I’m struggling with this blog. And not just with this particular post. I’m struggling with my whole “in which I overcome my terror of blogging” thing. So far, it’s not working. I’m still terrified.
Right now I am sitting here with a tight, anxious little knot in my chest because I need to write this post tonight, but I want to get to bed, and nothing is flowing easily, even though I have plenty to say, but I don’t seem to know how to get it out right now and, oh yeah, I am thoroughly convinced I’m a boring little turd and no one really wants to read any of this.
Before I launched this blog, I took a Blogging 101 class aimed at aspiring authors. All of the blogging and social networking experts out there seem to agree that every aspiring author, especially authors who are in the process of submitting a novel-length manuscript to agents and editors, should have a blog. Furthermore, the prevailing wisdom insists, any author, including fiction authors, should use the aforementioned blog requirement to create a “brand” that will build a “platform” that will prove you have an “audience” waiting to spend money on your book.
I’ve written a book set in the summer of 1977 about a girl who loves Star Wars. The audience is out there. If my writing is good and the story I’m telling is entertaining (two very big ifs), my novel simply cannot fail to find an audience, blog or no blog. I don’t need to kindle a new flame from cold indifference. George Lucas did that for me 35 years ago!
I mean, if you don’t know that there are legions Star Wars fans all over the planet willing to spend money on just about anything that has any sort of connection to the Star Wars universe, well…..I don’t know what to say to you. Were you born under a rock on Mars two minutes ago?
Anyway, being a habitual follower of rules and a bit of a perfectionist, I tried to create this blog according to the almighty “Writer Blog” rules…though perhaps they are more like guidelines. Either way, rules or guidelines, they have not been working for me.
That said, I’m not ready to give up my blog.
Once upon a time, I went to see a psychic. (OK, maybe more than once upon a time. Don’t judge. It’s cheaper than therapy and often more effective for the non-clinical little issues in life.) Anyway, this particular psychic ignored all of my standard questions about love and destiny.
Instead, she fixed me with this penetrating stare and said, “You have a lot of unfinished creative projects. They are like tin cans tied to your hair, dragging along behind you. Either let them go by giving them up forever, or start finishing what you start.”
Gulp! Not exactly the tall, dark, sexy, wealthy, warmhearted stranger I was hoping she’d see waiting for me in my near future.
So…not ready to give up on this blog forever, but don’t want to add to my metaphysical “tin can” collection of unfinished projects. Need to get the juices flowing.
When I voiced my frustration and dissatisfaction with blogging to my closest friends, who make up approximately 50% of my estimated blog readership, I was told that I needed to open my focus.
“Write about anything that interests you,” they said. “Write about all the funky stuff you like to talk about.”
“Oh no!” I could hear the experts disagreeing. “That will dilute your brand.” (So I relayed the experts’ message to my friends.)
“Why can’t your personality be your brand?” the friends asked.
“Because my personality isn’t that flipping interesting or original,” my inferiority complex wailed.
“Stop whining. Just write something we want to read,” said the friends. “We are reading for pleasure.”
Based on this feedback, I spent some time looking for blogs I enjoyed reading. I found a few (very few) blogs I liked/admired and many, many, many dead or nearly dead blogs with no new posts for well over a year. Usually, the most recent post would say something like “I’m going to take a month/few months/rest/break/vacation from blogging.”
Hmmmmm…don’t want to be one of THOSE bloggers.
After much thinking and soul searching, I’ve decided to take the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi and attempt to apply it to this blog. This blog now declares itself to be joyfully imperfect, impermanent, incomplete…and maybe even slightly unbalanced.
I’m going to keep my 70’s Flashbacks on Fridays because they are fun…until they’re no longer fun. Then I’ll quit posting them. Or maybe I’ll move to the 80’s.
Aside from flashbacks, I’m going to write about whatever I like to talk about. In case you don’t know me very well, here’s a quick sampling of…
Funky Stuff I like to Talk About:
- Healthy eating and weight issues
- Bad/crazy diets I’ve tried
- Writing as a creative process
- Creativity in general
- Books I’ve loved
- Books I’ve hated
- Being a closet Star Wars geek
- Just about anything else that inspires me in the moment
So, to sum up: (1) still afraid of blogging, (2) not ready to quit, (3) wasted money on a blogging class as am now I’m going to ignore the almighty blog/brand/platform rules I learned in the class, (4) slightly new blog direction is imperfect “wabi-sabi” blog, and (5) Dagnabbit! I’m up past 1 am blogging again.
Oh, and comments are ALWAYS welcome and much appreciated!