I used to write these long rambling letters to everyone I knew. Pages and pages of random thoughts and poems and photos and whatnot. I banged them out on an old typewriter and I still refer to the ‘Enter’ key as the ‘Return’ key. I was blogging before there were blogs. A pretty lesbian I liked to write to told me I should write a blog. So I did. It was a more personal blog than the ones I write now. Filled with intimate details, rants about the unfairness of it all, and the usual mundane daily business of a diary. I had a handful of regular readers, like most blogs. I read them and they read me and that was pretty much it.
I still have a handful of comments on If You Write It from one or two old blog buddies from back in the day. Most of them have given up on blogging on a regular basis. But a few are still hard at it, telling the story of their life 500 words at a time.
The desire to write is always there. The ability to sit down and put my thoughts down is not. That’s what separates real writers, the ones that get paid to do it, from the rest of us. They sit down and write, no matter what. Then they edit what they write so someone else can read it and edit it further. Bloggers have it easy. We just bang our posts out and let the commas fall where they may.
There was a time I tried publishing my posts on Technorati. One of those sites that used to be important, but not so much anymore. They had Editors, how bizzaire. You submitted a piece and someone looked it over and made suggestions on correcting whatever they found wrong. Since these were blog posts, there was always a lot to find wrong. It’s not like I spend days polishing my thoughts on the last book I read or TV show I watched. So I often got a lot of notes on what needed to be corrected for my 300 word review to make it suitable for the hallowed pages of Technorati. I think I submitted about five posts before I said To Hell With This.
I kind of feel like Llewyn Davis when he meets a jazz singer played by John Goodman.
“What did you say you play? Flameco?”
“Folk Songs? Oh, I thought you said you were a musician.” The jazz great says with a dismissive snort. “I’m a jazz man. People pay to hear me play.”
So being a blogger is like being a folk singer and all the world thinks they’re jazz greats. One or two bloggers get book deals or land a job on a talk show somewhere. Many of these were already writers before they decided to blog about something for a year and then turn it into a book. Most bloggers write for themselves and if someone else stumbles upon them, that’s just a bonus.
I like to read my old blog posts. Some are great, some are not so great. But they are all mine. And that’s something.