0-0. The method to my madness, and the world needs your story (the Hallowed-eve NaNoWriMo/rant post that I got too scared to publish, but see fit to publish now)

[2019-10-31 07:11. First 432 words omitted.] Wow. Did not intend to write that. I had a few other things on my mind. Such as:

1) a letter to blog readers — a kind of rant about narcissism (not mine, this time, but some of theirs, in particular) which aims at all the people who might think I (or anyone else, for that matter) am(/is) obsessed with their work and their work only. I’m a vast blog-reader, a fast blog-reader, an obsessed blog-reader and more than anything here online, I’m what I like to call a “bloom-synergist,” and a weaver with words. And, and honest one — I like to give credit where credit is due… unless it looks like you’re a stalker. (Hint, if you engage in intelligent and/or fun, public comment-conversation on both your blog and mine, then you’re probably not. Just saying).

One of my main missions in life, as I told a dear friend by email (—Rachel, I hope you won’t mind me lifting my own words from our private letters, though the credit goes partly to you for perhaps-inadvertently eliciting them), is to get people to feel like they can write anything, and then to actually do that writing of anything, whether they do it privately or not.

Because to borrow but slightly change NaNoWriMo’s motto — “the world needs your story.” (I’ve changed “novel” to “story.”) But more importantly, or inherently, I believe that *you* need your story. When you start to write, you begin to understand what you need to say. And you can progress in life, this way. Which ultimately changes the world for good.

Stories unlock us. But most especially the true, personal stories of ourselves and others. In most stranger-than-fiction, true-life personal stories, there’s little guesswork, there’s little wondering what it’s really about, there is less need to think “well that’s just a fantasy — all these things they’ve got me believing.”

That’s why I’m a hound for personal blogs. I want to know the truth of how you — and you — and you — ad infinitum — think. What makes you move? How did you get to be this way? What’s it like, inside your plain-old every day life?

I’m a humanist, an anthropologist, a digital archeologist, a documentarian, and a mostly-descriptivist linguist; I’m a “pantser,” not a plotter. There is no planned or metered method to my madness; I go with creative flow; half the time I write things I never planned to write; half the time I don’t have time to put the links in right. Half the time I deal in oversight. The other half, perhaps (—how many halves are we at now?—have never been good at math—) is inner sight. This is how I bypass my old blocker: extreme perfectionism.

But yes, to return to my rant… here is something I find happens a lot, or at least, a lot more than I seem to make time to handle well. People email me links to their posts or creations, saying they think I might be interested in the topic or that they’d like to know my opinions on it.

My first internal reaction is, “yes sir!” (Oddly, these requests so far only come from men — although less so, now that I use a more gender-neutral profile image — the one I first used was the one that still shows on Medium). My nature, or nurture, especially when it comes to tending the creations of others, is first and foremost “appreciate, encourage and serve.” That might somehow sound self-aggrandizing, but I don’t mean it to be. Maybe it’s my imagined male-identifying counterpart standing back and looking at something that’s an obvious fact, if we look at all the data. And the fact of it is anything but self-aggrandizing. If anything, it’s self-minimizing.

If I ever came to your blog and read it and “liked” it or commented on it, it was usually by one of these means:

  • WP reader showed it to me via “suggested for you” (possible tags: sobriety, truth, life, creative nonfiction, love, zen buddhism, spirituality, poetry, etc. or,
  • you left a “like” or comment on someone else’s blog that got me curious about you; enough so to click your avatar and check out your blog (or lack thereof), or,
  • (far more often and more likely) because you “liked” one or more of my comments or posts, or “followed” my blog (though in my mind, it’s “friended” or “fellowed,” as in “fellowship” -— not “followed”).

However, the latter has lessened recently, caused in part by surprising and disturbing-to-me content on later-disappeared blogs. Story for another time… still processing. And one of the reasons I made my blog private (a few times) in the past.

I’m a natural reciprocator, quite possibly an over-reciprocator, and my goal is “empathize and look for good intention”; my urge is “synergize and serve.” I will find beauty in mud, I will find mud in beauty, and I will, at the heart and root of me, like it all. (Or sometimes love it, just a little too much for my own liking. Kind of like wine.) Most of this is a mutual thing amongst like-minded creators, and it all feels great and copacetic.

If I ever comment, whatever I’ve said is genuine and often comes from the heart. It’s a gift that does take time and energy. I choose to *make* this time and *expend* this time — often even when I “can’t” or “don’t” have it to give. I read tens of posts per day. I have a lot of other work to do that I don’t always talk about (on my blog, I like to escape -— but also show mundane truths). I sleep about six hours per night. This isn’t just reading addiction, it’s also a desire to be mutually supportive to my “contemporaries.” My contemporaries aren’t the folks way up at the top of the mountain, they are “the people that I meet, when I’m walking down the street, they’re the people that I meet, each day” (Sesame St, paraphrased) — both outside, here in the countryside, and in blogland.

