Sometimes I miss the early days of my blogging career when I didn’t think about who was reading these words and what they thought. I didn’t think twice about whether people commented or if anyone would share my posts.
I just wrote and fell in love with something that was new and exciting.
It took a while to figure it out. It took time to find my voice but I didn’t care. I wrote silly posts likeÂ Bob Denver is not related to John Denver and some serious ones Â too.
Didn’t worry about RSS, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest then. Wasn’t concerned with trying to become the greatest daddy blogger ever nor did I think about whether I was doing a good job of marketing my blog.
Times change. People change. Blogs change.
Now I think about these things, not all the time but they cross my mind. Now you see comments on my Facebook page about how some of the more popular bloggers produce crap and have readers tell them it is gold.
Flip through these pages here and I’ll show you posts about why I think most lists are a joke and how the blog conferences do a lousy job of finding speakers. Sift on through and you’ll probably find a post or two where I talk about how there are cliques of bloggers that select their friends to write to work with them at the “big, fancy publications where you get paid a couple of bucks to write.
You’ll probably find a post or two where I talk about how ego destroys blogs and bloggers. Most of the time I don’t care, but I am human. Sometimes it irks me to see people who have half the talent get where I want to be going.
If my kids were to bring that sort of complaint to me I would ask them if it makes sense to complain or find another way to make it happen. That is the kind of advice I need to live by.
Write now is what I should be doing- writing.
Enough of the jibber jabber and the silly chit chat. Enough of the sour grapes about the people who pump out shit and feeling like mine doesn’t stink. That is a time suck that provides no benefits. So we are going back to the basics
I am going to write with reckless abandon and those who wish to read along can do so or go elsewhere. If you don’t like the content you don’t have to stick around. If you think I update too frequently you don’t have to stick around either.
The goal here is to shake off the rust and get moving. The goal is to just write and let the words flow because there has been a problem here.
I wouldn’t call it writer’s block because I have a million ideas and a ton of partially written drafts, but you could say that I have been constipated. For whatever reason I haven’t written these posts the way I want to or am capable of.
Some of it probably stems from producing content for several different blogs as well as some personal crap that has been pulling me away from here.
I draw the line here. Here is where I make my stand.
What Sort of Content Will We See?
I am glad you asked. The answer is I don’t know. Whatever comes to mind and makes my tiny black heart sing. I offered some writing advice to a friend recently and suggested that she flip through the mental movies in her head and share whatever looks bright and shiny.
So here is something bright and shiny that some of you won’t want to read because it is classified as TMI. So here is your opportunity to click away to a different post here or elsewhere.
And here we…go.
Since my children are in new schools I am just starting to get to know the other parents in their classes. The other day one of the fathers at one of the schools introduced me to his wife. Sounds perfectly normal right?
Well, it is and it isn’t.
I know his wife in ways he probably would prefer that I don’t. But I don’t have fond memories.
There are a couple of people who stand out in my mind for how badly they kissed and she is one of them. It was like being with a St. Bernard.
Every time she kissed me I had to wipe my face off afterwards. She also holds the distinction of having caught me with a tooth so effectively I took my friend and went home.
There is more that I could say but I think we’ll leave it at that.
All I want to do is write and this is where it starts..again.
The passion has been provoked and the flames are flowing freely. You’ll see the results here and on the story blog and maybe a few other places too.
And I can guarantee that I’ll keep going whether you comment or not. Comments are cool, but they aren’t currency.
Essa khan August 26, 2012 at 11:49 am
very Nice ! such topics to write on are very rare now on internet . ..
The JackB August 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm
Louise Sorensen August 26, 2012 at 9:31 am
24 comments is nothing to sneeze at. But you’re right. I’ve come to feel they are meaningless. Yet I continue to leave them.
I’m not a big follower of blogs, too busy with real life, and writing.
But I think your comments apply to (my interest) fiction writing as well as blogs.
There is so much writing advice that says ‘know your reader, write to please your reader…. etc. etc. etc.’
We get so tied up trying to please people we don’t even know, that we don’t try to please ourselves.
