Saturday, April 4, 2015

I Want to Write about Twitchy Boobs and Stuff

I've been thinking about quitting my blog for awhile now. And then, because my friend Mel is occasionally and freakishly psychic, she just happened to send me this article: I Gotcher Blog-Writin' Advice Right Here. She thought I might be entertained by it (which I was) but probably didn't realize how close it would hit home for me (except for she probably did). It's a long(ish) read, so let me copy/paste the two paragraphs that spoke to me the loudest:
The blogs of writers are often sad, sad things. They go largely unused, acting as empty, gutted monuments to the writer's own lack of blogging productivity. You visit a writer's blog and the last post is from June, 2012. Wind blows sand over a corpse. The comment sections are, two, maybe three people deep (and the author is one of those commenters). One of the most recent posts is a promise to post more posts, to blog more blogs, to blargh more blarghs, and that post was three years ago. Two rats chew on a third rat. The ground is salted and dead. 
Here you're saying, But an agent or a publisher says I have to blog. To which I respond, that agent or publisher is operating on bad information from five years ago. And it was bad information then. Blogging because you have to? What an execrable task. Who wants to read a blog that you feel is an obligation? I want to read something the author wants to write, not filler content meant to prop up a dead thing. This isn't Weekend At Bernie's. "HEY LOOK AT MY BLOG IT'S TOTALLY ALIVE." *waggles dead blog's sunglasses* *forces dead blog to messily eat carrots and dip*
The author of this post, Chuck Wendig, basically put words to everything I've been feeling about my own half-assed blogging endeavors (actually half-assed seems too generous. Let's go with quarter-assed). After reading Wendig's article, here's what I said to Mel:
I've been debating letting my blog go. It sucks too, because there was a time I LOVED my blog. I loved writing little posts about nothing.... Back then my blog was more personal to me. I didn't have any real readers, so I just wrote for myself, and it was cathartic and fun. Then I started writing a book, and my blog became booooooring. Like, I'm bored with it, and that's a bad sign. And now, reading this article, I feel like I really need to just say goodbye to blogging. But then a small part of me doesn't want to let my blog go because it's sort of my baby. It's been with me for six years now and has chronicled a big chunk of my life...
I don't know. I just really miss the days where I wrote pointless posts like "A Herd of Cantaloupes" and "That which is Pretty, Like Unicorns and Roaches and Stuff." Back then, I wrote because I wanted to write; because something quirky was playing in my brain and I had to get it down on paper--or screen. Case in point: Last night, it took me forever to fall asleep because my left boob had a tiny muscle spasm that wouldn't stop. I was so intrigued by the muscle twitch that I couldn't keep my hands off it, and at one point I realized that if anyone walked into the room, it would totally look like I was feeling myself up. Here it occurred to me that this is one of the stupid things that I would have blogged about in the past. But now I only blog about writer's block and word counts. This makes me sad. And makes me want to yawn.

Long story short, writing a book has turned me into a boring blogger. I started my blog way before I started writing a book--before I even knew that I was going to write a book--so back then, I wrote blog posts just to write them. It was my way of chronicling the little nuances of life--those little moments that aren't deep or important, thus forgettable and nonexistent if it wasn't for writing them down (my sister discussed this phenomenon beautifully in her "Remembering the Jelly" post).

NO MORE. I'm sick of my Bernie-blog. I'm done with obligatory blogging performed in a sad attempt to give the impression of life to an otherwise lifeless blog. 

Which means I'm no longer participating in the WIPMarathon Reports (sorry guys. *sniffle*). I will still follow the WIPMarathon Reports from others though. These are, after all, my writing comrades, and I care about the progress they're making on their WIPs. I also still plan to talk about how my novel is coming along once in awhile...but only when I feel like it, not because "it's that time." The schedule serves as great accountability/motivation, but it also serves as one big guilt-trip when I miss the deadline.

Which brings me to my next point: I'm no longer going to feel guilty if I haven't posted in a long time. Like, why should I feel bad? If I wrote in a diary only once a month, no one would care. Why should a blog be different? I mean, I understand the importance of blogging regularly if you want to gain/keep readers. But I don't care about that anymore. I'm done with strategic blogging. My few attempts at it were feeble and lacked heart anyway.

And from this point forward, if I've been MIA from my blog for 90 days straight and I come back to write a post that says "Our hen Princess Buttercup is actually a dude," and that's all my readers get, well, then, that's all they get. No more crushing sense of obligation to give more. Really, I probably won't have many readers left by this point anyway, so GOODBYE PRESSURE. 

