The Real Deal, Not the Fake One

So. I’m here. More or less.

Mostly more, oddly enough, because a big chunk of my brain is thinking about how to manage this website and the blog over the next year or so. My poor brain is working over time — indeed, most days I feel as though a SERIOUS fermentation is taking place inside my skull. A full, roiling bubble of mysterious gases, micro-organisms, and chemical processes and reactions.


(Photo credit: brankomaster)

If I could clone myself, or graft on an additional set of hands for typing, this blog would be clogged to the max with all manner of observations and ideas. Instead, about half the fermentation evaporates before I can grab hold of it.


But part of what’s going on is that I’m trying to figure out how to use that ferment to its maximal value (not sure that makes sense?) AND, more important, where, precisely to deposit the output. I started blogging in 2006 and the universe of online media has changed dramatically in that time, and especially so in the past year.

For example, there’s a new outlet available called Medium. It’s still in beta (more or less) but I asked for and got an account. I’ve still not used it (except privately: meaning my output there can’t be seen by anyone but me) because as I explored the site, I realized: “Oh, hell. This is a valuable tool, but it’s one that needs to be used with care rather than in the random, slapdash way I use my own blog/site.”

And that, in turn, got me thinking even more than I already was about this site here and how to use it.

And of course there’s also Facebook which, as it turns out, is an incredibly useful way to zip off the random stuff I used to dump here. Which in turn made me realize how random my output here at the site was and also made me wonder how wise that was and . . .

You see my dilemma: An abundance of riches in my brain (well, okay, they’re only riches in my own mind, no pun intended; no doubt 99% of the ferment is total crap) plus an abundance of ways to disseminate it plus entirely too many demands tugging at my time equals — a stalled engine.

Or so it feels like to me.

Add this to the mix: This is the moment in the book production process when many people are in charge of my life.

Most days, I decide what to do and when to do it and how to do it. But when book production is in full swing, as it is now, I’m no longer in charge of anything. Instead, other people, all with their own multiple deadlines and demands, are calling the shots. It’s not easy to shift gears and go from being the boss to being the flunky, if you know what I mean. (Not that I’m complaining. I’m not. Many writers would like to be in my shoes.)

Anyway — I started out with a point and now, of course, and no surprise, have completely forgotten what that point was. You see? Ferment in this case too often equals mush.

I just finished reading Michael Pollan’s new book Cooked, and fermentation and chemical processes are much on my mind. As is the content of a longish review of the book — which, by the way, I HIGHLY recommend. Forget his politics. The guy is an incredibly good writer. I read that kind of prose and think to myself “Why bother? Go back to waiting tables, you fool.”

But it’s probably too late for that. (Unless the new book simply bombs, in which case I may well call it quits. Although I rather doubt anyone will want a sixty-year-old waitress, especially one who’s not waited tables now for about 25 years.)

But what WAS I going to say here? The title of this entry meant something when I started . . .  See? BRAIN MUSH.

2 thoughts on “The Real Deal, Not the Fake One

  1. Let me get this straight – you a published writer/author is having a brain freeze? Don’t you think you deserve to have downtime? You’ve spent the last – at least – five years writing your books, not to mention the continuous re-do/hashing over your book for revisions. You have accomplished more than most of us and still you come down on yourself. Your brain has worked overtime for tooooooo long, and my keyboard is not broken getting stuck on the “o”. What I would give if I had HALF the things running around in your head!

    I should blog on volunteerism, but I’m not sure anyone would read it – even though half the people in the world who say they “volunteer” should read what they AREN’T doing to volunteer. Putting their name on a list or paying dues to an organization and never coming to help at events that rely on people to raise funds for good causes deserve to have mush for brains.

    So soapbox over, you deserve to escape to a quiet villa in Tuscany and enjoy life rather than putting yourself down.

  2. Holly, THANK YOU. It’s true: I feel guilty about not working hard enough. Seven years on this new book; five years on the previous one; two years on one before that — and with NO breaks in between. And yet — I feel like I should be DOING MORE. So thanks for this reminder that I don’t have to be Superwoman.


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