It looks to me like many of the best stories are from the writer’s heart. He/she killed off people we liked, took the story in directions wr didn’t want, and ended the story in ways we didn’t agree with.
The stories that are not from a writer’s heart, are repetitious, predictable, formulaic. Ultimately boring.
There are so many people in the world, with so many different ways of seeing things and points of view, we are losing treasures of diversity by submitting, copying and conforming to the norm.
I’m writing my stories from the heart. I can publish (atm) on amazon.
Maybe no one will ever read them. Maybe it doesn’t matter.l
The JackB August 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm
I am grateful for the comments that I receive. Not all of them are useless, many are like little nuggets of gold. I just try to make a point of not relying upon them as being the source of the my blogging engine.
I like your comment about writing from the heart and doing what feels right for you. It makes a significant difference. There is much to be said for writing that way and doing what we can to produce a message that feels true to us.
Annie Andre August 24, 2012 at 5:49 am
The tooth thing is now forever burned in my mind. Thank you jack. Aren’t you afraid that someone like the fanged St Bernard might google you (especially given your ex relationship) and read that passage about her? or do you not care or are you really called Jack?
In any case, I find it really hard to write for myself. I think it has to do with the fact that I am learning how to write through my blog. I enjoy writing but can’t do it well yet. Perhaps if i had the confidence that goes along with skill i would or might care less.
The JackB August 24, 2012 at 9:17 am
It is entirely possible that she might google me. The few people from my real world life that have found this place have had lots of questions about the stories I have shared but I am not real worried about this woman.
I haven’t identified her in a way that would make it likely for most people to recognize her. I suppose if she told people about it then it is possible that someone might figure it out.
However I am guessing she doesn’t want to be known for being remembered this way so I think all parties are safe.
When it comes to writing I think it is quite common for people be hard on themselves and lack confidence in what they produce. Even when you are confident about your abilities it is easy to wonder about the quality.
I hate most of what I write primarily because it just feels/sounds ridiculous to me.
Julie August 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm
I had to read the tooth thing twice to get it. I guess I am slow these days. Completely irrelevant question, but how is it that you’ve already met these parents? I send the kid off from the car line with a,”Good luck,” and even though I have to do a lot with the school admin for him, I never actually SEE anyone. It took me four years to figure out which kid belonged to which parent, and that was purely by accident. I must be doing something really wrong, but at least it’s not slobbery kissing.
The JackB August 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm
@JulieAClearSign:disqus I try to make a point early on to walk the kids in and out of school. That puts me in contact with a lot of parents and when you add that to the committees and things I sign up for it usually means I know a fair number of people.
Granted at the new schools I don’t know as many, but I know a bunch. Some of that also comes from the extracurricular activities. I recognize people from soccer, basketball and baseball.
Gini Dietrich August 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm
Isn’t this life, though? You always work with your friends…or work with those your friends recommend. And we’re human beings so ego will always get in the way. Some of us have really big ones that are detrimental and others are a little more humble. It happened in high school. It happens now. It’s just life.
That said, I really, really, REALLY want to move to Maine, live on the coast, and write fiction full-time. Maybe you’ll join me?
The JackB August 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm
@ginidietrich:disqus It is life and in an ideal world you work with your friends but you don’t limit yourself to only those people. Some people operate in closed circles and I see that as the sort of limitation that causes damage. I want to work with the best people and sometimes that might include people I am not friends with.
Most of the time I don’t care, but my ego exists and maybe it is bigger than it should be. Or maybe it is just one more thing that pushes me.
As for Maine, well I have never been there but I am willing to try. The chance to focus on writing fiction excites me. I spent a chunk of today reading the dictionary because I like expanding my vocabulary.
OTOH, I already do live on the coast so maybe you should head out this way. 🙂
Gini Dietrich August 24, 2012 at 6:34 am
I don’t love the west coast like I do the east coast. Guess we’ll just have to visit one another.
The JackB August 24, 2012 at 9:17 am
Jack Bauer loves the West Coast. I know this because I speak dog.
