Or maybe it’s just that I’m too old to rock-n-roll and too young to die.
Blogging is a completely different medium for me, and I’m continuing to work on figuring it out. Not just the computer savvy part of it, but exactly what purpose it serves. I started writing fiction (and poetry during the angsty years) when I was a kid. I also always had diaries–which I began calling journals during those same self-inflated angsty years. I have to say, journaling was never for me. Mostly, those lovely notebooks were 2/3 empty, and half of the 1/3 looked more like date books than anything else. 🙂
I remember reading Hugh Prather’s Notes to Myself, and being blown away. Looking back, I’m not sure if I was blown away by his writing, or the idea that what amounted to someone’s journal was published and being read by others–and not posthumously.
I was always afraid someone would find my journal and read it. So I’d tone down what I wrote, afraid to offend, afraid to get into trouble. I have met people who have the same fears in their fiction writing. What? A sex scene with the bedroom door open? What if my mother reads this? I never had that issue. Fiction feels like a very safe way to explore real and honest humanity, without worrying about who is going to read what into which scene. If readers “recognize” themselves in a character, to me it’s a positive meaning they can identify with that character.
In writing groups, books, circles, you hear the phrase plotter vs pantser. Plotters plan and outline the entire book before writing the first sentence, pantsers have an idea (situation, character, opening scene, etc) and just write, seeing where it takes them. I’m more of a pantser. I usually have an idea for a character and an opening scene, make sketchy notes for a rough outline of the character, some more sketchy notes planning the setting or idea behind each scene for the first few chapters, and then just write. Lather, rinse, repeat for the rest of the manuscript. Those notes give me some sense of security; yes, this scene does serve a purpose and move the story forward, and I believed those notes helped to prevent me from being blocked. (Not working for me now, but that’s a whole different post.) Not having detailed notes gave me the freedom to let the story take an unexpected turn, add a new layer to the story without “ruining” what I had planned for the next 300 pages.
Blogging is a whole different world. It isn’t journaling, you are putting your thoughts out there for everyone (including mom;) ) to read. But it isn’t fiction. I grew up reading George Orwell, and my understanding is that what you put out into cyberspace is there and accessible forever. Big Brother is watching you. It seems like the best blogs are informative or funny. This blog certainly isn’t informative; I am just a regular Jane, not a recognized expert in anything. For anyone whose instinct might be to reassure me that I’m an expert on me, or my children–meh. 😉 I’m too old not to be ok with who I am, even if I don’t want to stay where I am. I’d like this blog to be entertaining, but funny is a fine line. Often what’s funny borders on mean spirited, poking at exposed nerves. We laugh when we can recognize what we’re seeing or reading. I’d like to develop the skill of allowing readers to recognize the stories I’m sharing without hurting or attacking any individual person. I guess I still don’t want to offend anyone, not because I’m afraid, but because it seems unnecessary.
I also don’t want this blog to become a laundry list of my days. I can’t imagine anything more excruciating to read, so before this long winded post deteriorates into me chatting about the dirty bathtub, I’ll sign off. 🙂
Happy Wednesday everyone,