Posted by: dougery | May 12, 2011

Meta-Meta Post of the Week: My Take on Blogging, Writing, Your Mom

The following questions were sent to me by a writer friend of mine. As I was composing my reply to this person it struck me that this would make a decent blog post. Voila:

1. Do you find yourself lusting after typewriters? Do you want to employ a manual typewriter in your craft? I have a small collection of broken machines, but I sometimes get this weird urge to drop hundreds of dollars on one that works. Would you consider that an investment, or a stupid expenditure?

There are many things a person can do to ‘trick’ themselves into writing more often. I have not yet figured out my ‘trick’ as of yet. Sometimes I will see a snazzy looking journal in a paper source style boutique and say to myself “Gee, that sure is a snazzy looking journal. I shall buy it so as to write more often.” Even though I already have a pile of other snazzy looking journals in the corner of my room nestled between the comicbooks, pulp fiction paperbacks, Nintendo GameCube, and a cardboard box full of CDs in their jewel cases as well as sketchbooks as I’m passing fair at drawing too. The point is I haven’t yet stumbled across the journal snazzy enough to drag my attention away from tumblrs, Netflix, and the Great Out-of-Doors so I can get some actual writing done.

(The scariest implication of this is that I might very well not be a writer. * shudders *)

Therefore I assume, for me mind you, that a typewriter would just be another gigantic snazzy journal. But, as Thom Yorke famously sang, I might be wrong. There is something about the process of writing (as opposed to the goal/written product itself) that makes me want to write, and maybe clicking and clacking away on some archaic machine would prove ‘trick’ enough for me, and perhaps for you. Now I’m not sure how much they cost to buy or repair, but probably more than a snazzy new journal, even a snazzy new journal to which you affix a rad Fang Island band sticker (which also, sadly, didn’t work for me).

Also, I’m not sure how compulsive you are, but I am an ‘edit as I go’ writer. Thus Microsoft Word rules because I can mouseclick back and spell-correct after each sentence. And also tinker with grammar and word-choice. This would be impossible on a typewriter. HOWEVER, writing teachers I have studied under have unsuccessfully tried to encourage me to eliminate the persnickety from my writing behavior. To get me to ‘just get it down on paper.’ NaNoWriMo was a huge success in this department, so I know I can compose without being so compulsive. The only problem was my NaNo product at times doesn’t even feel like it was written by me, but someone else who is not me, some fast scribbling lunatic. But I’m digressing after I already digressed, and I apologize.

Long story short, if you honestly believe it will get you writing more then by all means go for it. Assuming you have the cash to spare, etc. It could be like paying for a gym membership. You put down all that money, and the guilt of doing so takes over from there.

2. My blog is increasingly well-received and I expect that yours is, also. Are you obsessively checking your blog statistics? because I totally am. I think a change has occurred, and where I used to do it as a creative outlet, and now I do it because I want to be a successful blogger, even though I’m not sure what that means..

a) This may be incredibly self-centered of me but yes, I expect my blog is well-received by my four readers.

b) I rarely check my statistics. I don’t really care. I find it curious when WordPress tells me how a person came to my blog (e.g. seatch phrases like: ‘girl on girl Bond fight’ or ‘black pagan ritual’) but the actual numbers don’t do much for me. Perhaps it is because they are rather modest. If I was writing to a larger audience, of that audience were growing at an appreciable rate I would become more stat-checky.

c) I still write for myself. Which is only 2% a lie, since once in a while I will compose a post with a specific person in mind, my brother, say, or in this case, you. I can’t really assume there is a large target audience for my writing. Not everyone is going to like my Bond musings AND have my same taste in music AND like cats, etc. I think the most successful bloggers latch on to a particular niche and then kick out the jams, playing that chord as well as they can and wholly cow was that a tortured metaphor. Until my blog achieves such focus of purpose, I expect it will remain the lil Lebowski under achiever that it is (and yes I’m aware the real word is Urban. chillax, Quotists).

d) there are a great many things I wish to be other than a successful blogger. That said, there are millions more I’d rather not be. As my step-father has said on occasion (refering to a comely lass in a film) “I wouldn’t kick her out of bed.” That pretty much sums up my feelings regarding blog success.

e) What does this shift in the motivation behind your blogging mean? As a registered psychoanalyst, I think this means you are finally, *shed single tear*, growing up. Time to leave the nest, stretch those wings, fly to the nicest tree you can find and poop on an expensive car. And if that isn’t the perfect metaphor for a thriving blog, than I don’t know what is.

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Responses

  1. We’re all old enough that we are among the very last fringe of humans to be taught to use typewriters. I remember my parents had one in our house, and not as decoration, though it was replaced by a PC pretty early on. But it was there and I used it. I also had to learn to type on an electric typewriter at school (what a sad, sad missing link that piece of technology was. The Laser Disc of writing tools). I imagine this will shock my children and grandchildren and prove my ancient pedigree, as if I’d once calculated goats on an abacus.

  2. You assume there won’t be some near-future eugenics program which filters out all of us oldsters from reproducing. Check any that apply:

    [] You remember life before the Internet.
    [] You have owned VHS/cassette technology
    [] You have made phone calls on a land line
    [] You experienced something and did not think ‘this would make an excellent status update’
    [] You have written and mailed a letter through the US Post.
    [] You paid $1.25 / gal or less for a tank of gas
    [] You played with toys that could actually harm you if used improperly
    [] You have flown somewhere without taking off your shoes
    [] You know what any of the following are: New Coke, Crystal Pepsi, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Short Circuit.

  3. “the laser disc of writing tools.”

    !!!

    quoted.

  4. “It could be like paying for a gym membership. You put down all that money, and the guilt of doing so takes over from there.” Ugh, so true! The guilt is definitely a driving force, isn’t it? Also, sir, I love that your blog post is composed of your correspondence. Very epistolary of you.


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