Thursday, January 16, 2014

Moving Soon!

With this blog, I wanted to recapture some of the fun and the wit of a personal blog I'd kept about a decade ago on LiveJournal. I wanted to write about my life and my adventures in becoming a writer in a personal way that would be as interesting as that blog had been.

I remember when I wrote that blog. I was young -- in university. As I walked around campus I'd have encounters with friends, lovers and foes and then I would think about those encounters, about my academic life, et cetera and how to frame them so that their description would be entertaining to my tiny audience of about three close friends. Back then, I was at once fearless but I also wrote with a certain audience in mind. And witticisms came fast and easily to me.

But now I feel like, when it comes to writing this blog, sometimes it's like pulling teeth. Sure, I can think of a thousand writing-life related topics that I can write about, but they are not always entertaining, are they? Thankfully, I have thought of a list. Entitled:

Why This Blog is Not the Same as That One:

Winter Roads in the rest of the country...
1. I do not walk enough. Walking was a big part of my life back then, and it was dynamite for thinking up ideas. I've heard this often said by other artists. But in this city of Forever Winter, that's not always an easy prospect. Take today, for example. Yesterday, it snowed and into the night and this morning there have been high winds that have blown the snow around. My walk is completely blocked again. And thanks to this city, I do not expect even major roads to be plowed for the next four days. Seriously, when cars and cyclists have this much trouble, what chance does a pedestrian have? Especially in a city designed for cars.

...and Winnipeg`s version of `plowing.`
2. Chances for actually interacting with people in the real world are limited. My home town, Ottawa (or, if you prefer, the best place in any possible world), is a like a big club. If you're a newcomer to the city, it can be isolating. But all you need is a single in. If you become friends with an Ottawa native of your generation, the city will open up for you. There is always tons to do and your friend who grew up in Ottawa will always know which events and parties everyone is going to. You'll get introduced to a bunch of other folks and will likely never be bored, even in the dead of winter (thanks in part to the passable roads that are plowed efficiently after every storm).

But Winnipeg is a club of a different kind. It's not as if everyone of a specific demographic hangs out together, it's more like each tiny group of friends/family hang out together and don't have much to do with anyone else. They are very much into hibernating here. Not that I can blame them. When one's daily commute or doing something as simple as grabbing groceries is a case of taking one's life in one's hands, it's not appealing to go out socially. I get it. However, it makes for a very boring and not very noteworthy existence.

I could see my walk yesterday!
3. I work from home. The other major barrier to having anything noteworthy to jaw about on a daily basis is my work set up. My day job as well as my writing takes place in my home office. I communicate with my coworkers via instant messaging. Yes, I told myself that I would spend the winter working on my writing in coffee shops, at least part of the time. That was a great thing to do and a great thought, when it was autumn and the streets were bare. But this winter has been even worse than last when it comes to impassable byways. The whole thing is very frustrating.

The Good News

I've been holding back the good news for some time, however. Before spring comes, I am moving away from this heinous town. And this week in particular, for some reason, I find myself becoming very excited about the next chapter in my life, marked by the move. Maybe it's because now that it's after the holidays, it feels as it is nearly here!

Because of the nearness of the event, I keep picturing the next phase of my writing career and my life. I can`t tell you where I am going yet and I can`t even tell you when the move is going to happen. All I know is that it is coming in the next two to three months and there is a chance it will be to a better city. And I already know what I am going to do when I get there. Another list:

1. Find a cafe. Moving there in the spring, I`ll have three seasons for which to enjoy coffee shops of the neighborhood as well as the independent variety. I intend to immerse myself in the life of the city and absorb it. I also have high hopes for winter, as there is no other major city in this country where the combination of weather and terrible snow removals techniques make it impossible to walk anywhere.

2. Find some bookstores. I have romantic imaginings of hanging out around independent bookstores. That`s where my people will be.

3. Start a writing critique group. I think I've banged on about this topic enough on other posts.

4. Think about attending a conference. Now that I actually have some content out there in the world, I think I wouldn't go amiss in attending a literary conference. Agents and editors and publishers, oh my!

What I want, in short, is to actually get out into the world and interact with actual people. I think if that happens I might have something a little more interesting to write about on this blog.