Monday, July 17, 2006

I give up

Yesterday, Fringes put up a post that discussed her reasons for blogging and asking her readers what they did to get out of a blogging funk. Reading this post made me think about why I started this blog in the first place and the direction it's been going in lately.

When I first started this blog, I had no idea what I was doing. I just figured I'd do it because everyone else had one and who knows, it might be fun. I didn't know the first thing about what I would say or if anyone would even read it but really, I didn't care. I puttered along for the first few months, studying other blogs I liked and working on the formula for my own. I still didn't have any readers but again, it didn't really matter. Then people did start reading it and suddenly I felt all this pressure to actually say something instead of just posting whatever random thought came into my head. I didn't know how people would respond to the stuff I was writing but overall, it's been a pretty positive experience.

Now, eight months into it, I still have absolutely no clue what I'm doing. There is no organization here, no theme, no rules. There is no pattern to the way I post or what I write about; every day is just as much a surprise to you as it is to me. I never know if anyone is going to like what I've written or if they'll just ignore it and keep going. I feel like it's made me a better writer but in a lot of ways, it's detracted from what I consider to be "real" writing. To me, a blog is just another way of talking to yourself, which I do a lot. What I do here requires no skill, no real talent, so I don't view it as "real" work. Most days, I just want to delete the whole thing and start over again in anonymity but I haven't. Not yet, at least.

So, my reason for this post is this: I want to know what you, all five of you who read this, think. Should I keep going or just delete the blog and start over? Is there something I could be doing better? Is there something you'd like me to write about more or something you wish I'd shut up about? I'm turning it over to you now. Consider this blog yours for the next couple of days or so. Tell me what I'm doing wrong, ask me 20 questions, ask me to link to your book or your project, I don't care. Like I said, this space is yours. Talk to me.

P.S. If this seems at all incoherent, it's because I'm really, really tired and I just want to crawl in bed and sleep for three days.


Blogger Rebecca Jane said...

Getting to know a stranger's mind is always a remarkable thing. I'm grateful that you post, and I read you now and then. Sleep well then keep blogging!

7/17/2006 3:47 PM  
Blogger jason evans said...

I'm new to your blog, so I don't have the benefit of knowing the past months. My only advice would be that whatever you chose to do, make sure you, the person, shines through. That personal connection is what is irrepleacable. Blogs takes many forms and themes, but the good ones all have this sense of personality in common.

7/17/2006 4:03 PM  
Anonymous fringes said...

When I was a little girl, I'd look in a mirror and see nothing. There was nothing interesting, nothing special, only a face with ears, nose and eyes like anyone else. I mentioned this to my mother and she explained that since it's my face and I see it 1,000 times a day, I won't find anything special unless I'm really looking. Or until someone else points it out. Or until something begins to hurt.

I think that applies to these introspective spaces we've created, Rebecca. We visit other blogs and see something special in those other places that we don't see in ours because, yes, we see our own faces in our own blogs 1,000 times a day. There are days we won't see anything different in our own blogs unless we're really looking or until someone points it out. Or until something begins to hurt.

Keep blogging and writing with your heart, not the hearts of your readers. This is your space, not ours. We're reading, looking for something special that we may not necessarily find in our own work. The exchange of compassion and experiences is the reason we're all here for each other.

7/17/2006 4:05 PM  
Blogger Lex Ham Rand said...

I love to read your blog simply because you offer an unvarnished look into the parts of your life and your thoughts that you feel are worth sharing. You ask questions. You comment on other blogs with sensitivity and interest. You explore the creative process, you muse about love and art and writing, and you post great pictures.

So, please, keep blogging. Daily events, cool poems, intriguing pictures. I find it interesting! If you like writing it, I like reading it, and that's really all there is to it.

7/17/2006 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Neil said...

Definitely don't delete what you have now. You'll find it interesting to see how you change through time. Unless you're writing a blog about a certain subject (cars, movies, book reviews, etc.) your blog is supposed to be a little defocused. It is mostly for you. But that also means you can do whatever you want. You can start to write more for an audience. You can write rants about George Bush. Even if you only have five people reading this, it's exciting to have what you say read by anyone, especially so soon after you've written it. No one is going to read your novel for a year...

