Thursday, December 16, 2010


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It is in my nature to worry; to worry about the future, over-analyze the past and even worry about the present as I am sitting in on the moment. I would not go as far as to say I am a chronic worrier. I know when to breathe and definitely know how to laugh--I am often caught with a case of the giggles on a regular basis. But the future freaks me out more than it probably should. And if I am not worrying about the future, I am at least pondering its possible outcomes.

So, in terms of this blog, I wonder how far it will go. I do not want to be the next Julie Powell for two reasons: I am not a "foodie," and we saw the inevitable decline of her life as an author. (And we cannot forget the large contrast between the author and her kind-natured portrayer, Amy Adams.) While the movie is enjoyable, and the idea interesting enough to a blogger, it seems illogical to pray one day someone will ask me to take my experience writing a blog and compile it into a book, and eventually be signed a movie deal. I see many blogs who succumb to signing their soul over to handbag giveaways and developing an entire left or right column of their page to nothing but sponsorships that have yet to capture my attention. I would hate to find, in a year or so, my blog cluttered and only half of the posts dedicated to my original intentions: expression.*

I am here to write. Not "here" as in a member of Blogger. I am here on this planet to write. I may not be the best artist, but I use it expressively, in whatever facet it may come. Personalization is what gives art its value, after all. But I see posts on Twitter, Facebook and blogs of people proudly enjoying their moments in their local post, a feature in a prestigious magazine, an online spotlight and the occasional shot at a book deal. It makes me wonder, if I will ever have a voice in the blogging world worth highlighting, even if for just fifteen minutes. I see bloggers with less to say than I do and more than twice the followers and respectful comments and additional feedback. It is frustrating and enough to make me answer those sponsored emails about the next handbag, shoe and couch giveaways.

Will I--by some odd twist of fate--be one of those blog one-hit wonders who publishes a book or two and then fades with the social fad (like Twitter celebrities or the aforementioned foodie), or will I have a successful blog and then likewise make my way as an author or journalist through my own degree and perseverance in the field? I would hope the latter, but Lord only knows what the future has in store for me. I am not a fan of uncertainty, but I hope I can handle it when it does strike hard. There are careers in blogging; if I ended up being one of the feature-writing columnists who snags a deal, I just hope it is right for me, and it is not my desperation as an English major to write something and have it seen.

*I am not looking down on my fellow bloggers if you so choose to partner with such. With certain categories of blogs, it is typically within their best interests to gather that sort of attention: foodies and chic blogs are the top two of which come to mind. It is just not for me.


  1. I know nothing of the real Julie Powell...which now makes me feel like a backward, uninformed blogger. Oh dear, I just keep finding new ways to feel uninformed. :)

    Don't be a one-hit blogger. We just met, and I kinda like you. :D

  2. Haha I kinda like you, too. And I'll try with everything I have in me not to be.

    To be succinct, the story of Julie Powell begins and ends like this:
    She had her foodie blog, then wrote a book on it which became the hit movie "Julie & Julia." She gets quite a bit of fame and money off of that and then her short career quickly plummets with her second book that was entitled something stupid like "Cleaving." In which, she not only loses my respect by staying attached to cheesy "foodie-like" titles, but completely destroys the image she created through her writing, her blog and Amy Adams by telling a story, with quite the unadulterated and uncensored illustrations, of her affair with another man. Not only was the writing horrifically detailed and revolting at that, but, as I said, she destroyed the image she created for herself and with that her audience. It really was rather disheartening, to say the least.

  3. i think you got a good plan going on there : )


  4. i like what you have to say.. and not just because i know you personally. Had I not forced you to talk to me in ES a few years ago, I would probably still admire you writing. It's awesome, especially coming from someone your age in this time. There aren't many writers worthy of (a) book(s) coming from our generation, you're one of the few who meets the qualifications for that. You'll go far, I have a feeling.

  5. All I can say, Ashley, is I love you very much and am always grateful for your support.

  6. Trying to figure out your future is not a fun game. Thinking about it, however, is a really good way to ensure a sleepless night or two. My advice: don't worry about it. At least not right now.

  7. I've had a blog since 1997. Yes. That means I pre-date Blogger.

    There have been a lot of changes since the day I first started posting. I'm not a kid anymore. I tend to tell more stories instead of recollections if the day's events. I worry more about some things and less about others. But I blog today for the same reason I blogged back then: I want to communicate with people.

    Sometimes good things come out of that. For example, I wrote a short-lived political column for MSNBC during the 2004 election year, after one of their editors found my blog.

    I'm talking a lot about myself, which makes me sound douchy, but I do have a point. And that point is: you decide what's too much for you. You have the right to take ads or turn them down. You have the right to take opportunities as they're presented to you or decline with a thanks but no thanks. You can decide if you want to write a book or a memoir or a collection of short stories.

    You know, it's kind of like moving to LA to be an actress. There's a good chance you'll be approached to do porn . And there's every chance you'll be desperate enough to take the job. But no one can force you into anything or make you what you're not. Reconnect with yourself and your goals on a daily basis, stay true to yourself, and you'll be OK.

