Friday, November 18, 2016

One Last Wave

So I stopped posting here a few months ago mostly to focus on a new site, But I Also Have a Day Job, where I blog about the hazards faced by creative people like me who also have to keep the bills paid.  If you’re a long-time reader or first-time visitor here, check it out, or follow me on Twitter @IantheRoge.

A Wave of the Hand has meant a lot to me for a really long time, and I honestly wish I still had time to post random fun bits of writing here.  I started this blog in the days after college when I needed a way to channel my creative output in a way that other people might actually see.  If I had an idea, knowing I had this blog as an outlet pushed me to develop that idea, revise it, and see it through, rather than just thinking, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to write about that scene in Better Off Dead where Roy Stalin calling Lane ‘buddy’ emphasizes what a jerk he is? Without this blog, that idea would’ve fizzled out and become nothing.

We all need practice to get better at things, and I needed practice writing.  I wish I’d written more when I was in high school, and in college even, but I didn’t really write much at all during those times.  Maybe that was because I arrogantly thought that I was already good at the creative thing I wanted to do just because I’d had some early successes, and that when future projects came along I’d be good at those too through some magical gift I had inside me.  Yeah, right.

In real life things don’t work that way.  You only get good at writing (or at anything) by doing it so often that it becomes second nature and the ideas themselves become your real focus.  This blog helped me make that happen.

This blog was also vital when I was in Japan, a place of incredible adventure that I also found fascinating and sometimes shocking.  My entries on Japan were my first real attempt to not only understand Japanese culture, but to share it with people in a way that would make them as interested in it as I was.  A lot of themes from these posts made their way into my Japan novel, which I couldn’t have written if it hadn’t been for this blog.

Then there was the way this blog let me engage with people (both friends and strangers) in a way that was simpler and more removed from the social media information overload.  I’ve always wanted to make things that people would enjoy but that also made them think, and this blog showed me what that felt like. 

I also met at least one friend through this blog who saw it and reached out in real life, which was also the first time that something I’d created and shared had a real impact on the world around me. That was pretty cool.

Lastly, keeping this blog helped me stay organized—I made posting here a priority and planned out the time to make these posts happen.  I’ve always been good at working in more structured environments (e.g., school), but that got a lot harder when I didn’t have that structure anymore and had to both set my own assignments and get them done.  (Some Advice: If you can do these two things well, you can do anything.)

This blog’s done so much for me, yet so many of those things are in the past now.  Sometime between then and now I realized that I didn’t need this blog for those same reasons anymore, and that I needed other challenges instead.  Life stops being interesting if we don’t keep trying new things, and I never wanted this blog to feel like a chore.

It did seem wrong, though, to just abandon it without a proper send-off, so if you’ve been hanging around here a long time, thanks for reading, and I mean that.

And if you’re new here, I don’t always wax this sentimental, so check out my new website, or the older Wave of the Hand entries here.  Either way, I hope you find something you like.

Never stop moving, exploring, or trying new things.

Peace out, everybody.