Don’t Speak, I Know What You’re Thinking

One of the things I initially intended when I set myself the rule that I’d post three times a week on this site, back at the start of 2019 — in the midst of a divorce and trying to find a new structure for myself, as well as a new sense of agency, and having literally no idea that a pandemic was a little over a year away, because who did? — was that I’d share things written elsewhere that I wanted to keep track of, whether they were stories written for print that didn’t appear elsewhere on the internet or simply things that hadn’t appeared publicly for whatever reason.

It’s fair to say that I haven’t actually done that over the past, what, 20 months or so, by this point. Part of it was, simply, that I didn’t get around to it — there was always something else to do, or else I was simply forgetting and ending up writing new posts instead of repurposing old ones. But part of it was that, when I did write things that I would have wanted to share, it wasn’t necessarily a good idea to share them.

A case in point: I did what could, I guess, be considered unpaid consulting for a publisher earlier this year. It didn’t start off that way; it was, instead, a simple question asked by someone at that publisher about something that I can’t share because it’d break confidences. My answer, however, was a short essay, going far bigger than they’d intended, and creating a Unified Theory Of That Publisher’s Public Image that, sure, answered the question but did a bunch of other things, too.

(So many other things, in fact, that I worried that I’d gone too far and wrote a follow-up message that was basically, “I’m sorry if I went overboard.” I hadn’t, I was reassured.)

I couldn’t share something like that, because it was all said in professional confidence, for want of a better way to put it. And so much of the stuff I’d want to post here that was originally written elsewhere falls under that category. The moral of this story may be either, I should shut up elsewhere more often, or perhaps I should publish and be damned, anyway. I’m not sure which, or if it’s either one at all.

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