if it’s not entirely obvious, I am new to the blogging endeavor. My original intention was to write for myself and for relief. I am afflicted, like many others I’m sure, with the trouble of excess thinking. Blogging presented an attractive avenue for relieving that pressure in my head, which gets built up by thoughts, feverishly multiplying with no regard for the spatial limitations of my dainty, girly cranium. Blogging whatever, whenever, but on a daily basis, seems also like a good writing exercise and a fun distraction not without therapeutic value.
Furthermore, I had devised a theory, that blogging every day could be a gateway mechanism to writing every day. It is simple enough right? To date, my creative process has been exclusively governed by fickle caprices of inspiration. I have been wholly at her frantic whim. What better tactic is there for revolt, than the establishment of a writing routine. If I could only form a daily ritual of writing, develop a habit, then maybe I can be free from inspiration’s mercurial clutches and finally finish that cursed book I’ve been writing for over five years. This was the plan, it was a good plan, until I started receiving the occasional “such & such has followed your blog” email. Those I did not anticipate, neither did I foresee the regrettable effect they would have on me. Suddenly I am confounded with the shameful realization that I want more of those emails. I thought I wouldn’t care about that element of blogging, the audience, but in all honesty, I find that I do. It has come as a surprise. It runs quite contrary to my Misanthropic conformation, presenting with the potential for a full-fledged identity crisis. Oh ok, ok, so I am exaggerating, not a full-fledged crisis, I am not that brittle, but it is very troubling. I now seek the approval of strangers?! Is that a pig soaring through the atmosphere?!
Suddenly I find myself concerned with such things, as whether the randomness of my writing runs counter to my new ambition of having/gaining readers, readers who “Like” “comment” and generally participate. Do I need to pick a lane? What is my ambition exactly anyways? Do I want all the readers I can get my hands on or do I want to reach and resonate with those who are most like myself e.g. the misanthropes, the misfits, the over thinkers, the creatives, the hermits? Trolling around WordPress this past week, I have found that lots of bloggers talk about the importance of a consistent blogging tone and subject, they even apologize to their readers if ever they opt to change their writing style. God knows that won’t and can’t be me. I will always reserve the right to unapologetically rant about whatever, whenever, however. Does that mean that I won’t be successful at finding an audience? Oy. Additionally, I wish bloggers who are about some kind of marketing, SEO or otherwise, would STOP “Following” me. I will not follow them back or subscribe to their services. It is a deceptive and intrusive practice and I completely hate it after just a week of my stay in the Bloggisphere. It is SPAM!
Bottom line is, if you read to this point, then obviously you find my prose irresistible, so you have to “Follow” my blog, OR ELSE….or else your cat will get a serious case of upset stomach and throw up partially digested mouse parts all over your house. A pungent stench of catguts will indelibly permeate your residence, forcing you to move out and decreasing the value of your home by at least 40% from its current market value…..or worse, rendering it entirely unsellable. That would be a real shame wouldn’t it? No one wants that to happen to you, less than I. ;P
I am an insect Superhero..or..The perils of fame
In the “About me” section of my profile, I mentioned that for some unknown reason, insects think I am a Superhero. Granted, I treat them with a measure of respect seldom afforded such small creatures, and have been known to carry out elaborate rescue missions of confused bees and disoriented snails. Despite this, I certainly have done nothing to encourage the unfortunate misconception that I am a Superhero. Still, insects idolize me. They build countless effigies in my honor and conduct weekly revelries in my kitchen, sacrificing insect virgins and babies in an effort to earn my favor. But it doesn’t end there. I am frequently accosted by swarms of my insect fans, and mind you, they are not gentle. Unhinged by the mere sight of me, my insect devotees will stop at nothing to get a piece. Steel your nerves, as what I am about to tell you is indeed, disturbing. On a multitude of occasions I have been violently bitten, on my flesh and even on my head. During other, no less traumatic assaults, they have savagely stabbed at me and stolen my blood! Recently, I heard from a loose-lipped Beetle, that my blood has become quite the commodity on the insect black market. Apparently, it is believed to be a potent aphrodisiac, as well as performance-enhancing drug, commonly used for the purpose of increasing the size and overall stamina of the insect erection. There is even a notorious ring of counter-fitters, trying to pass off other, much inferior blood, as mine. It’s all especially hard, since no one can really understand what I am going through, save The Beatles..and Britney.
