I have a staff web page at Stanford. It has some basic information about me along with a portfolio of the design work I’ve done for Stanford University Press over the last decade or so. I’ve also had a blog there, of sorts. The problem is that it’s never been easy to update. For years I’ve resisted putting a bloggy thing on a separate, hosted site that’s easier to use, but I’m finally going to succumb. So here it is. Let’s see if it makes a difference. In the meantime, the last entry from the Stanford Roblog:
I write every day. I am, compared to the average person, a pretty disciplined writer. Compared to the average writer, of course, I’m a lazy slob. I will do anything not to write. This includes staring at Facebook, reading New Yorker cartoons, watching funny toddler videos on YouTube, reading long threads on writer bulletin boards about distraction, looking over my list of outstanding submissions, and digging lint out of the earbuds hole in my iPhone. The one thing I don’t do is blog. Blogging is one of the few things I find more painful than writing. It isn’t even because I can’t think of anything to say. I’m an interesting and self-obsessed person. I can always think of something to say, especially something about me. I would just rather sit and make something up, though. I’d rather wool-gather, as Kay Ryan says. I used to keep a journal. For a long time—years—I “journaled.” The idea was to kind of get the gears warmed up, the way we used to start up the presses and let them run a few minutes before doing any printing. The problem was that I would never get around to any real writing. No stories. No poems (well . . . ok, no poems might be just as well). Just page after page about myself. And when I say self, I mean self. No news whatsoever, no description of anything that actually happened. Sentences started, “I’ve always wondered . . .” or “Really starving right now . . .” or “If I would only . . .”
So I finally quit writing a journal. It was the only way I could make sure I was working on something worth reading. Although my output slowed to a trickle, most of that trickle has been getting published over the last few years, so I think overall it was a good plan. The blog idea has been iffier. It’s kind of between a journal and a publication, but beyond that, the point of it is vague. Originally, like most blogs maybe fifteen years ago, the idea was to take the place of the annual Christmas newsletter, just getting the basic information out to family and friends, without the postage. More recently it’s been to keep myself visible as I labor away on a book with no other writing to show people, but you see, that is—I have decided—dumb. I don’t really need to be that visible until I have something to be visible about, and that would be a book.
So forgive the long silences, and just know that if you’re not seeing anything here, the most interesting thing about me at the moment is that I’m writing fiction. Oh. I just [as of August 2011] got a story accepted at Zyzzyva, one of the first lit mags I submitted to about 25 years ago. So, yeah. I’m writing. Slowly.