Thursday, February 08, 2007

What I Would Have Written in a Journal if I Still Had One

I'm not sure why but so much is building up in me like a cloud heavy with precipitation.

I'm tired of writing a blog that has no focus. No point. No theme. I'm tired of not knowing what to write about. How to attract a regular audience. How to make ad money of this blog. How to write good enough material to earn links. How to turn my ideas into traffic.

Why do I blog in the first place? To connect to other mamas in the trenches. To feel that I'm being heard. To feel a part of something bigger than me. To feel like I still have "it" enough to know what the hell a blog is without having my babysitter explain it to me because she's younger, cooler and more Web savvy.

I blog to share my experiences. Nothing unique about that. I blog to make a place for myself in the madness of motherhood. A quiet place. A place just for me.

Comments. Yes, I blog for the comments. For the sheer narcissism of comments. For validation. For instant gratification. For the potential that I might have a fledgling fan base.

I blog to see where this experiment takes me. I blog because I'll implode if I don't. I'll be forced to write in plain old lined notebooks, ones that my kids might get their paws on and fill with squiggly marker lines and wiped-off boogers. I blog so I can sort the laundry piles in my mind at the end of the night. There are more darks than lights lately. Far more darks.

I want to make art. I want to write a good book. I want to have a story worthy of telling, of publishing, of selling. A story to be proud of. I want to write a book that elevates me as a writer. That showcases talent. First I have to feel that I'm talented in truth. Writing compelling articles is a very different animal than writing funny memoirs. I want to be funny. I want you to think I'm funny. I want to be exotic. Exciting. Witty. Hilarious.

But I can't fake it. The truth is, I live an average life in suburban Southern California. I have three kids and a helpful, caring husband. My life is not a train wreck. We're not rich. Far from it. Just regular folk trying to make it on one salary. Totally cliche and unoriginal. The truth is, I'm a pretend writer. A blogger without a point. A blogger without a unique skin. This green on green template will have to do until I can afford something better, something sharp.

The truth is I'm too tired at the end of the night, at the end of two school drop off and pick up days like today to write anything more than a grocery list, let alone the chapters of a book or a blog posting.

I want to be a literary genius. Critically acclaimed. But I'm hopelessly average.


At 12:35 AM, Blogger liv said...

Girl, I feel ya. And I cowardly didn't know how to express this at my blog. I want readers, comments, haters (well maybe not so much!) and generally attention. But, I know I don't blog consistently, and worse I don't blog consistently well. I feel like I need to reach into my inner writer and really tap what I want to say. But, some days, I'm just too tired.

ps--and sometimes, sometimes I just wish that people whose blogs I love and comment on from time to time would check me out and comment back. there I've said it. I'm naked now.

At 12:47 AM, Anonymous uberdense said...

call me cuz!


At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're far from average.

Believe me.

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous chris said...

i hear what you're saying, and it's for many of the same reasons that i've thrown in the blogging towel. i really enjoy reading them more than i enjoyed writing mine, so far now, it is what it is. blessings

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Adventures in Baby Fat said...

Well, honey, you've crawled inside my head and taken the words away from me. Seriously. If you ever feel like you're alone in this struggle, this battle, then rest easy that you are not. Far from it.

I was thinking on this very same subject recently. I realized that it's reminiscent of those popularity contests in high school where even in blog-land there is a hierarchy of who is the funniest, craziest, wittiest, whatever. Even if you think they're lame, you secretly (or not so secretly!) wished you could be like them. The lesson we learn there is that those things don't matter as long as you are true to you and who you are. Hard to remember for those of us that love to write, love words, love to be liked and loved.

For what it's worth, I read you faithfully. I'm always excited to see that you have updated your site when I stalk my Bloglines. You are entertaining, honest and real. That's what counts, in my opinion. Count yourself successful in that you've stuck with it, through the good and bad. I'd venture a guess that you've learned about yourself and more about your own creative process through this, perhaps?

And as for what you said, Liv, if that makes you naked, count me in with you because I feel the same way.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Melissa R. Garrett said...

Are you my long-lost twin or something??

At 3:27 PM, Blogger mad muthas said...

oh dear - i think you need a good hard slap (followed immediately by a hug) and i'm too far away to do either.
now come on - there's no such thing as average - and even if there were, why wouldn't it deserve to be celebrated in beautiful words like yours?
you're currently trying to do about five fulltime jobs - this is no time to be beating yourself up! i didn't start writing properly until both kids - yes, only two - were at school. don't expect too much, too soon in terms of productivity. this is to do yourself a disservice - and we need you - yes, we do need you - to work your alchemy and to transform the seemingly mundane into gold with your unique insights, affection and humour. you do this for women everywhere who can see their (sometimes frustrating) reality in a new light, thanks to you.
end of lecture
hug follows (x)

At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Readers are average, writers are exceptional. Everyone thinks they are exceptional, but in the end they realize that they really only been readers. You however, are writing, and as regular as you think it may be, you are still writing, demonstrating how exceptional you are. The moment you stop writing is the moment you become average

At 11:13 AM, Blogger karrie said...

My thoughts. Take them for what you will.

Focus on your book, and seek connection with the trenches here. There are too many mamas out there trying to be *BlogStars*, and aside from a very few, most do not seem to earn wads of cash from their journaling efforts.

Everyone loves comments!

Finally, average can sell. Lack of focus can sell. Wasn't Seinfeld a show about nothing? I look forward to reading your book. :)

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Domestic Slackstress said...

I could just read validating comments all day. Hey, my son is journaling alongside me. Thanks, seriously, for all of your encouragement.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Crunchy Carpets said...

Priorities: Family, book, blog

when I mentally stepped back from my blog.. I felt much better.
When I deleted the first was almost cleansing..weird eh? Like burning a journal.

No regrets at all.

blog for your reasons and don't judge yourself by the commercial bloggers out there...fine, dream about being paid to probs there....but otherwise, post what you need to when you want to and leave it at that.

You don't need to be a trainwreck to be interesting.

You are a fun and clever writer who is very honest about her capabilities.

I love it!


At 8:48 PM, Blogger Terri said...

I found your blog from Oh, the Joys... I personally don't have a blog, YET ... but we do have one for our toddler ... Everyone tells me to start my own ... but...
I'm afraid!! What if no one comes?? I would feel so stupid... and yes, I think it is a popularity contest of sorts!!

So.. I'm safe w/ only Matthew's blog for now.
I've been a stay home mom now for about a year... after 25 years in the workforce... I work harder now than I ever did and
I am so tired at the end of the night... so, I like to go around reading other blogs and commenting!
No pressure that way!!

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