Hi friends and fam,
It seems fitting to start my Hooterville Post Office Newsletter today.
2007 has been a year of ignition and transition; I'm hoping 2008 will be a year of fruition.
Although I started my book 'The Price of Right' at the end of 2006, last year was the year I really became a writer. It was a long, hard slog - especially trying to balance writing along with my first priority - my family - and my music work. My heartfelt thanks go out to my publisher, Drew Nederpelt at Sterling and Ross, because if it were not for his interest in my writing, I would not have written a book. Period. A note to my fellow bloggers out there: you can do it, too! As most of you know, I began blogging in 2004 after the debacle that was the Residential Selection. I did not start blogging because of any great conceit that I was a fabulous writer - I started blogging to save my sanity. I have no writing background; my 'higher education came to an end 3 months into my freshman year of college, when I got a road gig, and never looked back. But I was so 'shaken and stirred' by the outcome of the election that I had to find a vent for my thoughts and feelings, and that's when I became a blogger.
I had started a Wordpress blog earlier that summer, more to indulge my 'inner geek' and find out what this 'blog' thing I'd heard of was about, than to write about anything in particular. In fact, I think my first post was something along the lines of "Umm, this is my blog, and it's eleven o'clock at night, and I can't think of anything to write about." But the morning after Nov. 3rd, I was ready to spew, and started a Blogger blog just to say what I had to say. I didn't necessarily think I would write a second or third post, much less make it a regular part of my life. In fact, after my first couple of introductory posts, I didn't write again until the Bankruptcy Bill of 05 raised its ugly head on the scene. Furious, I threw myself back into blogging, which meant, of course, reading, researching, networking, and I've been reading, writing and researching ever since.
I would also be remiss if I didn't give props to my blogfather* Kyle E. Moore of Comments From Left Field, who was the first person that I actually had a blog conversation with, and who encouraged me to improve my writing. Thought of the day: you never know where a supportive word will take someone, so if you notice someone or something worth encouraging - do it!
Of course to Mike Malloy, whose radio show gives voice to what so many of us are thinking and feeling, whose outrage helps us by knowing that we're not alone in our own outrage, and who has been kind enough to read some of my articles on the air, including the one that caught the attention of my publisher.
And to you all - my family and friends, both blog-wise and in person, who have been along on this ride with me, thank you so much. As I said earlier - if you're a blogger (or even if you're not!), you can do this too. If you've learned to write something every day, that's 90% of the battle. Your voices are needed. Blogging for me was the first step that led to local activism, and then to a book. Blogging doesn't just have to be sitting in front of a computer and ranting to other bloggers - it can be a catalyst for change. It has been for me. As progressives,we may not have the luxury of being babysat by wealthy think-tanks to get our message out there. The Conservative Book Club is not going to buy a gazillion of our books to propel us onto the best-sellers lists. But it is absolutely imperative that everyone with something to say takes the opportunity to say it - while we still have that luxury.
It's difficult to keep up an optimistic viewpoint when we're faced with the daunting opponents of Big Money, Big Media, Big Guns and Big Religion, but as far as I'm concerned, apathy or 'opting out' are luxuries we simply can't afford. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other, regardless of whether we can see a light at the end of the tunnel or not. We have to ask ourselves "What's the right thing to do?" - not the easy thing or the thing that stands the most chance of success. And then we have to do it.
That's my resolution for 2008. I hope that the hard work of so many progressives will come to fruition, and that we will take courage from each other, and give support to each other. This is the only way we can win.
*he hates it when I call him that!