Eric Mayer

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Looking Back
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Rhubarb and then Rambler recently looked back and reflected on their years at JournalScape. After my long absence here, maybe I should do the same. The first thing to note is that although I started this journal in 2003, except for a couple of early years, my entries have been sporadic at best. I burned myself out almost immediately.

Byzantine Blog arose from two contradictory motivations. From a professional viewpoint, authors feel pressured to publicize their work and since Mary and I refuse to do personal appearances, an Internet presence seemed the next best thing. Personally, I have always loved reading and writing essays and a blog struck me as a perfect excuse for that sort of composition

In the past I had written for amateur zines, and published my own. People wrote back and forth and it felt like an extended conversation between distant friends. Not much different than JournalScapers commenting on each others journals. This aspect is what attracted me to blogging. However, the part I enjoyed was bound to collide with the professional justification -- selling books.

I am uncomfortable putting myself forward as an Author to begin with, let alone trying to market myself, and the idea of flogging my work to a group of friends (which is what I've always been looking for when writing personal essays) is pretty much repugnant.

Occasionally I like to talk about writing -- I spend a lot of my time at it -- but I can't adopt the lofty author persona that is so prevalent, where the author pontificates on the publishing industry, doles out writing instructions and words of wisdom to his rapt fans and touts his latest masterpiece. I'm not a writer. I'm a guy who has co-written some books. I don't have fans. (That's for celebrities or sports stars) Our books have readers. Period.

So, having reflected upon my decade (almost) on JournalScape, what next? Well, I'm sure I could come up with some grandiose plans that would make more sense than trying to deal with two contradictory purposes. Realistically, though, I suppose I will just keep lurching along as always.

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