Breaking News: Mr. Mantis, featured above, is a perfect example of the kind of unseemly characters that haunt my existence. This evening the culprit was able to sneak past my security, unceremoniously landing onto my hand. I swear, it’s like these insects think they own me. I shook him off, but he, being more nimble than I anticipated, jumped onto the handle of my tennis hopper, as seen in photo. Glaring at me with beady eyes, he slowly moved his super weird arms making karate chop gestures in my direction. Little did he know, that It takes more than slow motion karate to intimidate me. I immediately called the Insect Police. Mr. Mantis was able to escape, but not before I snapped this incriminating photograph of the criminal in action. There is a warrant out for his arrest, he is considered long armed and extremely green. Citizens, friends, I implore you, hide your children, he may be preying.
I felt quite exulted today, having written my very first blog entry just last night. My decided resolution is to write one blog entry every single day for a year. I am now a blogger, I can justifiably use the word “blog” as a verb. It is in a very, and I mean very, small way an evolution. It would be reasonable to wonder what was stopping me from trying to blog years ago. I love to read, I love to write, what possible reason could I have had to be so very weary of this endeavor. I know what you are thinking, but it wasn’t so much for fear of inadequacy, I can promise you that, although I wouldn’t rule it out 100% either. I just couldn’t reconcile the idea of writing publicly and for no good reason. What would that say about me? Oddly, as little as I typically care about what people think of me, I do always care that people do not misconstrue what I think about myself. I revere the craft of good writing, it fills me with wonder and awe, but I felt that an initiative to blog, would suggest to others, some random others, that I see myself as someone whose writing deserves an audience. I do not suffer hubris well in others, and certainly do not allow it to burgeon within myself. I know all the arguments against letting yourself be limited by such silly considerations, especially since the blogging medium is by its nature for everyone to enjoy, irrespective of skill. But still, I want it to be known that I do not consider myself a writer, not really anyways. How could I, when amongst so many a great, countless others there are also giants like J. M. Coetzee, Amitav Gosh…or most recently discovered the lovely Geraldine Brooks…never you mind all the dead ones. So yea, it took me years to become comfortable with the idea of blogging. But here I am now, the question that might follow is, why now?
It was actually another blog that inspired me to join this here blogging community. Until that blog, I hadn’t read any where I felt anything really beautiful was happening. In my limited exposure to the blogging world, I’ll confess having had little to no luck estimating any writing beyond mediocre. I found that most of the very few well written blogs are either all about content e.g. opinion, advice, review, instruction or marred by some regrettable stylistic aspiration. Not this one though. Although it is a personal blog about nothing wildly unique or remarkable from a girl around my age, it possesses a beautiful flourish for narrative and meaning. The language is restrained, polished, structured at times rather elegantly and at other times plainly; it presents with a real balance between scenery and insight. In a word, it’s all class. I read it and suddenly, just like that, I wanted to blog. I do not write like the aforementioned blogger, in some ways I am simply not capable, but neither do I aspire to write like that. It is the difference between a beautiful canvas depicting a lovely sprawling landscape and a macabre illustration of a vintage surgical set. I appreciate both in equal measure, but only the second is hanging in my bedroom. Furthermore, I have resolved to free-write my blog, as not to get too hung up on anything other than letting thought commit itself to paper i.e. computer screen. Obviously, I hope what I have to say amounts to some kind of substance and maybe develops eventually into something stylistically palatable.
So far, it seems, all I have been able to blog about is blogging. Not exactly reaching for the moon here. I know. But it would appear that a handful of people read my first entry, how anyone finds my obscure little zygote of a blog I have no idea. But if any of you guys are reading this second entry, I wholeheartedly thank you. A few people even followed the blog. Panic. I feel now, to some extent, that I have to offer them something readable. Pressure. Free-writing might become more of an aspiration than a utilized method. I don’t think I can withstand the urge to edit or structure, knowing that I have readers. But I will certainly be trying, I don’t want to be Gainsborough here, I want to be Pollock.
