Why I Blog

I started this blog when essays I wrote for print media weren't accepted for publication.  I wouldn't say I was frustrated at that point that none of my writings had ever been published, but I did sense that someone somewhere would benefit from my writings and how else would they get it?  Although I have mixed feelings about digital media, preferring the touch, feel, look, and even smell of paper over cold, hard, and impersonal computer hardware, I love that it has democratized the publication process:  anyone with access to an on-line computer can do it and traditional publishers no longer hold the so-called "keys to knowledge."  Sure, prior to the Internet, writers could always self publish by going to a printer and hand-distributing or mailing their works, but unless the writer had a captive audience or supreme marketing skills, what chance did the works have of wide-spread distribution?

As to why I write, I think most hard-core lifelong writers would admit that they do so to make hopefully lots of money doing something they love; they have something to say; they feel compelled to do it; it's in their blood; it's the toughest challenge there is, which makes it so rewarding; their works will remain after they're gone; they enjoy the freedom; they enjoy the process; it's satisfying to see their works in print; etc.  I suppose these are all true for me, too, to greater or lesser degrees, however, what I tell myself and Deanne is that I do it mainly to help others.  Pretentious isn't it?  I have a fantastic difficult time helping myself (I am still a long, long way from mastering my hot, ready temper—read about it in my Temper, Avoidance, Lying, and Laziness essay) and I presume to believe my writing can help others?

John Steinbeck said his whole work drive had been aimed at making people understand each other.  Pretty amazing when I consider the sum of his life works.  I suppose for me it comes down to the realization of how much people suffer.  Not everyone all the time, but far too many far too often.  Look no further than the high divorce rate.  And a pastor claimed that of those that stay married, greater than eighty-five percent are discontent.  And singles (I was one until age thirty-six) are even less happy than marrieds.  I believe it's man's destiny to suffer.  But that doesn't mean everyone has to remain unhappy or discontent.  That's each individual's choice.  I'm an average middle-aged guy living an average middle-class life and see real people of all walks of life first-hand on a regular basis as I live in and among the greater community at large.  I'm blessed to live in Hawaii with its temperate climate and aloha spirit.  But it's got its problems like anywhere else:  crime, poverty, mental illness, distraught and neglected veterans, homelessness, exorbitant costs of living, horrendous traffic, government red tape, backwards attitudes, urban blight, cockroaches and termites, pollution, and callousness.  The beaches and parks are great, but we go there only every so often, it's just not our top priority.  I heard it said by a superlative writer that if I can capture the essence of who that man is (he was pointing out a random person in a big city crowd), that accountant or whatever, I will have written the greatest story ever.  My goal then is to help others by illuminated myself and my family in ways that may benefit them, whether via a laugh, encouragement, a new way of looking at something, a novel idea, or motivation to try something new, though I do not profess to have all or any of the answers.  As a humbled pastor once said:  when I was single and fresh out of seminary, I wrote and preached The Seven Inviolable Commandments of Parenting.  After I got married and had three kids ages three to seven, I realized the impracticality of always complying with such strictures and revised my sermon to The Seven Objectives All Parents Should Consider.  When my kids became teens and life became full and stressful just keeping up with what needed to get done, I realized the Objectives were just not realistic to consider in all too many real-world situations, so I revised my sermon to The Seven Helpful Hints Parents May Wish to Consider. 

I've never been to seminary and don't know anything about raising a family or living my own life to greatest potential or fulfillment except what I've seen and learned through time.  It's been tough at times (as my whitening hair will attest), but well worth the effort.  I hope you will enjoy your life and perhaps this blog.  Aloha.

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