This Journey

Thoughts, rants, prayers, sermons I'll never give and other stuff gathered as I make my way through this life.

What’s it all about, Alfie?

I think one of the reasons I’m relying on photographs and YouTube this November is that I’m not at all clear that I have anything to say that anyone wants or needs to hear these days. Someone else is saying and writing it better.

Eight years ago I was desperate for a place to just process and purge what I was going through so I didn’t care. I was vulnerable and had no one in my life with whom to process that and so processing it out in the blogosphere seemed as anonymous as anything and maybe more protected than standing on the street corner like a crazy person and ranting. I’m feeling better about all that now, so now I feel like what I write here should be profound and have a purpose in the making the world better in a specific and measurable way.

Eight years ago blogging was different, too. There were fewer voices somehow. And we were all experimenting and trying to figure this thing out. And then it became professionalized. Even the really good writers I met online back then are writing publishing less. Posting less. We don’t get to read the crappy first drafts anymore. It’s all more polished.

And maybe a little more strident and pointed.

NaBloPoMo was the cool kids table. It was a way to stretch yourself; a way to add discipline and practice into what was just a lot of big kids playing around. And it worked, I think. People got better at writing. And better at filtering out stuff. And BlogHer arrived, and the “monetization” craze happened and blogging became just another way to pimp yourself and your ideas. More marketing and less actual connecting.

I liked the connecting.

I liked being able to say “My friend in Atlanta wrote the other day….” Or, “My friend in Los Angeles is holding a concert…” and “Yeah, I know several people in Los Angeles…” and meaning it. They were and are some of my friends. Some I’ve even had a beer with!

I liked being able to actually connect with other people who were struggling in their relationships and grieving deaths and being gobsmacked by the joy and love in life and who were willing to share their struggle and vulnerability about it all. We all learned a very important lesson through all of this: We are not the only one struggling.

Now, I agree that most of that was a little ‘group therapy’ without a therapist. And some people looking in from the outside could come to the opinion that we were a bit narcissistic, I suppose; always talking about our daily dramas. I have friends that refuse to read anyone’s blog because “Editors are our friends. They protect us from the crazy.”

It’s probably true. Editors (internal and external) do shield us from the crazy. But maybe that’s part of the problem? This obsession with making perfection look easy is maybe part of – a BIG part of – the crazy; part of the dis-ease we are experiencing as a nation. I know it was/is for me.

Anyway, here are a few things my old blogosphere friends have posted recently that I think are worth reading. Click away.

Communicatrix

Neilochka

Lisa (but she’s also got something here and here)

Churlita

and Crazy Aunt Purl  (Sept 10?? and she’s  actually published… with an editor and everything!)

 

 

Author: Not Fainthearted

A paradox wrapped in an enigma playing the accordion. I'm a sinner-saint, child of God working at the cross-roads of church and world. A Deaconess called to connect people living near the center with people on the edge and to help your life sing (literally and figuratively) while doing it. People don't always get the deaconess part. Could be the swearing, the corporate job, or the wine.

4 Comments

  1. Has success spoiled your friends? Have they become less dear? Or have they just moved on to other venues? Blogging (and BlogHer) helped me heal, brought new voices to my travails, opened opportunities to grow and thrive, and even sent me right here. Is this really a case of “Has Success Spoiled Rock Hunter?” or are you just feeling blue today? Perhaps “Someone else is saying and writing it better” but no one is saying it just like you.
    a/b

    • Hey Ashleigh,
      Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation. You ask some great questions.

      You are right, I’m in a low spot right now, but I think you’re also right to question whether I meant that my friendships have spoiled or become less dear. My answer is: Not at all!! I think a lot of folks who were blogging furiously “in the old days” have moved to other venues, like Facebook and twitter, or have processed the crisis(es) that led them to the format in the first place, and life has gotten busier for them.

      I agree about what you say about blogging! And while I’ve been hanging around the fringes of BlogHer since it started I can see how it could help people connect. And connection is the key thing about all this!! It’s one of the things that I see as being the most amazing piece of this crazy blogging thing…the ability to connect with people across the globe.

      I’m not sure what “Has Success Spoiled Rock Hunter?” refers to – so I’ll have to look that up. (another big win in my book for blogging: being exposed to ideas and books and art and poetry, etc that I wouldn’t have found going about my regular daily life.) Thanks for that.

      And thanks again for your final comment. You’re right. No one is saying just like me – but there are some GREAT writers out there!!

      Happy Thanksgiving
      NFH

  2. I agree with you. I used to communicate way more via blog. Now it seems like a hard habit to break but I keep on keepin’ on just in case.

    • Isn’t it odd? I find I think of you now as much more of a FB friend even though we “met” through the blogosphere.

      Yes, “just in case.”
      Thankful for the ones, like you, who made the leap to FB.
      NFH