Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Evolution Of A Blog

This blog has served many purposes over the past year.

I started this blog January-ish of 2006 simply as a way to vent some frustration that had built up during a very stressful life experience, one in which I felt very powerless. I came under attack and was unable to defend myself for a variety of reasons. It was very demoralizing to have to sit back and let my character be assasinated, my children be maligned, my husband lampooned. So this blog, which was completely private at its inception and for several months afterward, was simply a catharsis; a way to cleanse myself of the bitterness and move on. And it worked. I was able to close that chapter of my life and eventually, to look on it as a learning experience.

I guess, by accident, one of the more well-known bloggers happened upon my blog and linked to it. I began getting comments, and as you know, that's a pretty heady thing. But it wasn't only about comments. It was about finding my voice again...about reclaiming a passion and gaining confidence once again in my ability as a writer.

This blog has also been a place to work through all the really difficult stuff that parenting throws at me, to celebrate the various people in my life who have made me who I am and whom will always have a special place in my heart.

And it's been a place to remember. As I look back on various pieces I have written in 2006, there are a lot of things there that I probably wouldn't remember 20 years from now if I hadn't blogged about them. Sometimes, I live in fear of forgetting, knowing I only have one chance to cememt a moment or an experience into my memory. It's gratifying to know I can look back and read about things that happened, and how those things affected my growth as a mother and a person.

So blogging has been a good thing for me.

But.

Like a lot of things that I do, I do it to excess. I'm not really good at self-denial or moderation. Why I'm not a 700 lb. raging alchoholic sandwiched into the only corner of my home not crammed with collectibles bought on ebay with a serious debt problem resulting from my penchant for freaky sex with young latin american men...is beyond my comprehension.

After blogging for a while, some of the feedback got me to thinking that maybe, just maybe....I could actually become a published author. I've always dreamed about it, but...something has always stood in the way. Often that something was myself. My own foibles and frailties, my fear of failure, my fear of success. And for a long time, I never really believed I had what it took to be a "real" writer. Those of you who so kindly commented on the pieces that I posted gave me the confidence I needed to believe I could do it. At the very least, you have given me the courage to try.

Now I just need to get serious and make it happen.

While discussing the whole book thing with my husband, who has been unfailingly supportive and encouraging, he said to me...

"You know, babe...if you had put as much effort into writing that book as you have into blogging, you could be a published author by now."

He wasn't being critical. He was just making a point. But it really flipping pissed me off. Because he was right.

As a new year is unfolding, my resolutions, as always, are numerous. But contrary to those who have pledged to blog more, I have resolved to blog less. I have, actually, resolved not to blog.

Because with my blog here, singing its siren song of instant gratification, it's too easy to turn away from the laborious and often thoroughly unrewarding task of writing an honest to goodness book, succumb to the evil of self-doubt, and give in to the allure of dashing off an easy little fluff piece to garner comments and bolster my foundering ego.

It just won't work.

Is this good-bye? I don't honestly know. My past experiences tell me that for me, a clean break is best. I'd like to think I could discipline myself to only blog once or twice a week. To only read blogs when I have completed a given set of objectives.

Once, I decided that in order to quite smoking, I would gradually wean myself off of them by cutting down progressively, until I was done with them. It sounds good in theory. But as the number of cigarettes dwindled, I began obsessing over when I was going to smoke, planning my life around when I could smoke, counting the moments until I could smoke. And of course, with all that thinking about smoking, all I wanted to do was....smoke.

That was probably one of the more foolish notions I ever had.

I quit smoking ten years ago, by simply putting them down and walking away. For me, cold turkey is the only way to go, as has been proven several more times since I quit smoking.

So, I think, yes...this has to be the end.

Now I have to decide if I mean it enough to actually click "publish", because if I don't, I'm going to look like a big fat horse's ass when I start blogging again in a week.

I do mean it.

But will I mean it two days from now?

Hell. I don't know.


Post Script:

I realized after I did, in fact click "publish", that the whole thing sounded very much like a thinly veiled plea for protestation and lamentation at my exodus from the blogosphere. But it's really not. Several times over the past year, bloggers I had been reading regularly closed up shop with no explanation or word of good-bye. It was a little unsettling. Did they die or contract some fatal disease? Become a Buddhist Monk or a lifestyle submissive? Are they being held captive by an abusive spouse, tied up for hours on end and forced to urinate in a tin pail?

