I only run when I’m chasing a bus, and I only write when I have a deadline.
I’ve had a Livejournal account for over 10 years, though I post on Dreamwidth these days, and let it crosspost to LJ. But that’s not blogging – that’s keeping in touch with my friends, and having an outlet to rant about politics, or work, or the shitty traffic, or HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT SPRING or whatever. I don’t usually think about those posts, I rarely edit them, they are raw first drafts.
I have a blog on my own site where I’ve written about some of my professional interests (sustainability, for one), which has been largely neglected since I started it. And another blog on my own site where I write about art, craft, and design projects. (They’re both WordPress installations, and can I tell you how very frustrating it is to run a WP blog on wordpress.com? I can’t tinker with every tiny bit of html and css, and I want to pull my hair out!) But the latter doesn’t feel like a blog, either, because it’s so easy to just sit down and write out “Here’s what I did.”
And then there is Tumblr. Technically I have 3 blogs there (DON’T JUDGE ME), but the fandom-focused blog only saw use for about 3 or 4 weeks before it had served its purpose. My original Tumblr site – focused mostly on birds and art and design – has lain dormant for about as long as my craft-focused “real” blog, and for the same reason: my nice, sane, unhappy agnostic life got upended, whereupon I set up the pagan-focused Tumblr site, and lost most interest in working on art or making jewelry, except for some devotional pieces.
But Tumblr isn’t /blogging/, I don’t have to try and write like a Serious Adult, compose a thoughtful essay and carefully reread it a few times before sending it out into the wilds; I can dash off a quick aside, or update, or post a string of animated gifs to express my frustration with whatever is going on, or get into an interesting back-and-forth conversation with half a dozen people of several different spiritual paths. I can also write Serious Posts, but since Tumblr isn’t focused on that, I don’t feel the pressure to write like a real blogger. I can be absurd, and that’s okay. That’s normal there.
I like that.
I thrive on absurdity. I need it. Mixing random fandom in-jokes with serious posts about polytheism makes my day, and I’m not even in any fandom.
WordPress intimidates me. Writing like a serious adult makes me feel like I’m back in grad school. With deadlines. And grades. And even though I always did well in that regard . . . writing like a serious adult feels like work, especially if it’s going to be public instead of filtered to only a few trusted people on Dreamwidth, and dammit, I don’t /want/ to be a blogger.
But my fucking brain won’t shut the fuck up at times unless I fucking write fucking essays, and while I can (and have) written those things on Tumblr, they swiftly get buried among dozens of reblogs of useful links and pretty pictures and conversational reblogs and whoops where did that one thing go I wanted to reread or point someone at? And anyway, knowing how reviled – for understandable reasons – my favorite blogging world is, I started to think it might be useful to at least put on the camoflage of a serious adult who is not Fucking Up All the Things, and put all the serious essays here, too.
The WordPress-based paganpolytheist crowd scares me. I started this account because after months of lurking, I finally read a post I wanted to leave some commentary on, but then life interfered and I didn’t leave the comment (and I feel guilty about that and should go back and do it, because I really appreciated it), and anyway, nerves.
Here’s a terrible analogy that describes how I feel about these places: WordPress makes me think of the panels at a conference. Everyone’s all serious business and uncomfortable clothing and formality. You get to hear really interesting, thought-provoking things (at some panels, anyway), and often the people who raise questions likewise are worth attending to. But after a while the sterility of the hotel conference room, and the way everyone is carrying on to prove how thoughtful and erudite they are, and no one can just say anything BRIEF no they’ve all got to go on at length and you catch yourself doing it, too, and you want to leave the room before it’s all over except then you might miss something and you feel like a fraud dressed in business casual and fuck it all, where is the hotel bar, anyway??
Tumblr is like the bar at the end of the day at the conference. You can have an awesome conversation, and it might even be the same people who were on that one big panel earlier, but it’s less formal. Relaxed. The people at the next table may be getting drunk and doing things that you wish you could unsee, that you think maybe they might – or should – get thrown out or arrested for, and you cringe that they are wearing the same conference badge you are, but at least you don’t have a whole room of people staring at you while you’re raising your hand to ask the speaker about their topic, while wearing some wretched suit.
Facebook – sometimes Facebook makes me think some of the people in the audience – or sometimes on the panel – hit the bar, hard, before showing up. It’s awkward.
So what I’m saying is, I’m more comfortable skulking about in some dark corner, and giggling over serious topics, because that’s often how I cope with them. I have to get way drunker to get into long, serious, soul-searing discussions.
. . .
So then I got ordered to write.
I think maybe I dithered about this too often.