Friday, September 25, 2015

This is, gulp, my 1,500th blog post

When I click the “publish” button above this draft, this will become my milestone 1,500th blog post in seven years.
Of course, that may never happen.
I still have about 90 minutes to decide whether or not to climb out on the fire escape and throw myself from the roof of the 3-story Tin Lizzy, Youngstown’s tallest structure and for the past two months home of my on-going blog futility.
Seven years, 1,499 blog posts.
Time flies when you’re feeling irrelevant. 
Turning 50 bothered me much less than my blog turning 1,500.
I worry the blog is going to go through some mid-life crisis, go out and buy a 'vette and stick me with the bill.
Maybe I’ll feel different in the year 3463 A.D. when I turn 1,500 — and you can bet I’ll be using Throwback Thursday profile pictures exclusively if that happens.
Blogging for so long with so little tangible success is either a form of insanity or an invitation for insanity to barge in through an ear and build a spacious home.
It’s all so untenable.
I’d quit but I’m aware of at least two people who love the blog.
That’d be me and you.
I do love blogging. I think it’s made me the writer I’ve always wanted to be; sharp, fast, incisive with an instinctive humorous bent on every topic.
There are many writers I admire, but there are no writers with whom I’d swap abilities.
I think most writers think that way, egotists that we are.
And I think you do love it. Not in the way you love your dog, your TV or ice cream, but you do enjoy the blog. You must. Getting anyone to read anything any more is a real accomplishment.
Getting them to read an enigmatically-named and highly personal blog aimed at thought-provoking humor is a real challenge.
Yet, read you do.
And many people use these exact words — “I love your blog” — to encourage me. Many people come up to me and just crack up over some lines I’ve written. And I hear from people all over the world for whom the blog is near-daily must-read.
It’s very gratifying.
They say they can’t believe I’m not famous.
Me, I’d settle for solvent.
And, oh, boy, so would my wife.
I don’t think Val believes the blog is a happy little diversion to so many people and that many would be deeply disappointed if I just up and quit and took a job tending bar — the only thing I remain qualified to do anymore.
I ask top writers whose opinions I respect what I should do to become successful, to make some dough. They all say the same thing.
“Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
Meaning what?
Being gloomy? Feeling forlorn? Waking up in the middle of the night in fear a tiny gust of wind will blow my little house of cards to smithereens? 
Yet, I persevere with cheer and faith my friends are correct. I believe success will come if I just keep doing what I’m doing.
I sometimes feel a kinship to the Biblical Job, an odd analogy I admit for a man who for 23 years hasn’t had a job.
See, I do believe in this blog. I do believe people love it and it will one day prosper as they foresee.
And that will make the eventual success all the more sweet.
But until that happens I ask one favor:
Don’t tell me you think it will. Don’t say, man, some day the whole world is going to find out about and you’ll be a huge sensation.
Don’t tell me to just be patient, that I’m on the right track.
Don’t say these struggles are temporary and will eventually be an interesting footnote in the bigger story about the importance of persistence in the face of daunting setbacks.
Do not tell me it’s all going to pay off.
Do not, please, tell me I am great.
Tell my wife!

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