Monday, May 30, 2005

If I counted correctly, this is my 199th post.

Big deal.
Some of you more prolific folks write that much in a week, but still, it made me a bit reflective. I may have talked about blogging in previous posts, in comments or in other conversations, but I never focused entirely on it in a post. So if you’ve heard some of these thoughts before, sue me. Go read the other 198.

My friend Jerry started his blog back in spring ’03. He encouraged me to create one too, but I hesitated because, knowing me, I’d either be half-assed, or get way too obsessed. And I was right on both accounts.

Now I’m addicted, but in the beginning, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I have stacks of handwritten journals I’ve done over the years, and I hate to re-read them: "I’m hungry. A corn beef sandwich sounds good. Or is it ‘corned’ beef? How do you ‘corn’ beef? Actually, that doesn’t sound good. This Papermate is running out of ink. So why am I wasting it talking about my pen? I better quickly finish this sentenc"

I didn’t want to have more inane ramblings, this time on the ‘net. I hoped my entries would be more interesting, like the journals I kept when I was traveling or on a film production. But do I have to be in the midst of an adventure to find good things to write about? No, life’s an adventure; it’s all in the storyteller’s perspective. Some people do daily "diary-blogs", and while they don’t hit it out of the park every time, they usually find hidden gems, the quirky and fascinating observations within the day-to-day routine.

And speaking of other bloggers, somewhere around this time last year, I discovered Life at TJ’s Place. We’ve all discussed the history of Kevin and his gentleman’s club ad nauseum, but I’ll simply reiterate how it affected me in two ways: First, his posts gave me a better idea of what to shoot for -- you don’t need lots of bells and whistles on your website, not even titillating tales about strippers, just simple, well-written stories. (Though I do think a cartoon or audioblog or a nice photo can’t hurt once in a while.)
Cal Incline2sml
The second effect of TJ’s Place was meeting lots of other bloggers, and creating this community. Exchanging links and comments, networking and "meeting" so many cool people was inspiring. It encouraged me to try to write often and write well.

But it’s a double-edged sword.

I thought maybe my blog would be a good place to vent. Instead of internalizing angst, going over and over in my head how this chick’s driving me nuts, that guy’s pissing me off, I’m gettin’ oppressed by da man… I could write it all down, right? "I type, I gripe, I hype."

But with an audience, I get self-conscious. The few times I’ve mentioned po’ Mikey an da trubbles he done seen, the responses made me feel weird. I didn’t really want sympathy. Don’t pity this fool. Really, it’s not that bad, folks.

And then I ask myself, well, what is everyone supposed to think when I bitch away? People actually care, and if I don’t want them feeling sorry for me, I shouldn’t complain so much. Blogging is a public forum for private thoughts which yields this dilemma, but maybe it’s for the best. That kinda whiny crap was one of the things I hated reading on my handwritten journals. So if I’m gonna talk about problems, I’ll at least try to make ‘em entertaining.

And that in a way is my goal with my posts. Make each one count. Maybe I can create a collection of personal short stories for future use, to be published or even just as writing samples. In any case, I should aim to be able to go back and re-read them without cringing too much.

Another adverse affect of this medium is the self-reflexive nature of it. The novelists I admire believe that the characters and story should speak for themselves; the author should be practically invisible. But in blogging, when you’re composing creative non-fiction, the author is the main character. There’s also a familiarity between the author and his readers. Which alters the way we write. For example, at times, I like my punny word-play style of narrative. But it feels a bit like a wink at my visitors, saying, "hey, check me out". And that can take the reader out of the story.

Maybe I’m too hard on myself. I probably think about this too much.

Well, just to self-analyze even further, I thought for my 200th post, I'd do a "best of"… listing my favorite posts. It’s a bit of a challenge, like deciding which of your children you like best. Of course, of 200 whippersnappers, there’s a lot of runts and brats I’d rather disown. And I tend to prefer the later posts simply because I found more of a groove in my writing as I went along.

But don't worry, this post won't be on the list... Maybe you think this whole thing seems self-indulgent, but check out the name of the site. It ain't "Make Mine You", pally.

Fine, you want something more interesting? I could mention that I saw Vadergrrrl when she was in LA this weekend. It was nice hanging out, but I mostly just gave her a hard time -- can you believe she hasn't seen the new Star Wars movie? I mean, check out the name of her blog.

Ahh, this post has gone on long enough. Why bother writing any more when I can just dazzle the eye with some purtee pitchas I took of Santa Monica on Memorial Day with my new digicam?


Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by