Every time I sit down to write, I stare at the blank WordPress editor for what feels like an eternity. Nine times out of ten, the very first thing I write is a title. It’s not always the title that goes public, but it’s the title that I need to help keep my mind on track. If the title still fits by the time I’m done writing, I’ll keep it. If it doesn’t, I’ll change it. Sometimes, If I’m really unhappy with a title, I’ll change it to a string of random numbers and letters, and then will only change it in the 11th hour right after reading what I’ve written once more. And even then, sometimes I still hate the title. Though, it’s often not as detracting as the number of typos I find in my own work. Goddamn, there are so times when
i I read my stuff anf and think that my fingers must of have been numb. And I still miss bunches of them. All the time. As I often tell folks at work, in a job in which I am required to edit written words before them they go public, I am at least a few things in life, but a proofreader is not of one of them. Like I said…goddamn.
This is all to say that even after doing this blogging thing for eight years, I still kinda suck at it. Well, maybe just the technical aspects of it. But also, at some points, the storytelling aspect of it, too. Being stupidly loyal to my own schedule means that I am constantly compelled to produce something rather than nothing, though upon reading some posts, I’ve often thought that nothing would have been better than that. I mean, like, literally a blank page would have been more entertaining. But like most, I am my own worst critic. And despite the fact that I’m not always feeling it when it comes to blogging, I have always enjoyed the non-conformity blogging allows. This blog is a place where I almost as happy to fail as I am succeed. It is a place that confounds me when I feel that my “best” writing is overlooked and my “mediocre” writing is celebrated. Is it the one place on the Internet where I feel I can be the most me. And when I think about giving it up, it makes me profoundly sad.
Wait, am I giving it up? Is that what I’m saying?!
Well…no. I don’t think so, anyway. But, I also…
More so than any past blogging year, this year had me thinking the most about giving up blogging. I’m…I’m a little unwilling to show my hand…but I guess since it’s almost the end of the year I can go ahead and say it. And that is, I’ve not really enjoyed my 2019 blogging output. Any of it.
Well, except for the “Five on Shuffle” posts. Those I really liked doing. While I’m happy to have my iPod back in its natural state, I rather enjoyed skewering and celebrating my song choices from years gone by.
But beyond that, I’m really talking about the Totally 90s and Monthly Maunder posts…but especially Totally 90s. Not much explanation is needed for either, but I’ll offer that with the Monthly Maunders, I initially pictured them as monthly personal journals, of sorts, but they both were and weren’t. With Totally 90s, I’ve not been nearly as nostalgic for that decade as I thought I would be. In short, both ideas were good in theory but neither manifested how I expected. Because this year has been generally shitty for me in a number of ways, I’m pretty sure that a lot of my inner unease has been flowing into my blog posts. And it’s all kind of roundly led to the nihilistic, “eh, what does any of this matter?” train of thought that has only become stronger as the year’s worn on. There’s a pretty big part of my brain that’s saying, even right now as I type, after eight years, what the hell else do you have left to say?
Strangely, this is exactly why I know it’s not yet time to hang up my blogging hat.
I’m not yet ready to call this year a failure, but in the end, I do still have things left to say, even if I don’t know what they might be in this very moment. When the word well is dry, I’m pretty sure I’ll know it, and I can see that there’s still at least a few syllables left in there. How they’ll come together in the future, I don’t know. But how exciting is that?
My eight years of blogging have been marked by both plans and randomness, and after a few years of plans, I’m feeling like a little randomness may be due. Could that be the “cure”?
Well, hey, if blogging isn’t a string of second chances, I don’t know what else is. Hmmm…
I just recently re-watched A Nightmare Before Christmas, and with all this in mind, this song is currently running through my head:
In a way, the summation of Jack’s ordeals in A Nightmare Before Christmas, perfectly sums up my own experience with blogging. When Jack discovered “Christmas,” it was eye-opening, to say the least, and something that he thinks he can capitalize on in his own way. Indeed, when I started blogging eight years back, I was inspired both internally and externally to produce my very own online space. A space where I could really do something! Be myself! CHANGE THE WORLD! And so it grew and grew. And I experimented along with way with different potions and poultices in a lab that was tucked away in my mind’s eye. Finally, just as Jack burst forth with a EUREKA! from his isolated space upon finding his own “meaning” of Christmas, I hit gold in my internal mine a few years back when my stats flew off the charts, and I thought that yes, I had done it. I had really done it!
And then, would you believe that, similar to Jack, a little too much hubris trickled in? In a way, it’s what’s been kicking me down since the days of those sky-high stats. Well, that along with ever-dwindling free time. But for a moment, I stretched my online wings a little too wide, and extended myself a bit too much for my own good. I had to force myself to pull back, lest risk getting shot down for good. I’d reckon that it was about a year or so ago that I found myself internally lamenting, feeling like I had done too much and had little left to give. And earlier this year, in the midst of personal traumas and bad, bad headaches, I was partially convinced that I had really destroyed both my own world and the one I sought to change. In the words of Jack: “What have I done?… All is lost, where was I? …Everything’s gone all wrong.”
There is, as they say, power in letting go. And after eight years, I’m realizing now that there may be some things here that I need to let go of if I’m to continue on. And I want to continue on. As Jack took new inspiration and stamina from his foibles, so to do I as I reflect upon all the words that have proceeded here. I may never “touch the sky” again, but that certainly doesn’t mean I can’t continue to shoot for the stars in some fashion. I may choose to aim a little lower these days and in the ones upcoming, but this will remain my space. My sorrow, my joy, my creation. As it has been for the past eight years, and will continue to be until I finally run out of things to say. Perhaps it will be the same day on which I finally tire of The Nightmare Before Christmas. I didn’t mean to get into a little treatise on that but, like I said, it’s fresh in mind. I get that it’s not really the fantastical movie that it once was, but y’know, it still holds up, even with it’s simplistic story. But I mean, how can one at least no appreciate the beautiful, tactile animation? I mean, I still get a kick out of Zero’s jack o’ lantern nose and the silly, head-turning antics of the mayor.
Ah, and see, now I’m rambling. So it’s time to stop…