Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Responsible" writing

A full two weeks has passed since my last post; sorry.  I have been working a lot; 68 hours between the two jobs last week, another 61 scheduled this week.  I have also spent some time on a new story; more on that later.

The interest in my blog has returned to pre-April levels.  As I noted in past blogs, I was averaging over 200 hits a day since mid April, and that remained constant through May.  Both months recorded over 6800 page hits on my blog.  As also noted, the two big posts were those written April 16 and April 23 about the 2nd amendment.  The first has seen over 6100 hits, the second just short of 5000.
Considering that before April 16 I had just finally reached 2000 hits for a month, and will probably not reach 1500 this month, the interest in those two posts was remarkable.  I even considered "monetizing" my blog during that time as I thought it might be cool to earn some money from my writing, although I remain hesitant to allow Google to determine which ads to run within my posts.  All in all, an interesting 6 weeks.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have received both solicited and unsolicited advise on how to ramp up interest in my blog towards either fame, money or both.  A few of those conversations evolved into discussions on a writer's responsibility to society for what one writes.  Since I am not paid to maintain this post, I have the freedom to write about what I want.  And while there are some in my circle of friends and family who might think some of my writings radical, I have tried to fashion my opinions so as to avoid demonizing those who disagree with me.  To me, having a controversial opinion or perspective is fine; presenting it in a vitriolic way or via an attitude that says my way or the highway, or worse with the stance that if you don't agree with me you are either stupid,  anti-American or both, is the problem with our current mode of debate.  For some reason, five people yelling at each other at a round table attracts more viewers than four people discussing a topic with logic and facts.  And the internet, for all its potential for a more open worldview, is chock full of people presenting their biases as fact rather than as opinion.

So, let me be clear.  My blog, my posts are full of my opinions.  I do my utmost to back them up with facts, but we all know that facts can be used to prove virtually anything.  I also try to employ reason as I move down the path to my decisions, and, believe it or not, a liberal viewpoint of God and religion that recognizes that there is a moral right and wrong in the world but that no particular religion or tome of God has cornered the market on what is right and wrong. 

A friend recently commented that perhaps we need God to return to earth to straighten us out.  Now, without getting too involved in whether I believe that Jesus was the son of God (hence my friend's wish for a "return"), I hold the view that perhaps if we stop glorifying the messenger, whether it be Jesus, Buddha, Mohamed, etc, and listen and internalize the message, actually try to live our lives as those great people taught, then we wouldn't need a return.  Frankly, in most cases, the truly superior spiritual beings who have lived were generally ostracized and or killed for their message, so to think that we would be able to recognize a new light on earth seems a bit unrealistic.  

But I digress.

Invariably, in my discussions about earning fame or money via my writing, I express a reluctance to achieve either.  Don't get me wrong, earning my living via posting a weekly opinion piece with the occasional cameo on an opinion TV or radio show, while also writing and publishing stories seems like it would be my ideal job.  I certainly would like to try it for six months or a year.  But I already have decided that having huge sums of money is undesirable, and I am pretty sure that being a face that is recognized wherever one goes would be uncomfortable, at best.  I do not envy the very rich or very famous the responsibility they shoulder to use their great fortune and fortunes to improve the world.  The Bill Gates types aside, I don't think many of them rise to the challenge, don't even think they understand the responsibility that fame and fortune should require.  It is nice to think that should I suddenly awake with more money than I can spend, or more attention than I can acknowledge, that I would use that money and attention to make the world better.  But I have my doubts.  Perhaps that is the exact reason why I will never attain riches or fame, perhaps I underestimate myself, or perhaps I just don't have the talent so I use not "wanting it" as a way to ignore the truth.

And so I return to the story I mentioned above.  I expect to finish it in the next month.  I think those who know me might find it uncharacteristic of me, perhaps disturbing.  As I have been writing this story, I have questioned whether I should post it.  Whether I might violate the freedom vs responsibility tenet that I have just detailed.  That perhaps this kind of story might produce fame but fame that comes from notoriety.   That its moral might be used to justify actions that are not spiritual in nature, regardless of the end result they might produce.

I guess only time will tell.  Most likely, the story will be posted, some comments will be made, and it will stay ensconced in my blog as in a tomb, with most everything else I write.   

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