I’ve been finding myself a reluctant to post lately and some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been very consistent. Recently I realized that when I was writing funny posts I seemed to get a lot of hits and comments. Which was great; I even got links from other bloggers and new visitors stopping by. But then I noticed that when my actual life encroached on my posts both comments and visits to my site went down. This was a really disturbing trend. Especially considering that I think my blog sees a lot of my personality and outlook, but not always the in-depth day to day details of my life.
I didn’t know how to react (I mean, a little inadequate, a little letdown, confused) and I’ve been pondering what to do about it a lot. Of course, the knee-jerk reaction is to write more funny posts. And I actually really like to write comedic pieces. I’m usually upbeat and a natural smart-ass (couldn’t you tell?) and it extends easily into writing. Except… I really don’t like the idea of feeling I have to write a certain way to stay entertaining (dance, monkeygirl, dance). I mean, yeah, that’s the point of A LOT of writing – to be entertaining, to have aesthetic value. But I didn’t know if I wanted this blog to be the place for that. I originally intended this blog to be a dumping ground where I could have some fun and write about whatever I felt like, both a creative outlet for me and a place to gather my thoughts, like in a journal. Except with an audience. And, except for the fact that I like to write entertaining, comedic pieces.
Crap. See, I was confused and I started thinking about the nature of blogs. It’s not really a journal because you have and expect an audience. But at the same time, for me, this is not the place I wanted to write pure fictitious works either (i.e. more traditional pieces in which I might take a lot more time and effort to be entertaining). I do other creative writing, as well as write for work, and this blog is different from either of those mediums. I needed to reset not only what I think of and expect a blog to be, but also what I wanted this blog to be.
The other element (and I think the source of all the mixed emotion) of a blog is interaction and community. In any other writing you still expect an audience, but they don’t normally interact with the author. And the fact of the matter is, regardless of what I’m posting, I do crave the interaction. I get so excited whenever I see comments pop up on the screen. There are some amazing people on the web and I like feeling like I’m part of that community. (And the problem with any community, is that you then open yourself up to relying on them, right?) In real life, I don’t normally worry too much about other people’s opinions. I put myself out there, act like me and just let the rest take care of itself. But with the web it’s a little like being blind. In real life you can read peoples’ expressions, hear (and see) their thoughts, get a “feel” for what they’re like, and make connections. Or you realize you’re not connecting with the person and you both go your separate ways. It’s very definitive, in real life, and I never realized how much so until I started blogging. On the web I feel like I’ve made some connections, met like-minded individuals who I’d love to meet in person – but without (and until) that real life component there is always a little bit of doubt.
Forgive me if I’m rambling. I’ve been trying to work through not only what I want to do with this blog, but how I feel about it, how (and why) it’s making me react, and how and why it’s different from other writing I’ve done. And equally, how I react to and think of other peoples’ blogs. There’s something about the mixture of creative process, real life components, and interaction of a blog that stirs up some deep emotions (even though, I think it’s kind of trite to make a blog=life metaphor). It’s different from creating a piece of art (alone) and then trying to get published / put in an art gallery / etc. (alone). With a blog it’s a little like wearing a piece of your creative process in your life (along with your life) everyday. You’re vulnerable, not because you’re putting EVERYTHING out there, but because you’re putting pieces of yourself out there (and creative pieces at that) – without anyone being able to read your expressions, or get a “feel” for your intentions/sincerity.
(It’s such a tangled web, and this is only touching on what a blog can invoke. You want to discount it… I mean, it’s the Internet, and we’ve all inherited a certain amount of bias about the Internet. But anything that can stir so much emotion in its readers/writers is definitely something.)
So what it’s come down to, and the reason I’ve been an inconsistent (or maybe that should be incontinent) poster lately, is that I haven’t been enjoying the (purely internal) pressure. I was starting to feel insecure about my writing, insecure about having/keeping an audience, and feeling like I needed to write funny posts all the time. (And especially when real life interferes, sometimes that’s impossible.) One thing I knew I didn’t want this blog to turn into was something that made me insecure. I originally wanted, and still want, this blog to be fun.
After all that rambling and hesitating and unsure musings I’ve decided to keep writing about my real life when I need/want to. Even if that means the posts aren’t always funny. Even if that means I don’t get as many hits or comments. Blogging just hasn’t been as fun lately as it used to be, and it’s a lot harder to write funny pieces when you’re not having any fun.
I’m pretty sure it’ll all come back. I’m also pretty sure that most bloggers have the same occasional mixed emotions about their blogs that I do. And it’s so damn addictive… we’re all in this something together, aren’t we? – the weirdgirl