What? You don’t like the title?
It’s recently come to my attention that there are people out there – in the Blogosphere as if that’s an actual thing – who time their posts according to when they statistically are most likely to get the most reaction. Wow. In this case I can honestly say, “I can’t even.” How is this possible? I can imagine that these are careful, logical souls who either write for a living or wish they did and pursue that wish at a level I haven’t managed to reach. Yes, I know that you’re supposed to treat writing like a job, and schedule it accordingly. This is tough for me for a couple of reasons. First, as I mentioned in my previous post, I have an actual job. One I love. I also have two school-age kids who require shuttling to and from their respective schools, and expect dinner on the table, even. I had to fight like hell to get that last post written, because my son was at a friend’s and my daughter really wanted my attention. It took several tries to complete, but I pulled it off, more or less. I accidentally posted it before the final edit, because that’s what happens when your attention is thoroughly divided. I went back and fixed it, but somehow it had gotten two views by then. Great.
While it’s all too easy to blame the very real distractions and competition for my attention, I would find it difficult to pull off the whole timed blogging thing regardless. Why? Writing is something that more or less controls me. I’m motivated or I’m not, which is why I went a year or so without a post. It’s more than writer’s block, it’s very nearly writer’s amnesia. It’s like I manage to forget what a gift this is, and how good it feels, which is more than slightly strange, because I feel most like myself when I’m writing. How did I manage to forget the thing that makes me feel most like myself? I’ll go out on a limb and assume it ties in to my self-destructive tendencies, somehow. When I am writing more regularly, the urge to write arrives unbidden, and I can only hold off for so long before I’m forced to vomit my thoughts onto the page, or screen. Whichever. I can wait when I actually have to, such as when I’m working, because I’m a grown-up, because I love my job, and because it’s a super-security conscious place so every room is covered with video cameras. Yup, not kidding. So any desire I did have to indulge my more selfish, less-adult tendencies would be thwarted by my interest in keeping my job. So there’s that.
Back to the mental vomiting. I really do write in bursts – it’s frequently or not at all. Orchestrated it is not. When the urge strikes if it’s remotely possible I give in, even if I’m supposed to be doing something more useful, like sleeping. I try to convince myself it can wait until tomorrow, but that inner voice warns that I won’t remember any of what I intended to write the next day. And it’s probably right. Writing doesn’t happen for me in anything resembling an elegant, controlled way. All of these thoughts careen around in my head until I’m sick and dizzy and have to purge them, so out they come. Yes, I try to mop them into somewhat more appealing piles, so that those choosing to read won’t think, “What the hell happened here?!?” That’s what editing is to me – mopping up piles of mental vomit. And I’m supposed to wait until a certain time of day to post something? Let it sit there, unpublished? Not going to happen. If I wait too long or read something too many times, it will start looking worse and worse to me. Yes, of course I edit, often several times in a row. But not hours apart, never that. I’d come back and decide that everything I’d written was absolute crap, and no one would ever want to read something so awful. No really, I would. You see then why it’s necessary that I post shortly after the, um, regurgitation happens, yes?
So with respect to these über-bloggers, whose posts get 200 or more likes at a go, I just can’t do it. Not yet, anyway. Maybe someday I’ll be a more advanced blogger with loftier goals. Until then, I’ll just be here, mopping.