The gauntlet has been thrown.Posted: June 30, 2010 | |
I knew it was coming. It’s like the feeling you have in your dentist’s office when he asks you if you floss regularly and you momentarily debate telling the truth or not. “I do floss. Sometimes.” Or it’s like that moment in college before an exam when your professor says, “And if you’ve been doing the readings…” and you try to justify that skimming counts as reading all 80 pages. It kind of felt like that as I sat across from Aaron Strout and he posed the question I knew was coming.
“Do you blog?”
Finally, I had been called out. The excuses swirled in my brain. I have blogged before. I understand the importance of blogging. I know how to blog. I’ve instructed others to blog. All of my friends blog. I have a blog. I could blog. But I knew the honest response.
No, I don’t blog.
On a very strict technicality, I do. I have three blogs. I had the blog I kept religiously during my semester abroad in France, my Austin move blog and my silly tumblr blog. The blog from France is closed like a book. It has a beginning, middle and an end and I’m content to let it sit there like that. I actually have a printed version of it that looks like a book. That blog is done, and I’m happy it is.
I also have the blog you’re on right now, my Austin blog, which has been tweaked over the past year but requires a full and utter facelift. A complete re-write. I’m majorly conflicted about this blog. Part of me considers this blog as a testament to who I was when I moved here. I’m sentimental already about those dramatic few months. I’ve never cared about baby shoes but I would imagine that my feeling towards this blog is similar to how a mother of a toddler feels as she packs the first pair of shoes away. That’s the me from a year ago. Unlike a journal, a blog can’t be shoved onto a shelf for a day when I’m feeling nostalgic. I like this domain. It’s been linked to on other blogs. Rewriting it feels like demolishing it and there’s still something I’d like to preserve here.
Part of me relates to this blog as a writer who cringes at a horrible first draft. I see the flaws and I want to scratch the whole thing, erase it, quickly click a very permanent “Delete.” I shudder when people admit to seeing it. Everything must go. A rewrite is a major undertaking, and I’m in the middle of job-hunting. Surely, this isn’t a priority on my to-do list.
Maybe this is why writers are hesitant to blog. Their glaring first drafts remain there, taunting them. Sure readers may be distracted by more recent posts, but the old thoughts are still there. Blogs are graveyards- yesterday’s thoughts buried by today’s, the links to those posts, the headstones.
So I’ve done what many people do when there’s something presenting a challenge to them. Nothing. Nothing at all.
Aaron, in his infinite wisdom, is right again. Tim Walker, who similarly has urged me to blog for a very long time, is right. My close friend and wonderful blogger herself, Tolly Moseley who has told me time and time again that I have something to say, is right. Another friend, Richard Gonzalez, Ultra 8201 himself, who has similarly nudged me to blog, is right. Greg Ackerman, who has endlessly encouraged me and has already given me blogger status even if I didn’t deserve it, is right. Chris Bailey, who kindly has linked to me in the past, is right. I wave the white flag. I’ll blog.
I’ve been hypocritical. I urged my authors to blog. I’ve championed their blogs, I’ve vocally celebrated social media and here I’ve sat, silent. No more.
So keep me to it. Angrily tweet at me if I don’t deliver. Be patient if I’m rambling and you want me to be more on topic. Or tell me to cut to the chase. Remind me that I’ve promised this before, and then failed to deliver. Keep me honest. And above all, please keep me blogging.
So here it goes.