Hangin’ at the Community Pool (I brought my floaties)

lone woman at pool

Wading the Community Pool

Ever feel like you just did the most graceful cartwheel of your life?  But somebody recorded it and you realize you look like you did a sideways donkey-kick (and your butt looks bigger than you remember).

And so it begins. The obsession. I wake at night and obsess about my blog, its stats, views, likes, and comments.  Do they get me? Am I relatable? Please like me. I lose sleep. I write inside my head but fail to rouse to make it concrete. Often, my best work becomes lost somewhere between slumber and awakening. I curse (fuck), I am certain it was good, but now lost forever (double-fuck). The artistic genius that inhabited my brain from 2:37am – 3:46am (ish) is now dead.

It will begin again, anytime I am near an electronic device. My stomach in knots… Don’t check it, doooooon’t check those fucking stats…. and yet, I refresh, I wait, I refresh, I imagine my next post, I start writing my next post in my head, I refresh, and in all of this, I forget to actually do the one thing that I set out to do, which is to write and make it relative.

I made the mistake of asking my mom what she thought of “pimps…”, as I now refer to my first post (i.e., my earlier work). In fact, I’m going to just call it pimps from here on out, because it’s fun….no other reason. “Pimps.” Say it yourself. Purse your lips together and say “pimps.” How often do you get to say it? My guess is, not enough… not enough.

Here is a bit of my mother’s email:

“It is amazing but way too long…wonder if your venue should be something other than a blog?

It is my understanding that blogs are to be many, many things, but not long.

Should you perhaps turn your sights to short stories?

Or somehow make that piece one that can be turned into a two day blog.

I’m not an expert on blogs but if I were looking for a way to connect to a blogger I believe I would have about 45 seconds to grab some quick inspiration and then come back tomorrow for another fix…..I still believe you need to either think of another  venue for your talents or find a way to hit it hard with fewer words. People want short and powerful not too lengthy.

SHORT STORIES? How the fridge will I now switch mediums/venues to start writing short stories?  Jesus Christ, I was confused enough just starting THIS site. Do people just publish ONE short story? It’s normally a “collection,” mom. What would the title be: Pimps…, a short story? And a two-day blog, what even is that??  Oh, and by the way, thanks Mom… no more sleepless nights for me! No siree!

 

I also asked my sister. Pretty sure it went something like this: “It’s waaaaaay tooooo loooong, and while you’re writing, try to make it interesting.” Okay, I may have made that last bit up, but GOD, I knew there was a reason that I was going to keep this blogging thing to myself.

Has it come to this? Whose approval would fill me? I am highly competitive (except when it comes to something that requires actively or passively sweating). I want to know that this one thing is both artistic and able to be connected to; both provoking and funny, profound yet relatable, relevant and yet somehow still symbolic. Didn’t someone once tell me I could write?

My mind said, “who in their ‘right’ mind would want to read this stream of consciousness, immature bullshit?” But seeing bloggers like Mimi Smartypants and No Wire Hangers, Ever be so freaking awesome, entertaining, and relatable (and pardon me, not comparing them to my immature bullshit) made me trust in mankind. Period.  “I can do this, I am doing this.”

Seven days ago (but who’s counting), I had for a moment, a real boost in self-confidence and sent a successful blogger an e-mail asking her to check out my first post “Pimps, dissonance, and the human condition” (aka “Searching for Pretty Woman”).  I had no idea whether or not she’d respond and bam, within twenty minutes my heart was soaring: you like me…right now….you like me (cue Sally Field moment). She told me I was relatable, and that that is the tough part, that “being relatable” part. She also gave me some constructive criticism: shorten the posts.

So the question? What is it I want to accomplish?

If a lack of “likes” or “follows” (and how it plays on my self-esteem) is in part what fuels my obsession, then turning my attention to some blog know-how (if you will) has been my next step. A caveat to this whole bloggin’ life, according to HeatherBlog, is: don’t allow your self-worth to become correlated with how many likes and follows (in “How to get more blog traffic”) …Yikes, that’s a bitter, bitter pill for a girl like me. Not base my self-worth on others’ opinions? Blasphemy, Heather!  From where would I attain my self-image?

