You cast a line into a trout stream. The water runs black and then spumy white around the riffles and rocks. The bait disappears below the surface. You know nothing about the bait. The stream-bed gravel or the submerged limbs can more easily catch the bait than a fish’s lips can. And that is often what happens, but you keep casting and casting. Maybe the bait will pass in just such a way as to draw the fish in for a little taste. And then you’ll catch him.
So goes the theory anyway.
The truth about writing a blog is that is so much like fishing a black-water trout stream. My prose goes out into the ether, passing through the search engines and Facebook shares, and usually no one clicks. No one nabs my bait. But sometimes they do bite, and they keep coming in for more.
In 2012, this blog was its height of popularity. I had not monetized it yet, and I had time, back in those days, to throw out more writing than I ever could now. I honestly don’t know how I did it.
But maybe I do. In 2012, I was more cocksure, and I was so woefully ignorant that I thought I could be brave and speculate about things I didn’t understand.
I was 29 that year. It is amazing how much you think you know when you’re not yet 30, when you’re still wet behind the ears but still know enough to be interesting.
And I suppose that is the dilemma I now face. I have changed my mind. I have grown. I am less sure of myself, not because i am more ignorant but because I know my limitations.
Writing in a forum such as this for as long as I have means that I can see the transformation. I can see the young idiot whose only real skill was in playing around with prose. Now, I sometimes feel that this is my only skill, and knowing what damage a clever phrase or cultivated meme can produce means that I take it way more easy than I used to.
Since I have matured, the readership has dwindled a bit. I don’t throw out my speculations as much as I used to, and much of my invective is toned down.
In the end, I know that my true muse will always be nature, and the animals will be my truest characters. I know that whatever I will write must have those features looming in it somewhere.
My writing for 2020 will better than it was eight years ago. It might not get as many hits, but it will be more mature and more reasoned.
New adventures lie before me. I can feel their pull in this oddly instinctual way, but they are coming. New chapters in my life are about to be written. What’s past is prologue. The rest is still unwritten but coming into view. Through the haze of existence, I can see what lies ahead.
Maybe the reader will like it. Who knows?
But I cast my line into to the stream. Maybe I’ll get a nibble or two.