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  • When I write, I am hoping that someone reads what I wrote and gets something out of it. Even when I’m writing in a private journal, I’m hoping that at some point in the future, be it a year from now, or maybe thirty years from now, when I am looking back through that journal, it will connect me with what was going on in my life back when I wrote it. So, I’m always writing for someone, even if that someone is me in the future.

    It’s very gratifying to know that someone read what I wrote, and hopefully got something out of it. That tells me that I didn’t write for nothing. I connected with someone else. That’s the goal, after all, the point of the time I spend writing. To connect. Connect with a thought, a feeling, or an inspiration, follow it through to its end, then tie it up with a bow and a picture, and put it out there in hopes that it will strike a chord, resonate, or make someone smile in recognition.

    Cowbird is still my favorite place to do this. When I write a story for Cowbird, I’m not trying to be a good writer. I’m not editing everything to make it just so, trying to get it ready for prime-time and publishing. I’ve learned what’s involved with that kind of writing, and I can do that – I just don’t want to, yet. I don’t have the time, nor patience, for that kind of writing, right now.

    I just try to keep it simple, and weave a story out of the best material I have to work with – my life. I noticed a number of years ago, before I really got back into writing, that I led an interesting life. A lot of interesting things happen around me. Not that I think I, in and of myself, am all that interesting. I’m not. I’m just a regular guy. But, for some reason, interesting things do happen around me. I’m drawn to interesting people, or they to me, and what I see around me fascinates me. I’ve gotten good at capturing it in story. (Or, at least I think I have. Sometimes, like lately, I do have my doubts).
  • I used to think, “I should write some of this stuff down.” Now, I do. Cowbird gave me a great vehicle for doing that. I guess it’s kind of a journal in itself, although not a personal journal. More like a shared journal. A connecting journal.

    Once I got into the habit of doing this, I began to notice more and more interesting things to write about. I began to remember a lot of the interesting things that happened in the past, that I never wrote down, and began writing about them. I have even delved into poetry and fiction writing, a little bit. The fiction always winds up being based on things that actually happened, and I just change the names, write it in third person, and feel the freedom to embellish the details a little more than I normally do. Writer’s license, right? But, unlike really good fiction writers, I don’t have all these fictional worlds just waiting to be created by me. I’m not good at that. I’m better at writing about things that have happened. I guess that makes me more of a historian, and journalist, when it comes to writing genres.

    The poetry, I have to be in the mood to write it, and to read it. When I go back and read some of my poetry, if I’m not in the right mood, I cringe when I read it. All that rhyming, or even free flow poetry, just doesn’t do much for me, when I’m not in a poetic frame of mind.

    I guess it was bound to happen, sooner or later, but lately, I haven’t really felt compelled to write every day. I still get up early in the morning like I always have, but I’ve been doing more reading than writing lately. There’s a part of me that worries that, if I get out of the habit, I’ll stop writing altogether. I honestly think that’s a silly fear – whenever I go a couple days without writing, I find myself itching to write something – anything – because I miss the process of writing. I think it’s now deeply ingrained in my DNA to write, and doubt that I will ever stop.
  • Actually, now that I think about it, even on those days that I don’t write and post something on Cowbird, I usually do write something – a draft of something I may or may not come back to later on, that gets filed in my unfinished folder. Thoughts that aren’t quite ready for prime-time. I suspect I'm probably thinking too much, and being too self-critical, instead of just letting it flow and putting it out there. Maybe I'll stop doing that.

    This piece could well wind up there – but, I think I’ll post it, instead. Why? Because it’s Valentine’s Day, and I just wanted to say that I love all of those who read, and especially those that love, my stories. These connections that we make through story mean the world to me. I love reading yours, as much or sometimes maybe even more than I enjoy posting my own.

    Then there’s those special moments, when someone dedicates a story to me (I’m still beaming from that, Tony!), or when someone reads and loves a bunch of stories from your back-catalogue (loving all the loves lately, Anu!)

    Cowbird love is a pretty groovy thing. I love you guys!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Love, love, love (bup, bud da),
    Love, love, love (bub, bud da)
    Love, love, love (Oom, oom, bup, bud da, bup bud da)
    All you need is love (Bup, bud da, da dah)

    Lennon-McCartney, from All You Need is Love
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Photo Credits: Paul Jarvis, Sylvian Guiheneuc, Jared Erondu, c/o Unsplash.com
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