Thursday, September 15, 2011

"I don't care if it hurts,
I wanna have control,
I wanna perfect body,
I wanna perfect soul..."

--Radiohead, "Creep" (video at the end)

SO HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED: I stepped away from my computer for a second--seriously like for the space of time between when an eye starts to blink and the blink ends, and--BOOM!!  Like six months blew by!  No really.  I swear that's how it happened.  Like some modern-day Rip Van Winkle, just waking from his nap.  I even had more wrinkles under my eyes and couldn't remember a thing.  When I looked in the mirror, I looked like this guy:

Froot Loops, action figures and all.  Yeah, it's a bit strange, isn't it?  Maybe I was hungover.  Or ruffied....

*sheepish grin*

Doesn't work for you?  Hmmm...OK....

WAIT!  So, OK, like six months ago I was going skateboarding in an abandoned mall parking lot in the middle of the night and this silver De Lorean--completely encrusted in electronic gewgaws and wires and all manner of piping--comes screaming out of nowhere and--WHISH!  The door opens and out pops this dude in a white lab coat talking all kinds of nonsense, something about going back in time and "1.21 jiggawatts" and stuff...and...and...

You're not buying that either, huh?  Something tells me you've heard this story somewhere before.



Maybe I can't 'excuse' my way out of this one.  But the trouble is the truth isn't near as exciting.  Nope.  Not even close.

OK.  Fine.  I suppose it's worth a try.  Here goes nothing!

HERE'S WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: I wanted to be a good blogger.  Yep.  That's it.  No.  Strike that.  I wanted to be a great blogger, a d**n fine blogger--the best blogger on the block, on the continent, on the planet even!!  I wanted to be the Michelangelo of Blogging, to have people marvel at my jokes, go on about my stories, share my witticisms the same way they might share gossip at a cocktail party.

I wanted a perfect blog.

There's only one problem with that idea, as this chart shows succinctly:

When you get right down to it, I'm a pretty competitive fella, see.  So you probably know where this story is going.

Every time I saw something cool that someone else was doing, I wanted to do it too.  I wanted more mentions and more followers and more accolades and more cool ideas and more pageviews and more comments than anybody else.  And that takes time and work and effort and most of all: more time.

So I kept writing posts and putting them up, writing posts and putting them up, wondering as I was going along Why in Fonzi's Name I couldn't find time to write, and somehow it never hit me.

And yeah--you know where this is going!--it got ugly.  Really.  Ugly.

Pretty soon I was swaggering around the house in a bathrobe, over-sized Lightning McQueen slippers--the ones with the flashy little lightning bolts on them!--wearing a beekeepers hat and two gallons of "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" Commemorative Cologne, packing an Old Milwaukee in one hand and swinging a riding crop in the other, screaming Alfred Lord Tennyson quotes at the top of my lungs like the lead singer of that now defunct Eighties band, Cinderella.

Wow!  I, uh, I, I really liked those guys!

Well, maybe I'm overstating this a little, but the bottom line is I lost track of things.  And with trying to top everyone else and myself, I got plain old BURNT OUT.  I didn't understand what was happening to me at the time, and it's even kinda hard for me to admit it now, but that's the truth.  And for my REAL writing life, a similar fate.

We have a term for this problem in the military: mission creep.  You start out thinking your mission is to do one thing, but slowly other tasks get added on, creep in, and then a few more and a few more, until what you've signed yourself up for is basically impossible.

If we run real fast, I think we could get airborne, EVEN with a full bomb load.

And like they say, difficult we do tomorrow.  Impossible may take a while.

But yeah, I'm back.  For now.  Not quite sure yet in what capacity.  I'm still getting my wits about me.  And it is quite clear I need to revisit my reason(s) for maintaining this blog, and how it serves my greater writing and creative needs, as well as what I owe to all of you.

So, I'm putting on my thinking cap.  Thinking.  Thinking.  Thinking.  Thinking...

In the meantime, enjoy this oh so awesome video from one of my favorite bands, Radiohead.  Oh yeah: stay groovy too!!  We'll be seeing you soon.

9 bolts from the blue:

FurnaceGirl said...

And don't forget, we had a baby!! :D Those silly things do tend to keep one busy.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Creep is on my Top Twenty list, one of my favorite songs of all time. So, thanks for the video (awesome), cause believe it or not, I had never seen it before.

I think we all experience blog burnout. I know I have, but I'm hanging in there. I put something up when I have something to say, which doesn't seem to be that often.

Jo Schaffer said...


PurpleMist. said...

wow you really are competitive. A little crazy, but that's what makes your blog entertaining!

Pat Hatt said...

haha you had me until you mentioned Twilight, then things just got scary.

Jon Paul said...

Sweetie--Oh yeah! You know I totally forgot about that! :P

Yvonne--Yeah, I think the trick (at least for me) is to more clearly understand why my own blogging goals are, so my ambition to do all things doesn't get the better of me.

Jo--Yeah, when I look back at it, it is pretty durn funny! :)

Purple--I'll cop to the crazy comment. My better half tells me that all the time, so there must be some truth in it.

Pat--For the record, I read the first Twilight book, and I'm not such a fan. It just really wasn't my thang, yanno?

But I swear if anybody ever invented "Twilight:Breaking Dawn" Commemorative Cologne, it would no doubt sell like hot cakes!

Thanks all for taking a little time out of your busy days to stop in. It's much appreciated.

Liza said...

Oh JP, I so hear you! I'm trying hard to remember that blogging is a means to become a better when other writing takes place of the blog I don't feel guilty. Yet I do. It is such a constant push-pull...because in the blogger forum, such as it is, I have an audience I don't like to disappoint. To date, the "real" writing has, well, me.

Looking forward to seeing your posts whenever and how ever they come.

jbchicoine said...

The problem with blogging (for me) is that it keeps me from my real writing--which means I'm probably not entirely ready to commit to it anyway. I think it's good to know how you're motivated and when to pull up...for me, slow (and sometimes that means very slow) and steady...

Best wishes for you in your come-back. Been nice to see your avatar around 'town'!

Jon Paul said...

Liza--Yep. It's all about balance. I feel the same single-audience member frustation with my work. Maybe we can rally the Composits to address this issue... :D

JB--I wonder about the commitment issue too. In my heart, I'm committed, but the distance between heart and hand is considerable--though I am working to overcome that obstacle.

It also bothers me that the way one keeps one's blog conveys a certain sense of commitment to fellow writers. Posting once a month certainly doesn't convey a sense of dedication--but of course if you're spending all your time writing fiction instead of blogging, then the impression is competely false.

Keeping up appearances is one of the things I have to remind myself not to worry about. :D

Thanks ladies for paying me a visit!

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