End Game

Moleskine at Sea (by StarbuckGuy)

This is it — the 31st entry for January. End of the challenge, and I made it! I owe the good folks at NaBloPoMo a big thanks for providing the concept, and offering encouragement and support for the month. The provided theme was change, and in many ways every posting was related to the theme.

Now the words from the Buffy Season Six musical “Once More With Feeling” are floating through my mind.

Where do we go from here?
Where do we go from here?
The battle’s done and we kinda won
So we sound our victory cheer
Where do we go from here?

You reach a certain age and sometimes you need to do something like this challenge not to see if you have it, as a writer, but if you still have it. You get unexpectedly retired due to a corporate takeover (common story these days), you have an unexpected illness (heart attack), you have some operations (two stent procedures plus a double bypass), you take longer to recover than you wish, and you get depressed.

The worst part of depression, besides the loss of interest in things you always liked, is the loss of self esteem. It’s a double whammy when you’re also retired. You have no identity and no discernable purpose. People forget you. You forget them. Your world contracts. It’s a deadly trap if you let it go too far.

Like many people in the same situation, I’m re-thinking and re-adjusting my life. I don’t know ‘where we go from here’, but I’m unwilling for it to be the dumpster.

The NaBloPoMo challenge came at a good time — I’d been getting physically stronger and was ready for a mental challenge. What better way to kick off the New Year than undertaking a daily writing assignment. Completing the challenge has done a lot to restore faith in myself.  It was also fun, and ya gotta have fun in this life.

Setting up the Creative Nonfiction Writing Forums was also fun, and although membership signups have been slow, there have already been some excellent discussions there. I expect more participation as word about the forum spreads.

Wherever I go from here, writing is going to be a major part of it. I want to meet more writers, both online and locally. I know many photographers and many more musicians, but very few writers. I’ve joined a few writer’s meetup groups and am off to my first one this afternoon. Even for a semi-recluse like me, meeting people is important.

As I mentioned in a previous post, daily blogging has a downside. Other writing projects have been put on the back burner. Now that February is here, I have a magazine assignment to complete, asap. I have a modest fiction project underway and want to get back to it. I miss my daily journalling — I’ve had to sacrifice journalling to get a blog out each day.

The thing I like least about daily blogging is that the turnaround time is so short between starting the writing and clicking the Publish button. There’s no time to let the piece ‘age’, so it can be properly revised. I’m not embarrassed by anything I’ve posted this month, but it doesn’t represent my best writing simply because my best writing occurs during re-writing.

What the daily blog has done, though, is shown me that I can come up with 31 topics in 31 days and make them at least mildly interesting. It confirms that my mind is still working, despite age, illness, and occasional loss of direction. That means a lot.

Although the daily postings are over, I enjoy blogging and you can expect fairly regular new entries here. I’m committing to a minimum of one posting per week.

So, thank you ‘Dear Readers’ as the Victorians used to say. I’ve really appreciated your visits and to those who have left comments, bless you.

Cheers!

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About Gene Wilburn

Gene Wilburn is a writer ~ photographer ~ humanist
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6 Responses to End Game

  1. Bob G says:

    Mazel Tov and Congratulations, Gene! I’ve been reading you for a few years! I enjoy photography, old cameras, and I’m a former English major who in part writes advertising copy (Entice, Engage, Inspire)and uses a Palm TX. I first found you through photography, and at the time you were comparing different portable keyboards…which I was interested in since I’ve been motivated on and off to write some fiction.

    When I first “found” you a personal tragedy had begun what has been some of the most difficult years of my life. You were and are a welcome refuge from the insanity of life. It is a pleasure to read well-reasoned, thoughful, informative writing on subjects that interest me. It is an inspiration to learn how you deal with the challenges of life. Nothing miraculously heroic, but real and true.

    You’ve been on my daily blog roll even during your “dry spell”.

    I live in Colorado, and thanks to the Internet you reach out and touch people’s lives here, and everywhere. It may sound corny, but for me and others the world is a better place for what you’ve written and accomplished, and will continue to be so for as long as you are one of the people in it.

    Here’s to your continued success! (but you may take a break)
    -Bob G

  2. Gene says:

    Bob, I’m speechless. That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my writing.

    I hope that the pain of your personal tragedy has lessened. Life can be very hard and I hope yours is better.

    I’m still enjoying my Palm TX and will be using to work on future blog postings.

    Thank you,

    Gene

  3. Jamie says:

    Thank you, Gene. You’ve opened some old closets for me. The idea of a journal and more substantial personal writing have been sitting dust-covered in my brain for some time now. Your inspiraton, through the simple act of an offered conversation, have moved me to begin.

    I’ll be soon heading back into a profession for which I have a serious love/hate relationship… teaching. I’m going to begin a journal about this leg of the journey and see what comes of it. I’ll take my camera along, of course.

    Be well, Gene

    Regards,
    Jamie

  4. Elissa says:

    Beautiful entry and photo, Gene. Congrats on a terrific comeback and good luck with the projects at hand!

  5. adam says:

    well done, Gene!

  6. Gene says:

    Jamie, Elissa, Adam, thank you so much!

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