Saturday, September 18, 2010

Getting started

Once upon a time I thought about using another one of my blogs, as a jumping off point for eventually writing a book about being a male cheer coach. Never have seemed to find the time or the self-discipline.

Once upon a time I thought about using cheercoach.blogspot as a personal journal about the trials and tribulations of being a junior high and high school cheer coach.

But it seems like too many cheerleaders and occasionally parents actually read it and once in a while I'd strike a nerve or otherwise just say something that someone would take issue with. So, in the interest of good PR, I tried to totally back off of that. Which left that blog kind of a fun photo album/scrap book for my cheer squad and a (hopefully) a means of communicating to both those cheerleaders and their parents. Frankly, technology carries on and Facebook gets used a lot more for the things that blogs used to and that blog tends to get neglected.

Writing teacher Anne Lamott says that it's important to allow yourself some "shitty first-drafts." Not only would I like to have the freedom to write things that could be accidentally misinterpreted by anyone. I absolutely love my cheerleaders and mascots. I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to mentor them. Needless to say, the last thing I'd ever want to do would be to wound, offend, alienate any of them. But what I need as a writer is the opportunity to be raw, subjective, interpretive, occasionally even wrong.

In her book on writing, 'Bird by Bird,' Lamott also talks about how blurring the line between fact and fiction is actually a way to develop meaning and content. As Pablo Picasso once said, "Art is the lie that tells the truth."

I don't intend to deliberately falsify my experiences or misrepresent my students, but I want this blog to be a repository of rough drafts and I don't know whether anything here will go nowhere else but here or be used for fiction, or actually become that book about coaching. So, here we are.

I may or may not use pseudonyms or real names. I may or may not use composite characters. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is very likely, but don't count on it- especially if you're a lawyer. All the memories and opinions on this blog are my own and do not represent those of any of the schools where I have worked, or any of the students I have coached nor their parents. 

Unlike all my other blogs, I won't have this one feed into my facebook page and I won't share it with current or recent cheerleaders or post links to it on my other blogs. Don't get me wrong, I compulsively want readers, but to retain the liberty to write "shitty rough-drafts," I have to make sure that I have an entirely different audience than usual. 

Those of you I invite who have known me or read me for a while, please be patient with me if I post some old works just to get this thing going.

I really would like to be more disciplined as a writer, but more important I'd like to reflect on all the things I've learned and the kids I've known as a cheer coach, and share my perspectives on what I go through- so here we are.

Last night, driving home from the football game, my head was full of ideas for things to start writing already. This morning, it's as if they've evaporated- plus the house needs to get cleaned. But, now that I have this blog set up, I'll have a venue to come to when I have free time. So please come back and consider becoming a "follower," bookmarking this site, or subscribing to the RSS feed. 

No comments: