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.
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.