I'm good. Really good, actually. The aforementioned personal life experience made me stop and take a look at just how good I have it. So no worries.

I'll see ya on the bestseller list.

How's that for self-confidence? Good yeah? I'm working on it.

30 Comments:

  • At 11:27 PM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    Wow.

    Wow wow wow.

    I can only say that your head and heart are in a fantastic place, and you have all the talent you need to make a go of it.

    Maybe you just need to look at the blog as the means to the end instead of the end? "Workshop" your ideas here, use it to figure out what you're writing about...or don't. It can be a resource instead of a hindrance. But then, even Ayelet Waldman shut her blog down because she realized it was getting in the way.

    Do what you gotta do. Then BE SURE to let us know where we can read you. I'll gladly pay for it.

     
  • At 12:17 AM, Blogger Mamma said…

    What you have shared in this blog has been wonderful and peaceful and thought-provoking and just down right bad ass!!!

    Please, please, please let us know when you publish, if you want early readers, anything. I'll be battling to be at the head of the line.

    You've given so much of yourself here, and I just want to thank you. I hope you'll leave it up so we can come back and reflect on earlier posts.

    Wishing you tremendous success...those pages are just waiting for you to grace them with your beautiful words.

    Though I say this with a heavy heart...bon voyage!!

     
  • At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Wander said…

    I too am sad to see you go, but you must do what you must do.
    I definitely want to know when you publish. Your saga on the small town funeral had me on the edge of my chair awaiting the next installment.
    Good luck and it's been a real pleasurable read.

     
  • At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Amy said…

    BA, I so get it. With my writing now, I feel like every thought and idea needs to be potential material to be published, and if it's on the blog, it can't be. I hope you will keep in touch - and keep me posted. I will want an autographed copy, of course.

     
  • At 8:03 AM, Blogger Chrissy said…

    I have to say, you will be missed.

    I've been a lurker for awhile now and enjoy stopping in everyday to read.
    Please let me know when you are published, I'd love to read it.

    Good luck in all you do.
    Peace out.

     
  • At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Antique Mommy said…

    Farewell my friend. You've made a good choice. It's been fun. You've got my email and I expect to hear from you when you a nod from a publisher.

    If you're ever in Dallas...

     
  • At 10:11 AM, Anonymous nina said…

    You go girl! I will find you no matter where you are or what you are doing!

    I was one of the first people to know about this place and have been so excited to see it transform you! I also understand the phases blogs can go through as I sorta just "left" my white picket fence blog to begin a new one where the real me had room to grow.

    See you in the funny papers sweets!

     
  • At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Flybunny said…

    Nooooo not another one! I will miss you so much - you were able to feel not so alone in my world with a spirited child.

    I wish you nothing but the best and will be looking for a best seller soon! As others have said, let us know when you are published, I will be first in line to get it!

    Good luck!!!!!

     
  • At 12:17 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    Oh no! I mean, yay! I mean... Aw hell, I'll miss seeing you in my bloglines like crazy but I can understand your reasons for closing up shop. But I'm going to keep you in my bloglines with the hope that you might, from time to time, do what Liz suggested and use your blog as a workshop.

    I'll miss reading you, lady. Please drop me a line when you get that book published.

     
  • At 1:28 PM, Blogger Natalie said…

    Congratulatons! I think your husband was right. I can't wait to see your book on the shelves. It will be a wonderful read. Best of luck.

     
  • At 1:47 PM, Blogger Rock the Cradle said…

    Don't you just hate it when they're right? And really it's frustrating because they're telling you what you already know, but won't admit to yourself. You've got a good man, there.

    Hell, I'll miss reading you. But I know what it's like to quit something (I smoked once too) and how difficult it is. But you're following your bliss, grrl.

    Good luck, and if you ever need a complete stranger's objective read on anything, let me know. I'll be checking in.

    Thanks for all the inspiration.

     
  • At 3:03 PM, Anonymous violeta said…

    Sorry to see you go, you are really a great author.

