Hello, Again

I’m back. And I’m about due for another edition of Ask Conlan. The questions have been piling up.

Hey, Conlan. Where’ve you been?

Wondering in Wichita, NJ

I’ve been around. I got a real job since we last spoke. Well, not a real job. I’m still a writer, which is pretty fake. But now I’m just a copywriter at a real company, working regular hours and getting health benefits and whatnot. So that’s been taking up a lot of time.

Weren’t you supposed to write a book or something?

Curious in Curlybeans, KY

No, you’re mistaken.

Oh, wait. You might be thinking of Mostly Lies, the book that was funded by over a hundred of my closest strangers and friends and which I’ve so far failed utterly to write. Yes, I was supposed to write that.

Here’s my problem: crippling self-doubt. Also, the stuff I’ve written for it is crap. Maybe there are some good bits here and there, but overall the impression I get is that it’s crap.

So I’m in a bit of a pickle. I feel guilty about not publishing anything, but also I don’t want to publish crap. That’s one of the reasons why I haven’t blogged in over three years—guilt. And embarrassment. I’ve even cut way back on tweeting. I feel like if I can’t write a book, I can’t write anything. I don’t mean I won’t write anything; I mean I can’t. I’m dried up. I’ve got nothing to say. I’m stuck.

Why are you coming back to blogging now?

D.L. in Jack’s Hole, ME

I want to be unstuck. And a friend of mine once told me that my writing makes the world better, even if only slightly. While that’s certainly debatable, I think it’s at least a worthy goal. So I’m going to try my best.

I may have nothing to say, but—historically—that hasn’t stopped me.