I don’t know yet how I feel about blogging. I certainly find myself having lots and lots of thoughts, I consider myself almost afflicted with too much thinking. Many a nights excess of thinking keeps me up well past my body’s preference, and to the detriment of my ability to function in the following day. There is no real unifying theme to this annoying, unruly thinking surplus. Furthermore, the thoughts are not even cohesive, there is hardly ever a story told, an idea fleshed out or a resolution found. The mind has become increasingly lazy, unwilling to build anything of value. It feels like fishing for say salmon, a nice fat fish that a jolly fat chef will pay handsomely for at the market, but instead all that burdens the fishnets is by-catch. Random, small, unappetizing underwater creatures of not much substance or consequence. My thoughts have lately become mostly by-catch. I have theorized that the sluggish fisherman that is my brain is so because I have failed to exercise him, to nourish him, to love him even. I’ll confess I have stopped reading. Having spent most of my life an avid reader, I now feel quite paralyzed about it. I bought a book at the airport last week, but I can’t bring myself to start reading it. I don’t know what this obdurate resistance is about. It is as if my brain is afraid to be stirred, having settled into a slumber. Is the hibernation so sweet that it won’t allow itself to be roused. I think in some way blogging is perhaps the first step to finding out what has been blocking me. Whatever it is, it feels like an unwinding of a yarn, like an undoing of some kind. If all cells in the body are renewed every seven years, then I think this current version of me is quite different from the other four. I feel like I am evolving and devolving in this 5th cycle, simultaneously.
But I don’t know that I should be quite so candid on a public blog, this is the other thing which has always stopped me from writing in one, I am almost terminally honest, honest about myself. My flaws & weaknesses have never bothered me, and I never cared if they were seen. I am proud to say that I have seldom been governed by my ego. Most people have a shell, it is formed of a survival instinct, which instructs us that it is beneficial to be perceived a certain way. I know the ways I ought to be perceived, the ways which would be most beneficial to me; erudite, educated, sharp, keen, informed, charming, witty. I am not most of those things in my current self assessment, maybe just half of some of them. I could fake it, although increasingly I find it harder and less rewarding. But if I want to commit to a blog, for the purpose of understanding, exploring and most importantly unblocking, then I have to give in to the potentially dangerous impulse of being even more honest than usual. Expose the by-catch. Radical honesty, although claimed by many, is not at all common or easy, because it’s counter intuitive to that most primal of instincts i.e. survival. Even as I write this, I wonder who comes through between my words, whom would a random person reading this blog see in it, can I be honest and still seem impressive or interesting? I’ll confess, I always found myself interesting, but do less so now, still I have the urge to write with at least that one superfluous consideration, to seem interesting. I’ll be trying not to. My only consideration should be the truth. Although that might be dishonesty already. I can’t self examine this thoroughly just yet. I know however, that I don’t want to construct some careful reflection of who I want people to think I am. If there is any pleasure to be found in this blogging experiment, then it has to be about the truth of things.
I might not be able to start reading again yet…… I think the death of my grandmother has something to do with this by the way, but I can confess that the reading had tapered off long before this earth shattering event. I digressed. I might not be able to start reading again, yet, but I can start writing, start working on that fisherman, on the salmon….or even just the by-catch. I read recently in some article, I still read those on occasion, that there is an increasing trend in fine cuisine to actually use the by-catch as apposed to waste it. Chefs are becoming hip to creating delicious nightly specials out of these random, previously unwanted sea offerings. It’s respectable and trendy, it aligns with the apparent necessity for conservation. The planet can only take so much abuse from its most heinous parasite, the human. Again I digressed. Perhaps I don’t need to catch the salmon to put a good meal on the table, perhaps I can just work my way through the by-catch and cook up something good too. This blog is already making me formulate my thoughts to completion. I feel accomplished. It’s like the equivalent of getting back to the gym after a long hiatus and walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It’s not much, but it’s a step in the right direction. Soon enough I’ll be running on that treadmill, or catching big fish…or cooking by-catch. Tonight’s dinner special, a smorgasbord of mixed metaphors. It’s a mess. Welcome back, brain.