Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Metablogging, Part the Third: Get Down With the Sickness

Man, this "pacing myself" thing is harder than I thought it would be . . .

It sounded like a really good idea back when I was operating on zero sleep and was emotionally drained from dredging up a good portion of the least proud moments of my life; but after a close approximation of a good night's sleep or two, if I experience even an instant's worth of free time, I find myself being drawn back to the blog, like an obsessive homing pigeon. Looking at the Site Meter logs and seeing that some people check the site several times a day also makes me feel almost obligated to constantly provide them with new material . . . almost.

I bought myself a notebook to jot down anecdotes, topics, and other ideas for later use, to make sure nothing slips away from me (am now up to around 60 items or so); now I just need to retrieve the mini-cassette recorder (which, incidentally, contains a recording made by Flunky, G'ovich and myself during an excursion to Lake McMurtry our Sophomore year) which I accidentally left at the Stoneheart residence many moons ago, so I can see about dictating my rambling thoughts during long drives; I have a feeling it will seem like a good idea to me up until I actually have to listen to the sound of my recorded voice for any length of time; one of the most painful things imaginable is to be forced to watch/listen to myself. *braces for smartass remarks* Still, there are so many times I've found myself composing a large amount of prose, be it for the blog, a short story, or some other random target, only to find the best parts of it fleeing from my mind as soon as I sit down to type it up, that I might be able to handle the discomfort of hearing my voice on tape to help solve the problem; very few things quite as frustrating for a writer as losing that perfect turn of phrase somewhere between the parking lot and the apartment door.

While we’re on the subject of blog ideas, let me take a moment to talk to those of you who like to share with me your ideas for blog posts: I’ve gotten lots of suggestions for what I “need” to write about, some which have really inspired me, others . . . not so much. Some of the ones which have inspired me have yet to see the light of day; the Earth-K post was the result of a suggestion from G’ovich back in September, which took until last week to finally percolate its way to the top of my fevered brain. If I don’t respond enthusiastically to one of your suggestions, don’t take offense; it’s not that it’s a bad idea, necessarily, just that it’s not a good one for me. Some things will click, others won’t, and others will lie dormant until my muse decides to activate them; it’s all about what resonates with the writer in me. Suggestions are always welcomed; just please don’t tell me that I have to write about something; that’s a pretty good way to insure that I won’t be writing about it anytime soon. I can be stubborn and reactionary that way, sometimes.

I’ve gotten so used to writing these mammoth posts that anything under 1,000 words feels like I’m wimping out, like I’m not making it worth your time to click on that link to read the bulk of my post; but do I really want to have to stretch a post to its breaking point just to pad the word count? Is it better to have one super-sized post or a couple of shorter posts each day? Should I even worry about these things, or just write want I want, when I want, for as long as I want, and trust that it’ll be enough? I’m in the strange position of writing primarily for friends and family; I love being a source of entertainment for y’all, and enjoy the interplay that sometimes results from the blog, but I sometimes get so absorbed in the need to not disappoint my “audience,” that I lose sight of just who my audience is. It would be cool if my blog were to develop some more readers who weren’t actually mentioned in it on a regular basis, but I fear my scatter-shot topics make that a bit difficult; I wouldn’t be surprised if I ran off an anonymous reader or two with the angst-laden missives of the past few weeks. But again, I have to follow my instincts; I have to write what I want to write when I want to write it; I don’t think doubling my reader base would be worth it if I wasn’t writing what I was inspired to.

So, there you go, my second post of the day; the obsession has not attained full strength yet, but I’m sure it will; the sickness always returns.