Urged on by no one, I more or less returned to writing on screen. I had thought to quit. Indeed I quit for some years, without major damage to the literary world. Health and energy, once waxing to wane, now seem mostly wanting.
So, why return to the screen? I do not have the platform I once enjoyed. To write is a major effort. I get nothing for it. There must be some other reason.
I cannot deny the charge of narcissism. Anyone handed a microphone who does not wet himself at the touch will be called a narcissist, usually by other narcissists. I grew a skin thick enough to shed that trouble long ago. I do not write just so someone else will read my words and fawn all over me, although I do enjoy the fawning.
I was happy with my writing habits. I wrote most days while I was off screen. Usually, I ended up sharing my words with some peer or aspirant, or that rarest of finds, a superior. The unclaimed words rest in a dozen long journals addressed to my various children or grandchildren, and to one close friend. There are ten or so more to go before I even fill up enough for all of them. None of my recipients will read the things, but I hope they keep them, so they can hold something I held. I do not think I will ever print a word outside the family, but I came back to the screen, apparently, to do what I did before; explain things to myself.
Let me make this even clearer. I write to inform myself, not to persuade any other, and I have no real need to make a living from what I write. I write for my own information, in order that I may not reach the end of my life on earth with un-interrogated bigotries firmly in place. Since I write to inform myself, I am a self-centered narcissist. Therefore, I serve my purpose in writing when I become informed. Sometimes my readers inform me, either with information, or sentiment. I accept criticism, if not happily, at least with resignation. Critics must criticize. The higher the criticism the deeper it etches in the character.
There are, of course, the trolls.
I resist them, because they bring nothing to me. I am too far resigned from the public platform I once held to think I have to answer every agenda. Some of them are so odious I want to reply, but a moment lost on another fellow’s prejudice does not help me resolve my own.
So, to recap, I am a self-centered narcissist with insular tendencies, which requires a keen self image, abutting on outright arrogance, which is, itself, a word not unknown to me. I am, by my reckoning, then, an arrogant, self-centered, insular narcissist who wants to work on himself and not waste time or energy or health or waking moments.
If you have an agenda you can fit on a bumper sticker, put it there. Leave me as alone as you can. By this I simply mean do not feel obligated to read what I write and, in turn, I will not feel it incumbent upon me to answer every prejudice our giant social network spews out on me.