Fat Mogul vs. Diaries

220px-DearMrHenshawBookCoverA conversation with a friend last week about the blog I maintain here, led to a minor amount of discussion about its theme, which my conversation partner labeled as diary of an author.  He may…or may not…have been doing so in a negative light…I’m really not concerned either way.

However, he’s right, although I’d go a bit further and just label it as my diary, with a bit of an attempt to remind people I’m an author from time to time by writing author-related posts.

Here’s where I tell you why I do this:

One of my favorite books when I was a kid was a book written by the endlessly amazing Beverly Cleary (a name I finally looked up after years of curiosity to find that it is, in fact, a pseudonym, as one should expect).  The book was Dear Mr. Henshaw.  The concept of the book is simple.  The protagonist starts writing letters to his favorite author (the aforementioned Mr. Henshaw).  I’ll admit that the specifics are rather hazy now, but basically, the kid wants to be an author, he’s told that writing a daily diary would be a good way to get started, and, basically, he ends up pretending he’s writing letters to this author as the start of his diary, which ends up with it all morphing into more of a standard diary, and…well, I think you get the idea.  He wanted to be an author, was told to write a diary, he did, and he felt better about himself as a future author.

I read this book numerous times as a kid, and each time following that action, I would attempt to start a diary.  Although, of course, like the kid in the book, I would label it as my journal, because boys don’t have diaries.

I failed each time.  I would, at best, last a week.  But, ultimately, I found that I had very little I wanted to write about my day, and, it really just felt like homework, instead of the fun I could have been having by just going outside.

The idea always stuck with me, although not always remembering where I got the idea from.  When blogs first became something that people (inexplicable) started caring about, I instantly jumped on the bandwagon, thinking, hey, diaries are cool now!

Once again, I would make it just a few days before ultimately forgetting about it.

When I started making movies, I came up with the idea that it might be nice to have my own official space on the web.  Since my father did some web hosting, it would have really needed to cost much to keep up the small space, and who knows, maybe it would bring some interest….of course, if you’ve been following along, you’ll know that my movie making career ended shortly after it began, mostly due to the intense amount of people-herding involved.  But by this point, I had a domain name (fatmogul.com, in case you couldn’t guess) and an e-mail address under that domain name that people were using to contact me, and, well, I kinda liked the domain name as well…so I continued paying for it, although there was absolutely nothing on it.

In fact, at one point, the site got hacked by some lower level hackers who placed their tag on it, which I didn’t find until about a year after they did it, because of how little I was using the page.

After a while, I started feeling somewhat negligent about this space, thinking that since I was paying for it, I should probably do something with it. Once again, I decided to do a blog.  However, since I was in a creative slump at the time, I originally attempted to be far more clever with it, taking on several different themes for discussion, each of which I quickly lost steam on because I really didn’t have that much to talk about. However, I was spending a heckuva lot of time on the task…and really just not feeling too great about it.

Once I finally began writing my books, that all had to take a back seat, because I was spending more time on these random blog posts than on my books, which were much more creatively fulfilling.

In fact, I didn’t take on the diary approach until I finally realized how much of the previous day’s events were showing up in my novel.  The feel of the book would change on a page by page basis based on whatever was going on in my life at the moment.  When doing my first run at editing, pages upon pages were cut from the first draft that were little more than diatribes about the state of the world….

I realized I had an issue.

So, I started writing all that crap out beforehand, trying to ensure it wouldn’t make it to the fictional page.  And, well…since I still had this space  that I felt I should fill…here we are.

For quite a long  time after starting that process, I actually had a disclaimer linked at the top of the site warning folks that this space was for little more than the dumping of my brain.  I removed it not that long ago, realizing that A) no one actually looked at it, and B) I don’t feel the need to apologize for this space.  It’s me…it’s my chance to be open and honest with my readers about my thoughts on the world (although I do keep from discussing several topics that I fear would divide my audience).

In other words, I came to the realization that either I could spend a ton of time crafting something magical for the blog, limiting the amount of time I could focus on my actual writing, but building something online that would be more instantly consumable by the public at large, or I could build a space where those who are interested in the background of my writing could get something of a voyeur’s look into my brain, if they wanted that for some (inexplicable) reason.

I realize there’s very little here for the public at large to want to read.  But I think somewhere in the back of my enlarged ego, I feel that maybe someday people will want to know about the thoughts of the literary genius before he became fat Elvis…

Or…I really really really don’t like having to cut this stuff from my books.  That means I have to read it again and come to terms with exactly how much rambling I’m capable of.  It’s frightening…

Alright, if you stayed around this long, you’ve stayed around too long 😉

Have fun out there!

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4 Replies to “Fat Mogul vs. Diaries”

  1. I like reading your blog when I am supposed to be working. Here is an author question for you: do your characters have exaggerated old-timey accents?

    1. As long as I can provide a distraction, I feel I’ve done my job. Been my MO since I was a kid.

      And yes, every single one of my characters speak like 3rd century Polynesians.

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