Sunday, November 27, 2011

"The Question" Has Changed

The great question used to be "To be or not to be."

Now, it's "To blog or not to blog."

What is that saying: All you have to do in life is pay taxes and die? Well, now it's all you have to is blog, pay taxes and die.

I used to think "I want to blog this morning"; now I think "I have to blog this morning." It's gone from what I like to do in my spare time to another thing added to the list. Yesterday, I sat down grumbling about my new "have to" and started a post about how I'm going to be an aunt for the first time. I typed away about the pressure of being an aunt and the importance of that role in a satirical, yet light-hearted way.

Then I realized that most of the people who read my blog probably don't give a shit that my sister is having a baby.

Those who follow my blog are my *clearing throat* audience.

If I don't produce for my audience, I'll lose them. Therefore, I have to blog. If I lose my audience, will I stop writing? Do I have an audience so that I can write or do I write so I can have an audience?

Enter Sellout.

Enter Ego.

Enter Creative Frustration.

I started blogging as an avenue of self promotion that will (hopefully) help me snag an agent. Once I have an agent, he or she can do all the damn promoting.

(I know; in my dreams.)

My point is that the blog started as something I had to do. As I posted more and more, and my audience grew and grew, and --god help me--I produced quality a few quality pieces that might never have been born without the blog, I found that I wanted to blog. It wasn't taking away from my creative energy; it was pushing the boundaries of skills. Making me more versatile; more deft in my craft. I had never written flash fiction before blogging; my musings on language actually got put into language.

But, the pendulum has swung. It's been two weeks since my last post and I feel pressured. Updating the blog jumped back onto my list of things I have to do.

So I sit down, planning on blogging about my inability to blog (might as well capitalize on my ego causing me to sellout resulting in creative frustration).

Enter Instant Message: the greatest time-suck, procrastination aid (along with its siblings texting and Facebook) every invented.

Chicago, online friend that I stumbled across as while I have been traversing the online dating and blogosphere scene, is checking in on my evening. And I am more than willing to provide the details of my very boring Saturday night.

Before I know it, I am co-writing vampire horror erotica. Chicago has been nudging me to compose his ideas for erotic horror fiction, but I've resisted. I feel as if I have enough of my own projects to not get wrapped up in someone else's. I have written vampire fiction; I occasionally write erotica; I frequently write horror, but I had no plans on combining them.

As it turns out, I ended up with the draft of what could be a good piece. And I was just pounding it out. In my effort to avoid my creative frustration, to avoid updating the blog, I managed to sink my teeth into a new vein of my creativity. (This is called hitting you over the head with metaphor or in other words, bad writing.)

So there you have it: my blog update about how in avoiding updating the blog, I wrote a new piece which I will not be including in my post.

Is there a blog award for "worst post ever"?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Little Fact; A Little Fiction: A Weekend of Bad Ideas

I spent the last lovely weekend in Stockton, California. If you aren't asking "where is that?" you are asking "why would you do that?"

Answer to question #1: the city with the worst crime rate per capita in the nation. Answer to question #2: for my sister's baby shower given by her in-laws. The moment my brother-in-law graduated from high school, he got the flock out of here.

When I would share my weekend plans with friends and colleagues, they would respond with: well, at least you'll have plenty of material to blog about.

I didn't think I would be the material.

Actually, I shouldn't be that surprised. I am one of those people who is either a genius or a moron. As my friend, Cher, often says: "You are one of the smartest people I know, but man can you be dumb sometimes."

I don't know if "dumb" is the right word for how I rolled it this weekend, but I had a lot of bad ideas.

It was a bad idea to eat at Denny's. In Bakersfield.

I was a bad idea to spear a cherry tomato while wearing a white shirt.

It was a bad idea to take three Unisom last night.

It was a bad idea to kill an hour in Macy's during a sale when the only credit card I brought with me was American Express. Gold.

It was a bad idea to attach a giant clay penis and testicles to the clay baby I sculpted as a shower game. (My sister's nephew announced to the rest of party: "Holly's has balls!") My sister sunk down into the couch and hid her face in her hands.

It was a bad idea to protest when my clay baby didn't win.

It was a bad idea to use the bathroom after an eight-year-old boy did.

It was a bad idea to not seek out my brother-in-law's uncle once I learned that he was "probably in the garage smoking pot."

It was a bad idea to go down to the hotel bar, which was full of men, to do some writing during a televised UFC match.

It was a bad idea to smile coquettishly at a guy sitting a few chairs away from me just as his wife was returning from the restroom.

It was a bad idea to work on revising my piece that involved me boffing a twenty-eight year-old while my mother peered over my shoulder and asked, "What are you working on?"

It was a bad idea to only have one Cosmopolitan before grading my students' papers.

It was a bad idea to take a steaming hot bath while eating tomato bisque soup that I had microwaved to the temperature of Hell's summer.

I'm sure that it is a bad idea to eat about 20 Godiva chocolates right before bed.

And tomorrow, when I get up and check in on my blog, I'll think it was a bad idea to publish a post on my bad ideas.