Sometimes — and maybe this happens for others, too — the fearful and/or repressed side of me will stop me from “liking” a post.

e.g. (Me, if post contains sexual/sensual content, posted by an apparently male-identifying entity:) “If I ‘like’ it, will they or someone else think that my ‘like’ is a come-on? And if so, are we all gonna die?” (I love that last phrase, thanks DustBunnies). And/or “If I ‘like’ it, will they or someone else think I “approve of/agree with” this philosophy?”

Mind you, all of this neuroticism or cautiousness or sensibleness or self-preservation was certainly less likely to occur, in the past, if I’d been drinking some wine while imbibing blogs. (Wine: for me the ultimate truth-and/or-universal-love serum — until it wasn’t, truly).

But most of the time, with or without wine, I’m a rampant “liker.” If I read it, I usually “like” it. Sometimes a little later, yes, if it took me some time to process it (or if I couldn’t find the WP reader link — as I keep mentioning, some glitch in Chrome or WP prevents me from “liking” WP blogs from the “front end”), but usually, nonetheless. And/or comment on it. Not only do I feel this to be a way of showing appreciation for another’s creation, but it’s also a way of holding myself accountable for the content I consume. It’s a way of not being a secret lurker. It’s a way of telling myself, “look girlfriend, you clicked, you read it; now be honest and leave your mark.”

By the way, to those of you *non*-WordPress folks reading my blog without acknowledging it, this is not trying to guilt you into “liking” nor commenting on my blog. In fact, I want to specifically say, don’t feel you have to sign up just to comment. Gravatar is a somewhat insidious, unclear thing which quite literally “follows you around the Internet,” and to “like” or comment here is to sign up for Gravatar (possibly unknowingly; I’m not even sure how the form works). For-evah. (You can run but you can’t hide.)

Eeeeeeeeek okay now I’m scaring even myself. Is WP going to delete my blog for this? Let’s find out…. ha ha, just kidding. I’m just a tired old stay-at-home mom. Nothing to see here.  “Smile and wave, boys, smile and wave.” (Madagascar. Yes my input is generally childish.)

As you can see by the existence of this post, and this blog (and a couple of others — on Weebly, Ghost, Github, Prose, and Medium, sometimes under pseudonym Lia or PetalOuda), I somehow got over my fears of all that and started blogging anyway, and yes, using WordPress.com (— not WordPress.org, because I could not for the life of me figure out self-hosted, though I tried; it involved waaaaaayyyyyy too much time not writing. My husband offered to host it for me but I have residual control issues). And WordPress.com goes hand-in-hand with its all-knowing, more mysterious twin, Gravatar.

Quite honestly, for me, most of the time I love WP-.com, mainly for its easy-to-use and very social aspect (for those reading this blog from the front-end, there is a whole writers’-social-media factor built into the back-end. See an older post of mine called The Alleyways).

I feel I’ve developed at least a handful of very real-to-me-seeming online friendships here (thank you, wonderful WP friends! You know who you are, because we regularly comment-chat on both our blogs, and thus mutually help each other grow), and I’ve gotten to freely read (and like, and interact with) a lot of fascinating and sometimes wildly-impressive, educational and/or inspiring content. These are the true gifts of the blogging world. Thank you for those.

But point was, for those of you total strangers thinking your links or email texts are some kind of “gift,” (hello, I have enough work to do already, much of which, though I love certain aspects of it, does not in any way, shape or form pay the bills —- quite the opposite, it costs me time, energy and even money), AND most particularly those of you WP bloggers whose blogs I’ve “liked” and/or commented-on, but who don’t “like” or comment on mine, for whatever reason (which is fine with me, no hard feelings), yet email me privately to tell me I might like your stuff (no pun intended), and/or that you’d love my feedback on it… well, sorry (not sorry?) but from now on, and/or if it hasn’t already been, it’s going to be a silent “no.”

And remember, a silent “no” never means yes.

Now I have to go wash my hair.

08:41

crap! That was supposed to be a journalled list of random things on my mind, not a 1300-word blog post arising from a simple #1! Such is the nature of true pantsing. Well, there’s always tomorrow, for #2… or #33, or none, or whatever.

Love,

xo n

 

Edit 2019-11-07 06:18. Changed title number from 0-1. Photo (especially again) is ridiculous. But this is how it was. Sure let’s do it. Publish. Omfg….
2019-11-14 15:36. Nope. Image section removed.]

* * *

Nadine inhales & exhales words & images from current vantage point in Zone of Emptiness, France. Thank you for reading. ❤︎

17 thoughts on “0-0. The method to my madness, and the world needs your story (the Hallowed-eve NaNoWriMo/rant post that I got too scared to publish, but see fit to publish now)

  1. So many points you raise here, and many of them you probably know my feelings on. Love it that you used what you said about being able to write what we want, without all the self doubts and internal turmoil that goes with it. You are such a strong and intelligent person, and I think this post has so much integrity and truthfulness. I’m so pleased you posted it. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know what to say. I’m actually freaking out right now. And I think I’m the opposite of what you said. The complete opposite. In fact, I know I am. But I appreciate your showing up here, with your purple heart… remind me of why I’m doing this again, and what’s the next step exactly? :)) Might have to go back to mopping floors. ;))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now it’s my turn to not know what to say…. I hope I haven’t said the wrong thing? I have now written and deleted a sentence three times. And I’m doing it again for the next one. I don’t know if it’s what you mean, but is it that feeling of being exposed after posting something that is causing the freaking out? Don’t think about the next step yet, you don’t need to know what it is right now. Sometimes our hearts and minds disagree on things, creating such internal struggles.