I guess none of this makes sense, because the goals I just laid out seem to be creating a really crappy blog in which "Wind blows sand over a corpse" (Wendig). But these are the things I need to change in order to keep blogging. Period. I'd rather have a crappy blog that I enjoy writing than no blog at all.

I love my readers and I want the ones who care to stick around. But someday when I'm 80 years old, I want to remember the jelly. Not word counts. If that means losing what little readers I have left, I'm okay with that. So...*raises glass* Here's a toast to jelly (sorry, I had to say it).

12 comments:

  1. I think boob spasms are an awesome blog topic. But that's just me.

    I agree with the idea of only blogging when you feel like it. There's no point in saying anything unless you have something to say.

    Throughout my first two years as a blogger, I had a lot of energy for blogging and a lot of opinions I wanted to express. These days, not so much. I don't know if it's because I'm busier, or if I just don't have the spark anymore. It might also be because of twitter -- why would I write a whole essay when I can say the same thing in a handful of tweets?

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  2. Right Yael? What better blog post fodder can you get beyond twitchy boobs?

    I agree--"There's no point in saying anything unless you have something to say", and I would add that even if that "something" is random and irrelevant to other people, write it down anyway because YOU care about it.

    Luckily I'm a long-winded person, so twitter doesn't curb my desire to blog. Writing about writing sure does though. Have you ever tried re-doing your blog theme? It sounds funny, but sometimes giving my blog a makeover mentally pushes a 'reset' button for me, and lights a spark for blogging again...at least, for a little while.

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  3. Good for you Jo. Making the decision to live life instead of worrying about your blog is fantastic, and it might be surprising in a month or so to see what comes of that decision!! I'll be here, in the same boat, wondering when blogging stopped being a pleasure and became a chore. Though, forcing myself to write amidst the dirty diapers, 4am wake ups and full time job is probably the right thing to do. But the book is the important write. Right?! (giggles... I know how you love that.) Love you girly!! Hope to talk soon! <3 mel.

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    1. Thanks Mel!

      I don't know, in your case, I almost think pushing through those feelings of 'yuck' to write a post here and there might help you maintain some semblance of sanity, or else you just get buried in diapers and insomnia with nothing to show for it. But yes, the book is the biggie. So if it gets to the point where you only have the time and/or wherewithal to work on one thing, choose the book!

      (And wordplay...you know I love that!)

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  4. Sometimes I think about when I had no readers at all and I could be all long-winded and crap and ramble and make these monstrous posts about my writing because I love being able to look back on it later. My blog has actually become quite a great resource for myself. ^_^ I forget the order I wrote certain stories in sometimes, but it's okay, I can find it on my blog because I was crazy one night and actually dug through all my junk and compiled that information.

    But nowadays, I think, "This post is too long, no one is going to read this." And then I post it anyway because THAT'S HOW I FEEL! You know? And it's my blog and I can do what I want, and if no one wants to read it, what do I care? So no one likes me. It's not like I didn't already know that. ;P

    Fortunately (or unfortunately) I can talk about writing all day. I've been writing for so long, it's like breathing almost, and my family doesn't get it, so I blog about so the two people who always read my blog can tell me I'm not crazy, and I feel a little less like a freak that day.

    Blogging takes time, we might as well do what we want. And again, fortunately or unfortunately, I get so backlogged on ideas for posts that I throw them up every week because I have them. So even when I'm tired of blogging, no one ever knows! Because something is always there, and I look so super organized and crazy, which I am. Of both. So it's good I bulk produce posts, otherwise there would be a lot of "why doesn't the world swallow me whole?!" kind of posts, which is a good way to scare away the audience I do have. Then who would tell me I'm not crazy? Oh, that's right, my siblings. They don't get it, but they will be nice to me when I'm crying.

    And lately, everyone who reads my blog is busy. So I think, "why don't I stop posting because I'm probably getting on their nerves?" But I don't because I don't want to. And besides, they're busy. They're not going to read it anyway.

    So we might as well do what we want. It's OUR space! If nothing else, you'll give yourself something to smile about later.