  8. I don't blog for comments. At least I try really really hard not to. I try to remember the reasons I started and keep that as the focus. Because, for me anyway, it wasn't about the audience. It was just the exercise of sitting down, thinking, and getting something out. Whether it was good or bad or interesting or dull. It was for the practice alone. I try to keep that in my head. But it is hard with all the world out there telling you this isn't enough.

    I like you blog and what you are doing with it. In my opinion, that is more than enough.

  9. Kristine: Bloggers who say they don't do it for the comments are typically lying. You can exercise the same practice with a journal or old notebook. The fact that one posts it online opens up the work to an audience, and thus the feedback is what keeps you motivated. But thank you for your comment. It was more than kind. :)

    Elizabeth: Thank you very much for your comment. I appreciate the words, and I'll try to remember them. I know the propaganda behind ads and giveaways--they don't really care about you and your blog, they just want the business, and they're willing to use you. But when they act as though it will benefit you and I see several bloggers with less to say than I succumbing to it, and have five times the followers I've worked very hard to keep, it gets hard. But I will stick to my guns and only do what suits me best.

    Kellen: Thanks. :) I'll try not to.

  10. Your not the only over analyzer :)
    I have a tendency to do that very same thing I can totally relate.
    love that picture cracked me up :D

  11. Haha I'm glad! It wasn't hard to find the picture, but it was hard to narrow it down between what I wanted. Thanks for visiting!

  12. Becoming a published writer isn't really my dream but it would be cool. My career focus is in a much different field I write and blog because I like it. I write my blogs and work on the great american novel and I want to naturally be good at both. Influencing others is a big part of the blogging experience. Your giving the world a piece of yourself to consume or ignore. I look around at blogs and see the ones with thousands of followers and think man that should be me. Then again, I never really thought I'd have a 145 people following my words. It's a good feeling.

  13. I don't know that I think I deserve 1k followers, I am definitely happy about the 150 I have, but I wonder how some people get as far with their blogs as they do, while I'm sitting the bit I have.

    It's not a question of what I think I deserve so much as will it ever be me?

  14. I feel you~
    Let's enjoy the present, shall we?
    There's a saying; when you worry too much, just take a look at the birds...they have enough food to eat & shelter to rest! Oh my...we are no birds I know! It helps me somehow though, God always provides!

  15. That was a beautiful quote. Thank you for sharing it with me.

  16. I'm new to your blog and I appreciate the time you put into each an every word and thought. It's refreshing. Happy blogging :)

  17. I started my blog a year ago with the intent to force myself to write every day. It's not all I write but it is often the catalyst that gets me moving and keeps my fingers and ideas moving.

    I find myself making too many excuses without the mechanism and public commitment to write every day on my blog.

    I find that the off-on-a-tangent posts are all I need to jump start whatever else I am working on at that time.

    I'm also using a writing contest calendar to make myself enter each month. So far, that is going great and I've been getting good recognition.

    You've heard that saying "Writers write". I don't know if it matters if it's in a private journal, a public blog, or a thesis. Writers write.

    When I started my blog, I worried. I had no crafts (or just a few oddball ones), I didn't do many recipes, I wasn't all deep and philosophical all the time.

    But after awhile I just wrote for me. I like the comments but even without them I would write for me. For my voice. For what I want to say.

    If I compare my writing from even 9 or 10 months ago until today, I can see a difference. It is tighter and smoother and segues well (well, not always but mostly).

    I also write in a private blog which I may offer up to readers one of these's harsher writing.

    What do you feel? Do you like the vehicle of blogging? Do you like the schedule of word-crafting?

    I do think you should believe in your writing. You have a strong, clear voice.

    And this has turned into too long of a comment so I'll sign off for now!

    Really, though, Jen. Believe in yourself. You have such wisdom for one so young. You see the world through old eyes and a young heart...what a wonderful combination.

  18. What can I say, Jenny? It's been awhile since I have gotten a real comment--one I can answer in more than a few lines.

    I try to keep to a certain something on this blog, simply because I want to improve. (Obviously you can without keeping to a strict set of personal stylistic rules, as you have so proven.) For me, if I cannot find a certain something about it to describe, writing about it more than likely will not happen. It may be why I do not blog as often as others.

    I do think writing everyday in some way will help you, though. I try to keep to this best I can, but it does get hard.
    Even my diary writing has gotten more loose in style and voice than it once began. I am sure I will change that when I return to campus Wednesday, because I'll have way more to say. But whatever way I am writing, at least I am writing.

    I try to be bright, but I prefer the dark, honestly. It has always attracted me. I was a punk kid growing up... Black nails, studded belts and black clothes... Kinda funny these days but a lot of that style is still with me today.

    Anyway, I say that to say whatever you've got in your personal blog, I bet it is still something. Hope you make your decision about sharing it with others one day, hehe.


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