7/17/2006 6:47 PM  
Blogger Quinn said...

So, here I am, #5, and I'm going to make it unanimous. Keep going. If it helps, think of your blog as a writing journal, a place to "try out a new step in the dance," as one poet said (no, I can't remember who - and I'm paraphrasing so there), before putting it into your "real" writing. If you aren't already keeping some kind of paper writing journal - a place to record thoughts, overheard conversations, images, sudden epiphanies - I highly recomend it, but that's not a commandment or requirement. I often panic when I find myself without my pocket diary or a notebook.

7/17/2006 6:50 PM  
Blogger Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

HAH! You have at least 6 readers!!! The other 5 have already said what needs to be said. Only...if you do start up somewhere new will you tell us?? :)

I struggle with this question too. In my book blog it is easy for me to only write book reviews, etc. (but I long to be able to write creative pieces...they would be poor shadows of what I see other bloggers like yourself creating so I hesitate) but my other blog was supposed to be more of a record of my life and I find myself being brief and somewhat superficial...sharing bits but not the whole...I'm fairly certain only my sister reads that blog and mostly she just laughs at me.

7/17/2006 8:32 PM  
Blogger Chad Simpson said...

Reader (or, more probably, Commenter) #8 says you should keep doing just what you're doing, if for no other reason than the fact that he has your page bookmarked, and is not sure, at this point in time, how to remove it.

7/17/2006 9:10 PM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Please keep blogging. I enjoy reading your blogs and I would miss you if you stopped.
I think blogs are good for the writing process - they get you going, keep you at it and before you know it you've written something that wasn't there before - it's called creating! You can't beat it - and you're so good at it - so keep going!

7/18/2006 3:53 AM  
Blogger J. Newberry said...

Heck, I link to you and I still bookmark you.

I read Writing Blind every day.

Please don't do something so silly as scrapping this. You don't have to have a plan. You don't have to have anything. Besides, as I've said before, I LOVE your writing.

Come, now. Have a cup of hot tea and stop all this crazy thinking.

7/18/2006 8:16 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

My blog is the same exact thing. I never know what is coming up. Flood does a good job by attempting a format. That's nice. If I ever think of a feature I'd like to regularly do, then I would. Some like the randomness of a blog though, never knowing what to expect. Just keep doing what you're doing.

7/18/2006 8:50 AM  
Blogger Voix said...

Keep going and stop worrying about it. Blogs are most interesting when they aren't too self-conscious. Let it flow, baby!

7/18/2006 8:53 AM  
Blogger January said...

Oh, just shut up and blog! :)

I really like coming here, but I guess you have to figure out where you want your blog to go. Think about where you were as a writer before you started your blog, and then think about where you are now. If it's been a positive experience, then keep going.

You have a little bit of a 'tude that comes through (ex. "Poetry is my bitch"). Keep it comin'!

7/18/2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger Gerald Huml said...

The fun part about having a blog is making up the rules as you go along and then changing the rules if you want to. It's your blog. It's your space. Write what you want to on it. I wouldn't worry about losing readers or what they think. No one is forcing them to read your blog.

7/18/2006 12:13 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Keep going. That's an order.

7/18/2006 12:16 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

"Reader (or, more probably, Commenter) #8 says you should keep doing just what you're doing, if for no other reason than the fact that he has your page bookmarked, and is not sure, at this point in time, how to remove it."

Thanks to everyone who offered their encouraging words and to Chad for a completely random response that made me smile.

So, then. We continue.

7/18/2006 4:26 PM  
Blogger Ceebie said...

Please do continue WB...Your blog was forwarded to me by a friend and I turn to it often as well. There is such depth and tone to your writing that so many of us are drawn to (five readers? hah!).

7/19/2006 12:13 PM  
Blogger Southern Writer said...

You must keep going now because I've just discovered you. I like eyour personality, and your honesty is refreshing.

8/01/2006 12:53 AM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Thanks. Mostly I just like to talk about myself and I'll pretty much tell people everything. I have no internal filter, it seems.

8/01/2006 12:54 AM  

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