This past year was an awful lot of fun for me, as far as the whole blog thing goes. On those mornings when I woke up wondering why we all had to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation or meteor impacts or climate shifts that make our planet unlivable, I just cracked open the laptop and started writing. Somewhere around the middle of the year I started thinking maybe I wouldn’t stop doing this when 2017 ended, but I still loosely planned to begin a whole new series of blog posts this year.
Then I thought about it, from another angle.
In 2016, my first weekly blog was very centered around the subject of writing. The overall title was ‘Why I love to write’, and posts around the subject of writing and publishing came once or twice a week. My stated intent was to write as if I was talking to myself ten years ago, or five; and give advice I think my writer self could have used back then. After it was all done, I originally planned to compile the posts and do a little tweaking and publish it as a book. Which was a great plan, but not one that would make this the book I wanted it to be.
By the time I got to the end of a year of posting, a lot of things had changed in both the publishing world and my own practices. In fact, my whole perspective had changed! This would not be a consistent book throughout if all I did was a little tweaking here and there, and even then it would only be a start to a series. So I put that project on a shelf, until I learn even more and can schedule the time to completely rewrite every section that was meant to go in the book.
That blog was pretty well wrapped up by the end of 2016; even if I didn’t have the content I thought I would have for a book, all the subjects I wanted to cover around writing got covered. Also, I had to admit that the ‘Why I love to write’ series was really just for the writer; my typical reader would have to be pretty desperate to read words that came from my head to follow it, and I didn’t really want to keep that up. I wanted a blog that was both informative and entertaining, while giving readers a peek into my thinking they couldn’t otherwise get.
Admittedly, one of the main reasons I came up with ‘Thoughts That Hurt to Think’ was the conversations I was having with readers at book festivals and comic book conventions. I really enjoyed interacting with people who picked up on my desire to explore the deeper meaning, and who pointed out my fascination with exploring dark themes while keeping my tone light and humorous. More than once I found myself talking to folks about all those things we live with every day that most of us have to avoid thinking about in order to keep our sanity. I was surprised to discover that lots of people think about these things, and would enjoy hearing another perspective on it.
Those conversations, along with my tendency to wake up with that kind of thing on my mind, got me thinking about halfway through 2016. Once again, I thought it was a great idea for a book; once again, I thought I could just write a bunch of posts and then do a little tweaking here and there to compile them finally into a publishable format. Once again, I was both wrong and right.
When I started looking at the pile of posts that continued to grow around this subject, I realized two things. First, there are way more than fifty-two thoughts that hurt to think in this reality we share; I realized I would be bummed to stop writing these posts just because the year was over long before the year actually ended. Second, this was not going to be any easier to turn into a book than last year’s blog; I would have to rewrite these posts to turn them into chapters, and we would be looking at a very long book at the end of it all.
So I decided two things based on these two realizations. One was that I was going to keep doing this for as long as I could. I’m enjoying writing it, people are enjoying reading it; and it would be silly to start over with a whole new theme when I had really only scratched the surface of this one. The other decision was that these posts will eventually become a series of smaller books instead. One huge volume of this kind of thing might be a bit heavy, even in digital format; but several small books offers a different way to look at and digest these posts in a chapter format.
The books are coming, but I can’t say when. Each one will be a combination of subjects that have been covered in the blog and subjects I haven’t posted about yet. I’ll let you know when that’s happening, since some of these posts will come down upon publication; until then, they will all stay on the website for you to peruse at your leisure. It will take some time to rewrite and compile them, and several other books are ahead of them in the queue; and like I said, I’ll give you plenty of advance notice when that’s happening.
What I can say for sure is that the weekly posts will continue. I am nowhere near out of thoughts that hurt to think, and my joy in sharing them with you has been real and plentiful. The thrill of keeping this up has me very excited about another year of posting, and I hope you’re happy with the decision as well. I’d love to see you keep coming back every week for a new thought, and watch me hurt to think about it. Instead of turning me into a nervous wreck that can’t get away from these thoughts, this blog has been like therapy for me. Writing it has helped clear my mind in many ways, and properly compartmentalize my thinking around this sort of thing.
The only real reminder I have for you is that none of this should be taken too seriously. These are not articles reporting on facts so much as they are posts poking fun at the process of perception itself. If you want some version of absolute reality from me, I’m afraid my take on things will disappoint you as much as anyone else who only has one set of eyes to look out through. In fact, that’s largely the point of this series; absolute truth is hard to find in a world where many people believe what they are told, and a hard search for it will often end with a ‘wizard behind the curtain’ kind of scenario. Perspective and perception can be influenced by hard facts, after all; but the conclusions they lead us to draw are not facts in and of themselves, and I try to keep that in mind with every post.
I’ll take the writing and my schedule seriously, of course; but don’t expect me to take myself too seriously, or give you any reason to. A lifetime of studying philosophy has taught me that humor may be the ultimate form of wisdom, so I’m going to keep looking for reasons to laugh in all of this. I do so hope you will join me.
Like next week, when we’ll be getting back to the subject of minimum wage in America. Last week we talked about how business owners have no minimum wage, but that subject only directly affects a small portion of the population. Most people in this country work for a business owner or group of them, and a lot of them rely on minimum wage laws to keep their families fed in a nation where inflation is constantly on the rise. The government is charged with making sure the two work in tandem, and it doesn’t take much math to see they’re not doing a very good job of it.
We’ll talk about that next week, in a post called…
You can let me know how happy or unhappy you are with my decision to keep doing this, by messaging me at Jay@JayNorry.com. Or just keep reading every week, like you hopefully have been up till now.
Thanks for reading!
All the best,