Presence.

Presence

It seems that to be someone on the Internet one has to blog or tweet, a lot. I agree with this in principal, you snooze you lose. But come on, there seems to be people out there that are forever jabbering on about something and nothing at the same time. How many #SocialMediaExperts are out there anyway? Everywhere I turn one pops up telling me how to optimize something, if it's not that I am getting offers from ladies in questionable attire. Is it hypocritical to have this view-point and put it in a blog? Yeah a little bit, but my opinion is that in order to create a real body of work one has to take a step back and put in the hard yards.

My blogging has been sporadic lately but with very good reason. Last April I could procrastinate no longer, the planets had aligned and I had experienced enough in life to justify writing a memoir. The word memoir reeks of arrogance and self-importance but after some reassurances and not so gentle nudges from friends I knew it was what I needed to commit to. Let me tell you it was a journey that wrung me dry over the space of five months, no stone was left unturned and I fought back emotions that made sleepless nights a regular thing. I wrote in Parisian coffee shops, the cute Irish countryside, on napkins, bits of paper, my tiny home office and would often lie awake staring at the ceiling unable to escape the darkness of my past. Even when I wrapped up the twenty-seven chapters two weeks ago I couldn't let go of the experience, how would I spend my evenings now? I had lined up my friend Danny to edit it but he knew me well and knew many of the characters in the book, could he be objective and tell it like it should be told? At this same time of doubt I was humming and hawing and picking at the manuscript unable to let my mind rest, then my dearest friend in sobriety, Charlie Engle, sent me a mail introducing to a man who would become my editor. Clifton Wiens it turned out was just the guy I was looking for, he had worked with National Geographic and knows the people I need to know in the book writing profession. We struck up an immediate friendship and bonded over literature, travel and sobriety, when he told me my story was powerful and that I could write well I was ready to truly believe in the book. He showed me the arc of the story in a different light and how to craft a narrative in subtle ways. When you are as close to the subject matter as I was, and always will be, it's hard to take a step back. But that's what I have done, my job is more or less complete and even though the editing and publishing aspects mean there is still some ways to go I can relax and am even looking into prospective subjects for my next project. I learned my craft and learned who I am and when I didn't want to write I did it anyway, inspiration doesn't always just come, sometimes it needs to be coaxed. The tentative title is Footsteps and it will be coming out in the new year or possibly before that. I am in absolutely no hurry to get it out there, to short-cut on any part of it would be to sacrifice all I put into it. I guess I better go and #Tweet about it now.

BlogMalcolm McLoughlinComment