For Those Who Came In Late

Sooo, something kinda weird has happened lately at the Unsanity Files. On Sunday my hit counter looked something like this:

Then, on Monday morning, it did something like this:

Oh, the Vogonity!

Being “Freshly Pressed” has been an exciting ride, and also somewhat terrifying (I have no idea how I’m supposed to even begin checking my comments.)

I’m thrilled to have some new readers out there. You guys are awesome. I hope you hang around for a long time to come. But in the interests of full disclosure I feel I must make this confession:

I am not an expert. On anything.

Okay well, technically I’m an expert at filling out 4473 gun sale background check forms at Walmart. So if you’ve got questions about that I’m your man (Remember that even if you get a confirmation number you still need to check the “Proceed” box. Otherwise you end up looking like a doofus later.)

But as far writing stuff goes? I’m just a nobody. I don’t have anything published (yet). I don’t even have an agent. I’m basically just this guy who’s been writing for five years, and found out, hey, they’ll give a WordPress.com account to just about anyone.

So why should you keep reading? Because I’m a guy just like you. (Actually, from what I’ve seen you’re probably a girl. Lots of estrogen floating around in the creative pool for some reason [not that there’s anything wrong with that]). I’ve faced writer’s block, writer’s depression, and on the good days, writer’s elation.

I’m not here to tell you, “This is how it’s done.” But I can tell you, “This is what’s been working for me.” My main purpose is to encourage and exhort. I know being an unpublished writer is hard. I know how doubt and fear tend to creep in at the edges of your mind and make you wonder whether all your work is ever going to be worth it.

I’m here to tell you to keep going. I’m here to encourage you not to give up even when writing feels pointless.

So if you’re looking for posts like “How To Land An Agent 100% For Sure Every Time, I’m Not Even Kidding” you’re going to have to look elsewhere. I don’t know anything about that.

But what I do know is that the writer’s life is a journey. And this blog in some small measure is a reflection of my own faltering steps along that path. There may be missteps along the way; I still have no idea where any of this is leading. But I’d be honored to have you accompany me along the way.

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29 responses to “For Those Who Came In Late

  1. So…basically you’re me. Without the estrogen. I’ll keep reading anyway. Great minds have to stick together, right?

    • Hopefully you’ll keep reading because I’m like you. 🙂
      As for “great minds” I’m not sure I’m ready to lay claim to that moniker just yet. Glad to have you along for the ride.

  2. Hi Albert,

    Congrats on being “Freshly Pressed”. I am one of the people who found your blog, thanks to that. 🙂 I regularly read blogs featured on Freshly Pressed. But I have subscribed to your blog because I spent a lot of time reading many of your posts and I liked every one of them. The stories are nicely told and the posts on writing are very encouraging. Don’t worry about high expectations from readers because you are on Freshly Pressed now. You are a good writer and that is what brings all the traffic. 🙂

    As for the flood of comments you will have to endure – well, let’s say, it serves as practice for all the fan mail you will have to check when your books get published. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouraging comment! It’s always rewarding when someone says they enjoy my writing. Hopefully I can keep doing whatever it is I’m doing right.

  3. “I don’t know shite…now, let me tell you how to tie your shoes.” That’s me. I have an opinion about everything (and I’ll restate this for the zillionth time: “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one and they all stink.”) and probably 3 stories the come to mind with every sentence of other’s work that I read.

    My brain is like that. I don’t think people CARE about my stories but that’s how I make sense of the world…So, I like reading others…and commenting; all I can say is sorry 🙂

    • The first person who needs to care about your story is you. If keeping this blog has taught me anything its that people respond to writing that comes from somewhere personal and honest.
      “Be yourself” is such cliched advice, but for a writer it’s still important. Write what you love. People will respond.

      • I’ve been blogging since the mid-90s. In truth, what gleaned the highest amount of dedicated readers were my deep, personal posts about being abused.

        After many years of learning and therapy, etc., I’ve learned there are actually a lot of freaks who “get off on” that kind of stuff. Scary and disgusting.

        I don’t write those posts anymore but I do still vent/ have tirades about things and those tend to glean higher numbers, as well. A bit disappointing in humanity, really…

        That’s my finding over the past 15 years or so. I think the majority of people are simply *moved* by things that are deeply emotional — not that they’re all freaks. There are freaks, though, and that isn’t someone I wish to supply.

      • I do write about being a survivor of child abuse. Somehow, I explored how that experience taught me that I am strong. It taught me a lot of things in life. In a way, even though it’s a horrible experience, it is a blessing in disguise.

  4. I don’t always read what’s in Freshly Pressed, but the lima beans and being the writer you aren’t got my attention, so I had to stop by, and I plan to keep coming – so long as you don’t let fame and fortune go to your head : )

    • Probably just the fame really.
      But in all seriousness you’re right. Humility is very important. I work hard to make my blog as good as it can be, but I know I’ve been given unbelievable opportunities that had absolutely nothing to do with me or my ability. Actually, that’s a blog post I’ve got planned for sometime soon.

  5. The Flying Woman

    HA — yes, the writing is why I’m here as well, and it’s why I’ll return — but damn, those pictures are AWESOME. Well done. Hooray for writing with a sense of humor!

