Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Times I Have Considered Giving Up Blogging

I have a theory that bloggers are the internet's version of the stereotypical New York self-hating Jew. Obviously, I can't speak for all bloggers everywhere, but rest assured that my internal monologue is voiced by a cartoon Woody Allen drunk on wine coolers.

Although I'm no great expert on his work, Woody Allen is my blogger spirit animal. While in real life I can be a normal, functioning human being for up to fifteen minutes at a time, when someone mentions my blog or the act of blogging in general, I get Wood(y). I become highly neurotic, intensely self-critical and paranoid, yet am simultaneously arrogant and completely egotistical. For this reason, I try not to bring up my blog in conversation with people who don't know me all that well. This saves them from the inevitable five minutes I spend apologising for myself while also trying to subtly infer that I'm the best person on the planet.

It's no secret that people who spend an arseload of time on the internet tend to flounder socially, and the downside to creating a weblog that you want people to read, is that sometimes people actually read it. Sometimes they might even talk to you about it. For the sake of propriety, here are some of the times in my everyday life where I think about dousing this whole page in kerosene and setting it on fire.

The De-Railed Compliment

It usually starts like this:

"Hey, I finally got around to reading your blog."

Obviously, this is a very nice thing to say. People are busy, and the internet is vast. Naturally I don't expect everyone who has ever met me to read my every passing whim.

"Y'know, I don't usually like blogs..."

This is where I usually get geared up for a compliment. I'm the first to admit that I'm an absolute junkie for praise: let's face it, nobody writes anything unpaid unless they're looking for some validation. It sounds like the person in question is about to let out a "BUT", immeaditly followed by "...your blog is wonderful! I LOVE it! My cat loves it! I read it to my cat sometimes!"

Sadly, the person often doesn't get this far, because they've gotten distracted by how much they don't usually like blogs.

"I just find them so.. trite, you know? Like, why would I want to read someone's online diary? It's just so.. so self-absorbed. Do we really need to live in a world where that facility is available?"

At this point, the person will catch a look in the fading happy feelings in my face.

"..of course, YOUR blog isn't like that. You actually, like, try?"

Thank you. I do try.

"UGH, you're not on Twitter, are you?"

The Accidental Referance

This is probably the most awkward I ever get in real life. I'll be with a friend, and suddenly they'll start talking about, for example, the way cupcakes seem to be everywhere these days.  Which is a subject that I have written a blog about, and they seem to be making all the points I made. I have no way of telling if they're referencing my blog for my benefit, or they're just speaking off-hand about cupcakes. This doesn't sound like it should be a big issue, but it's enormous. What do I do? If I say something like "Oh, I see you've read my blog." or "Pardon me, but is that my blog you're talking about?" I sound like a perfect asshole. I might aswel say "Is that me you're referencing? Are you a fan of me?"

The Word "Blog"

I'm someone who has always enjoyed the lyrical harmony of words. "Synapse", for example, is a great sounding word. "Ambivert" is another great one I learned recently.

"Blog" is not a nice word.

Sometimes I consider giving up blogging just so I never have to say the word "blog" ever again. It's not just "blog" either; all of it's associates are shit, too. Blogging, blogger, blogosphere. I blog, you blog, he/she/it blogs. It sounds horrible. Just looking at the word infers how derivative the whole thing is. I could be writing a blog about cancer research, and still no-one would take it seriously, because it would be a cancer research blog.

Unsolicited Manuscripts

I'm a cranky bitch at the best of times, and I welcome creative suggestions with the same warmth I offer back-fat.

Let me specify:

Situation: Me and a friend are having a fun conversation about something funny.

"Haha, you should do a blog on that."
"Ha, maybe I will!"

This, obviously is fine. Loving. Supportive. There is nobody at fault in this conversation.

However, I seem to occasionally get people coming to me with post ideas that they've planned in entirety, but are just too lazy to write themselves, or are too insecure to set up a blog of their own. So they just want me to do it for them. What in the hell? It's not like these ideas are always necessarily bad, either: they're just something I would never do. I'm not saying my blogs are great - some of them are a bit crap, really- but at least I know I did them myself. This is a big issue of pride for me. I don't know why. My analyst* tells me it stems from me never finishing anything when we did knitting in primary school. I'm giving him another year and then I'm goin' to Lourdes.

*I don't really have an analyst. But that thing about the knitting is true.


  1. Initially, I was gonna construct a poor attempt at humor using all of those examples you gave, but I'm really tired now, so I'll just say I'm glad you manage to find the time and energy to write these. Provides for both an interesting read, and in some cases, reassurance that there are people out there who don't like the things I don't like.

  2. Really enjoyed this, thanks! I especially identified with the part of people talking about things you've written about and not knowing if you should say something--I usually say, "I've written up that recently and one of the things I said was..." Maybe that it tacky of me, but that's what I do. I also KWYM about the word blog connotating lack of respectability/seriousness. I often just say "my website," rather than "my blog." But, that could sound just as dumb, I guess! (see example of self-effacement when discussing own blog)