Are You Guilty of Bad Blogging

Technically this post is for the Just Write project that Heather started on her blog but it is also for me. It is for me because I am frustrated with my writing.

It is not because I am suffering from writer’s block or anything like that at all. It is because I feel like the words haven’t been flowing from my fingertips and across my screen with the sort of magic and majesty I want. I keep repeating the same phrases and pulling out the same tired rabbits and it is not working for me.

I can attribute part of it to not having as much time to write as I want. My nanowrimo story needs a lot of work and I haven’t had time to do it the way I want to. I feel like there are some inconsistencies with the story and the voice there but I don’t get large blocks of time to write. Instead I have brief moments in which I can do so uninterrupted and unencumbered but that is not enough for me.

It is not enough because I feel like I have something special inside and I need to get it out. I feel like I have a story that is eating me alive and the only way to stop that feeling of indigestion is to write it down and set it free.

But life and responsibilities keep getting in the way so I ignore the write thing to do the right thing.  My son wants to know how I always know what the right thing is and I have to fight not to laugh. It is a reasonable question but the reality is that I am playing this game like everyone else does by the seat of my damn pants.

Don’t get me wrong it is not like I feel like things are out of control or crazy because even when they are I maintain a presence. I am a Taurus and we are freaking rooted to the ground. But there are plenty of times where I sort of look up at the sky and say WTF. There are plenty of times where I think “ok………….now what.”

But that is part of the blessing and joy of this blog because it provides me with another tool and resource to use. It provides me with joy and more laughter than you know but that doesn’t always fix the crazy feeling I get when I feel like I am doing a piss poor job. There are moments where I know that I am guilty of bad blogging. I can blow this thing up and make it 10 times as big and as popular as it is.

I can do so much more with it but I haven’t. The question I ask myself is why haven’t I. It is a reasonable question to ask and one that I need to think about for a bit. It used to be that those things weren’t that important to me so I simply didn’t care but now I am wondering if I need to. Now I am wondering if I need to work harder on building the community and creating a larger readership.

That is the sort of resource that would be very handy for the writing career I am trying to build. It reminds me of a conversation that I have with the kids. I tell them that the day won’t always be perfect and that there will be times when they’ll go to sleep upset about something. But the thing that they must always try for is to go to sleep knowing that they did their best because it is all you can do.

Well, now I am asking myself if I am doing my best. I may not control every aspect of my life but I control quite a bit and I won’t let myself go through life saying that I could have, should have or would have. I have too many of those already and I don’t want anymore. So I am working hard to make sure that they don’t continue, grow or reoccur.

Sometimes I dream of winning the lottery and having enough money to work on my writing. And in these dreams I spend countless hours working on my books. I travel around the world doing research for them and I have great success.

I don’t need to be famous but I wouldn’t mind that success. I wouldn’t mind having enough to live the life I want. I believe in myself but I need to work harder to get out of my own way. I need to do better and avoid becoming my own worst enemy.

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  1. She'sWrite December 4, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Wow. Words can’t describe how excited I am to have found you. Wait. This comment isn’t spam. Keep reading. (I just realized I sounded like those weird spammy things you get.) Anyway, stumbled upon your blog via a tweet and love, love, love it. Such a strong writing voice. 39 books!??!?! Wow. I too am a writer and struggle with the same things you mentioned. I feel like I need more time! Then I tell myself that I could have the time if I just pushed myself harder… Regardless, I do need to get out of my own way. 🙂 Don’t be a stranger.

    • Jack December 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      Hi there. I am glad that you found my little corner of cyberspace.

      I sometimes think that a writer who doesn’t feel tortured or some sort of anguish isn’t a real writer.

      Or maybe that is just how I try to make myself feel better. 😉

  2. Michael A. Robson December 1, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    BTW, the Just Write project sounds great. Reminds me of an old Jerry Seinfeld interview, when he was asked to offer some advice to up and coming comedians (who would participate in comedy seiminars, etc), and Jerry said, to all those up and comers, “JUST WORK”, kind of like the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours, that whatever you think is wrong with your material, just working more and more and more will fix everything. 😀

    • Jack December 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      I am a big fan of the project and the idea of free writing. It does a lot of good- clears your head and helps with that jingle-jangle feeling that I need to write.

  3. Jack November 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    That is a great definition- having the time do whatever you want to do. I can get behind that.

  4. Dina November 30, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I think about finding balance with all the things I have to do and all the things I want to do. It isn’t easy. I’ve decided that true luxury is have the time to do whatever you want.

