21 Years on this road

21 Years on this road

It’s a blog birthday, of sorts. Running through an article about blogging for 20 years helped me realize, quicker, sooner, it’s the blog birthday time.

21 Years on this road

The weblog, originally a web journal, organized in reverse chronology, started in November of 1998. Since then, it’s been, I think, the history supports this, astrofish.net/xenon at least three-four different formats, SkyFriday.com, astrofish.blog that quickly became astrofish.net/blog, and finally all collected in one place, more or less, KramerWetzel.com.

When asked if I could do it all over again, what would I do different? I would use the name KramerWetzel.com instead of anything else. But back before the fin de siècle, a catchy name was more important than branding one’s self.

There were very different parameters at work, then.

The other pointer would be to start a site and hang the blog off to one side. I tried that, as well, and would’ve stayed with it if I wasn’t trying to simplify everything.

Makes for an interesting sidebar item: When I first registered the domain name astrofish.net, it cost well-over $100 per year.

(Register4less preferred for so many reasons.)

21 Years on this road

While I haven’t totally finished the process of concatenation, I’ve proceeded “as if” this is a good idea.

The episodic nature of a weekly column, even if it’s just my horoscopes, I passed the 24-year mark last summer, and no end in sight.

Weekly, about: fishing, Shakespeare, Texas, and the influence of the planets.

That gave birth to daily web-journaling, which then became a blog.

21 Years on this road

What does 21 years of writing daily teach me?

21 years blogging

21 years

I’ve got three main take-away points, maybe four, make it a cardinal orientation.

  1. Read lots.
  2. Grammar matters.
  3. Write daily.
  4. Special shout out, and thanks to Bart Weiss.
  1. Read a lot. That means read astrology text books, murder-mysteries, science fiction, thrillers, science fact, true crime, newspapers, interesting blogs, magazines, the back of the cereal boxes, ingredients on that bag of chips, devour all literary forms. Listen to the way people speak, too, as that’s part of this. The rhythm of the language, as it’s spoken? But most important? Read. A lot. Read a lot of stuff. In trash there is brilliance and likewise, in critically acclaimed work, there’s crap.
  2. As a current writer, I have an ability to watch the language unfold before me. What a word means in one language, in another location? Different meaning. The way the words bump into each other, that’s part of this, and even a modicum of stylistic effort is well-rewarded. So, grammar matters. Study art. Learn from it. Listen. Learn the rules of grammar. I don’t always adhere to those rules, but knowing the rules makes it way more fun to bend or break them. Listen to the words. Grammar matters.
  3. Under the tutelage of a famous novelist, as part of the creative writing program, I put it together that the author himself wrote four manuscript pages a day, every day. Roughly a thousand words, depends on format. So I started writing, with a goal of thousand words, every day. Some days I fall short. Other days, one time? Working on a novel? I managed to bang out closer to 7,500 in a single morning. Write. Every day. Whatever time is correct, but for me, it tends to be some time between feet hitting the floor, and full cognition. That’s where the magic happens. 1,000 words, as a target. Four pages on a typewriter, double-spaced, manuscript form.
  4. I first got this advice from Bart Weiss, when he was in my employ. Think I was a pretty crappy boss at the time, but that’s distant past. Also known as “The follies of youth.” He suggested, if one wanted to be a writer, all one had to do was write, first thing in the morning. “Before you pee,” he said. I don’t agree with “before you pee,” certainly not anymore, but I like the idea that writing goes along with coffee, and sometimes in the pre-dawn light, or the magic of the night just departing, sure. Bart was the first person to explain that a writer writes, and he (or she) does it first thing in the morning. While that message was reiterated to me, over and over, I first heard it from Bart. For that I am ever grateful.

This is what I’ve learned, it’s voyage to uncover whoever, or whatever I am — what makes a person tick, what drives character, and best of all? In part, this growing up, a process of maturation, outside — in the public eye.

Yeah, didn’t have this as an option years ago. Folks just wrote novels and stuff.

21 Years on this road

Three separate items and grateful acknowledgment of those who helped pave my way.

Portable Mercury Retrograde – Kramer Wetzel

Portable Mercury Retrograde: astrofish.net’s Mercury in Retrograde

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