Monday, April 30, 2012

Hold This Thread...

It's been a little over six months since I made this blog public, an experiment, a curiosity, an effort to build "my platform" as suggested to me by an agent. I have been writing on this blog since 2008 and a small handful of people had the password to it. Back in those days, this blog was a smattering of poems, conversations, photos, deeply personal writing and sarcastic rants, even thank yous and love letters to other people. When I went public I didn't comb through the blog and take down old posts. I threw caution to the wind and let the writing I considered "somewhat private," writing I did on a public (albeit protected) platform as a means to keep me accountable to myself, stand on its own. (I have since combed through some. It's more than a little upsetting to learn you have hurt someone's feelings over a post you don't even remember writing and never intended to be public. A lesson in responsible blogging. Be careful with your words.) I started this blog so I could spend time at my desk job still doing something creative and something expressive for myself. I watched other friends' blogs, blogs that were started after my personal one, blow up to crazy proportions and I have watched other friends get book deals and agents and advertisements, all stuff I secretly covet and yet I refuse to allow myself to "be big." I refuse to monetize this blog under the guise that the few pennies I might make would not be worth losing the "integrity" of this blog. I have said this for a while while posting things like Tramp Stamp Thursday. Not to say that Tramp Stamp Thursday is not bursting with integrity. It's just when you read the word "Tramp," integrity might not be the first adjective that comes into your head. And this is nothing against all my fellow tramp stampees. Part of the reason I love that segment so much is that it's what I really want to be doing - writing stories, and not just any story but stories most of us can connect to. And so many of us can connect to a wild night that ends with a tattoo, a wild youth that concludes with a memento to remind us just how precious we were and still are, we with all of our convictions and regrets.

For a decade, I have watched myself be a backseat writer. I write plays and work on them for two years and then when the story has helped me process whatever unfinished business I needed to process or helped me swallow the residual shame I feel from this failed relationship or that unfulfilled dream, I pack these scripts away. My college thesis sits at the bottom of a filing cabinet I can't even get into anymore. My play that I had a reading of at a playwriting workshop through Voice and Vision, is crammed into a metal mesh file holder sandwiched between scripts I haven't looked at in five years. I have ten minute plays unsubmitted. Short stories abandoned.  And now 80 pages of a memoir I am running from. 

I blame the blog. I blame the wedding. And these are half truths. I am "happy" right now and don't really want to continue writing about a time where I suffered immense complex grief. Why write about how the night my parents decided to divorce was a scene that really captured the essence of them both? Why write about growing up in a one-bedroom apartment with my brother in a single-parent home? Why write about the deep regret I have for never accepting my grandmother's invitation to come over for tea? Why would I go back and sit in the shit, I think to myself, when I can write about Things I've Learned from Living in NYC and Tramp Stamp stories and things that are just fun?  I stopped interviewing artists and finding my Tuesday Treats, even though I know the talks and writing the posts always inspired something in me. I stopped posting poems. I stopped getting too personal. I find it harder and harder to just write uninhibited. And then I ask myself, am I stuffing the script back in the file drawer? Will I delete this blog in the near future or abandon it entirely? I hear myself reminding myself, This was just a an experiment anyway. A year, remember? I feel myself losing steam. I feel myself running out of excuses. I feel the same old thing with this writing problem of mine. I don't always love to write and sometimes I hate it. But to not do it is inconceivable. To consider a life without writing is one I can't bear, even if it's writing about tattoos and wedding planning. But now I'm wondering if the blog is the obstacle? I still have another desk job where I can blog from,  a job I tell myself would be perfect for a writer when I know a part of me doesn't consider blogging "writing" or at least not the kind of writing that I want to do in my heart.

I tell myself the blog is about connecting. Blogging is about connecting through writing. And I still believe that. And not just connecting with people but connecting with myself. It has also become a sort of truth meter for me and in some unfortunate cases an unintended weapon. In both cases, a great teacher. And for that I'm grateful. Maybe because of that, it's exactly what I should be doing.

So where does this leave me? I'm not quite sure. Maybe I need to get messy again. Shake things up. Write from the heart. Not look at the stats. Not follow my routine segments. I'm not sure what I need, but I know that I needed to write a post to get honest for a moment.  If you're reading, thank you. And if you keep reading, thank you. I don't know where this blog is headed, but if you hold this thread, you may just watch it all unravel.  


daleboca said...

engaging and thought provoking as always. blogging is like fast decompression/cheap therapy for me and your blog provides endless entertainment for me. keep it up! any way you do it, i am in.

Carmen said...