I decided to start writing this thing mostly out of insomnia. That’s how I came up with the title.
When I’m awake and unable to fall asleep, I end up being very productive. It’s on those nights that I write what I think are my best songs, do my best house-work, and work on the statistics-reports for my job. For whatever reason, when I’m miserably tired, I get good at doing the things I should be doing all the time. A few years ago, I started applying that same concept to writing things like this work.
I began by writing fiction. Short stories, essays, librettos…just whatever concept entered my mind… I finished a few of them, but there are countless random half-stories sitting on my hard drive that I may never get to. My creativity kind of dries up over time if I don’t finish at least the rough draft in a night or two. That’s how I figured out that writing about my true-life memories is easier. Those stories are already written and finished. I just have to recount them.
I decided to tell as much of the stories involved as possible while using as little space as possible. Some of the stories I’m telling stretch over years, even decades. But maybe they only take a couple of paragraphs. Let’s face it, you only really remember the beginning and end of a given story, so why should I waste your time by doing it chronologically over multiple chapters? Seems purpose defeating. Also, that’s not how I remember things. If I’m sitting around and I’m struck with a memory, my mind immediately traces out how that story ended. I think that’s probably how I reassure myself that the memory has no mastery over me or something. I wanted to bring that to this writing, so you can see my life more or less how I see it.
I’m also leaving a lot out. There are some memories I’d rather not have. There are some details that I don’t mention as a matter of respect. There are some things that I don’t want anyone else to know about. And… Well… Let’s just say that as long as my father and maternal grandmother are both living, there are some things that are best left unchronicled. So don’t expect to learn everything. This is just the stuff I WANT you to know.
I’ve also made the decision to leave out a lot of names, especially if I have anything negative to say about them. That goes for people and places alike. Even if what I’m saying isn’t negative, what good does it do to give you the names? You don’t care who (specifically) the girl was that broke my heart. You don’t care what the name of my high school was. You don’t care where I work, went to college, go to church…etc. I’m not famous enough (or at all) for people to want an exact roadmap of my travels. And if I’m going to say something bad about someone or somewhere, I don’t want it getting back to them, anyway. People tend to take the memories of others pretty seriously, and there’s no need to piss off the people who got me where I am today. That’s the nature of struggle and change…some things HAVE to suck. Just because those people or places were catalysts for MY change, that doesn’t mean they need their names to be lambasted in my online autobiography.
But I’ll leave in the GOOD names…
Okay…let’s be honest…this thing is really just an exercise in self-aggrandization (if that’s a word — and I don’t think it is) and I’m probably working too hard on it. I’d be fooling myself to think anyone’s enthralled with my life story, and I know only some of you will read it. Those who do will probably even find it depressing, as I tend to focus on the negative (that’s just how I am). But it seemed important to write for some reason. I guess we all just want to be known as we think we are…the best way I can think of to accomplish that is to write it down. Maybe that’s why I have a blog in the first place.
As of January ’09, I have about three chapters done-ish. I’m posting them one at a time as I clean them up and make the bearable for the reader. Just remember, this is a work in progress, and I’m not really sure when/if it ends…but I think Chapter One is a pretty interesting read, anyway!
Look below for the chapter(s). I hope you enjoy it.