        I hope I didn’t offend with my Purple Heart. I sent it with love and hugs in mind. xoxox

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This is massively soothing and thank you. You never said anything wrong, in my books… ever. [Edit, 2 days later: also, I too had just written and deleted a sentence, three times… that purple heart one… should have just deleted it. 💜❤️😥😚] I’m just having a menopausal moment, walking my cray-cray tightrope in the sky. Sheesh! #midlife #realhousewivesoffrance 😉😘💕love ya hon xoxoxoxo

          Liked by 1 person

    2. [2 days later, what she would have said if she could have “grabbed that hourglass around its waist” — to paraphrase the above lovely commenter’s own beautiful recent poem:] Dear Rachel, your words come at a time when I, having fallen into old patterns, am having a post-publish, post-like-blogger-viewing panic-attack, which has resulted in confusion about emojis and their meaning, as well as confusion about life, and its meaning, in general. The words you offer are such a balm, so uplifting, so reassuring; and whether we see or use purple hearts, red hearts, black hearts and/or blue hearts — it hardly matters; you’re like an angel among them all. It’s like seeing the heart of my own mom, and a “real”-life best friend of mine combined, shining through your comment. (Note: they are two of the most love-giving and encouraging people in my life.) Thanks for being such a good friend. Love, xo n.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My friend, I figured you just needed some time. Emojis are actually a f*cking minefield if you ask me. I go through stages of telling myself I will just not use them anymore, the amount of angsting they can cause. I’m sure there’s more to how you’re feeling than that though and I’m glad things have settled for you. I send you a heart in every color of the rainbow xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “how many halves are we at now?—have never been good at math”

    That line made me snort laugh. I was actually thinking something along those lines. It startled me as much as my piggy guffaw startled my co-worker who sits across from me.

    This post reminds me of a part in Bird by Bird where Lamott writes about being scared to share our real, horrible, self. How we’re afraid the world will shun us. What actually happens is people reading it take out their notebooks and go, “Hey, I’ve got that/do that.”

    I can see why this post was something you’d worry about publishing, being am over-reciprocating liker. But, I’m betting, there’s a LOT more of us who are the same, even those lurkers asking for something, than people who’ll get butthurt by your honesty.

    While we’re on the subject, I’ve got this post. . .

    😜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now it’s my turn to snort laugh. Still squeak-sputtering through teeth on lip. My own office buddy (the mouse in the corner) is giving me its WTF look….

      I love your last line!!! 😂Right after I published this I was like oh shit, so-and-so might think I’m talking about him because we had a Hemingway-post-viewing comment chat (but he’s never emailed me lol) but I totally forgot about you! You’re not on the naughty list. Lol. Sucks being a good guy. ;))

      [Edit: p.s. dear “so-and-so,” if you happen to read this thread… I meant no disrespect. As you may know, it’s a nod to the Hemster himself. :))]

      And thanks, Aeryk for your very encouraging words…. and for bringing a bit of levity. :)) Needed that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have a mouse roomie who lives in our attic. (S)he’s taken to raiding our pantry. We’ve moved things around so (s)he can’t get anything but has been smarter than our have-a-heart cage. Sigh. Always something, huh?

        You know, I normally assume the worst (“OH MY GAWD! What did I do. Nadine hates me.”), but for some reason I didn’t with this post. You’re writing is good enough to bypass my neuroses. That’s some Jedi-level stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Aww… wowsers. Neutralized. Nope, it’s you the jedi master. How do you do it? Craziness. I mean, sanity. Ahhhh. Sanity is good. :))) Many many thanks Aeryk, I feel lucky you happed upon this blog.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Much to parse and mull here considering philosophies of writing and publishing. Words are free and unfettered here on the interweb, running about like goats gone feral, and the gatekeepers are our own inner editors. Publishing once meant sending a SASE to NYC with paper manuscript enclosed, or commenting via a literal letter to the editor. There were readers, gatekeepers, editors, and lawyers. Now we have all the power of those roles.

    With great power comes great responsibility:

    “holding myself accountable for the content I consume. It’s a way of not being a secret lurker. It’s a way of telling myself, “look girlfriend, you clicked, you read it; now be honest and leave your mark.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this comment; much to parse and mull as well, and helps clarify thoughts. Goats gone feral. Stressful being a gatekeeper and perhaps not my best role. Almost certainly actually. Too much like the gatekeeper at Wall in that Clare Danes movie, Stardust perhaps — although in the end that one did let the right ones through. Definitely lots to think about, much appreciated, Kim 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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