Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Warning: This Is A Positive Post

I subscribe to quite a few other blogs. Unfortunately, the ones I enjoy reading the most rarely or never post anymore... however there are some that still post fairly regularly that I definitely look forward to reading. 

I’m not really too particular on grammatical errors and minor misspells. Entire words being left out as a result of poor reviewing and editing kind of gets under my skin... but I’m pretty forgiving if the content is still solid. 

I like all different kinds of content, as long as feel like I am getting a genuine piece of the writer. For example, I’m not a Christian. However, I subscribe to a couple of Christian blogs that my friends write because they are written from a place of pure authenticity and mostly without judgment. Even when I feel like there is some judgmental qualities to the writing, it still comes across as honest. Therefore, when I read them, I feel like I understand where the author is coming from, even if I don’t necessarily agree. 

Naturally, I do some comparison when I am blog surfing. I look for ways to improve my writing by both acknowledging what I like and what I don’t like about whatever it is I’m reading. I love reading blogs that are satirical and humorous, however it seems like when I attempt this type of writing, it just comes off as mean. Purely speaking my mind seems to work best for me. 

I’ve been wanting to blog for about a week now but whenever I open my computer to do so, there’s nothing there. I made a commitment to only write when I felt compelled to and not just for the sake of writing for fear that I would put together a well-written piece of crap with no real substance to it’s content. I’ve heard from successful writers that this kind of “bad” writing is just as important as “good” writing because at least you don’t get rusty. Then again, others have said that once you put out a garbage blog, even your best pieces of writing immediately lose their value. 

It’s hard to know what to believe. 

I do know one thing. The blogs that I write that discuss my most miserable, confusing, frustrating and sad moments are, without a doubt, my most popular posts. I try and tell myself that it’s because people can relate the most to these ones and that it helps to keep them from feeling alone in their own struggles. However, sometimes I feel like people just like dirt. And the dirtier... the better. 

Maybe that’s why I haven’t written much lately. In general, things are going pretty well in my world. My job is starting to pay fairly well, I have tons of free time to work on my secondary blog (which has been very satisfying), map an outline for my book, draw some pet portraits, and spend time really getting to know and love Tim. I’ve started a day-planner project with Jeremy to help keep him organized with his promotions and free play, learned how to cook some pretty amazing dishes and my bowling has even started to improve. 

But who the hell wants to read about how great everything is going? 

Then again, the other morning I woke up and a friend of mine had posted a blog. I am a new follower and have only been through a couple of her posts, but generally speaking, I like the angle in which she takes. It’s a bit on the “emo” side for my taste... but again, it’s content seems very pure and is relatively well written. 

This particular blog, however, was basically just paragraph after paragraph of a ranting bitch-fest that didn’t really leave the reader (speaking only for me, of course) feeling like anything was gained. It was superficial, condescending and, very sadly, a paradox to all of her other blogs I had read up to that point. 

In all honesty, I kind of let it ruin my morning. 

But then, it did make me think about my blog and the posts that I share... it helped me make a decision on what I mentioned earlier: to write or not to write. It made me ask myself... when I write a post, who am I writing it for? Is it to please an audience or is it simply to get out these swirling thoughts that fill my head and threaten to drive me mad? 

Every once in a while, a new comment will pop up on my blogs. I received this one recently: 

"Hi, Found your site by accident and as you seem very genuine about wanting a career as a writer, can I offer a bit of constructive feedback? Write briefer, people are busy, they want to stick with you, but this was just too long. Your style is accessible, people will like it, make it easy for them to commit. Enjoy the journey:) Sara"

I’ve always known that I write long form blogs. It actually is something that I’ve been focusing on adjusting. This particular comment was posted on an older blog that probably was a bit long... but then again, I remember this great comment that Penn Gillette made at that blogging conference I went to last year. Some people were talking about how short-form is the way to go if you want a successful blog. Just when I was convinced that I was heading in the wrong direction with my verbose ramblings, Penn piped up and said “I’m reading Moby Dick on my kindle right now. Short form, long form, whatever. It doesn’t matter if the content is good.” 

So again, I ask myself... why am I writing and who am I writing for? 

Same with my book... the outline is overwhelming and there’s not an end in sight at the moment. I find myself wondering, am I writing this book because it’s truly what I want to do? Or am I writing it because some asshole commented on my blog to shut up about wanting to do it and just do it already. 

When can I stop worrying so much about what other people think? 

Admittedly, it is getting easier with each “constructive” comment. Especially this one from Sara. She seemed genuinely concerned with helping me reach my goal and she has no idea who I am. Yes, I still jump at the opportunity to defend myself... but the message is landing a lot quicker than it used to. 

No real answer to all of this... except that when I feel like writing, I’m going to write. It may not always be the best piece of work and people may not like it as much as the more “struggle-heavy” posts, but I think as long as I continue coming from a place of authenticity, things will be fine. 

Besides, life always has a way of throwing curve balls at you... I’m sure there will be some form of dirt to catch everyone’s attention again soon. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy all that is sparkling.


4 comments:

  1. Aww! You think I sparkle? I'm secure enough to be ok with that LOL...

    And I think this is a nice easy note to finish another session with. I enjoy reading an entry at peace - not just the dirt - and am happy to be part of your life.

    <3
    TIM

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  2. Nice comment from my friend JT. Thanks for letting me repost.. and happy to hear that it's only convenience of Facebook and not a challenge of leaving comments on here. I'll take feedback wherever I can get it (even if I don't like it - ha!)

    Jt Eggleston: So I'm in the process of reading this and so far (throws on the brit accent) I like it a lot (ok enough of that).

    Your comment about people just liking dirt reminded me of Don Henley's 'Dirty Laundry'. People do like dirt, and drama, and sometimes it's totally self-serving (Getting the voyeuristic view of your life) but I like to believe that more people are actually interested in your views of what your experiencing, rather than just the events (personally I'm at about a 60/40 split).

    Also you ask when can you stop worrying about what other people think. You're very brave for putting your thoughts out in public and to a degree you'll never stop worrying, but if you let it bother you, you'd be writing a journal, not a blog. =)

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  3. Perhaps the writer of the "bitch-fest" blog didn't write it for you. Perhaps she wrote it as an outlet for what she is feeling? Haven't you ever done that? And if they are valid feelings for her, who are you to call what she says "Superficial"? Are you an expert in what she was bitching about? Are you in the same field? No? Then how do you know that this isn't a valid concern that LOTS of people bitch about?
    Not all people who write blogs do it for "readers."
    Myself for example. I keep my blog, because its faster and easier than writing in a diary. I POST my blogs because I have people in my life who care about what I'm feeling, and read my blog to keep up on what I'm feeling, not to "get something out of it." If people read it...awesome. If people don't...oh well.
    Take from this what you will, but keep in mind...people don't like to be called "superficial" and "emo" in a forum like this...say it to people's faces.

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  4. Tina, I must say, I completely disagree with what "Anonymous" wrote (which, by the way, I found incredibly hypocritical). I love your blog and am always interested in what you have to say, even if it's not necessarily "juicy" content. Even more impressively, you take ignorant statements like the one previously written and almost always manage to turn it into a positive learning experience. I applaud your ability to put your life on display, during good or bad or even boring stretches of time. Even if I don't always agree with your opinions, I can always appreciate your willingness to express them with heart and eloquence.

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