    And now I've left a super long comment on your blog like a crazy person, but I'm going to leave it like this anyway because that's just how I roll. ^_^

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  5. It's funny Krystal because writing about writing starts to bog me down after awhile, but reading about writing is something I love! And there ARE times I love to write about writing, but what I don't like is the feeling I get after continuously doing it for awhile. I don't like it when writing becomes the theme of my life and I slowly start to lose all the other things that shape it. Over spring break I got a lot of writing done, but I also picked up my compound bow for the first time in over a year and did some archery, and it felt amazing to reawaken another facet of myself that WASN'T writing. Sometimes I need to get out of my writing bubble to live a little, and then I end up with more inspiration to write. Yet when I got the craving to blog about Operation Archery and some of the other things I did over spring break, I decided not to, because "No one wants to read a log of my daily life." And it sucks, because that's what I wanted to write about! I wanted to write about how my grouping of arrows was slightly to the left of the target and how I cleaned out one of my kitchen cupboards and got two baby geese which is probably a disaster waiting to happen. But nooooo. I've got way too much blogging empathy to put my readers through that. Well...screw blogging empathy! I like your take on it. "And then I post it anyway because THAT'S HOW I FEEL," and "It's OUR space!"

    Yeah, Krystal, yeah!

    I think it's brilliant that you blog in bulk and store it away. I wish I could do that. But I blog so sparingly that when I do finally write a post, I'm like "Quick, post it now before you've lost your sad little readership FOREVER."

    Super long comments are my favorite ones, so come back and be crazy anytime. ;) (And for the record, I'm glad you don't ever intend to curb your own blog posts to please people, because I love your blog exactly the way it is!).

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    1. Talk about it!! I've been wanting to take archery lessons for years! It's been hard to find something in my city that's not for children. There's a perfect place about an hour away, but thanks to you mentioning it, I had another look and finally found a couple of great leads for my area!! I'm so excited! ^_^

      Ooh, and talk about the baby geese, too! You're interesting! Not everyone is interesting. Lol! We can't possibly talk about writing all the time without going crazy anyway.

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    2. That's awesome Krystal! I SO hope one of these leads results in you getting to take some archery lessons. I love archery. It's got the same cathartic-feel of shooting, but more elegant, somehow.

      Thanks for saying that I'm interesting (even though I talk about really mundane things when I'm given leeway!).

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  6. Chuck Wendig is freaking awesome. Seriously. I'm glad you were able to find advice that helped you to come to some decisions about what to do with your blog. I've been blogging FOREVER and I don't have many readers and I'm okay with that. There are months I don't post at all, and months when I post all the time, but I gave up feeling guilty about it a long time ago and I feel so much better. You will too.

    And hey, you know I will always be here. Whether you post once a month, or once every six months, I'm not going anywhere. I may email you to find out if you're still alive, but I'll still be here.

    Do whatever you have to to make blogging fun again, or to make it work for you, I think that's awesome. You go girl!

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    1. Chuck Wendig IS awesome. He's the kind of person that makes me feel like a mental basket case as a writer because he's so damn talented.

      I'm glad to hear that there's some hope of me reaching some sort of self-actualization with this whole blogging thing, and I'm excited to be where you are...all nice and guilt-free and "screw it, it's my blog."

      Those lines you wrote about always being here made me mist up. And it's funny because I already knew that, but reading it, the way you worded it, was so damn sweet. So, thank you! *sniffle* And hopefully you know that the same is true for me, with your blog (I'm sure you do).

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  7. I read and loved and tweeted that post of Chuck's as well. He boiled it all down so perfectly. Blog if you want to, about WHAT you want to, when you want to, and never feel bad! That's what I took away.

    I fully realise that non-writers (and heck, writers, too, no doubt) find my blog posts about where I'm at in my current WIP boring as all get-out. But I keep putting them out there, along with my other random posts about why I miss the US and yet why I'm glad I'm in the UK (and then why the UK drives me bananas). All that matters is it's an exercise you enjoy. If that means posting about boob-twitches once every 6 weeks, I am ALL FOR IT :)

    I'll miss reading your updates for WIP Marathon to hear how you're getting on, but I'll just keep my eyes peeled for other twitches, and updates on Twitter :)

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    1. That's what I got out of it too Cheyenne (and I agree--it was a GREAT post). To me, the underlying message of his post wasn't "Writing blogs suck." It was more "Blogs that writers are forcing themselves to write suck." It was a message I really needed to hear.

      I'll insert updates into my regular posts for sure. And for the record I am not even remotely bored with your blog! I may get bored from time to time writing about the writing process, but I love reading about it. Your posts are always so interesting--the way you mix writing updates with gorgeous pics of the UK--so keep them coming!

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