Writing

If you have found this blog, you probably realize that I like writing! Thanks to the help of the world’s best Co-Author/Proof Reader/Copy Editor/Spiritual Advisor/Friend/Wife, Susan Lynn D’Elia, we have been able to turn out some pages that I hope you’ve enjoyed. Since we started this blog together in 2016, we have published 219 posts, as we’ve charted Our New Adventures, but this is by no means my first blog.

My first blog, that started back on July 26th, 2010 and was called “Questions and Some Answers” (http://fd3qa.blogspot.com/2010/07/) . In the About Me description, I wrote, “Always a reader and a sometimes writer in search of an audience.”

On September 1st, 2010, in a blog post entitled “What Am I doing Here?”, I attempted to answer the question, “why have I started this blog?” These are some of the things I said in that piece…

“Ever since I was a kid there has been something that fascinated me about being a writer. Perhaps it was because of books I read by authors like John Steinbeck that moved me, or perhaps it was because putting words on paper seemed somewhat easy for me when it wasn’t for others, or perhaps it was from watching the Dick Van Dyke Show and seeing how much fun Rob, Sally and Buddy had in the Writers’ Room on the Allan Brady Show! For whatever reason, I have been a closet writer for a number of years (no…I don’t write about or in closets) and have even sold a couple of items to magazines. I have come up with some great ideas for articles and even written “pitch letters”, started short stories, written some kid’s stories that got my own kids’ seal of approval when they were young, thought about book plots, and even committed some actual words to paper. I started on a Royal Portable typewriter in the last century, moved on to a huge IBM desk top computer and dot matrix printer, and now am on a small laptop. Through the years, I’ve had bursts of activity and turned out the beginnings of some things that seemed to me to be going in the right direction. So why haven’t I done more? If I had to be honest, I’d say it’s because I’m just not committed enough to turn the idea into reality!”

I think that’s an honest evaluation of a situation that really hasn’t changed for me in the 10+ years since I wrote those words! I know, that like anything worthwhile in life, the only way you get better at it is to work hard. As the saying goes, Practice Makes Perfect!

As a hoped for inspiration, I even saved the following quote in my Kindle from Sue Grafton’s novel, U is for Undertow, “Writing’s hard. It’s a skill you attain by practicing. You don’t just dash off good work in your off-hours. You can’t be halfhearted. It takes time. You want to be a concert pianist, you don’t slog your way through Five Easy Pieces and expect to be booked in Carnegie Hall. You have to sit down and write. As much as you can. Everyday of your life.”

I continued that blog through August 24th, 2011, and in a little over a year, wrote 29 posts, for an average of just over 2 posts a month. Then my blogging went on hiatus, till either boredom or some spark of interest, started me on a new path and a new blog. This one, called, “It’s Better Than Working For A Living” (https://fdthird.wordpress.com), was started almost 3 years after my last post in “Questions and Some Answers”, on August 16th, 2014!

In the “About Me” section of this blog’s home page, I wrote, “For over 40 years I’ve made a pretty good living for my family as an audio engineer at various NYC radio stations, but if you asked me what I really wanted to be when I grow up, I’d say “a writer.” I’ve always had a way with words and have been called on many times to help craft a resume, or an application, or even a speech, but this blog is all about me….things I’ve seen, experiences I’ve had, and thoughts on anything and everything. This is about me growing up, and being a writer! Thanks for stopping by….”

Okay, a similar theme from my earlier work…perhaps a little more fleshed out, but the big question how did I handle the blogging this time around? I’m sorry to say that the results were very much the same. I seemed to start out like a house on fire, with multiple stories in the months of August, September, and October! Then in November there was but one post, and then the house burned down! My next active time was 4 months later, in March of 2015, with a single post, and then not again till September when I came up with one new post! My work picked up in December of 2015 when there were 4 posts, but to be honest, some of them may have been reworks of older writings.

Early in January, 2016, I put in my retirement papers at WABC, with the intention of my last day of employment being January 29th, and in that last month at WABC, I wrote and posted 11 blogs about my years at the station. After January, as I moved on to a new life of retirement, the posts dwindled, and although the blog is still “active”, the last post went up in May of 2019, and the reality is that it was just a link to a post in this blog!

Okay, so now I’ve caught you up on my Blogging Career, and taken you back to where you started, at this blog! To complete the circle, when I was setting up this blog, this is what I wrote in the “About” section.