At the end of the day, perhaps I need to just.be.real. I know myself. Of-fucking-course there is some remote form of ego-building and ego-seeking going on. I want everything I do to be noticeably worthy.

For now, I will continue to hang at the Daily Post’s Community Pool for feedback, inspiration, criticism, and maybe praise.  I have been brave enough to wade in its waters but have not swam its depths or gone all in; neither jumped in with the fury of a cannonball nor elegantly swan dived. You’ve seen me there, I am sure, in a simple one-piece, trying to look casual. When I do make my splash, I am certain it will be with all the grace of a flailing belly-flop and painfully awkward for us all, because I’ll just be doing me.

 

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34 thoughts on “Hangin’ at the Community Pool (I brought my floaties)

  1. I think you are straight up hilarious. I love your voice. You have to check out this cool site called yeahwrite.me

    They host a weekly writing competition and you get votes for the top 3 and the do an editors choice too. It’s AWESOME. I learned A LOT about writing, myself, blogging, and more from them. Go here first to see what’s happening this week. http://yeahwrite.me/weekly-writing-challenge-voting-263/
    Also to get a feel for what they do (non fiction, fiction, and 42-word micro stories)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like your first three paragraphs described *exactly* how I’ve been feeling about blogging–but you put it much more eloquently than I could have! I think you could drive yourself insane trying to fit someone else’s definition of what a blog should be. At the end of the day, I think you just have to write for yourself, and it will definitely be too long or too short, too quirky or too mainstream for some people… but it will be perfect for others. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything you’ve written so far–and clearly others have too!–so you must be doing something right!

    Anyway… sorry for the long comment, and keep up the good work! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Addie! This blogging thing can be crazy-making. The more transparent we are, the more vulnerable we feel (at least for me). Keep it up! I almost deleted my post after two hours thinking it was too exposing. Just keep reaching out and keep writing! You have a beautiful voice!

      Like

  3. I think you’re fantastic!! Don’t doubt yourself. So what you do for yourself .. Of others like you, then… You’ve made it to the bonus round. I, too, have waded in the blog pool. I put my big toe in the water, and quickly take it out. My words are kept in my ‘notes’ on my phone. You’ve inspired me.. Perhaps I will step in… Knee deep. The first step was putting on the GD swimsuit, so now that the hard part is over, I may jump in… Head first… Hopefully, I’ll be smart enough to enter at the deep end. Keep up the good work, Carrie! We need more honesty and ‘real talk’ in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay wow. I already want to read everything you’ve written from your comment alone. And Flashblogger? BRILLIANT! Soon you’ll be streak-blogger, running commando (does that only apply to males?) through the Community Pool. Thanks (x 100) for your words, your encouragement, compliments, and bein’ real. Unbelievable.

      Like

  4. I just finished reading this series by Scott Westerfeld and the last book was centered around how obsessed people came with their face rank, basically how popular they were (how many follows/likes). Most of the main characters actions drove me crazy when they were driven by that need to be noticed, but then I realized a lot of it is because I can relate. I feel devastated when I post something I think is fantastic and it gets ignored, but that’s not why I started this. I just wanted motivation to write and I’ve got that so now I just need to battle that obsession with checking how people are reacting. You are totally relatable. I thought this was a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gosh! That means the world. Believe me, I laugh and then scoff at myself multiple times daily. It’s ridiculous. I have noticed (being all of three posts in) that I’m catching my stride and just grateful to hear that others relate. I also have re-realized (if that’s a word) why I love to write. I think I tried to note it in either my “about me” or my “author profile” (can’t remember) that it’s the relating part that makes me feel whole and connected.I also end up with the same overall question at the end of my first post.
      Anyway, I’m rambling. I so truly appreciate your comment! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Carrie! I was just about to drop you a line to let you know what happened to your post, but you figured it out. 🙂 We’d love to have this post on the moonshine grid this weekend (opens Friday afternoon), and we are looking forward to seeing what you might bring us next week. Welcome to yeah write!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Writing and the afterglow | Carrie Douglas

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