Wednesday, August 01, 2007

No Gifts, Please

A year ago today, I sat down with a bunch of jumbled ideas in my head, connected a few dots, filled in a few holes and and knitted together my very first blog entry. I've been told, and I'm not sure that I can disagree, that the first one still qualifies as my best effort to date. Considering I've written, what...nine posts in the last year? (give or take one or two)...I didn't give myself much of a chance to top that intro, did I?

I've read many different blogs over the past several years, and have seen some of them mention their one- or two- or five-year blogiversaries. I wasn't sure if I was going to do the same when mine came around, because let's be's been a rather unceremonious year. (which is why, when I went searching for a pic to add to this post, I immediately chose the badly drawn slice of cake instead of a high-res photo of a perfectly baked, immaculately frosted whole. I don't deserve it.)

When I signed up for my Blogger account, I did it with a few layers of uncertainty as to whether I'd keep it up. A year later, I can say I stuck with it...sort of. I've had the occasional flurry of two or three posts in a week, but for the most part it's been once a week, or worse.

Turns out...and this is the part that I'm still trying to process..."blog" is a verb. (fuckin' action words.)

And here I thought a blog was just something to have to make you look cool so you could say things like, "Hey, go check out my blog." or "I really tell it like it is on my blog." or "They cancelled my blog!!"

Not true. You actually have to work at a blog. You've gotta, um, blog. (see? I told you it was a verb.)

I tried to coerce myself when the new year rolled around to pay more attention to this thing. I set goals. And quickly dismissed them. I gave myself pep talks: "blahblahblah post more often blahblahblah write better blahblahblah getcher ass off that damn couch blah. blah blah.

I spent (and spend) more time reading other people's blogs than working on my own. And in an odd twist, I found myself reading more and more blogs about...blogging. Trying to find a spark or a tip or an "aha!!" to get me motivated.

I read just about everywhere that most good bloggers use, or should use, WordPress. So my neurotic self immediately concluded, "I might not be a good blogger, but if I start using WordPress...ohhhh boy, I'll be more motivated and my blog will be cooler and I'm gonna get better before the ink on my registration page is even dry." This actually stuck in my head for longer than I care to admit. You'll notice, however, that my blogiversary has passed and I've still got a Blogger address. Because I sorta stepped outside myself, shook some sense into myself and said, "Dude!! First concentrate on the blogging part of it...then, if you get a handle on that, then you can go where the cool people blog." (apparently, I spoke to myself using lots of italics.)

The bottom line to this big long one-year-inspired rant is that I enjoy coming here. I'd miss it if I deleted it. I'd just like to discipline myself to come here on a slightly more consistent basis.

It's not that I'm gonna make a big pile of money if I start posting four times a week, and I'm not going to suddenly draw in hundreds upon hundreds of new readers. But there's something satisfying, often therapeutic, about the writing process.

A blog is a unique animal. You can come here, post a few words and a link, and call it a day. If you're feeling particularly whiny, but not particularly motivated, you can log in, say, "My feet hurt. Time for some new shoes." and hit Publish. Done. Or, you can go the route that I seem to take most often, which is to ramble for six or seven thousand words, not knowing when to quit. You can say "fuck" whenever you want, and not worry about censors. That doesn't go over too well in a community newspaper column. (not that I've tried.) And I don't care what anyone's a great word. A versatile word. A powerful word.

I have no idea what my second year will hold, but I hope it delivers more words. And who knows?...maybe for my second blogiversary, I'll announce that I'm moving to WordPress. Meanwhile, I'll try to heed the mantra I learned many many years ago, from one of my favorite teachers: Just write. Just write. Just write.

"Anyone who says he wants to be
a writer and isn't writing, doesn't."
—Ernest Hemingway


  1. Happy birthday, dear blog!

    And many mooooooore...

  2. Just write, just write, just write.

    Under the blue, blue sky.

    With strains of gospel music floating in the wind.