Monday, October 6, 2008

Anxiety of Authorship

I tried this whole blog thing once before. My first post was about ants. As far as I am concerned, ants are Satan's miniature army. Every year they find some way to march their way in to my kitchen and crawl in to every tiny corner looking for a crumb to eat. And every year, I fight back - traps, spray, powder around the foundation of the house, ancient Indian rituals. Eventually the ants have their fill or grow war weary and head on to a new battlefront, but I know deep down that we will meet again.

That's what was on my mind the last time these fingers hit the keyboard in an effort to clear my mind, air my grievances, and enlighten the virtual world with my insight. So what stopped me? What allowed that post to linger and ultimately evaporate when I hit the "Delete Blog" button? Nothing other than the self-doubt that some/most/all authors have at one time or another. Or in my case, all of the time. Ever since I could read, I wanted to write. But ever since I received my first paper back with edits on it from my first grade teacher, I get that tight squeamy feeling in my chest when I put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) to bring my thoughts into the public space where they can be - dum dum dum - judged. (For what it's worth, my first grade teacher was a total bitch, but that's a story for another day.)

Ironically, I've become one heck of an editor over the years (save for my own writing - lucky you). I have no fear taking my pen to someone else's work, rewriting sentences, organizing paragraphs, changing (for seemingly the five hundredth time) "their" to "there" or "it's" to "its" or "She gave it to Pete and I" to "She gave it to Pete and me" (just because it sounds fancy doesn't mean it is). More than once have I written "what does this mean?" and "redundant." I hope the authors know it isn't personal.

All of that being said, following an incredibly fun, interesting, and enlightening dinner with a number of bloggers the other evening, I decided to once again give this a shot. This is just me writing down whatever happens to be on my mind from time to time. Feel free to leave a note or a comment. I know it's not personal.


A Mom Two Boys said...

Damn, now I'm going to be self conscious about what I write. I'd never really worried about it. Probably because I'm awesome and had no reason to.

Or because I drink heavily before I write a post, which pretty much negates the entire "worried about what others think" aspect.

I had so much fun the other night! Can't wait to do it again!

Nice work, can't wait to read more!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

You'll find that the blogging community is almost a little too forgiving and/or supportive when it comes to writing caliber (and forget about spelling or punctuation - none of us are any good at that).

I think that Maggie of Okay Fine Dammit put it best when she said in a comment to someone that wanted to write a book, "The thing about a book is you can’t hit publish and have everyone go 'wheeeeeeeee, I love you, you’re so talented!' which is why I will probably never write one because I am just too. damn. impatient and distracted by shiny, glittery things. Blogging is perfect for me. For now."

Perfection is not expected. An interesting story, perspective or even picture is enough. Oh - and bloggers are really vain. You have to leave them multiple comments and blog role them before they bother with you. Sorry - but thems the rules.

Yes I'm this jaded, I mean knowledgeable, and I've only been writing my blog for FOUR MONTHS.

It was great meeting you on Friday, and I'll look forward to seeing more of you online!

Quart said...

Yay you!! Happy blog unveiling! You made me laugh out loud with the remark about your 1st grade teacher.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

I've deleted twice as many posts as I've written and still when I look at what I've written all I see are run-on sentences and grammatical errors. Still, it's my voice, and flawed or not it wants to be heard so sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and hit "publish". I'm glad you did.

Welcome back to blogging.

Anna See said...

Woohoo! Glad you are blogging again! I hate to think that as a teacher I discouraged kids with my red pen, but I know it is true. I understand the insecurity. I feel this way when I write comments. Like right now. I'd better hit "send!"

Newrose said...

Welcome to the blogging world :)

Maura said...

Yay! So glad you took the plunge again. :-)

I love that we inspired you a little because it was so great meeting and talking to you that night!

I've been doing this a long time, probably longer than most of the other bloggers you'll meet. And there's no "right" way to do it...which is both the beauty and terror of blogging.