Artists Pay Back (The Blog)

September 28, 2012

I Suck At Blogging

Filed under: Writing — artistspayback @ 7:58 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Defeat by Computer

Nothing like head trauma to fire up the creative juices.

Wow! Provocative title, right? Now, I know what you’re thinking. “This is going to be one of those falsely modest posts where you really go on to describe your awesomeness with loads of insincere deprecation.” Or maybe, “ah yes, the pity post designed to get people to build you up and say, ‘hey guy, you’re wonderful.'”

Nope. I really mean it. I truly suck at this. Now, this isn’t so much of critique of my actual writing. I’m pleased overall with what I have put out, as minimal as that output has been. And therein lies the crux of my suckitude. I’ve had this blog for years and have posted maybe a dozen entries. And really, when it comes to blogging the most egregious error one can make – greater than bad writing, worse than sloppy writing, far more not as good as repetitive, poor writing – is just not posting. There are a lot of bad blogs out there (I know, I’ve seen them on Freshly Pressed) but they’re better than mine because as subjectively bad, or maybe just insipid, as the content may be, at least they’re posting something. Anything. And it’s getting noticed. Good for them for not sucking.

So, as I lay in bed last night after a long day of not writing a blog post, I started trying to suss out just why I don’t do it more. One note: “time” will not be one of the reasons. Yes, I am ridiculously busy with the several jobs and family obligations that account for much of my time, but that’s not really a valid excuse for not devoting two or three hours over the course of one week to getting something posted. I may use it as an excuse, but I’ll tell you right now, it’s utter crap. I have the time, it’s other things that cause me problems, such as:

1. Trying to hard to be perfect

Though ‘perfect’ may not be the best word, it’s good enough to cover the concept. I want my stuff to be GOOD. If it’s supposed to be funny, I want it to be hilarious. If it’s intended to be clever, I want it to be mind-bending. If thought-provoking is my goal, I want your brain jostling in your cranium from my fresh revelations. So, I agonize over it and put way too much effort into something that really was just designed as a method to ultimately draw attention to my screenwriting. I worry that if my blog isn’t REALLY good then no one will bother to read my scripts (which, to be fair, isn’t entirely untrue). But really, I just need to relax and get my thoughts out. I have my moments of humor and profundity and insight and I need to trust it will come through in what I do without letting it paralyze me into not even trying. Of course, I do need to watch out for typos and the sort of mechanical errors that will ultimately reflect worse than anything else, but I need to let it go and just put stuff up there (and I definitely miss many, but that’s what editors and the comment section is for). Sure a bad post may leave someone with a negative feeling and not get them to read anything else, but not posting anything won’t even get me in the game.

2. Trying to hard to be funny

Everyone on the internet wants to be funny. Especially social media. And much like open mic night at the Chuckle Hut, most of them aren’t. But still we try. I’m one of those who try. The bloggers I admire are great humorists and I really want to write something as fresh and crackling with delightful prose as some of the posts that I imagine they toss off with ease, composing at traffic stops on their way home. People like Zombie Fights Shark (R.I.P.), Listful Thinking and The Typing Makes Me Sound Busy (also R.I.P. – I should probably find some new blogs to follow). So, I try to write stuff as funny as some of what they did. Great observational, situational humor that I know I’m capable of if I just push a little harder and keep revising and revising and revising and, ah screw it – I’ll just play SongPop instead. I have succeeded from time to time. Sure I’m no Shelby Fero, but I’ve had my moments where I’m quite proud of what has come out. But too often I just abandon an idea because it’s too dry or I’m trying too hard or it’ just not funny enough.

3. Not moving fast enough on a timely idea

This one is directly related to number one and two. It’s when something in the news cycle catches my attention and I think, “hey, I should blog about that because that’s what people who blog do!” So I’ll tap out some notes on my iPhone (ahem, that’s some free product placement Apple, pay attention and send me an iPad3) with every intention of using those for a full-fledged post later. And damned if I don’t. Well, no, actually I don’t. Damn. What I do is let it sit for a few days and then it becomes rotting fruit. For instance, I saw Prometheus on opening weekend and thought, “wow that really sucked for myriad reasons. I could elaborate on some of those reasons (hint: the name Lindelof was featured prominently) and it would make a wonderful timely blog post that would garner much attention.” And then I didn’t write it. And then a thousand blog posts came out covering pretty much the same bases I was going to – and some in much better fashion. Now, I’m not saying I shouldn’t write stuff just because others will cover the same ground and will do it better; redundancy and the internet are inextricably linked. But I do need to get it out in a timely manner so it doesn’t seem like so much of a retread. As for that Prometheus story, well there’s always the DVD release date to target.

4. Worried about getting read. And not getting read.

Here’s a little window into my psyche. As soon as I publish a blog post I think, “why did I bother. No one is going to read that.” And then I obsessively watch my stats. As as the number inevitably climb into the  (what’s the word for when things get past 4…”fives?”) mid-single digits I start to think, “why did I post that, it sucked.” And then the number stays there and I think, “why is no one else reading this, it’s great!” Basically, I’m not happy either way. I really would love to get thousands of visits, but it scares the piss out of me as well. In fact the one time I did get thousands of visitors, I was a mess for most of the day. “Did they like it? They must have liked it, right? Or maybe it was, one of those ‘jeez this sucks, you have to read it’ like making someone sniff bad milk or watch Twilight movies. They’re laughing with me. No, at me. No wait, it wasn’t supposed to be a funny post, why are they laughing at all? Why aren’t they commenting? What if the comment is negative, I hope they don’t comment.” So yeah, I’m an idiot. I truly love writing yet I have a problem with people reading my stuff. But what’s even worse than people reading it, is people not reading it. So, yeah…

5. Lazy

Sigh. Yes, guilty. I know I kind of covered this already but it needs to be called out as its own category. I would love to write more blog posts but not as much as I would love to lie motionless, or watch TV, or preferably both. While eating. Like I said, I work a lot, so I’m not exactly a lazy person but it’s also not like writing a post takes much energy. Especially since it’s pretty much the thing I like doing. But I still make excuses. Ah, my wife is using the computer, I’d write something if the laptop was working. (Then once we got the laptop fixed.) Ah, I’d write on the laptop but it’s way upstairs and I’m on the couch. I’d write something if I had an iPad. (Then we got an iPad.) Ah, I’d write something but first I need to figure out another excused while I play SongPop (seriously, that game is so awesome.) And so on.

And really, what all of these boil down to is excuses I tell myself to let myself off the hook for not writing. It’s all deflection. I’d write if I had time. If I had a great idea. If it was funnier. If it was smarter. If I had the perfect technological tool (like Dragon Dictation – ok, seriously, I would TOTALLY write more if I had that.) If this, if that. Whatever. I need to push all that out of mind and just write something. Like, you know, this post.

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2 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on makeupmovesme and commented:
    i need a tutor to know hot to blog. i suck at it lol

    Comment by makeupmovesme — September 28, 2012 @ 8:12 pm | Reply

  2. Funny, especially #4. Every once in a while the stats thing will shift to the left and I’ll get a “spike” that looks really large, but then I give it a mouse-over and it’s just a “6” or something. It only looks like it’s “trending” because the rest are zeros and 2s. Anyhow, my advice, which I had to give myself recently when I binned on blog and started another: blog for yourself. Be semi-consistent. Don’t try to do it daily. Above all, have fun with it. And there’s NOTHING wrong with laziness. Keep it up!

    Comment by dg — October 4, 2012 @ 4:35 pm | Reply


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