I GAVE UP on the idea of maintaining a blog some time ago. I figured that the only people who would read it were already in the habit of encouraging me. Me, and my writing. Publishing my own mediocre essays is the digital equivalent of putting a drawing on the refrigerator. No one reads essays who doesn’t have to. Academic papers, grant proposals, scientific studies – these are mediums no one cares about unless they are required to care. A mute has a better chance of finding an audience than the average academic’s magnum opus.
But let me be honest. I haven’t done that much writing on my own time. I have a few stories out for consideration, and I fully expect that most or all of them will be ultimately rejected, because that’s the reality of the short fiction markets. I am not a successful author. I am not a published writer in any sense other than what I’ve chosen to keep on this website. I am a decent writer with an above-average understanding of the principles of storytelling. Someday, if I am lucky, I will have the time and the skill to make a living from my words, but I’m not there today.
I probably won’t be there tomorrow.
So I’m in school. Trying to learn what I can about writing and storytelling, about reaching an audience, about keeping attention and interest throughout an entire piece. I read what I can scrounge about craft and character. Everyone here is intensely interested in the artistry of literature, the critical interpretations, the mise en scène of the writer’s landscape. Most of it is bullshit.
Not because they’re wrong, per se. They just aren’t right enough. Art is important, and it is important to study art as an anthropologically significant vehicle of expression, but I haven’t met anyone who recognized the importance of blending the writing with the storytelling, and the storytelling is key. It’s why we read. It’s why we see plays and movies, listen to music, play games, and admire sculptures.
Storytelling is the chassis on which masterful writing can drive us.
I’m not a master of anything. That much must be made clear. But it must also be made clear that I am a student of more than academic pursuits. I try hard to stay abreast of politics and world events. I spend too much time studying game design and working on my own tabletop experiences. I study stories because I love them, and because one day they will give me my livelihood. I read books about sailing in case I’m ever fortunate enough to be on a sailboat again. I play adventure games because I like feeling like an investigator. In the end, I’m in school to get a job if I can’t have the life that I want.
One of these things is not like the others, but I digress. I’ve introduced myself in the best way I know how – with truth and cynicism – but you want to know what I’m after.
You want to know my goals.
And I would be lying if I denied interest in learning to manage a digital space. I’ve let this property slide into decay over the past few years. I’ve cannibalized it and abandoned what remained, but I never gave up the address. Why? Maybe I held out hope that I might use it as a staging area for greater things. Or maybe I’m just enough of a narcissist that I can’t accept someone else owning AndrewWalo.com, as unlikely as that sounds.
I can be petty that way.
Anyway, this is who I am – for now. This is what I want – for now. I like to think that plans are for other people, but that might just be self-fulfilling prophecy. Nobody tells me nuthin’.