Rinse and Repeat

I like being around people talking about writing but when I am I feel like a freak.

Everyone is writing a book. The book is making them crazy. They’ve been trying to finish the book for ten years but this year they’re getting back to it.

Attention turns to me and I tell folks I write short pieces, the shorter the better. I like writing a short essay in one ridiculously long, run-on sentence. I love a 48-word story challenge. I tell them the most I ever write is 1,500 words and they nod politely. But when I tell them I write for my blog, they start filing their nails.

It gets worse when I mention I just published a compilation of conversations between my two, now dead, dogs. Are you a serious person? I feel their strained tolerance. Who let her in? Only kidding. Writers are never mean to other writers. Dismissive sometimes but not mean.

So then the tiny competitive part of me (well, maybe not so tiny) wants to start presenting my bona fides, like a little girl on the playground, “I can too swing on the swing standing up!” after the it girl catches her making mud pies in the sandbox. The set-up is that writing a book or intending to write a book or being neurotic about writing a book makes someone more of a writer than a blogger who writes every day, exposes herself to the world, and has actual readers.

I overstate. As is a blogger’s habit, just to get attention, don’t you know. That immediate gratification thing is no joke, ask my Publish button. And here again, I feel like I need a hyperlink to my Publications page, to my evidence vault, to show that I’m a serious person, that I am a writer.

But this here is my evidence. This post and the one before that and the one before that. This is my writing. This is my art. This is my vault. And I’m just one of many writers whose publishing vehicle is a blog. Amazing, prolific poets, fascinating travel writers, crafters of flash fiction, memorists and cause writers who give strangers hope and inspiration. We’re serious people who love to put words on a screen for people anywhere in the world to read. We’re writers. We can swing on a swing standing up with the best of them.

12 Comments on “Rinse and Repeat

  1. Well, there’s writing, there’s getting published, and there’s getting people to read what you wrote. The beauty of blogging is that you’re not at the mercy of a publisher–you can publish your own writings. And you can publish them instantly. And, to some extent, you can control if they actually get read.

    Now, no blog is going to enjoy the readership of a NY Times bestseller. But many blogs will get read by more people than many books. So, as they say, everything is relative.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. And, you are free to follow a whim, go down a rabbit hole that just happens to present itself to you of an afternoon. No need to stick to the itinerary of a longer piece of writing– no tyranny of plot line and deadline. If I wake up this morning and the day serves me a fabulous morsel to chew over, then I’m free to enjoy it and chew away. There’s value in that! Viva la blog, I say! It is it’s own niche, but it is an art and a joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote a book. I’m glad I wrote it, glad I published but have no interest in writing another one. For free, my blog is a great place to write. I am free to write whatever I feel like writing and I can post photographs too. There’s no editor peering over my shoulder telling me the deadline is hot on my heels. I don’t get paid, but I didn’t make money on the book either. For that kind of work, I should at least break even. I think it’s because I’ve had my name in a byline many times and don’t have some kind of passion to see it again. it’s nice and fun … but I don’t have a huge drive for fame without fortune.

    Gradually, almost everyone I know has drifted over to the blog to find out what’s going on. Maybe because I’ve been doing this a long time and maybe because I’m not generally a great correspondent otherwise. I pour so much of me into the blog, there’s not a lot left for very long, personal letters — unless there’s some special reason.

    I like blogging. It IS an art in its own right. I think too many people think it’s really kind of like Facebook or Instagram. You have to actually read us to get it 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yep. Feeling your pain. Saying you blog is enough to provoke dismissal of any writing talent whatsoever. And like you, I struggle with lengthy pieces. Something about patience. But Jan, you’re such a good writer. Don’t forget it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. With you all the way on this one : what is it with the wannabe novelists? we write regularly and we’re read, and we’re published. Blog on, I say.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel your pain. If I even mention my blog, the eyes of my very small very serious poetry group glaze over. None have ever read it. I don’t know what people imagine when they hear the word blog, but I’ll never know because I just drop the matter. I even lost one friend when she asked me about something and I told her to check my blog–I’d just written about it. She wanted a personal e-mail repeating the whole story–just for her. We are no longer friends. Her choice, not mine. Another friend said she thought my blog was just an ego thing!

    Oh well, at least we have each other, Red!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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