  5. Sofie Dittmann November 30, 2011 at 5:00 am

    First of all, what IS bad blogging? Then also, if you keep wasting your time beating yourself up over your failures, you won’t have time to work on your successes. That may sound like platitudes, but it’s a fact. If time is an issue, it is up to you to MAKE time, and even if it’s using those brief moments to dictate your story into a voice recorder, or jot words down on napkins.

    The most anybody could ask of you is to try your hardest. You don’t have to BE David Beckham, but you can aspire to be that good (at soccer, not English… 🙂 ). Did you do that? It took Frank McCourt YEARS to find his voice, and then he spat out “Angela’s Ashes” in a fairly short time. You may not have found your voice, yet.

    • Jack November 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Sofie,

      I like what you say and not just because it is in line with what I think.

      Bad blogging is subjective. I love that there are so many different ways to do this and that there are multiple paths to success.

      If people ask for my advice I often tell them to sustain their effort. It makes a significant difference and is a crucial part of success. Very few bloggers see success overnight and few sustain it among those who do.

      • Sofie Dittmann November 30, 2011 at 5:45 pm

        It IS hard to go to work everyday w/ the same enthusiasm when you are unsure of the outcome. I’m struggling w/ that myself. GOOD LUCK! Oh, and thanks for the twitter follow, I just returned the favor!

  6. Spinning Cook November 30, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Talent and discernment, the two-edged sword. Congrats on having it! I may be old-fashioned but I don’t post more than twice a week (day job and 3 kids make it tough) which is a blogging no-no, yet quality matters…quality defines us. I’ll create something really worth reading, or else won’t bother adding to the noise out there. This is why artists struggle with depression, because they care! And aren’t easily satisfied. Very refreshing to hear your angst actually, and sincerely hope you can carve out time to hit the high standard you desire (like this one ;). Cheers, -Ryan

    • Jack November 30, 2011 at 12:42 am

      Hi Ryan,

      Welcome to the blog. I do my best to produce quality content every time. However I use this joint as a cybersandbox so I know that some of it may not be as good as I want it to be.

      I don’t mind because it helps me measure growth and gauge how far I have come.

      But I would much prefer that every post was great than just good. Some of them make me crazy because they don’t work as well as I want them to.

      Still you only get better by practicing and I do that in public. You never know what is going to hit.

      Hope to see you here again.

  7. Jeane November 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Insightful post! I think balancing a life of creation with one fully grounded in reality is always hard for an artist. How do you stay true to your art if you are trying to make a living from it? And at what point does one take their talent for granted and stop striving for audience? Alas, I have no answers other than if your art is truly in you it somehow finds it way out of you.

    • Jack November 30, 2011 at 12:39 am

      Balance for those who have to earn an honest living but wish to create is tough to come by.

      It is a subjective question and consequently the answer varies from person to person.

      Me? I just try to do my best to make it happen. Time will tell whether that works or not.

  8. Bill Dorman November 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    It’s like a musician however; you can be ultra talented but that still might not be a ticket to a certain level of success. The same with writing, you might be cranking out some really powerful stuff but that doesn’t necessarily mean people will be knocking down your door to get it.

    Having said that, what does working harder mean? Longer hours, more intense concentration, more research, all of the above?

    It’s good you have the fire and hopefully it leads you down the road you want to go.

    I think building audience is a good start but does that equate to crossover when it’s time to buy your work? Hmmmm………..

    • Jack November 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      Hi Bill,

      Working harder refers to being smarter. There are things that I can do to be more productive and make more effective use of my time.

      But I expect that at some point it probably will include increasing the number of hours I work on some things.

      When it comes time to buy a larger audience provides numerous benefits- more exposure and more leads. I think that corresponds with opportunity.

  9. Jim Genet November 29, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Love this quote: “It is not enough because I feel like I have something special inside and I need to get it out. I feel like I have a story that is eating me alive and the only way to stop that feeling of indigestion is to write it down and set it free.”

    Much that you write connects with me… this one nailed it. Thanks!

    Now it’s time to write…

    • Jack November 29, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Hi Jim,

      It is nice to see you again. Hope your Thanksgiving was great.

      Some of my favorite work comes from that place in my belly where the fire burns. I am biased, but I like it when others write from that place too.

      Hope to see you again soon.

  10. Tina Glasneck November 29, 2011 at 4:58 am

    A very refreshing and honest post. I will take your advice and get out of my way. Sometimes the only thing stopping us from achieving the “impossible” dream is ourselves. Be inspired!

    • Jack November 29, 2011 at 9:05 am

      Hi Tina,

      I am a fan of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He is responsible for one of my favorite quotes:

      “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.”

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