I move the mouse to the Publish button and click.
Sometimes, my stomach hurts right then.
Other times, I think I nailed it.
When I’m in love with a music album, I almost never agree with the singles the artists choose to release.
My favorite movies often don’t jibe with public opinion.
I don’t particularly enjoy Pablo Picasso’s work. But several of his paintings have sold for more than $100 million each.
I don’t know.
I have no idea what kind of traffic that will generate. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot.
But I do know how I feel about that Clean Copy post.
I think it’s a big, fat wanker festival.
I want to tell stories here. I want to explain to you who I am and why. I want to talk about my failings as a husband and father and human being so that others might benefit in some way by avoiding my sins.
I want to make you feel something, when possible. And God-willing, entertain you.
All the while, my neurosis remains. And more and more, I was seeing my mistakes and typos, and realizing that people were seeing them, each time thinking: What a suck-ass writer this guy is!
My old classmates see it and think: That’s why he was a B student!
My friends see it and think: That’s the Matt I know!
And strangers see it and think: What a stupid turd. Why would I read something this clown wrote ever again?
So, I felt the need to defend myself. I thought that maybe by telling you that I write this stuff in about an hour over my lunch period at work all while trying not to let co-workers see what I’m doing for fear of having to disclose my personal writing to them, that you might forgive my mistakes. That you might think I’m not a moron.
But what does any of that matter?
If you’re going to build a car, build one that doesn’t break.
If you’re going to make a sandwich, make it taste good.
If you’re going to write with the intention of sharing it with others? Make sure your shit is buttoned up. Not your shirt. Your shit.
It’s not that hard for me to take a little extra time to make sure you’re not reading stuff my kindergartener could write. (Just kidding. I’m soooo much better at writing than my five-year-old. We have contests and I always win and then I eat his cookies.)
A portion of everything I just typed is true.
First Impressions Matter
I think they do.
Who am I?
I’m a divorced guy working my shit out. Trying to raise a son. Trying to grow as a human being. Flailing about and being kind of a dork along the way.
Because I let my laundry pile up like an asshole, I didn’t have a lot of my preferred clothes available to wear this morning.
So today, I’m wearing pleated khaki pants and a shirt that’s too large and not cut properly so it blouses out a little at my waist. I look like a total dick.
I don’t really give a shit when I look like a dick at work. I don’t look unprofessional. I just look like I don’t have any fashion sense. Which may or may not be true.
The reason this matters is because a friend of mine really wants me to come to this business networking event after work today.
I have too many chores to do, but the main reason I didn’t want to go is because of my outfit.
For real. Like the time I almost didn’t go out because of that cut on my face.
So you know what I’m going to do?
I’m going to leave work early today. And I’m going to drive to my house. And I’m going to change my outfit before driving downtown for this networking event.
To quote myself: I may have serious issues.
The Real-Time Blogger
As I type, my post went live on Freshly Pressed. They update it on the hour. And they did so at 1 p.m. EST.
This is EXACTLY like this bullshit outfit I’m wearing.
I’m really not an asshole everybody! I know how to dress myself! I just don’t respect my co-workers enough to dress nice for them on a regular basis!
I feel like I need to apologize for what is one of my least-favorite posts—and that it kind of misrepresents the types of stories I prefer to tell.
But that raises the question I started with: What if I’m the idiot with bad taste?
What if my high opinion of my opinions is totally unwarranted?
What if everything that looks white is black, and everything that looks black is white?
What if Conspiracy Keanu really isn’t as hilarious as I think it is?
I just picked up a handful of new followers. Within a few paragraphs here. Whoa.
All these new eyeballs and brains. Watching. Judging. Evaluating whether I warrant their precious time.
It’s a new thing to worry about, everyone. A new thing to trigger my neurosis.
You know what, though?
I don’t really think I have bad taste.
I think maybe these WordPress editors just make mistakes like the rest of us. Like when I let typos slip.
They’re only human, after all.
And I understand how debilitating that ailment can be.
If there’s one thing in this world I’m sure of? It’s that I recognize awesomeness when I see it.
It’s the Good Shit.
And this is good shit. This opportunity to connect with more people.
To exchange ideas.
To grow together.
To make this entire brutal exercise worth the effort.
Not the writing.