Gini Dietrich August 24, 2012 at 10:51 am
I know for a fact Jack Bauer likes anywhere his momma likes because he refuses to leave my side.
Hajra August 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm
Once you do write for yourself and not only for audience and in hopes that things will go viral; writing does and will be so much more nicer. Glad to see you write as it is!
The JackB August 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm
Writing is always better when we just write but it helps to have good support and I appreciate you and all the other people who do that.
Jason Konopinski August 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm
It’s good to see you see through the bullshit and write the way you want to write and for your reasons alone. Your integrity and dedication to your craft is what I’ve always admired most about you. Thanks for letting us in.
The JackB August 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm
@jasonkonopinski:disqus Cutting through the bullshit is a process. Sometimes I know I see clearly and sometimes I just don’t. Part of life I guess.
But there is no doubt about the need to practice, practice and practice some more.
Lombardi comes to mind:
â€œOnce you agree upon the price you and your family must pay for success,
it enables you to ignore the minor hurts, the opponentâ€™s pressure, and
the temporary failures.â€
bridgetstraub.com August 23, 2012 at 9:20 am
Everything you just said only goes to prove that there really is no accounting for taste, be it what people read or what St. Bernards they marry, although you can only hope for the guy’s sake that she has improved.
The JackB August 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm
@bridgetstraubcom:disqus Man oh man, I can still remember that moment with more clarity than anyone should. The first circumcision doesn’t bother me because I can’t remember it, but..
Anyhoo, taste is a funny thing. It is part of what make people so very interesting to me. We are all different and what one loves another hates. It is kind of cool.
Mark Harai August 23, 2012 at 6:17 am
Well its about time you’re getting serious about this writing business Josh 😮
I’m looking forward to going where no man has gone before… :p
Take us to your leader…
The JackB August 23, 2012 at 9:20 am
I am doing what I can. 😉
Danny Brown August 23, 2012 at 5:15 am
The best content comes when you write for yourself. Never – NEVER – write for others as your main goal, unless you’re a corporate or educational blog. Write the stuff you’d want to read, and the rest will come – if they’re right for you. If not, it’s a drain on both your times.
Enjoy the freedom, sir.
The JackB August 23, 2012 at 9:19 am
@dannybrown:disqus I quite agree. A personal blog needs to have personality in spades otherwise it is quite useless. This is a marathon and not a sprint.
Abdallah Al-Hakim August 25, 2012 at 10:38 am
excellent point Danny. Just write and let the community debate and converse about your topic. This is one of my favourite exercises whenI enter into social conversations within a community that in some cases don’t even relate to the original post.
The JackB August 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm
@abdallahalhakim:disqus Some of the best posts are generated because of those comments.
Abdallah Al-Hakim August 27, 2012 at 3:48 am
exactly. That is another great point for having an active engaged community.
Vidya Sury August 23, 2012 at 4:25 am
Spot on, Jack. I go through this rather often these days. And yes, it freaks me out when I read an ultra-boring post or a major rant and readers act like it was the next best invention after bread. Sigh.
Quite a hard hitting post, this!
The JackB August 23, 2012 at 9:17 am
It is easy to get caught in the trap. If we are trying to gain more exposure and secure more awareness then it is hard not to pay attention to some things. The question I try to ask myself is whether I am paying attention to things that matter or not.
Certain things should be checked, but not everything is important for all of us. If our posts aren’t filled with passion we are missing out.
Jens P. Berget August 23, 2012 at 1:56 am
I agree Jack. I am also thinking more and more about the marketing side of writing, and sometimes I’m also thinking about whether I’m writing what people want to read, or if I’m writing what I want to write.
That’s a bit like I look at Facebook as well. I see my friends adding the same content over and over again, because that’s the content that are receiving the most likes.
But, what’s the fun in that?
The JackB August 23, 2012 at 9:15 am
If all we want is the same thing as everyone else well then it makes perfect sense to do nothing more than parrot and imitate what others are doing. But if the goal is to do something a bit more, well then we have to step out and blaze a trail.