own, place it on a silver platter, and arrange it as a centerpiece.

It’s all because I’ve created something I enjoy, something that many do but few perfect. This shtick is my niche. Other people might write better. Others might be able to ramble off about their day to strangers with little regard for their own personal image. Still others might be able to combine the two in a delightful little shell and offer it to the Web 2.0 Gods like a slaughtered sheep. But nobody I know does it as well as I do. And even though I don’t know many people, I’m going to consider it a feat to be proud of.

So with that, you’ll have to excuse the down time previously experienced. Lots of stuff has happened over the past six months. But now, I’m ready to turn to corner and get back on track. More about myself (hooray!), my insecurities, my thoughts, and my reaffirmations and self-indulgence. More about how I don’t try enough, or how I can’t understand something, or some sort of mini-ramble that sounds old-manish and yawn inducing. And yes, Eric, more about the Finals. The World Cup. Steve Nash as Most Valuable Player.

I haven’t missed any of these things. In fact, I love all of it. I should be talking about it. From now on, I will. Starting today, I’m a new blogger. Call it Black Marks on Wood Pulp 2.0. Call it Blacker Marks on Wood Pulp. Call it a revolution.

Well, no second thought, don’t call it that.

This was lovingly handwritten on June 11th, 2006