The last couple blog posts I wrote I kept in my draft folder for days.
I looked over both of them a couple times and held back from publishing them, because they just feel too angry. I don’t want my blog to start sounding like a series of angry letters to one person or group after another.
Mostly, I wanted to tear down certain assumptions that I’ve encounter too often. The fact that I’ve written angry emails about them says that I’ve taken those assumptions personally.
Maybe too personally. My choice of words makes me think I’ve taken some people’s attitudes as personal attacks. And I’ve reacted accordingly — not with insults but with a counterargument tinged with anger.
Okay, maybe “tinged” is understating it a bit.
While I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be passionate about what I believe, I don’t want to be so angry that I’m unable to see the other person’s perspective.
Because I’ve noticed that, once I’ve taken someone’s statement or argument as a personal attack, it’s harder to even want to see the subject from his or her perspective.
And there I go again, jumping to conclusions about what someone meant.
Making assumptions of my own.
Social media makes it easier to focus on someone’s words and to react to them without considering the fact that those words came from another human being who may be equally passionate about what he or she believes.
If a particular blogger’s experience has taught him that having money to invest in an impressive-looking professional blog leads to greater success — or leads to success for quickly — than a free blog (which he might have tried before), he might want to spare new bloggers the time and frustration of going the free blog route.
This, in fact, does not make him a snob.
But it’s pretty easy for people like me, who have never had enough money to invest in an impressive-looking professional blog (I bought a domain name, but I still use WordPress’s free website builder), to take this advice as though Mr. Professional Blogger — with his e-mail list and his spiffy landing page — is crapping all over free blogs, assuming they’re doomed to fail.
Some professional bloggers do, honestly, sound as though they’re saying exactly this.
Some are gentler in their approach, saying something like, “Hey, I get it! Professional blogs are expensive. But, dude, don’t make the same mistake I did. I started with this free blog and then moved to that free blog, and then another one. And they all sucked. Only when I decided to pony up the cash for a self-hosted blog with all the features professionals need [(i.e., e-mail list, spiffy landing page, and other stuff I don’t know about, because I stopped caring)] did I start to really see some progress toward my goals as a blogger/writer/whatever. And I want to save you the time I wasted before I learned that.”
Fine, I’ll say it: You might not be a jerk.
Honestly, since I haven’t even published a novel, yet, and my blog is one of millions that maybe only an elevator-full of people know about, how would I even know whether you’re right or wrong about free blogs being doomed to fail?
I just really want to believe that I’m not wasting my time with the one I have.
Since, however, I don’t base my success as a blogger on how many people visit my blog or like my posts or leave comments, it’s hard to tell what kind of impact my blog is making.
If it helps even one person to know that he or she is not alone, then I’d consider that a success.
Of course, I may never know that — until I’m dead.
Good thing I don’t have all my eggs in this one basket labeled “blog.”
I’m a wife and mother, after all. I’ve got more eggs in those baskets than I’ll ever have in my blog’s.
Plus, I’ve been working on this novel, which may never sit on a bookstore shelf, even when it’s done (God willing I finish it).
Sometimes, when I’m working on it, I’m thinking, “Just writing this story might be the death of me.” It sounds melodramatic, I know. I feel exposed in this story, though it’s not autobiographical. I still worry that my protagonist is too much like me. She’s not me, but she sees the world mostly through my eyes.
At her core, she’s a vagrant, not really belonging anywhere.
She remembers someone from her past who felt so familiar — everything about him (his face, his laugh, his sense of humor, his mannerisms, his walk, his choice of words) made her feel as though he were someone who’d gone missing some time in her childhood that she can’t remember. He just felt like family.
But it wasn’t mutual, so she was left feeling as though her memory and her instinct had betrayed her, or as though she’d fallen prey to someone else’s deception.
She questions her sanity, as her memories, her identity, and her grasp of reality seem to be disintegrating.
That someone from her past isn’t the character who actually wants to hold onto her. She can’t help thinking, though, that if she marries this other character, he’ll come to regret asking for her hand.
So, maybe it’s no surprise I’ve been writing angrier blog posts lately. I just deleted one that I’d actually published (“So, you want to be my writing coach…”), because I overreacted to someone’s coaching webinar.
It occurred to me, after I’d had some cool-down time (which, unfortunately, was after I’d hit the “publish” button), that if that particular writing coach had read that post, he would have been justifiably offended.
I’d jumped to conclusions about what he meant — grasping at subtext — and never gave him a chance to explain himself. And the more I thought about it, the more ashamed I was, until I deleted the post.
And then I started this one. I’m still not sure why I’ve been so angry.
I have a great new job as a lunch lady, and my kids are doing great at school. Family life is as good as it gets.
Maybe I’m identifying too much with my protagonist and lashing out while I’m still lucid.
In any case, I may not be able to write and publish weekly posts. I’m struggling with the novel, right now. Writing whatever comes into my head isn’t the problem. The characters, though, have taken on a life of their own in my head, and they’re noisy.
Have you ever posted an angry or emotional blog post and then deleted it later?
Has it ever made you wonder whether you should have a blog at all?