“Welcome to our blog. We are Sue and Frank D’Elia, and we invite you along for the ride as we move into our next chapter, retirement. We have plans for some great new adventures and are excited to be launching both our next chapter and this blog. As the song says, the best is yet to come!! 
 
SLD/FDIII”

If you’re one of the stalwarts that’s been along for the ride with us from the beginning, you’ll know that the blog started with a single post in February, 2016, where we set out our history with Road Trips. Then in March, we left the frozen north and ventured to Florida for the first time for an extended stay as retirees! The month of March saw us publish 13 posts, detailing our trip to Florida’s Walt Disney World, Spring Training Games, and ended with a look ahead at what we’d been calling for a long time, Our Big Trip!

Susie and I had been talking about this trip for many years, and early in 2016 started to actually plan it. We had long called it our “Bucket List” trip, to places we’d always wanted to see, but hadn’t. To me, this was the real high spot of my blogging! Through the summer of 2016, I posted about our preparations and about our time in Ocean City, but the real blogging started on August 22, 2016 with a post called “Our Big Adventure, Day One”! For the next 63 days, Ending on October 22nd, exactly 9 weeks since we’d left, having traveled a grand total of 9,773.0 miles, every night, without fail, I sat down in front of my Apple MacBook Air, and I wrote something about what we’d done that day. In that blog on day 63 of the trip, I wrote the following:

“One thing I have always wanted to be was a writer. I’ve dabbled here and there over the years, and many have told me that I am good at it, but what a writer needs to do is to write! For the past 9 weeks, this blog forced me to sit down in front of the computer every night and write something. If you’ve been with us for the whole ride, you know that some nights it was the last thing I wanted to do, but I did it. For 9 weeks (even on the cruise) grabbing the MacBook Air, and punching away on the keys for a half hour or more every day, has been a way of life for me. It’s become part of my routine, which was very good for me, and it’s something I hope to continue. I may not post every day, but I hope to write something every day. I know that I will be updating this blog on a pretty regular basis, because heck, now that we are both retired, Our New Adventures are just starting out!”

Did I do it? Well, unfortunately if you look back at the archive of this blog, you will see that after I wrote that last Bucket List Trip post on 10/22/16, I wrote one more that month, and then didn’t publish another blog till February of 2017, so the answer is a big NO! As I look through the rest of the archives, I see that pattern repeating over and over again. Have a trip, or holiday, or occasion that almost demands a blog piece be written, and it’s followed up by a month or more of blogging silence! In the entire just ended year of 2020, I wrote a total of 15 posts, obviously not following Sue Grafton’s advice, “You have to sit down and write. As much as you can. Everyday of your life.”

Look, I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions, and honestly I don’t remember making one that even lasted beyond my January 2nd birthday, but I’m going to try one on for size in 2021. As we work our way through the second week of the new year, I am going to pledge that at the very minimum, I’ll publish one new blog post per week in 2021. That means a minimum of 52 posts during 2021, and hopefully many more! This blog has lasted longer than any of the others that I’ve started, but the only way I’m going to get close to fulfilling my “writing desire,” is to write! I’ve already published 3 blogs in January, so I hope I’m off to a good start! I trust my co-conspirator Susie will hold my feet to the fire, as will you, my faithful readers….all 4 of you!

So there you go. As we go forward in 2021, I hope that I won’t disappoint you and that I live up to my resolution! If I write something that peaks your interest, or perhaps moves you in some way, let me know via the comments section of the blog or on Facebook. As I said back in October, 2016:

“Over the course of the past nine weeks, we have heard from you in various ways, and I know that a number of you have been with us every day, since we started back in August. I heard from some of you when I was not in any mood to write the blog, and said so. It was your encouragement, and just knowing that you were reading the words that I was writing, that made it easier for me to sit down every night, and compile a record of what we’d done that day. It would have been very easy for me to have ended this blog in week three or four, and chalk this up as just another one of the many uncompleted writing projects I’ve done in my life, were it not for knowing that there were people waiting to see what our day on the road had been like. So to those of your who reached out to us, and let us know you were in the back seat of the Sonata, whether from start to finish, or just for a day or two here and there, thank you…..it never would have gotten completed without you. Knowing that people were reading it, were commenting own Facebook or on the WordPress site, and were enjoying our travels, made all the difference.”

I guess the bottom line is exactly the same as how I described myself in that early blog, “a sometimes writer in search of an audience.”