It Was A Very Good Year

Monday, December 31st, 2007, 4:34 am

Why am I up at 4:30 in the morning?

It’s New Year’s Eve and I guess it’s typical to look back at the year that’s about to pass. I’ve been thinking about what I accomplished this year, and I wasn’t too happy about it. A bad night playing poker probably soured my mood. And losing weight was a goal I had from last year that I failed miserably at.

I also haven’t been happy with my output here at my home base. Most of my poker-centric content ends up on the UB Blog and I feel that I’ve lost my voice here. There are other topics I want to write about but too often I’ve started writing something and then abandoned it. Frustrating. And I wanted to write more magazine articles and columns, maybe branch out a bit from poker. I had plans, plots, schemes, and I don’t think I followed through. That put me in a seriously blue mood, so for kicks I decided to go back to the start of the year and find out how many stuff I actually did write. And the numbers cheered me up a bit.

Here at the mothership I posted 208 times (including this one). Not too bad, about every other day. I then got all anal-retentive and counted up my posts at the UB Blog, and came up with 326 items. It seemed odd that I only posted 9 times in October, but then I remembered that I was in Aruba then and posting stuff at the Arublog. The tally there was 98 posts. Add ’em all up and you get 632 posts. Not too shabby. True, quite a few of them were only a couple of sentences about some promotion we were running, but I wrote some good stuff this year. I skimmed through a few posts I was proud of…and then I realized that I’d spent seven weeks in Vegas covering the World Series.

It isn’t like I FORGOT all those days and nights at the Rio, but I kinda forgot all the work I did out there. When I did remember, and realized that I did do a lot of writing this year, I felt a lot better. I beat myself up for not working hard enough, for not following through on writing ideas and projects I come up with. But looking over my output for the year…it was a lot. It wasn’t all High Art–blogging is disposable writing. Maybe poker scholars four decades from now will read my final-table coverage of John Guth’s Omaha High-Low victory, but what I wrote at that final table (and just about everything else I wrote this year) will slip into the void.

That’s OK, it’s the nature of the blogging beast and I’m fine with that. Still, I remember something one of my fiction teachers said–"Writers write…to be read". We want an audience. I get in these almost frantic moods when I feel that I should do more.  But the blank page is intimidating. Sometimes it’s incredibly discouraging to me to realize that I won’t be able to write that novel in an afternoon. It takes time.

Which is why counting up those 632 posts made me feel a lot better. I’ve proven to myself that I can do the work. There are lots of people who want to be writers. The people who are writers are the ones who are sitting in the chair and hitting the keys. Again, not everything I wrote this year was literary gold, but I sat down and cranked out copy when it was needed and I did the work. Day by day, post by post, word by word. Over the course of a year, it adds up to a lot. I need to keep that in mind. I can do the work. Now I need to do better work. Push myself more. A lot more.

This was probably the most remarkable year of my life. I did a fair bit of traveling–Florida, Vegas, Aruba, California, Vegas again. I covered the World Series. My full-time job was blogging about poker. I became an uncle (again). Moved my blog over to this luxurious new site. Went to my 20th high school reunion. Got to hang out with all my blogging buddies, though not as much as I would’ve liked. I dated some very attractive and interesting women, and then something happened that was wonderful and unexpected and totally bizarre. Crazy, busy year. I’ll go to the party tonight and think very fondly about 2007. If I keep up my end of the bargain, 2008 should be even better still.

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