Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Elegy for an Insecure Author: A Blog about Blogging

If only life was organized like the Dewey decimal system. Sigh.

I've been feeling insecure lately about how varied my blog posts are. I worry that focusing all my attention on one topic would make for better reading material. This is worrisome because I rarely have one topic on my mind.

I haven't limited myself to a single theme while blogging. My scope includes the books I read, trips I take, Alzheimer's, weight loss, running, faith, marriage, craft projects, childhood memories, etc. Maybe that's why I like the memoir genre so much; the only criteria for relevancy is "human experience."

This blog is not a chronological narrative of my life (thank goodness. My day job's not that riveting). Instead, it's a greenhouse for all the idea seedlings in my brain.

I want to write a book. I don't know how to narrow down the focus or choose a universal theme, but I'm guessing no publisher would be interested in printing 22 years' worth of journal entries. So until I figure out which parts of my life warrant narration and mass production (ha ha), my writing happens here.

Thank you for reading. You, my online audience, make all the difference. Your comments and reactions give me valuable feedback on what kind of storytelling is of interest.

Some of my favorite posts (the ones I felt most proud to share) have been the hardest to write. I've often received more comments on posts that had me hesitating to click "publish." Vulnerability in an author is what makes me interested as a reader, so I try to remember that as I write. But I also don't want my blog to be a place to wallow in emotions I can't easily deal with in real life. It's tempting to indulge the drama queen in me by describing all my mental hand-wringing and emotional distress. But that's not authentic either.

In my experience, life is rarely compartmentalized or predictable. One minute you're minding your own business at work, and BAM. Someone tells you your mom has gone missing. Or you're dreading a whole day spent with nerds just because your husband wants to buy a new graphic novel, and BAM. You have the time of your life at ComiCon. Or you are sick and tired of yourself and destructive habits and BAM. You meet someone (or a group of someones) who changes your life.

I'm going to do some reorganizing around here by labeling my posts more accurately. If you're interested in some topics more than others (like I am), I hope the topical list is useful.

I know this post will be read by at least a few strangers (and friends) online. Then it may never see the light of day until I'm editing a book and need one more goofy anecdote. And I'm OK with that.

2 comments:

  1. I love this slice-of-life blog! And as far as book ideas go -- I'll bet there are many, many folks out there coping with a loved one's Alzheimer's diagnosis who would love to read words from a sister in the fray.

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  2. I know the insecurity of varied topics, Emily... Have been struggling with that myself, knowing that there's such a wide divide amongst Hooked readers (fishin' folks and non). You're not alone in wondering about your audience and message! But I agree with Barb - the variety of your posts works for me. Your most-vulnerable Mom posts are so powerful, and in your less intense pieces, I just enjoy hearing your voice and getting to know you better. Keep on writing, friend!

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