I felt like blogging today.
But I didn’t have anything to write about. Weird, huh? It’s not like I didn’t think about it–actually, I’ve been thinking about a suitable topic for days. On Wednesday, I had a moment when I thought I might write about the nature of creativity–mainly because I like to think that I am fairly creative, as are my two daughters…but my son? Well, not so much. It was an interesting moment as I tried to figure out why it is that my girls and I can easily spark off a creative idea and he can’t. But as I thought about, after a while, it didn’t seem to ring true in my head. It sounded fabricated. False.
On Thursday, I had the idea that I would write a little about romance. Maybe not of everyone else’s idea of romance, but my own. With me and husband. I thought it might be interesting to delve into the nature of what he and I consider to be romantic time with each other: battling for superiority in a never-ending battle of Words With Friends. Interestingly, when we met sixteen years ago, it was Scrabble that kind of sealed the deal for us, and here we are, all these years later, still playing heated matches almost non-stop (I win all the time, by the way, mostly because I’m a genius and he’s lame, hehehe). Yea, that seemed like a cute idea…for about two minutes.
Then this morning, as I stood in the shower, counting how many days it had been since I had made a blog post (four) I thought that perhaps I could write about…well, guess what? You know, as I sit here now, I don’t even remember what my idea was?
What does that tell you?
Finding myself at a loss, I decided to read other people’s blogs, see what they were talking about. Well, it seems that everyone out there has a lot to say on a range of things: there’s the issue of black authors not being read by white authors; there was the guy who exalted vintage mystery novels; there was the girl who really thought that all writing–and thus all reading–didn’t have any merit unless it was over the top…erotic. And that’s putting it mildly. I read a conspiracy theorist’s blog today who stated he had irrefutable proof that Obama was born in Kenya (really, dude? Really? Can you really not find anything better to do with your time?).
So while I was looking for examples and ideas, I started to wonder: why am I going through all this trouble? And, if I’m going to write something, what will be the purpose? The focus? The objective? Why is this so difficult?
It occurred to me then that the reason that I’m trying so hard boils down to two things: one) I just want to write something, and two) whatever I write, I want it to have value.
You know, I’ve read that writing blogs are cathartic. I didn’t believe that before, but as I slowly make my way through the blogging world and process, I’m starting to see that there is truth to that. Last week, I wrote a post entry called Come Take a Ride With Me to really vent my frustration at the marketing process. I didn’t think about it then, but later, I realized that I did in fact feel better when I had sorted out my thoughts, my emotions, and identified the issue that was upsetting me. In the process of writing that, not only did I feel like I had begun the healing of my bruised ego, but it felt good to write from a purely emotional standpoint, where plot and story and character had nothing to do with it. I didn’t have to stop to worry about punctuation, I didn’t have to think about dialogue or characterization, I didn’t even have to think about subject-verb agreement (well, maybe a little). I could just write. And it was completely freeing.
Which was kind of cool.
I realized that it’s also a kind of release. As I am on summer vacation, I have this overwhelming need to take advantage of my free time as much as possible to write before the school year comes around again, before I have to work and meet the demands of my regular job. I have all this pent-up energy and it’s a burning, driving desire to get something on paper (or in this case, screen), and blogging, I’m learning, is a great vehicle for that. It’s a way for me to write in a manner or style that is different from writing fiction, and thus, helps me to improve my writing skills over all.
That’s not a bad deal if you can get it.
The second thing I came to realize is that, whatever I write, it has to be quality. I want my blog to be a showcase, no doubt, of both my writing and my ideas, whatever they are at any given time. Some people seem to write anything that pops into their heads, and I don’t know if that’s a worthwhile approach to blogging. Why post if you can’t make a solid argument? Or make a valid connection between the various points you’ve espoused? I think it’s worth it to take the time to write about something that has value, not only for the benefit of the writer, but for the reader as well. In my case, it may mean that I will have to take a few extra days between my blogs, develop an idea, and not post just for the sake of posting, but because I have something meaningful to say. It’s a little hard for me to wrap my head around that one, because again, sometimes I am also satisfying need to write, but I think it needs to be done, and I’m going to have to train myself accordingly. But I think I can do that.
Because I guess at the end of the day, what I’m saying is: who wants to read a bad blog?
And even though this post isn’t about anything, I think that’s saying something.