Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Taste of Whine and Crappers, or…Why Blog?

 I have a confession. For a while I’ve had trouble blogging because something caused me to reevaluate why I blog. The reason doesn’t matter, though it should be made clear that the issue wasn’t about blogs in general, but about mine in particular. And it wasn’t about all social media. So I thought a lot about why I blog, and I wrote down my thoughts…because it’s just what I’ve always done. It helps me think.

We all hear that social media is important to utilize for our writing careers, but I obviously don’t do it to gain readership. I’ve had editors and a few readers contact me through my blog, but that’s not the main reason I do it, either. I am doing what I love most in this world and sometimes people tell me that it helps them somehow. That alone is a way to cup, however briefly, my personal holy grail.

We’ve all known people who seem to want to write because they think there’s something glamorous about writing. If there is, I have yet to see it. I’m undoubtedly preaching to the choir here, but you know it’s a lot of hard work sitting in a chair in the oversized t-shirt with the moth holes and coffee dribbles. Oh wait—the shirt thing is probably just me. But it is solitary work. Blogs are a chance to feel not so alone.

When I ask myself why blog, the simple answer I keep getting back is because I enjoy it. Some say we should be spending our precious writing time on worthier endeavors than blogging, but I get tons of writing ideas. I cherish the online friends I’ve made, and I truly, deeply enjoy your blogs and other social media posts. I enjoy your wit, your wisdom, your warmth. I appreciate your talent, your tips, and your feedback. I love the challenge of the memes you offer. I’m not asking you for comfort or reassurance here. You’ve already given me those—much more than you know.

Lisa Ricard Claro’s Book Blurb Friday rekindled my interest in fiction and reinforced my faith in my ability to plot. And blogging has taught me a whole new skill: how to write short and even ultra-short pieces. In today’s fleeting, tweeting times, that’s not a bad thing. Lately Grandma’s Goulash has been helping me with micro fiction, a genre I’d never before appreciated. You even inspired me to enter the recent Reader’s Digest 100 Word contest in which I placed.

In the end of writing down my thoughts, I realized I blog because it helps me to write down my thoughts. It’s what I’ve always done. It helps me think. No matter what anyone else thinks of my blog, I care about it. This is me deciding that’s all that matters. So…I’m going to try to get back more to blogging, especially now that summer is here.

And plus? Thank you again. For being so inspiring.


The criticism that damages an artist…contains no saving kernel of truth yet has a certain damning plausibility or an unassailable blanket judgment that cannot be rationally refuted. ~Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way


Writing is magic….~Stephen King

16 comments:

  1. Keep on bloggin'! Maybe you can design a little tattoo like those Keep On Truckin' things from the seventies. Oops! Am I the only one who remembers those?

    Let's see. I seem to have little to offer you. I'm going out on a limb here and declaring that I provide wit. Some may argue that it's only half-wit. Too bad I can't offer wisdom, warmth, talent, tips or feedback. Val cannot change her spots. In 2005, I started my first blog, to let the crazy out. Now I'm up to two blogs, and post daily on each. Which may or may not be a reflection on my current level of crazy.

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    1. I think it could feasibly be argued that the need to let crazy out is behind most creative endeavors...depending on how you define crazy, of course. Definitely do remember the saying, "Keep On Truckin'!"

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  2. Tammy--You offer wit, wisdom and warmth to your readers. You serve up inspiration and encouragement to everyone who stops by your blog.

    I'm glad you've done some thinking about posting, and am so glad you're baaaaack.

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    1. Thank you, Sioux! That means a lot.

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  3. Yes, I've pondered why I blog too and it boiled down to because I wanted to. I am cutting back in July because of another pursuit... drawing... yay! Blog, but don't forget about also working on those books of yours... sometimes blogging can be a distraction. Just saying.

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    1. I think it's great you have another pursuit, Lynn, though I enjoy your blog and hope you'll keep us posted on how things are going! Sometimes it surprises me how attached I get to blogs. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  4. I look forward to your blog posts. You can be sassy, succinct, snappy, and you always have great quotes. Love your blog!

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    1. Thanks so much, Linda. You just described how I feel about yours. Your writing voice has a lilting, lyrical quality I love. Your speaking voice, too, come to think of it!

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  5. I used to push myself to blog a certain number of times a week. Some of my blogger buddies are so prolific I felt compelled to keep up. Then, like you, I asked myself why. Now I post only when I want to, generally about once a week. It works for me.

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. I think that's the best approach, Pat. If we're too pressured and it stops being enjoyable, then I think it's time to reevaluate.

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  6. First, I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am that the Book Blurb Friday meme offered something of value for you. I was sorry to give it up, but it took so much time. Maybe I'll look into starting it up again for those few who participated. It really was fun---and a great learning tool!

    When I changed my blog last year I had to really think about what I wanted to accomplish. I cut back from three times a week to just once and that gave me the opportunity to spend a little more time on the one post, give it a bit more thought. For me, blogging is about maintaining the friendships I've made, first and foremost. After that comes all the other stuff---the routine of writing weekly, keeping myself on a deadline, having a place for editors to go when I've submitted something (and I have had a number of editors say they checked out my blog before they decided to work with me, so it really does help). Blogging lets me just blab my silly stuff to the world, and I'm always so grateful for the people who read it and comment.

    I LOVE your blog, your voice. You make me laugh (and sometimes snort), and occasionally cry, but you always offer a reason to come back and read. I'm glad you're not thinking of letting it go. You have a lot of people who look forward to meeting you here!

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  7. I did consider offering to take over Book Blurb Friday when you announced you were giving it up, but that sense of obligation has a way of turning fun things into chores - and sometimes burdens - that sap the fun right out. So I definitely understand and am behind whatever you choose to do there. I'm just glad I finally got the chance to tell you what an enormous gift it was for me. As for the rest of your comment, you summed it all up in a matter of a few words, and you also brought a tear to my eye. No matter what you write, it draws me in with its first-rate wisdom, truth, depth, humor, wit and professionalism, and I am so honored that you take time to visit!

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  8. I love writing but at times life has a way of not allowing us the time to pursue all of our interests. We have to choose and qoek and family comes first.

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    1. How true, Judy. But when writing is part of your work in life and loved like a family member, there really is no choice.

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  9. I am SO glad you are continuing to blog, Tammy. You are an immensely talented writer, and every post I read leaves me enlightened. Your micro fiction simply amazes me, and your essays are so lyrical and full of meaning that I can't imagine anyone coming away from the experience of your words unchanged. Yes, writers face an enormous challenge these days, trying to keep up with social media and still finding time for our writing projects. It is all about balance, but you have happened upon the most important reasons to blog and post: because you enjoy it and because it helps you. Which, in turn, helps others. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful mind!

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    1. Speaking of lyrical...this comment is both moving and beautiful, like everything you write! Thank you so much, Theresa.

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