Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Well, It's Over. You Can All Quit Now.

When I first started this blog, I really WROTE in it. I'd sit down each night and labor over a first-person essay that captured my thoughts and feelings, but tried to tie them into a bigger struggle that the world could relate to. I was a Writer, I thought, and the act of Writing was really, really, important. One day this blog was going to catapult me into fame if I just kept at it, I was sure.

Guess what.

Exactly. While I have a much better job than I had when I started this thing (not too tough to improve on part-time pizza cook), the rest has not exactly happened according to the hazy fantasy I mistook for a plan. I've learned that no matter how much heart and soul I pour into this blog, how tirelessly I craft my posts, some hot sorority type (an oxymoron if I ever wrote one) that posts pictures of her spilling Cosmos in Arlington and blabbing about her dates is going to get ten times the traffic.

Blogging isn't really about writing anymore. Maybe it never was. It's about flexing social muscle, selling something, sharing information -- but not really carving out a story or a series of thoughts and ideas. This blog, it entertains me, and I've met some great people through it, but it's actually taking me further from my dreams as a writer.

I wanted my blog to be like this guy's LiveJournal, except have people care about it. He's a local and he's brilliant. Check out his feelings about gentrification, temping, and hating America tell me -- is writing like this dead online?

God, I hope not. Dude, if you're the one that writes this stuff, please contact me...


At 9:34 AM, Blogger Jinxy said...

There's no shame in admitting that it broke you.

Besides, your expectations were WAY too high.

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Sweet said...

You're so right. But I hope this doesn't mean your thinking of ending this. Your blog is one of my faves and it would be missed!
-- A Selfish Reader

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Velvet said...

Huh. As I chew my lip deciding where to head with this.

I've always had nutty shit happen to me, but writing it in a journal never did it justice. If I knew someone else would see it, I try harder to actually form sentences and tell the story instead of just breezing through. So that's how I dumped the journal writing and found the blog. And it's done wonders for recanting things in my life, since I give it much more attention now.

Blogging isn't about stats. You have to understand that this is entertainment for many, right? That said, people will log in to the train-wreck blogs with much more frequency than those blogs of quality writing about general topics. I'm amazed at the numbers I pull. But you know what? Most of it is momentum. Now I sort of think that a lot of these people are logging in because "everyone else is," not necessarily for quality of writing etc. It's a catch-22. But if you're serious about it, then step away from blogger and try it in another venue.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Lonnie Bruner said...

Jeff, it's never too late to spill cosmos on yourself in Arlington.

Come on, man, you can't quit. Here's my solution: don't force yourself to write. Just do it when you really feel that it's erupting from you. Remember what's written on Bukowski's grave: "Don't try." -- live by those words.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Jeff Simmermon said...

Velvet -- yeah, that crack came off as MUCH more dick-ish than I meant. Considering we just met, you'd have every right to think I was aiming at you. I actually think you do the dating blog thing about a million times better than the legions of two-bit Carrie Bradshaws that clutter the DC Blogosphere, and more power to you.

Lonnie -- See, I disagree with Bukowski on a number of levels. You should ALWAYS try. Sit down and write when you're not feeling like it. Then file it away -- then sit down and write when you're inspired. Compare the two efforts with a clear head and the results are identical. I like reading Bukowski's poetry, but not trying is not my bag. It's what the moth is all about... constantly trying to crack that bulb.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger E :) said...

Don't quit or I'll get together an angry mob who will hunt you down. Then again, that might make for a good story... Hmmm.

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous mokin said...

your blog is definitely one of my favorites. you have written many entries that have inspired me and made me rethink things about the world and myself. don't give up.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

What's wrong with posting for self expression? As a way to particiate within the DC blogging community? For fun? Just BECAUSE?? Blogging is juicy; it's a phenomena. It's a collective social history of this first decade of the new millenium. Sorry it isn't about making money except for the very few, but it is its own form of art, and yours is brilliant. Keep writing, puh-lease?

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Scotus said...

First time I tried doing a blog, I also did the whole "first-person essay that captured my thoughts and feelings, but tried to tie them into a bigger struggle that the world could relate to" bit.

About a month later, I got bored and deleted it.

When I decided to try again, I thought about what would interest me instead of other people, and I realized it was writing about comic books, making stupid jokes about Republicans, and any other random crap that occurs to me. And even though I only got, like, two hits a day at first, I was having fun. Now I get at least four hits a day, so as you can imagine, I'm really having a blast.

So don't worry about what other people think. Don't worry about entertaining them, don't worry about moving them, don't worry about making them relate to you. Just write for your own enjoyment, and people will pick up on that.

And seriously, you could be the JD Salinger of bloggers, and blogs written by hot sorority types spilling Cosmos will still get a hundred times the traffic. In fact, I'm off to visit one now.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger bodo said...

here’s where i think you are wrong. blogging is not a popularity contest. it’s not about the traffic you’re getting. it’s not about social muscle or selling something. it’s not a rung in the ladder to fame. or great fortune.

it’s about you. it is the truth as you perceive it. it is your reaction to all the actions directed at you. it is your answer to puzzled glances...queries...questions...curiosity. it is the thoughts that float around in your head and don’t bloom into speech. it is your release. your escape. the cohesion of chaos in you. it allows you to be. it allows you to let go of everything.....everything. till you almost exist in a state of non being. you might not understand that. but that doesn't change it. this is you. the words that fill up the screen in the guise of a post...the thought process that makes it all possible.

this is you. your reactions. your questions. your answers. your truth.

and that hot sorority type, the one that posts pictures of her spilling cosmos in arlington and blabbles about her dates. that’s her.

At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The author in question can be reached at gozer24 AT gmail DUT com, just between you and me.


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