by Richard Hartzer 7/22/2019
What shall I write about today? Well, since this is my first blog post I really need something special that hooks you and encourages you to subscribe, so I could promise to give my first 1,000 subscribers a free $100 Chick Fil A gift card (only valid on Sundays). Nevermind. I don’t want to rely on gimmicks to gain subscribers. Instead, I promise to give all my readers a blog-reading experience like no other. I am a strange and complex person so you should expect a series of strange and complex blog posts. Some posts will make you laugh, some posts will make you think, and some posts will make you cry because you’ll think of all the reading enjoyment you lost because I didn’t start blogging sooner. That may sound like hyperbole, but I almost never exaggerate. Now, a little bit about myself and my writing experience…
…When I was in 4th grade, our teacher used to make us write sentences using that week’s spelling words. Not content to merely write a series of unrelated sentences, I wove fascinating tales using our spelling words and featuring unforgettable characters such as Little Johnny Infant and Super Pickle. Sadly, none of these amazing pieces of literature found their way into the Smithsonian (or even our refrigerator door), but it ignited a spark of creativity inside me. A brilliant spark that would not be extinguished until I moved on to 5th grade and discovered that girls didn’t have cooties after all. I still remember Amanda…my square-dancing partner and first love. I was captivated by her gorgeous amber hair and her stylish parachute pants…and also by the fact that she could hold my hand without immediately wiping it off afterward like the other girls did. I’m looking at you, Harriet. I didn’t do much in the way of creative writing for a long time after that, but all that was destined to change on a historic Saturday morning on my back porch.
When I was 43, I felt this stirring inside me. A stirring I hadn’t felt since that fateful dinner of gas station sushi back in the summer of ’04. But this stirring was different. I had this idea in my head to try something crazy (although slightly less crazy than eating gas station sushi) and write a book. I constantly annoy my wife by criticizing movies, TV shows, and books when they fail to live up to my lofty expectations; so, tired of all the subpar entertainment in the world, I decided that I would show everybody how it should be done. I needed a hook so I thought it would be fun to think of a really depressing thought and base my book about that. I decided to write about a teenage girl that was about to be executed for treason. How did she get in that predicament and how would she get out of it? Or would she get out of it? I grabbed my laptop, plopped down in my favorite recliner, sketched out a rough outline of the story and the characters, and began writing. I was amazed at how easily the words flowed from my brain into my fingers and I wrote the first couple of chapters in no time. Amazingly I never experienced the dreaded writer’s block and over the next 3 months I churned out a 100,000-word masterpiece that nobody knows about yet. One year and several drafts later, I’m looking for an agent to believe in me and my work.
While I have been waiting for my big break, I heard all authors need “platform”, so I decided to get one of those. I created a Twitter account for my author persona and quickly stumbled upon the Writing Community. I have made tons of friends, received tons of advice, posted tons of goofy GIFs, and possibly even accidentally dispensed some good advice to others. Overall it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience, but evidently a “platform” must include a website and blog as well, so here we are. In all honesty, I’ve long desired to be a columnist with the humor of Dave Barry and the gravitas of Andy Rooney, so this will be fun for me. It’s too early to say whether it’ll be fun for you, but here’s hoping.
My follower list continues to grow, and hopefully my blog subscriber list will do the same as I embark upon this journey with you all. I truly appreciate everybody who takes the time to read my tweets and I admire your dedication to make it this far into my blog post. Your endurance (or lack of anything else to do today) is to be commended and I look forward to seeing you again in the near future.
If you like what you see, please subscribe to my blog. You’ll receive an e-mail every time I post something new, so you’ll be able to drop what you’re doing and be among the first to check it out. Thanks.