I Have No Clue What I'm Doing Here
but dammit I'm a writer (reflections on hamster wheels)
Not My First Gig
I’m not sure why I’m here or what the hell I’m doing.
It’s yet another platform in the long line of writing and social media platforms. Starting around 2010 my world got bigger and lot more complicated: MySpace Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest, MailChimp, LinkedIn, Instagram, Medium, SoundCloud, BandCamp. It never ends. There’s always another platform, the latest thing. I hate it!
Don’t even mention the endless emails.
In the past few years, I’ve deleted half my social media accounts, killed all my blogs but one, and mostly phased out of writing online. WTF am I doing here?
Hope Is All I Have Left
So why this now? Hope is all I have left. Hope that maybe I’ll find a place to write where my work might be seen and read more frequently. I suppose I’m one of hundreds of thousands of people with similar expectations, but dammit I’m a writer.
From songwriting to poetry to novels, I’ve written for the best years of my life. I can’t just stop. I could go back to keeping a paper journal and call it a life, but I know there’s more. I long to do something unique. I’m tired of the loop of niche that blogging programmed me to run around like a hamster in a wheel. So here I am praying it’s not just another wheel.
Writing, Music, Life: It’s All Experimental
I’m not just a writer. I’m also a musician. I want to build a community around both writing and music, around contemplating creativity. But not just the same old thing…again.
As a musician I’ve written hundreds of traditional songs and experimented in the realm of ambient and drone music. As much as I love songwriting, I love the art of experimental music even more. So be it with the written word. I don’t want to do the same thing over and over. I want to get off the wheel.
My current website, danstevenerickson.com, is the closest I’ve come to doing what I really want to do. It’s a combination of music, poetry, and short essays about the creative process. Still, I find myself fighting the loop, the echo chamber, the hamster wheel. There are days I just want to quit.
I’m calling my newsletter The Stream for a reason. My goal is to just allow myself to write, to stream my thoughts in whatever way they decide to exist. It’s my hope that there are others like me, others who have tired from this formulaic hell the Internet seems to have cast us all into. If you’re out there, you’re my people.
What Can You Expect from Me?
I don’t know what you can expect from me. Remember, I have no clue what I’m doing here. Can’t you see that expectations are all part of the problem? I’m not one to completely shun organization, deadlines, and conformity but when everything has to be predictive we set ourselves up to rinse and repeat, to get right back on that hamster wheel.
I’ll do my best to write once or twice a week here. I won’t promise. And I won’t promise what kind of format I’ll be writing in. It might be an essay format today and it could be a poem next week. I might even just scramble words into nonsensical non-order from time to time.
Concept boggles tradition into submission, no?
Images and Buttons
Again, can anyone see that requiring an image is all part of the problem, part of what’s watering writing down? This idea that we must have images to accompany our writing suggests that our writing is too weak to stand on its own. So let’s add a nice photo of a hamster in a wheel, shall we?
That said, I don’t have a problem with photography. I love it. But why the hell would I take a vaguely-related picture that someone else took and add it to my writing? I say NO to stock photos. If I have an image from my own photography archives that will accompany the topic, I’ll use it. If not, deal with it. How many great novelists add stock photos to their books? Enough said.
As for buttons, yeah, I want people to subscribe. I can go for a simple button, but you’ll never see me using other bells and whistles to try to get your attention.
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