Wednesday, June 01, 2005

New gigs, an explanation, a digression and a return to one’s senses.

So I've been offered a spot writing about music and the arts for Chicagoist and have happily accepted. So now that means I'm writing for three sites on a regular basis now. Why would I want to do that?

Glad you asked.

You see each site has its own focus and thus its own advantages over the others. Chicagoist is appealing to me because its a chance to write for an outlet that already has its own voice established while allowing me the chance and challenge to add a bit of my own style into the mix. I did this in the audition pieces I turned in over the last two weeks and everything happily fell into place quite naturally.

Metroblogging Chicago also allows a certain sense of focus to creep into my work as far as a restriction on subjects is concerned, but when it comes to actual content I'm left to pretty much my own devices and -- as long as I can somehow link it to Chicago -- can write anything of any length.

And of course DoneWaiting/Lost In Guyville offers me the most freedom of all. I can experiment with style, I can choose any subject under the sun and I'm surrounded by a group that I've grown rather close to over the years.

Speaking of growing close to people, two folks I know rather well have recently lost parents. One passed away so quickly they never even saw it coming and it st You know, I thought I could write about this objectively. View death from somewhat afar and try to offer some solace and comfort from the vantage of experience and you know what? I just can't. I'm beginning to realize that my dad's death last year has affected me much more profoundly and left much deeper wounds than I had at first thought. It's kind of like someone who's had their legs sheared off underwater and they can't really see it and they can't really feel it at first and only after time passes do you realize just how badly you're hurt. Losing a parent is kind off like that. I wish I could say the pain fades and it gets better, but it doesn't. I can say, and fuck you if you think it's contrived or cliched, you begin to appreciate life a hell of a lot more when someone that close to you passes away.

And there we have it. This is why I shouldn't write so goddamned early in the morning. I lack focus. I started off writing about something I was -- well, am -- really happy about and somewhere along the line I got sidetracked. Maybe that's fitting though. Maybe it's a good example of how true pain is always there, even in our happiest moments. Maybe it's the presence of that pain, just under the surface, that allows the contrast for us to really appreciate the good times. Maybe I should stop writing before people think they've stumbled across some Sylvia Plath obsessed sixteen year old's tear-stained diary.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is that, on top of it all, I'm really excited to add Chicagoist to my literary/journalistic family.

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