Disclaimer: I have mixed feelings about the blogosphere, leaning towards really not liking it.
What is to like about it?
It’s saturated. It’s a cacophony of egos, bullies, unqualified statements, non-experts, the righteously indignant, people explaining why they’re right, and posts with too many exclamation points and product endorsements before I get to the list of ingredients for a recipe I want to try. I’m not technically gifted so my blog will never be beautiful. There are things that distract from the mission of useful words like blog of the day awards. I won’t go to a blogging conference because seeing people fighting over swag bags would be enough to send me into hibernation again.
But, what is there to like about it, really….like about it?
The blogosphere connects people. The blogosphere gets people to take risks and put themselves out there, and there is good content out there that should be discovered. I’m a firm believer that good will needs as much generating as quickly as possible, and the blogosphere enables that. And after some impatient scrolling, I have found some incredible recipes.
Someone I respect recently told me to start blogging again, and my response was, who am I? I’m not an expert on anything. I only have an undergraduate degree. I have no platform. I’ve got one finished book I need to submit, a couple of books I’ve started, and a list of ones I want to write still. But what the hell makes me so special that I think I should get a share of web traffic, clicks, reads, shares, views?
I forgot that I am not after those things, so that’s easy. I think the cardinal sin I’ve been afraid of committing, and what has kept me from blogging for years, is seeming self-important.
But I don’t want to suppress any more the compulsion to sit and organize my thoughts through a keyboard when I am moved, inspired, or otherwise need to let the beast clawing it’s way out of my brain the f*** out and make sense of it so I know how I feel and most importantly, move on to the next thing. Idea. Recipe. Act of good will. Whatever.
Because, I write, It’s what I do, the only thing, in fact (besides having some luck in the kitchen) that I have ever been good at. My desire to introduce some stories and compelling characters to the world has to be bigger than my fear of sucking. If not, that’s my ego at work, too, just in a different way.
(Not to mention the fact that if I back off my ambitions out of doubt, my kids would be right to call me a hypocrite).
I don’t know where my work will end up, but I am going to write it anyway. I’ve read enough submissions, heard enough indie bands, seen enough underdog teams succeed, and consumed enough small batch craft beer to know, good material can come from anywhere, it doesn’t even have to start off as good.
But it has to start somewhere.
So here goes. I’m back, for reasons that, after writing this, I think I understand a little more clearly now.