So here’s the real deal on me, Mike Schramm. Maybe you’ve read my story over on the about page. Maybe you know me in real life (I’m pretty sure most of you do). If you do, then you know that nothing on that about page is really true. I never invented the Chopinator. Unbelievable, I know, but it’s true.
I’m a writer. At least, I’m trying to be one.
A while back, I started Retarded Jimmy’s at retardedjimmy.com. It was kind of a joke between a few friends and I, but I started it because I wanted a place to really practice writing about what I knew: Music, videogames, movies, culture. And I wrote a lot of stuff there, some of it bad, some of it good. The point was that I was writing, and practicing. And eventually I wanted to use that writing to get a job that allowed me to write for real.
Which, suprisingly, I did. I got a job freelancing for a newspaper here in Chicago, and I used reviews from Retarded Jimmy’s to get it. (My editor, by the way, told me that I had writing that was different from any journalism major he’d ever seen. Probably because I didn’t major in journalism. He said it was unpolished, which you’d probably expect coming from a site named Retarded Jimmy’s. But he still gave me a job.)
Since I got that job, I thought it would be good to go to interviews where I didn’t have to list my email address at “retardedjimmy.com”. You and I are pretty easygoing people– we’re not about to blink when someone uses the word “retarded,” because we’re open minded people with a sense of humor. We know what’s important to worry about and what’s not. But not all prospective employers are as open minded as we are. So I started mikeschramm.com, as a place to set up a hub for all the writing I was doing. And a place to still practice. I would escape the review mold, but still practice writing every day.
And I have. Well, pretty much every day. For a long time, over a year, I’ve tried to come up with something funny or interesting every single day of the week. I haven’t always come up with something, and it hasn’t always been funny, but them’s the breaks.
But here’s the problem. Now, I have a full-time job writing. I write all the time, all day. And then I come home and write something for my site. And by the end of the day, I’ve done a lot of writing, but it’s all already been published, either at my job or on my site. I don’t have anything to take elsewhere. And I don’t have any good ideas left to send off to some other site, or magazine, or even agent.
What I’m saying is this: I’m done practicing.
So I’ve changed the site. Instead of a new piece every day, you’ll get a new headline. A headline with a link. Sometimes, it will simply link to something here on mikeschramm.com, like usual (those things will all be labeled “Exclusive”). But sometimes, and I’m hoping more often than not, it will link to something on another website. Or in a magazine I’ve been published at. Or, and this is where things really get interesting, a link to a book I’m working on.
You’ll still have plenty of content. Since I got my digital camera, I’m incorporating my photography into the blog, so it’s more prominent. And I’m going to do the miniblog a little differently– add some text and commentary instead of just a single link. Of course the podcast will still be around and prominent. And when I can’t get something published somewhere else, you’ll undoubtedly see it here.
But instead of spending time every day writing for my own site, I’m going to take that time and write for someone else. I’m done publishing myself. Now I’m going to get someone else to publish me. And when I do, you’ll see it right on the front page (in my new crazy web 2.0 design).
Thanks for reading. If you’ve read this whole thing, it means you really care about me and my site, and so if you have any questions or comments (good or bad) about the new design, I’d love to hear them at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you’re having as much fun consuming all of this as I’m having producing it.
Posted on Sunday, March 19th, 2006 at 1:06 am. Filed under general.