On Not Having Writer’s Block, Oprah, Boobs, And A Bunch Of Other Sundry Crap

by anna on March 18, 2009

It would be a distortion of things to say that I have writer’s block. What I have is about fifty halfway written posts that I keep abandoning because they are not funny enough, or relevant enough, or because I cannot keep up my inspiration level long enough to tie their endings into a neat little bow. This space has been such a fantastic adventure for me the last (counting on fingers) nearly nine months, and though writer’s block seems to be a meme View definition in a new window of its own in the blogging world, I really haven’t struggled with topics about which to write. What I struggle with is feeling like I’m turning out something worthwhile.

Phew. What is “worthwhile,” anyway? Is it possible to write a “worthwhile” blogging post? Is that an oxymoron? I think what is happening is that I’m hitting up against the wall of perfectionism. I don’t like to have posts that are unfinished, or that seem overly frivilous. I mean, that is to say, if they are frivilous, then I want that to be their point. Above all, I want them always to be perfect, even if only in my own mind. And nothing perfect is coming out of me lately. A bunch of doohickey is coming out of me lately.

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And oh yeah, I’m super jealous, so that’s not helping me come up with engaging posts, either. I am so insanely jealous that Dooce View definition in a new window et al. are going to be on Oprah sometime soon. Not that I feel like my blog warrants me being on Oprah or anything. But yeah, it does. Pretty much. I was just saying that as a disclaimer, because I don’t think you’re supposed to say you deserve to be on Oprah. But if Kate Gosselin does, then by golly so do I! So I want to be on Oprah. I mean, the whole thing with the Today show, eh, I could deal with that. But Oprah? Oprah! OOOOOOOOOOOhhpraaaaah!

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Mr. Right-Click told me the other day that Terrell Owens once said, “I loves me some me.” I am writing this here so that I remember to use it sometime, because wow.

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I watched the show Kings the other day. Worst show ever. Involves monarch butterflies swarming on a dude’s head in the shape of a crown. Am I going to Tivo it? Oh yeah.

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I’m officially going to BlogHer View definition in a new window now. I have my scandalously overpriced tickets, even. You have been warned.

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Having been called a moron in the past week for making a side point in the middle of a flame war, it occurs to me that the problem with that appellation is that you are almost never allowed to strike back at someone for using it. It’s very rare, you see, that it’s directed towards someone who is in fact a moron, because to call a moron a moron to their face would be cruel, right? So then you are faced with the other complication of that term, viz. that people who go around accusing others of being morons are oftentimes, in fact, morons themselves. So if you direct their attention to this, well then it is you who is not being the sporting one, right? And so once again you are challenged to take the high road precisely when somebody has tried to pull you down onto the low road and rub your face in horse dung.

Which is a kind of a roundabout way of saying, I wish that people felt more comfortable going against the grain sometimes. I wish that they would say, “Bring it on, Moron-Accusers!” I wish that people felt they could voice an opinion about something that was unpopular, or disagree with somebody who has a larger readership than they do. I do not mean being disrespectful about things, but rather to actually say what they think about a topic instead of one of two extremes. The whole boob flame war last week was typical of these kinds of blogging bust-ups in that most people seemed to have very extreme viewpoints one way or the other about it, and these viewpoints were more often than not affected by whomever on either side was their friend.

Here’s the way I look at it: people have opinions about what they are reading. They may voice them or may not, and if it’s a negative viewpoint, they are much less likely to voice it on the original blog. If people don’t want to have “hate” blogs or anonymous blogs where people can talk about bloggers (like the Bathroom Wall here), then there needs to be a more open discussion with less name-calling than happened last week. That goes for, mostly, the commenters, rather than the original bloggers themselves, since it’s usually the comments that end up getting ugly on relatively tame posts. Until that happens, I fully expect more and more “hate” blogs to pop up here, there, and everywhere.

