I have been hard pressed like new apple cider to come up with what to say about building Radage.org. The web site was under construction for months, and it took a great deal of time that I typically reserve to be creative. I have been living with that sense of loss throughout the entire process. But now I am reasonably happy with the results of my efforts, and it is time to launch the site.
There is so much baked into any name, and I will start off by being presumptuous and assume you will want to know why I called the site Radage. Twenty-three years ago, when I was a secret poet hiding behind an executive desk, it was my penname. All these years later I dared imagine that the domain was still available as a sign that the writing gods were shining down on me, how is that for hubris.
I did hope that finishing the bones of the site and shifting into generating content would push me back into a creative mode and I would churn out multiple paragraphs of brilliant, literary wisdom. Now that I am deep into this first post I realize I was woefully wrong, so I will start with the absolute basics: why did I do it, and what do I hope to accomplish?
In a nutshell, I created Radage.org to be a gathering place for a community of writers and others who choose to be creative, for I believe that being creative is what defines us all as uniquely human.
It has been a hard year for creativity. Most libraries and museums are essentially shuttered, the literary and academic conventions are gone, the face-to-face writing groups are closed, and virtual meeting spaces are the new normal. But I know that in adversity there is room for opportunity. I also believe that nature abhors a vacuum, and there must be others out there who feel the same as I do about expressing themselves during difficult times. So that’s the “why” about Radage.org.
Now comes the difficult part: what do I hope to accomplish? Perhaps the best way to approach this is to describe the first challenge I faced creating Radage.org. I obsessed about crafting a mission statement. At first, I considered this crucially important. Then I realized I was falling into an old pattern of thinking. In a prior life, I was heavily involved with corporations. Marketing was my game, and I was told I was good at it. But I had to walk away from that. The lies and carnivorous nature of that world almost killed me, so my first editorial decision was to pull back from that familiar, toxic pattern. Instead, Radage.org will exist on the organic growth, or failure, of its own identity, just like we all do.
I also wanted to create a safe space for new writers, as well as carve out room for those of us with more experience. There are so many amazing people out there who should be heard. Helping them in their journey will be my way of repaying all those who freely helped me along the way.
This is my hope: Radage.org will succeed or fail not on my merit, but on the participation of a world I have come to admire, the creative world. I envision a truly cooperative effort, born out of a universe of wonderful people who appreciate being creative, just for the sake of it. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying creativity is easy. I used to think that it was. In fact, some of it is quite boring. The drudgery of editing is the bane of my existence. But when I find just the right word, or dependent clause, that finally illuminates what I am trying to say, it can be one of the most cathartic experiences of my life. Perhaps that is truly why I write: to find healing. I will say more about this later, but not now.
So here is the beginning of a new adventure. Our new adventure. But just as I cannot expect you to completely understand me, and why I choose to be creative, I cannot completely understand you, and why you choose to be creative. But I really want you to try and explain it to me, and this is probably as close as I can get to describing the kind of material Radage.org is looking for.