  6. Love your post! The “missteps” that you refer to at the end of your post are usually, to me, what makes one’s journey so interesting…. they are the steps that lead you into unchartered territory. Some of my favorite authors are the ones that write straight from life experience; admitting faults, mistakes and screw up… don’t we all make them, and I love to look back and laugh at mine! Here’s to you, your “Freshly Pressed” success and your continuing to put it all out there, for your fellow writers to enjoy!! 🙂

    ~Carol~

  7. Ha. I love your posts. You write crisp and clean. Leave the expert stuff to the expert, who needs em anyway. Keep on keeping on.

  8. It took me ages to find your blog again! I saw it briefly on Freshly Pressed’s front page and really loved the post ‘What to do when you hate your writing’ although I don’t hate my writing. In fact, I think I’m not critical enough. I think I need to write a post about what to do when you love your writing too much. Anyway, I really like your blog now I’ve read it and especially the bio. All best, Cathy Dreyer

  9. Your use of pictures to describe your hit counter made me almost pee my pants laughing – I found your blog that way & I’m subscribed ! I look forward to reading more of your posts – I write myself & hope to get published someday too 🙂

  10. What I like about this blog is that you’re not an expert. You’re just a regular guy, trying to write your reflections. Somehow, it’s the fact that people can relate to you more than anything else.

  11. I found your blog thru “Freshly Pressed” as well. And it was just yesterday so I haven’t had time to read much yet. I’ve been writing since I was a kid and just recently got a couple really good novel-length plots going, instead of just a beginning that peters out.

    I read several books from the library about improving various aspects of writing, pretty much everything from setting and description to dialogue to beginnings, middles, and ends, and copied relevant pages.

    While my blog is about sewing, my novels are fantasy. I always like reading about things that can improve my writing and a blog is in easier-to-digest chunks than those books. 🙂

    And yes, I, too, am female. 🙂

    Don’t stop writing!

  12. I don’t think I’ve ever found a blog with intentions so similar to my own. The things you described here are why I write too. I too believe that the journey is just as important as the destination.

    I’m sure I’ll be commenting more, but excuse me while I go read, well, the rest of your site, most likely.

  13. Keep up the good work. I love you 🙂

  14. As I told one other writer on here, “Hell, knuckle draggers like me aren’t even supposed to know HOW to write….” Hey, it was all I could do to get out of high school.
    Have my own reasons for being here, seriously doubt that fame and fortune will result, lol!
    Life, as well as writing is a journey. Keep on truckin’, Bro….

  15. I am not sure if Freshly pressed — pressed us together.. but all of a sudden your were there in “Read My Subscriptions” So I read.. Awesome on becoming freshly pressed. I am in a class for creative writing, but have been writing for a long time. Mostly poetry, short stories are new. Looking forward to your blog, it is one of a few I will now follow.

    Jen

  16. Hello! I’m one of those that “came in late” through Freshly Pressed and I am very, very glad! I’m a sucker for good stories and yours are really good…and creepy (which is something that I love as well!)

    I hope you continue writing, especially your creepy stories, and when you get published you publish loads of creepy stuff…

    What I’ve read so far reminds me of Stephen King and I love that man’s mind! One of my dreams is to have coffee with his mind, for a whole day… 😉

    I’m also very glad to read that you have your ups and downs – makes you human 🙂

    Keep up the good work young man!! 🙂

  17. @shree…that is on my “things to do list” as well!!! Love him too!

    I love the way you write, what I have read so far (just blogs) b/c it is very comfortable and real.
    I have just published my first book. I self everything-ed it! :oD
    Writing, editing, indexing, cover design, promotion all DYI!

    And guess what?! I am on sale at two book stores in the greater Indianapolis area right now! There are independents, and very open to walk in authors. It was a pleasant surprise I can tell you! I am delighted to be in your group of supportive energy and look forward to what our synergy will create….just now, a quick blog on the hidden treasure of the independent local bookstore for newly published authors!
    And btw, are you Al or Albert or Bert or Alb or :oD hahaha

  18. Congratulations, Albert. I really like the photos, too.

  19. Congratulations Albert…awesome. I am so happy for you.
    I do know what you mean, how you feel. I never knew I could write, even when people would keep telling me I should publish what I write!!!

    I wrote a book which I never expected to get published, but it did. It was the most amazing sensation to hold my published book in my hands, to see my story in print within the cover of a book and my picture on the back. Even more fantastic has been the responses from readers, which has blown me away.

    But, writing continues to be a lonely, senstive, and for me a humbling life. Many times I have considered quiting. Yet when readers comment that my words, whether in a story, poetry, or a blog post have inspired, encouraged, or helped them in some way…they encourage me to continue.

    Great post Albert. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  20. Author Kristen Lamb

    Congratultions on the FP. You deserve it. I knew it was just a matter of time. Really enjoying your posts. Keep going. You are a hard worker and I know you will reach your dreams.

    …and I can say I liked you, knew you and read your blog BEFORE you were famous.

  21. Well, if I wasn’t already taken by the lima beans post, I’m sold now. I realized lately that once my MFA program finishes up, I’m not going to have easy access to a community of writers anymore. You and I (and by the look of your comments, quite a few more) seem to be right in that same place of writing seriously but not-quite-published, and I’m in for all the encouragements and kicks in the pants I can get. I’ll be keeping an eye over here!

  22. Pingback: Here We Go Again | Albert Berg's Unsanity Files

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