by Joe Siple
It’s 2004. Another era, technologically speaking. The dark ages.
I’m a fairly technological person, in 2004. I spend days working with state-of-the-art video cameras and top-of-the-line editing software. I’m a blogger in a time when blogs are so rare, I’m invited to join a panel to talk about these new “web logs”. Computers don’t intimidate me.
I’m a fairly out-in-the-open person. I spend evenings appearing on television in front of a couple hundred-thousand people. I speak to schools, events, and organizations about being a small-market sportscaster. Putting myself out there doesn’t intimidate me.
Fast-forward to today. It’s 2016. The world has changed. Technology has changed. And even more than either of those things, I have changed. I’m terrified of computers, I kind of hate technology, and I’d prefer to spend my time with my wife and daughters—preferably far away from any kind of spotlight.
Why does any of this matter?
Because I was asked to write this column—and I accepted.
Remember that blog I had way back in 2004? I had some interesting thoughts. Some decent articles. I also had a few where I took more of a stand than I’d be comfortable with today. I wrote things that were more provocative than I would now. And here’s the thing:
That’s the crazy, messed-up, anxiety-inducing issue. It used to be I could write something, decide it’s time had come to go away, and throw it out. End of story. Today? Online? Whatever I write here is going to be available for my kids to read twenty years from now. My grandkids will be able to read it—maybe even their grandkids. Who knows how this will all work?
Part of me thinks, “It’s no big deal. I was young and stupid before. Now I’m old and mature.” The problem is, I’m fully aware that I might still be young and stupid—to my future 50 year-old self.
And yet, I’m compelled to write. I feel the need to put myself out there, ever so slightly. Not in a “This is what I ate for dinner today” way or a “Look at my amazing vacation” way, and certainly not in a “My political candidate is better than yours” way. But some way.
So, what to do?
Here’s what I’ve decided. I’ll write this column, twice a month. I’ll try to find something of potential value to say—possibly use this as an illustration of what happens when a writer has an agent and is hoping, wishing, and praying that the agent will sell his manuscript. And I’ll try to be true to the situation while remaining true to myself.
Then I’ll cross my fingers that future-me, future-my-kids, and future-my-grandkids, won’t find it all painfully embarrassing.