Public Consumption

Readability Index: To blazes with this index as it’s not doing shit for anybody.

Sounds like this post is going to be about tuberculosis. But what I’m talking about is also a kind of disease that I’ve come to recognize, first in myself and now in the blogging world at large.

Me and people like me, we are scared that people won’t want to read our shit. We are pretty sure they won’t want to. We are also nice and we don’t want to waste people’s time. So we try to warn people not to read our shit.

This could end up being the subject of my first essay as a part of my new project.

I was just looking at pricklymooseprincess’s blog…I think I got that right, but can’t look it up because time is running out and anyway I’ll come back and do all the proper research before posting to my new blog…which I haven’t decided yet how to handle…but anyway her tagline says, “This will not enrich your life.” It was a very familiar sentiment to me, because I could have used it for my own blog. I thought before I started blogging that all this amateur feelings driven diary type bullshit was meaningless to everyone. I wouldn’t want to read someone else’s bullshit so why would they want to read mine?

Seth Godin calls these kinds of blogs “Cat Blogs” because you basically tell long stories about your cat and have pictures and people are just as bored by that as they are by you in real life. He says these blogs add little value to the world. And maybe he’s right, he’s pretty fucking smart. And he has the most viewed blog anywhere, or he did two years ago when I was reading his posts every day.

So you think, well shit I’m going to go ahead and throw up some words on a blog and tell everyone not to read them, that way they can’t blame me when they find out that I can’t write for shit, that I have nothing interesting to say to anyone. That’s what I thought when I started.

But there I was reading pricklymooseprincess’s blog and I thought, well god damn, this shit has enriched my life. Who would have thought?

And hers is definitely not the only blog that I have found this to be true about.

For my essay I’ll give specifics, but just to get a general idea…well when I look for new blogs to read I just type in “Random Bullshit” or “Rambling” or “Not fit for public consumption” and there are lots of blogs to choose from. Everyone is hedging, they want people to read their writing and be moved by it, but they think that this is a lot harder than it is. I think so even now as I type and imply that it isn’t. Because maybe it isn’t.

So anyway you got a guy who fancies himself a writer but has never published anything because he doesn’t think it’s good enough. And then he can just get on a blog and hit publish all day and no one can stop him. But he still says every time, well this shit’s no good, but if you want to waste your time reading it…well I won’t stop you.

Next thing you know people are liking that shit. Now this doesn’t always happen because a lot of writers will hit publish and then never go around reading other people’s shit. I did that a few times before I made this blog and no one has looked at those blogs to this day. So in order to have people connect to what you write, you have to at least make an effort to connect to what they’re writing. And personally I didn’t think it would be worth my time to do that, since I already knew my blog wasn’t worth anyone’s time, and I held a deep seated belief that even though my work was crap I was a better writer than most people. Even authors who have been published. So this arrogance and this self-loathing…or work-loathing leads to isolation. No one does look at your work and you’re proved right all along.

But it’s crazy. I had some free time and I started this blog and said fuck it I’m just going to write whatever dumb shit comes to mind and I don’t care what Seth Godin says. And forget all the advice I’ve read about blogging and capturing audiences and creating tribes and all that shit. Fuck that shit. Fuck making money on this…fuck everything. And then after I wrote it I decided fuck it, I bet I can get some people to read this dumb shit. So I went out and to get some comments going on and to like some stuff purely so people would come back and read my shit. But when I got out there on the blogosphere suddenly I found myself engaged in these other writers. Then I really did like what they wrote. Then I decided to comment the same way I was blogging. I’ll just say whatever comes to mind, no matter how dumb it is, no matter how uncool it might seem. And bam, what the fuck, here I am with some real shit going on. My whole outlook on blogging and even life has changed to a degree. And definitely my idea of writing.

So anyway, I have to go to this god damn super bowl party now. But I’ll be back tomorrow to further explore this idea this thing I’m trying to get at. And to call out some people who seem to be going through what I was, too.

Hot damn. Blogging is the shit.

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