Back to Basics

Writing every day on a blog in the first time in more than a decade brings back memories of starting the original blog 15 years ago. Despite being much older and at a very different place in my life there are some similarities, too. This time around it is a virus outbreak that has given me a little too much time on my hands, back then it was my own personal struggles with Lyme Disease.

I've always enjoyed writing. It grew out of a love for reading, which grew out of the realities of entertainment options in my youth. There was one tv in the house, dominated by my grandfather who paid all of the bills. His idea of entertainment was getting drunk on cheap beer or wine while watching the Merv Griffin show for 2 prime time hours so he could swear at the "celebrities" being interviewed who he decided he didn't like.

Even when Grandpa wasn't dominating the television there were few choices in those pre-cable days. We lived in Hamden, Connecticut, just outside of New Haven. With our antenna we got local ABC, NBC and CBS pretty well. Depending on the weather we had snowy but usable reception of Channels 5 and 11 from New York, and barely tolerable reception of Channels 2, 4 and 9. Watching Mets games on Channel 9 in those days required prodigious amounts of tuning and a bit of luck, and still often defaulted to a radio broadcast.

As boring as it all sounds, it led me to a lot of time spent reading which I don't regret. Reading books written by writers much more talented than I could ever dream of being helped me to become a decent writer despite the fact that I essentially quit school after 10th grade, which I very much do regret. Stay in school, kids, even if your home life isn't the best.

I accumulated about a year's worth of community college credits in my mid 30s.  I had a really good writing professor named Frank Crowley who really helped me a lot to harness whatever talent I had, but the only time I ever wrote regularly in my life was the few years I posted to Mike's Mets when I was really able to devote a lot of time to it.  I felt like my writing was pretty sharp and I was able to make whatever point I was trying to make fairly well.

Of course, it took a couple of months of writing every day to develop that, and even longer to feel like I was at my best.  After all these years I don't feel like I'm writing at my best level yet, but I think I can get there a lot quicker because I have a lot of previous experience to fall back on.  I'm using these first few days of being back as a sort of writing boot camp to get myself back where I want to be.

Looking at the stats that Blogger provides I suspect that more of my page hits are coming from bots rather than real people.  Out of 555 page views I've had this week, almost 200 originated  in Russia, Hong Kong, China, Romania, etc.  If any of those are from real people actually reading my stuff I'd be surprised.

I know that there are a handful of real people out there reading these pages. A few of you took the time to comment or email as I request at the end of every post, and I really appreciate that.  It matters when you write to have someone actually read what you wrote.  I'm grateful that you found your way here.

Now that I have this back up and running I do plan to keep doing this.  I made a commitment to myself to post at least 2-3 times a week even after the Corona virus takes a powder and things are back to whatever normal might entail on the other end of this thing.  I don't think this thing will ever approach the readership of the former blog, but I promise anyone who decides to read here regularly that I will not take your time for granted.  I will do the best I can to produce my best work that I possibly can in return for the time that you invest in reading it.  Thanks for stopping by.

If you need a laugh today, I offer up this picture of my girl Nutmeg from a couple of years ago doing what she does best: turning pure laziness into an art form:




I'm not sure if anyone who read the old blog will find their way here after all these many years, but if you do please drop me an email or comment if you'd prefer. I'd honestly love to hear from you. Also, I will be posting here regularly if you're inclined to come back.

Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

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