One Year of Posting
July 17, 2011, marked the occasion of my first post on my blog. Today is the one-year anniversary of that first post. Since then I have posted 441 pieces of writing, which means that I averaged one piece of writing per day, with an additional 77 beyond that. When I consider that thirteen of those original posts were about my experiences in the military, under the title of Military Madness, and consist of around 250,000 words, that’s a lot of writing.
I have written extensively about my mental issues, and the very first piece I posted reflected that interest: Six Days a Week. This is the piece that describes my emergence from panic attack syndrome, and set the tone for all of the ensuing writing on mood spectrum disorder. Unfortunately, disorder also pretty much describes my blog. I have struggled since the beginning to find a way of presenting my writing to those who wish to access it, in a more effective manner than I currently employ.
I have had people ask me what’s the best way to access my writing, and all I can say is hit and miss. After my initial posting of much of the writing I had had stockpiled, I went into a series of pieces beginning with a month’s worth of daily posts on the Giants, who were still in first place at the start of August, even though having Buster go down with injury, doomed the Giants to a second-place finish.
My interest in the Giants then took a back seat to the trip to Ireland. Not only was I not able to hear the games, I was barely able to get game results because of the challenge of the Internet. While in Ireland, I wrote more than 34,000 words in twelve days, posting them in the first two weeks of September. My experiences in Ireland were extremely frenetic in nature, because I got almost no sleep, and I was in a perpetual state of mania, but the writing I did is suffused with a depth I had heretofore been unable to attain.
In October I began the first of what would be twelve pieces on my remembrances of Christmases past, while growing up on Fellowship Street. These are purely for my own enjoyment, because the Christmas season has always been my favorite time of the year, even surpassing the summer, probably because of the intense highs to be found during that two-week break from school. I followed that up with another dozen pieces called The Christmas Box, based on inscriptions from the outside of a treasured cardboard box, used to store Christmas decorations, all on the theme of the early years up here on the ridge during the years I taught, and the way that those sixteen-day breaks came into play when Christmastime was upon us.
During the fall, I also posted fifteen pieces on my experiences at United Auto Stores, in San Jose, each one a biographical sketch of one of the characters I met while working there. I like these pieces because they originated during a period of time when I was immersed in San Jose State’s culture, which overflowed to the auto parts house, because the management had a policy of attempting to hire not only veterans, but also students at one of the neighboring colleges. I worked with an eclectic group of individuals, and their individual personalities are reflected in my writing.
I then dug out all of the old court records that we had kept and wrote thirty episodes on the rise and fall of the Wellspring Education Collective, beginning with my meeting of Grace Shins in the Czech Lodge, and detailing the events surrounding the attainment of my California Teaching Credential. These pieces reflect my observations and opinions, as they relate to the process of getting my teaching credential. Throughout November I posted these episodes, which I intend to compile into a novella one of these days, and present for sale at the market.
In the beginning of December, I discovered “blogging,” as opposed to posting writing on a blog. I began to visit other blogging sites, where I made comments and in turn, received input from others. I began to tailor my writing to the blogging community. Interspersed during the fall and winter, was a series that was published in the local paper, and was based on community events. Included in this genre, were a dozen or so posts on the murder of Jamal Andrews, which were highly emotionally charged. Because this particular event was so intermingled with my emerging mood spectrum disorder, I found I could not continue to involve myself in it, because it made it impossible for me to disengage, and my mental health suffered.
At this same time period, in the dead of winter, I also began to experience the most intense of the mood spectrum disorder characteristics, and when I became aware of this component, my writing took up the challenge of sorting and classifying all of the known information. I wrote thirty plus episodes about the process of being diagnosed, and then accepting my diagnosis, all accurately detailing the events as they unfolded.
During this time period, I began to write short stories, pieces of fiction, something I had never attempted to do before, preferring to stick to the subject of me, because I know this subject so well. I wrote 75 stories in about sixty days, sometimes writing as many as three in a day.
The final burst of writing consisted of thirty plus episodes, titled You Call it Bipolar-I Call It MSD, which simply chronicle my daily experiences, trying to become acclimated to this new mental development.
Now, I am returning to a more conventional blogging style, relating the day-to-day life experiences I encounter, with no specific emphasis on anything other than what presents itself on any given day.
I started posting a year ago today. I never imagined my secluded lifestyle could expand the way it has this past year, including FaceBook, which I value as much as I do my blog, for connecting and communicating with the members of my community and my family.
My goal for this upcoming year is to master the complexities of on-line publishing, so I can extend my blogging to a broader spectrum, and maybe get some grocery money in the bargain.