Thursday, January 21, 2010

In the mirror

I unsubscribed from one of my (formerly) favorite blogs recently. I fought it as long as I could, but you see, there was this one day and this one post and I just couldn't take it any more.

The decision didn't come lightly -- I tend to be pretty loyal to my blog list. I'd been reading that blog for probably two years. When I first signed on, this blogger wrote about his/her kids and his/her spouse (yes, I'm being intentionally vague) and the perils of parenting, and other personal issues. It was funny and crass and irreverent, with lots of swearing, just they way I like it. It was a real homespun kind of blog; no pretensions, just sayin' it like it was, balls and all.

Then, last year the book was published and a new book begun. Posts dropped way off, but I can totally understand that; shit happens, you know? I certainly have no right to tell anyone they're not posting enough. (snort!)

The problem was when the posts did come. Every word was agonized over to provide maximum impact, every drop of spontaneity squeezed out. I don't know enough about writing to be able to explain it in real words, but I'm guessing you can see what I'm saying. The language became so contrived that it was too embarrassing for me to read, and that's saying a lot.

Worst part is, I totally get that contrived thing. After my first Nano I spent way too much time reading about the craft of writing and learning all the horrid newbie mistakes you should NEVER EVER MAKE, and in the process I pretty much paralyzed myself into a Grade A Writer's Block. Even now, I am pretty confident that I edit the life right out of just about everything I write.

And that's probably why I couldn't handle reading the blog any more -- couldn't stand the awkwardness from seeing myself in that mirror.

The day came when I realized the suckage outweighed the amusement and I clicked the 'unsubscribe' button.

And I've been afraid to post ever since.


  1. I relate to so much in this post! I did Nano for the first time this year and its been really hard to blog afterwards. I stalked Story Fix, and read lots of tips. The writing hang over lasted so long I don't know that I want to do it again.

    Also challenging is that I love home blogs. But there is a shortage of crass, heathen home blogs. Lots of southern, Christian living blogs. They do a great job for their audience, but I always leave feeling a little bad about myself and a touch more willing to pander to this audience.

    Just a week ago I cleared out the many blogs I had subscribed to. Went from 80 to 44. And anything that didn't make me totally happy- cut. It feels kind of good. Refreshing. And I can actually read stuff now.

    Anyhow, I wouldn't feel bad about cutting this blog. Your paths/preferences aligned for a period of time. And now they don't. And that's okay. :-)

  2. Yeah, I just reread your post and I feel a little dumb. And way off base. LOL. I'd like to change my pat advice to:

    Be fearless.

    Remember what makes you happy. Give yourself permission to write crappy, lifeless posts. (Which this is not by the way.) And finally, rock on with your bad self.

  3. I just want to say that I miss hearing about whatever is going through your mind. It was always fun to have a peek.

  4. Virg - Both your comments were great. I, too, slashed my blog list by 50% after my first NaNo and wondered whether I would ever do it again. I did, but only after admitting to myself that I was not doing it to write anything for publication, just for the joy of seeing what would happen.

    My second NaNo was harder (didn't like my story as much) but the rebound/hangover was muchly reduced. I hope you do it again this year.

    And I promise to get my head screwed on right here pretty soon. Jan-Feb are my Dark Days, waiting for the sun to return.

  5. Karen - thanks for the kind words! I hope to find a focus and continue babbling on for the foreseeable future. :)


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