Commitment, In One Tense or Another…


I will be committing…

I am committed…

I have committed…

No, wait, that last is not quite correct. At this particular point in time, I have written – but I have not published. I could still drop the whole crazy notion, and crawl back under that dark, comforting blanket…

Not going to happen, buddy. Eleven months ago, you decided to “get serious” about this idea of having people pay for reading your words. Remember the “Oh, I can do that – doesn’t look all that hard.”

OK, right, it really should read “I have been committed.” But those are just the newbie jitters here.

In any case – as of the third day of July, in the Common Era Year of 2016, the very first bit of my writing shall be sent into the Amazon jungles, there to be eaten by a black caiman, drowned in the mud, or – perhaps – take the first steps on a long journey to the fabled El Dorado. For details, click over to “Sybly Whyte” on this here blog, where you will find out about this first piece – and why this dude “Sybly” has his name on it.

So it is time to start this bit of writing – the long-dithered-over blog about the adventures of a newbie writer. (You do know that “adventures” are bad things happening to other people in a far away place, yes?)

What will you find here, most days? Well, quite a bit on writing, hopefully – about mistakes made, lessons learned, successes achieved. Which you must remember to take with a large grain of salt. While I am not going to shade anything, the posts on writing will be about my route to writing, not yours (if you are at the same place or just a bit behind me right now), not anybody else’s path. What works for me may fail spectacularly for you – and at least some of the mistakes I make will not turn out to be mistakes for you. I will try to identify as best I can those things that are always needed for success, and those things that are always a sure way to fail – but I’m not going to be perfect there, either.

Some days, though, you will find an essay on something that you don’t think has anything to do with writing. However, the fact is that no person – not even a writer – exists in a vacuum. Things happen, whether to the writer, or to the world, and those things shape the writer and his or her writing. Unavoidable. So expect the occasional piece on science, on economics, on culture, on politics even.

Which brings up one very important thing – comments. Right now, as this blog is first published, comments are not enabled. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want comments; I want lots of comments (ones that are not snark, flames, and/or spam). But I want to make sure the blog is stabilized before I start letting others begin adding to it – I don’t want anyone lost in the weeds because I was busy fighting a fire off in WordPress land. The plan is to enable comments some time in this coming week, but I can’t guarantee it. In the meantime, please read the “House Rules” tab. I’ll be posting a notice here on the main page if and when those change – and I will be enforcing them.

While we’re talking about the “fiddly bits” – schedules. Again, I have a plan – a plan to post once a week, most likely on Sundays. Plus a special post whenever I have news – new publications, new contracts, new whatever has to do with the career. But those take a back seat to actually pursuing the career – and here is the first bit of “writing wisdom” that is universally true. If you want a career as a writer, you must write. You must publish your writing. You must get paid for your publications. No, not original with me – this has been the mantra of every writer since it became a profession – and some call it the second oldest profession there is. So if I am facing a publication deadline, that comes first – although I will try to remember to at least tell you why I am missing in action for a while.

Whee! This first draft of the first post is done! Tomorrow, I get to edit it, and then expose it on Sunday (with luck). Edit – the draft is edited. It is Sunday. WordPress willing, I am actually on schedule for the moment…

Yes, I should have been committed. Too late now.

Richard Skinner

4 thoughts on “Commitment, In One Tense or Another…

  1. Welcome to blogging, or publication, or whatever. It’s not that bad.

    Marketing, however, and promotion were invented by the devil.

    I’ve been blogging since 2012, and still feel like a newbie at it. It’s kind of fun having your own online magazine which publishes anything you submit to it.


  2. Now, you have committed (which is not like “need to be committed”). A further possible WP issue: Did you mean to leave comments on for this post, and off for the later ones? I recall reading a while ago that a default had changed and one had to specifically enable comments – I do not know if that is by account or for each posting, myself.


    1. Mrpph. They were off globally by default. Or so the account settings had when I double-checked on Sunday. I hope I didn’t just now turn them off globally…

      Anyway, after they are on, you can toggle them on each post. Which I don’t imagine ever doing, but it’s a nice feature.


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