     
  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger Oh, The Joys said…

    Well, at least you are nearby...

    I hope you do post somethings for us all to read, but don't get bogged down in the reading, commenting stuff. WRITE.
    YOU CAN DO IT!!

     
  • At 6:06 PM, Blogger luckyzmom said…

    Wow!!!! Thanx for the good reads and good luck.

     
  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger luckyzmom said…

    Wow!!!! Thanks for the great reads and good luck.......

     
  • At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Momish said…

    WOW is right! I will miss reading your thoughtful posts, but look forward to your book. I know it will be a great read.

    Congratulation!

     
  • At 7:06 PM, Anonymous mamatulip said…

    *sigh*

    I'm sad. But I'm happy for you.

    But I'm sad. Because I've only just started reading you and I really really really like your style, what you say and the way you say it.

    So please. Tell me when I can buy your book.

    I'll miss you, for reals.

     
  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    Don't be afraid to come back when the time is right, y'here? (Maybe once you're putting the finishing touches on that manuscript...)

     
  • At 3:47 PM, Blogger Karyn said…

    Feh.

    Okay, I'll be the selfish one who says that THIS SUCKS..... because it does... but that I'm fully behind you doing what you have to do.

    Rock on, BA.

     
  • At 4:09 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicken said…

    I'll miss you. But I know why you are doing it. Good luck, and please keep us in the loop, when you can. I at least expect a link to your book on Amazon!

     
  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger ewe are here said…

    Wow.

    And good luck. With your book. And with life. Hope we do get to see you on the bestseller list!

     
  • At 2:43 PM, Blogger Jess Riley said…

    I'll miss you, too! But I understand completely. Please let me know when that book's ready! I'm happy to help with the "less-fun" part of getting your book out there if I can. :-)

    (Can you still blog once a week? Maybe? Teeny tiny glimmer of hope?)

     
  • At 3:18 PM, Blogger Sandra said…

    BA.... I haven't been blogging for a while 'cause I hurt myself and came by today to catch up with you only to find this.

    The selfish side of me wants to scream NO don't go. Please don't go. If I had to name 5 blogs that I would sincerely miss and that I have authentically grown to respect and admire ... yours would unquestionably be on that list.

    But its because its that good ... you are that good ... that I totally understand why you have to do this. You have so much talent and I cannot wait to read you on the other side. I hope you'll not vanish from the blogosphere completely or if you do that you'll email once in a while.

    I'll miss your words and your perspective and your voice. Lucky the rest of the world will get to see it in print soon too.

    Wishing you everything you want ... and more.

     
  • At 9:55 PM, Blogger kevin said…

    You'll be back.

     
  • At 10:06 PM, Anonymous mothergoosemouse said…

    For what it's worth, I didn't read that thinking that I needed to beg and plead for you to stay. As much as I love to read what you write, I respect your choice.

    And I certainly do expect to see you on the bestseller list. But please don't be too much of a stranger in the meantime.

     
  • At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    Congratulations. I wish you the very best of luck in your writerly endeavours.

     
  • At 8:34 PM, Blogger Mimi said…

    I have enjoyed reading you. I know what you mean, though, about the temptation to blog rather than to write more difficult of substantive or, hell, LONGER pieces with no immediate gratification.

    May your turkey be cold, but your writing hot hot hot.

    (See, if i was paying attention, that would be better written. Good luck!)

     
  • At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Two Knives said…

    Can I take your blog's name?

    Seriously, the best of luck. You are inspirational.

     
  • At 6:55 AM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite said…

    Best of luck. Keep in mind that you can still write for pure personal joy and expression on your blog. I've found it's the lure of reading other blogs that saps up time - time that you could be working on a novel or whatever you want to write.
    Regardless,I wish you all the best and hope to read you again someday soon.

     
  • At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Aaron Pedersen said…

    Blogs may be the downfall of the internet as we know.. They must be stopped before someone is hurt by their long, rambling, lack of point and interest. You are doing the right thing. Now join me in a crusade to bash all the people that clog up the internet with their lengthy, pointless drivel. If something isn't done soon, search engines will retrieve nothing but blogs for all of our future queries.

     

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