Some bloggers I regularly enjoy reading are getting away with some terribly phoned-in boloney. They are squirting out some very tiny posts. Like, they throw up one paragraph with a photo and this is supposed to count as work. Some little dingle berry about how beautiful their new baby is, or a link to someone else's brilliance in their blog. This, while I am in the vortex of existential malaise about the future of Chagrin and Bear It - can I continue, should I, does it really matter, does anyone care about my complaints, my observations, the silliness that is me - I am but a speck on the digital horizon.
I'm feeling bitter because I've been so stuck and miserable about writing lately. I'm whiney, and crapped out, itchy and dry. I'm busy with things that seem as dull as an NPR fund drive. I'm not cute or funny, I have no perspective on the little things in life that will crack you up or make you think. I'm an asshole on wheels. My heart is hurty with the effort. I've sat down half a dozen times to try to reach out to you, my beloveds, and its all been terrible, and empty and so full of obvious effort you can see the seams straining in every word.
Sure, I could write a paragraph a day about how cute my kids are, and you'd all cough up a hair ball and drive into a ditch. I'm not saying the posts about my bathroom are that much better, but let's all agree, they're longer. There's a quantity there that I think is meaningful. If you can't provide quality, then I think length is vital. Unless your blog is a photo-journalism thing, well then, actually its not a blog is it? Its a website, and that's a whole other matter. A picture with a caption is poo. Unless your blog can be found at apictureandawittycaption.blogspot.com, I think you need to be typing some shit into the computer. This is harder than it looks. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Oh fuck, everyone is doing it. This is definitely part of the problem.
Its far too easy to compare yourself to others. Many people do it with things like thigh tautness or skin dewiness, tooth whiteness or hair silkiness. I don't care about those things. Or I do, but I realize my fright wig is beyond the reach of conditioner, my belly flab is two c-sections deep; its hopeless and so I help myself to another baguette. But I care deeply about reading and writing and its impossible for me not to, occasionally, slip on the banana peel of my own flawed ego, and compare myself to far better writers, writers who can write plot, say, or lengthy descriptions of flora, knowing all the botanical names for the things in their yard. Good writing fills me so far up, that everything else drains out of me. Not all the time, but sometimes, great writing makes me feel like a big fountain pen has been poked into my flimsy cartoon bubble writing. It makes me feel like a phony.
Of course I'm an addict too, so there's really no hope for me. I can't stop reading, and I can't stop loving all those brilliant writers who make me feel both so hopeful and so completely inadequate. I'm talking to you Lorrie Moore, Jim Harrison, Elizabeth Strout. Damn you Richard Russo, Tim O'Brien, Anne Lamott. Pat Conroy, you lovely bastard, how could you? Don't get me started Alice Monroe, I might have to kick your ass.
And yet, where would I be without you? All of you driving around with me in my dirty van. Collecting socks from under the couch with the help of Roddy Doyle. Dropping off movies with Cormack McArthy. Eating my sack lunch with Ruth Reichl. I love you, I hate you, I need your help.
Come to me friends, lovers, enemies. Do not poke me with your pens, but rather prod me, guide me, bring me home.