{ 16 comments }

bessie.viola March 18, 2009 at 7:16 am

I watched all that craziness from afar last week and I have to say that I really respect you for voicing your opinion despite the fact that it wasn’t the popular one.

Personally – I don’t really care WHAT people do with their boobs as long as it’s not with my boobs/child. As someone who breastfed briefly and exclusively pumped for over 9 months and used formula for about 2.5 months, I’m caught in the middle of every boob debate because honestly, I fit into every possible category. I stay out of it because I know that my opinions are not “valid” to the majority of the people who are shouting so fiercely. I did NOTHING fully and completely, so my thoughts are often “moot”.

bessie.viola´s last blog post..changes

Heather March 18, 2009 at 7:51 am

I completely understand the writer’s block thing, I left so many half finished posts that I’ve set mine aside for awhile just to see if it’s even worthwhile for me to try. Some people have the skills to be writers, some don’t but..and this is not me kissing your butt and calling it ice cream…you do. I enjoy your blog immensely, your topics interest me far more than other blogs because you don’t just speak about your son, you have a wide variety of topics to speak about it and that’s what I like. And I like your style of writing. :D

As for the “boob controversy”..(omg that’s funny to even type)…it was blown out of proportion, not by the writers but by the readers themselves. People are quick to jump all over other people before ever learning proper facts or even witnessing the actual event. And if people don’t like it, that’s fine too and you’re entitled to post that opinion on a blog. It’s no big deal. I think at some point a colossal neon sign was needed with the words “THIS IS NO BIG DEAL” flashing repeatedly to remind people that others have different opinions from theirs. Wow..I just..babbled on there..sorry! I’m rather chatty today! *lol*

Kerry March 18, 2009 at 8:33 am

Dude, check your stats. People like your writing. There are actual numbers that tell you this. Who are you to argue with actual numbers? You’re being WAY too hard on yourself.

I can live with (and even be entertained by) the hate blogs. What irritates me is when they pretend they’re doing some sort of public service or something. I mean, don’t say you’re doing it for the children, or you’re a beacon of free speech, or whatever. Bullshit. Say, “I like to talk smack. Have fun talking smack with me, wouldja?” I mean, own it, y’know? Plus, there’s a difference between funny smack and ugly smack. Saying, “Whoa, that chick is a total fruit loop” is funny smack. Saying, “I went through every single post and tweet, and have determined that she is taking benohexodietcokeamine, and that causes birth defects, and she has no business reproducing” is another.

This is all supposed to be fun (and maybe money-making too, but mostly fun). If it’s causing you stress, or making people want to burn each other’s house down or something…well, that’s not fun. Some folks need to click the little red X in the corner of the screen and go for a walk or something.

Kerry´s last blog post..Meet the Candidate Who Sent a Condom

foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) March 18, 2009 at 8:43 am

Sometimes the Internet exhausts me. So does Oprah, but I think I feel less overwhelmed when Oprah’s the one who wears me out. Except on Fridays when I don’t know what she’s doing with that panel with Kelly Ripa’s cute husband, “Thank heaven my best friend is Oprah” Gayle, and the blonde woman. Then I just turn it off halfway through. Wait! I kind of do that with the Internet, too.

I just totally had an Oprah moment!

foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog)´s last blog post..shall we play a game? version 2.0

Kerry March 18, 2009 at 8:45 am

One more thing: there was a post on CopyBlogger (I think) recently about how the posts you put the least effort into are the ones that end up being the most popular. You should look that up, because since I read it, I’ve been paying attention to that…and it’s totally true.

Laurin March 18, 2009 at 9:51 am

Writer’s block – check. Jealousy – check. BlogHer – check. Wishing more people felt comfortable about opening their mouth on the Internet without worrying they were going to burst into flames – Check.

Laurin´s last blog post..The Obsession Continues…

Amber Warren March 18, 2009 at 10:21 am

I hate Dooce. By that I mean I’m jealous too. But jealousy is often masked by hate. I like your blog. I wish you were on Oprah too. I’d rather see just about anyone on Oprah than Dooce….

