Stretching Toward the Sun
by Debra DeAngelo
Wow, we’re one year old! We’re so cute when we’re little!
Yes, iPinion is celebrating its first birthday this week, and we’ve come a long way from a random telephone conversation David Lacy and I had about simply cross-linking our own websites.
Hey, what if we just started a website together? Hey, what if we got other writers to join in? What if we formed an actual online syndicate?
Let’s do it!!!
Do you know how?
Let’s do it anyway!!!
We asked other writers we knew to get on board and those writers knew other writers and bloggers, and someone knew a photographer and website designer, and over the year, iPinion gelled into a collection of folks pouring our hearts and souls out to the world, hoping others will take a look.
Thank you, by the way.
Our next goal is to crack the Kindle/iPad market, and start making some money — like, $20 or $30! Per month!
Hey. We’re writers. The bar of financial expectation isn’t very high.
My husband sometimes peers at me and says things like, “So… you’re putting in all this time and effort, worrying and fretting, fighting and arguing. Why. You aren’t even making any money.”
“Because I gave birth to them! What choice do I have?”
You don’t mean my kids. (And by the way, I never got a dime for that either.)
Actually, iPinion really IS our child of sorts. Which casts David into the role of father, and I feel mildly queasy just typing that sentence. If I think about it too long, I may spew all over my keyboard.
Not that Lacy disgusts me. Far from it. If he were any cuter, he’d have a wagging tail. But we go waaaaay back and I just can’t view him “that way,” because he’s almost like my own kid. The one that didn’t give me stretch marks.
However, while working with David on iPinion, as an equal, he slowly transformed before my eyes. Just like with my own kids, there’s a really cool moment when you realize you have to get to know this person all over again. It’s bittersweet, but it’s a relief too. When one person stops being a child, the other can stop being a parent.
But I arrived on this level ground first. David’s not quite there yet. He still calls me his mentor sometimes, and lavishes me with praise and respect (he views my career as some sort of success story, which cracks me the hell up) and I take it in with quiet amusement, and wonder when the disconnect will finally hit him. True, at one time, I was writing for a national syndicate, The Front Porch, which was running in about 45 newspapers. Yes, it seemed like my career was on fire. Right about the time the bottom dropped out of print journalism. Send in the clowns, baby, send in the clowns.
With my syndication hopes dashed, combined with the choking, gasping death of print journalism (and therefore, eventually, my day job), I gave up on “making it.” Resignation is both disheartening and liberating. You can stop fighting and just drift along in the stream. Why bother with all that paddling. Where did it get me. Right back where I started. Screw it.
But then I had that telephone conversation with David, and his enthusiasm reignited something inside me. Maybe. Just maybe…
And then came the others. Whether writing for the first time or launching into their second book, their positive energy rejuvenated my own. Even if we never appear in a Kindle near you, iPinion has been worth it.
So, this week, David had planned to write our first birthday column, but work overwhelmed him. (He has a real career, you see – an English professor at UC Irvine! And he looks up to ME? What a riot.) Time got away from him, so I agreed to pinch-write.
I took a long walk and pondered where I’d go with this column. I could write about the product itself. Or this special synergy we share, this network of people who’ve become almost like family. We have our squabbles and have to kiss and make up. We get sick and there are people who worry about us. We have troubles, and there’s always someone to confide in. We have our successes, and there’s a built-in cheering section.
I could write about the joy of putting your thoughts and feelings into words, and other people reading them and experiencing them as their own. It’s an esoteric rush that writers have, that connection to others through our words, that fuels us. We can’t not write any more than a flower can’t not stretch up to the sun.
How should I capture the satisfaction of seeing an idea become a reality — that joy, and drive, self-discovery and growth, personally and collectively, all swirled into one body of work, stretching its hand out to the ether and longing to feel a grasp. And suddenly I realized that someone else had already written it.
Christy Sillman, our featured columnist this week, writes about her experience of tumbling into iPinion by chance. By friendship. Of choosing to trust someone else’s belief in her more than her own beliefs about herself. Of being intimidated and full of self-doubt, but doing it anyway. Of believing in possibility rather than “reality.” Of feeling the fear, squeezing her eyes shut and just leaping.
And… Omigod, I’m doing it! I’m really doing it!
Omigod, WE are really doing it!
Everything you need to know about iPinion, where it’s been, where it is, and where it’s going – it’s all in Christy’s column. In her allegory.
Just write it. Just put it out there. Even if no one reads it, just write it anyway. Because each of us knows we can’t not stretch up to the sun.