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Midland, Texas, United States
I write. I make stuff.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Not So Simple

I really wasn't trying to get everyone to tell me how fabulous I am and how I shouldn't quit blogging. In fact, that gets to part of the root of my problem right there: I've come to realize that blogging, by its very nature (public journaling) is ego driven. It's me, me, me look at me! It's about imagining that you're special and have things worth other people taking time out of their lives to read. I hardly ever read the old posts, but when I did, I usually cringed, especially during the years I was trying to flog one of the books, something that you have to do as part of your agreement with your publisher but that so often comes off as rude, buy-my-stuff-becasue-you-know-me marketing. I can't even say how tired and dismayed I am by the whole marketing branding culture, the selfies and the self promotion and the idea that everyone is a star. It literally makes me want to lie down on the floor (the floor out here is concrete, and it's cool, and sometimes it seems so inviting, never mind that it's as hard as a rock and lying on it is about as comfortable as wearing stilettos).

The other thing was that, years ago, I wrote about other people, people we haven't seen or heard from in years. A few people have complained at being mentioned or shown in videos, and I totally get that and am always embarrassed that I didn't think of that at the time (even though it wasn't hateful or mocking). I tried, a while back, to go in and find those posts and delete them all, but it was overwhelming and impossible (without taking days of reading those old cringe-inducing posts), and I gave up.

I started just to delete the blog, but I realized I need it. Before there was blogging, I was writing True-Life Stories and illustrating them with rubber stamped images and taking them to Kinko's to be copied and sending them out through the (gasp!) Real Mail to everyone who was patient enough to be my correspondent. I write. I tell stories. I need that. I HAVE to do that. If I didn't have an outlet for that, I'd be putting the cats in straightjackets and lining them up along the couch and forcing them to listen to me explain about the life of aliens in Prehistoric Manhattan, a place where dinosaurs could step from borough to borough in one step.

So I'm going to keep it, and I apologize for paring it down so thoroughly, but I had to do that, to get rid of that niggling sense that there were things that shouldn't have been there (stories involving other people) and things I never wanted to read again (stories from my mother's last month, when she was in hospitals and incoherent). I don't remember many things, and I don't dwell on the past, and I don't like it when someone mentions to me something I said or wrote years ago about something sad or unpleasant, something I wouldn't otherwise remember. I don't like coming across notes or letters from people who are gone, reminders that perhaps their lives could have been better if I'd worked harder or done more or—see? You know how it goes.

I'm going to be more mindful of my ego's intrusion. I'm going to be less hard on myself when I go for days or weeks without posting something, although I hope that without the pressure of that morass of old posts in there, it will seem fresh. My favorite part of this is absolutely when one of y'all tells me, maybe not in a comment but in an email or in person, that I showed how I did something and it inspired you to do something you wanted to do but had been putting off, or something that suddenly seems doable. I love that. I love the idea that we can inspire each other (to paint a room or go for a walk or dance in the dirt or make clothes from scratch or set off on a day trip across the desert) to try new stuff. I LOVE that.

So I'm looking forward to a new adventure. More of the same things, but fresh, without the burden of the past and without, we hope, any idea in the back of my head that what I think and say and do is any more important than what anyone else thinks or says or does. Except Ted Cruz. Even when you're thinking about cleaning your toenails, your thoughts are more important than those of Ted Cruz. Remember that.

Thanks for being here. The cats thank you, too.

XO

Monday, April 20, 2015

Simplifying

I started to do a post about how I was going to delete this blog, about how it had been ten years and I was tired of thinking I have anything vital to add to the cacophony of online advice/opinions/rants/chatter. And then I realized I could just delete all the old posts and leave it at that.

As I simplify, I come more and more to the realization that my opinions are just that: my opinions. What I do is not earth-shattering, and I have no interest in Being Relevant or being On Trend, a term that makes my teeth ache. But because I feel it's important for me to try to inspire people just to do stuff and try stuff and have a great life, I'll keep this for now. We'll see how it goes, as I have less interest in pontificating and more interest in being and doing. I just wish you all could come hang out with me and we could pass around ideas and sit and stitch and be inspired without all the weird online crap of marketing and self-promotion and me, me, me.

Right now I'm going to go and comb barf out of Clarice's fur. That's what's important right now.

I do love you all, and I will try to be inspirational without being too self-involved. XO