Amber Warren´s last blog post..Scrapbooking Books for the Non-Scrapper

jenni March 18, 2009 at 11:07 am

are we still talking about boobs? i have thrush, so i’m pretty over boobs.

jenni´s last blog post..It is so ON!

anna March 18, 2009 at 11:43 am

Everyone, thanks for all of your kind comments. I didn’t set out to make this post a fishing-for-compliments scheme, but I guess it does kind of sound that way. I think I’m just realizing that I’ve been around long enough now to have developed some opinions about other bloggers and I’m a little disturbed at the pack mentality that seems to overcome some of the followers.

Re dooce, I am still a fan of her site. I don’t know her personally so I cannot really comment about that, but I think she does take some flak simply by virtue of being #1 (or #2, actually, if you look at Pioneer Woman). I do think jealousy plays into it, which is part of why I wanted to acknowledge, publicly, that yes, I’m so jealous that Dooce will be on Oprah. But that’s not a good enough reason for me to denigrate her writing or say that she isn’t a good person or whatever–who knows what it is like to be Dooce and have everyone either love or hate you? It might be easier just to stay in the shadows, ultimately.

J. March 18, 2009 at 11:55 am

I was just at another blog I visit and she’s going through the writer’s block thing too. Her solution was to solicit topics from her readers.
I’m jealous of Dooce too, at least in the being-on-Oprah department. But then, I’m jealous of a lot people, it’s probably my ugliest trait.

J.´s last blog post..5 Months and a Dream

Elizabeth March 18, 2009 at 12:33 pm

The good news? Writer’s block doesn’t last forever. The bad news? It might take a while before Oprah notices all of us (yes, I included myself and my teensy little no-one-reads-it-but-me blog) but THAT’S OKAY. Because we’re good enough, smart enough, yadda yadda… We the Readers know you’re not fishing for compliments, but instead venting your frustrations, Oprah-appearance jealousies and general writing angst. That’s what bloggers do. Rock on Anna!

Elizabeth´s last blog post..You make me crazy when…

Kerry March 18, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I actually know someone who was on Oprah, 20 or so years ago. She didn’t enjoy the experience much. She said Oprah was pretty chilly (and that’s before she was as high on herself as she is now).

Also, you warm-weather people would freeze in Chicago anyway.

And the camera adds 10 lbs.

So cheer up.

anna March 18, 2009 at 4:30 pm

I’ve been to Chicago in winter. I can handle it. :)

rebecca March 22, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Thanks for this metablog, or whatever it is that you call blogging about blogging. I started blogging on a private password protected site when the hubster was 14 freaking long months in Iraq. I wanted to pass on stories and photos from the homestead. Eventually I went “public” so that the grammas could join all five of my readers. Until recently, blogging was fun. Then the hubster, who abandoned my blog some time back, said blogging was a waste of my time. He’s full of crap, btw, and I’ll soon be over it. In the meantime, all I can do is post wordles and other equally suckful content.

Point is that I have a zillion posts cooped up in my brain, except my most important reader isn’t with me any longer and that means either I retire or reinvent. Glug. A friend of mine with a fantastic food blog expressed this same “block” that you do here. I feel less alone, bloggy wise that is, knowing that bloggers are people too and vulnerable to the forces of evil that keep our awesome expressions from improving the globe.

Also, if it makes you feel better, I was on Rachael Ray a week or so ago and no one even noticed in spite of my desperate promotions.

rebecca´s last blog post..Yo, Sugar!

Paula April 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I will never be on Oprah…. don’t care for her and have pretty much made that known in my blog.

That being said, anyone who can work Faluadi and Pagilla into the same post pretty much rocks in my little writing world. :)

Paula´s last blog post..The weekend at Mrs. B’s

Paula April 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm

And where is the darned edit button on comments? You would think someone would be smart enough to program such a critter.

Paula´s last blog post..The weekend at Mrs. B’s

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