The question of blogging is particularly sensitive for me. I certainly can spend my time more productively elsewhere. Even now my manuscript is screaming at me, “Only 1643 words, you fool! Get to it before the phone rings, the world ends or you ‘remember’ something else to Google!” and my timetable list lays open next to me like Exhibit A in my personal why you should be working on your manuscript trial. Being completely honest, I have to admit that I do know why, or at least suspect I know, but the answer is such a study in irony and paradox, such a comment on the health of my inner landscape, that I’m embarrassed to lay it out on paper to confirm itself in undeniable black and white.

The truth is, I yearn to make contact with the outside world or at least others who have my same sickness. Writing is a lonely passion and my family, as loving and kind and encouraging as they are, simply doesn’t have time for my scribbling. Here, however, is where the irony starts. I don’t want them to read my blog because if I know they are reading it, I will write with them in mind and therefore differently. In a sense I will assume a handicap, a disguise, a false voice and be less than truthful, worried about reactions and feelings and misunderstandings. Hell, I don’t even write in my handwritten journals any more for fear that when I die and my daughters finally read them they’ll say, “Wow. Dad was a pretty unhappy guy, and rather obsessive about certain things.” I want their notice, but I don’t want to know they’ve noticed. Sigh. Pathetic.

So I blog for the unknown masses. An unknown and faceless wannabie writer safe from flesh-and-blood critique and censure. Well…not quite. Uh…you see, I might publish my blogs out there in cyberspace, but ironically I’ve got them locked down so tight no one can see them or find them unless I invite them or they type in the URL by chance or use of Arrakin melange. In essence there’s not even a remote chance someone will stumble across them. No. Not one. They’re a Dixie Cup floating in the Atlantic.

Why!? I suspect that it is all a mental game. It makes me feel like I’m out in the public eye without really being out in the public eye, without feeling naked. It makes me feel like I’m risking contact without really risking anything. I might say, “Oh, yes. I have a blog,” or “The other day, I wrote in my blog…” but it makes my heart beat with anxious anticipation. What if they ask me for the URL? What will I do? Do I want them to ask? I suppose I do or I wouldn’t have mentioned it, would I? Then why am I so relieved they haven’t asked? As I said above, pathetic.

Eventually, I’m going to have to put up or shut up—my new mantra. Either it all stays in my personal journals or I open up and risk contact which is what I secretly yearn for but am too afraid to risk. Embarrassing to think my ego is so fragile.

Cruising the WriMo profiles and checking out the sited blogs is an odd exercise in déjà vu. Are the sites anything more than an echoing self-diagnosed and prescribed therapeutic attempt to vent and feel validated in a world that either applauds their uniqueness if it happens to be something others wish they could do but cannot or damns them for not being odd enough. Are they not simply safe ways to holler, “I am geek/nerd/mutant _____ (fill in the blank with your own noun)! Hear me roar, you bastards!”? Aren’t they simply the quintessentially statement of paradox: I’m alone, strange, rejected and misunderstood er…uh, just…like…you. Am I just adding to that echo, essentially posting a blog with hidden links to other blogs where it’s all been said before? Oops, so much for being unique.

After all these years, is that what I’m essentially still doing? If I write it and no one knows or reads it, then I am unique and safe, but I am also alone and unconfirmed, under a self-imposed sentence of exile. But if I don’t want feel alone, I have to open it up and run the risk of discovering there are others just like me and that I’m not as unique as I wished! Around and around and around it goes, where it stops, no one knows.

Wow. I have to stop teaching high school. I should just blog and reactions be damned. Hmmm…

Okay, then…damnit. Screw this embarrassed closet narcissism! Cease this compositional masturbation and let’s have some epistological intercourse! I getting some protection and heading for the green light district!

Welcome to the first openly blogger post of Sunwolfe’s The Salamander’s Quill.

Originally posted in The Salamander’s Quill 1.0 now deleted.