Why?

This is the question I ask myself. 

Rob is a regular reader of a blog called, Ask and Ye Shall Receive, which should go on to say “a bum-hole reaming” because that is the main fare. At least it seems that way to me. Rob reads the reviews to me, and no, it’s not because I lack the ability. I just lack the time, and if your husband offered to read something to you and it saved you the trouble, wouldn’t you be grateful? 

Nearly every review I have heard so far has been about a blog the reviewer finds wanting. And the reviewers? Soulless. It’s blogging without pity. Funny as hell sometimes, but at other times it’s like watching that girl in your class, the no one liked because she smelled a bit off and stood too close, get up in sophomore English to read a poem she wrote about love with teething jarring rhymes and definitely about the captain of the basketball team whose catty too-cute-to-exist cheerleader girlfriend was sitting two rows over and snickering with her Sweet Valley High amigas. Painful. Just. Painful. But you can’t look away and you still kinda laugh. Which makes you feel hell-bound yourself.

The most recent reaming was a freelance writer who submitted her mommy blog. Apparently, it is written from her baby’s point of view. E for creative non-fiction effort, I suppose. The reviewer’s main objection was the lack of writing. They hate non-writing blogs. Nothing garners more scorn than the inability to string words, sentences and transition from one paragraph to the next. And I can see their point to a point, but the genre was not created for writers, we merely co-opted it and did it better.

“You should submit your blog.”

What?! 

I love my husband’s confidence in me. Every writer should have a husband like mine. But no way in hell will I ask to be critiqued on this little slice of the blogosphere. My own readers, and just Internet flotsam in general, offer me all the dressing down I care to deal with and then some. I don’t really need to invite someone with intent.

I am not theme oriented. I no longer believe I can be a blogger of note. I am not even funny. I don’t know why I have the audience I do. I am not that interesting, famous or destined for greatness in a Huffington Post sort of way. 

And I know that Christina Katz and J.A. Konrath would scold me for saying so, but this blog isn’t exactly platform building. At least it didn’t start out that way though it seems for moment this is my office of sorts. I blogged initially as an exercise. First for grief relief and then to sort my way through the initial rebuilding of my life, and somewhere along the way, people began to read. The writing as a career thing is johnny come lately here, and it is sometimes still too personal. I don’t think Helen Humphreys has a blog at all although Nancy Kress does, and it is career oriented.

“You’re just being a chicken,” Rob said. “The Ask people’s biggest objection is the lack of writing. You’re a writer.”

Okay, I can cop to that, but I am having trouble letting go of the idea my blog is a personal space where I can write without worry, judgement or pressure. This is clearly not where I am heading, is it? I am taking steps away from that model and heading towards the coveted, semi-openness of the writer’s blog, the platform. It’s kind of sad.

I am still not going to ask to be mercilessly raked over the coals reviewed.

10 responses to “Why?

  1. i love critics, it’s fun to sit in the tower and fire off rounds and while insulting on the page is easy i agree with some of the other comments that these people are muppets, it is much easier to make fun of the created than to create yourself, if i did it enough i’d submit mine just to let them rip it up and then i’d have real fun tearing them a new bunghole on a consistent basis, lucky for me i’d rather actually work on my writing than worry about the blogosphere, blogging is just something to blow off steam or work out writing problems on a page for fun, i’m sure these “critcs” have very high opinions of their ability just like any other frustrated waitress or bartender, they do it for notoriety not because they actually give a shit, i write to write and amuse myself, i’ve learned self doubt is a waste of time in this game, take as much constructive critism that’s available and then get on with it, it’s highly unlikely everyone will like what you write, hell the Bible is supposedly the greatest story ever told but i don’t think it sells well in Mecca.

    Will it play in Mecca? I think that is always the great white whale to shoot for.

  2. don’t do it… best case scenario is what? that they make a few positive comments among the assinine and juvenile abuse?

    it’s like a train wreck – hard to look away – but what could possibly be gained by subjecting your blog (which you write for yourself) to this sort of “review”?

  3. I don’t blame you! I wouldn’t put myself in for that kind of scrutiny either;-)

    Mostly because it doesn’t count for anything. If I thought it would make a real difference to the content or my writing, I might consider it. But they are just bloggers like I am. Nothing special as far as I could tell. And they hit on a great niche idea because people love to read biting reviews that get personal. But how would that make me a better writer?

  4. I write for myself, and for the few who come around and comment. I know it’s not great writing, and being limited to the WordPress.com themes, it’s not spectacular appearance, either. I’m happy with what I have, and have no designs on Global Media Domination.

    The theme limitation is annoying.

  5. Wow, I read their rebuke, I mean, review, and they were pretty ruthless. I think there’s nothing wrong with critiquing someone’s site, but doing it constructively (and not insultingly) is what I’d personally prefer to see. They weren’t even that funny, you ask me… But what do I know?

    Happy New Year!

    KJ
    http://fragrantliar.blogspot.com

    Happy New Year to you as well.

  6. i resonate with this post. i do my post for myself, but can’t help but feel a self-indulgent moment that a precious few (i have no illusions of more) of my posts are soul satisfying and good.

    but, there’s that self esteem thing t.u.b. spoke of…

    we are damaged. and multiply so.

    There is nothing so wonderful for a writer than hearing you wrote something that made some feel. Even if what they felt was that you are a complete dumbass or heinous bitch.

  7. Why even bother submitting your blog to someone who lives to make fun of other people? BTW, I have no idea who Nancy Kress is but her blog doesn’t seem so special to me.

    Nancy Kress is a sci-fi/fantasy writer. Published. Teaches. And the blog itself is bare bones and not that great, but the things she has to say about the genre and writing are why I go there. It’s the occasional content and the glimpse into the life of a working author that makes it worthwhile for me.

  8. They do it because it’s easier to critique than it is to create. Always has been/will be. And what’s easier than doing a hatchet job? There’s nothing more rewarding for someone with damaged self esteem.

    They focus on things that aren’t important to me. Wouldn’t be important to most writers. The look. The presentation. The visuals. Writers are about words. I don’t care what a blog looks like. If the writing doesn’t speak to me, it’s not worth the time. Also, in the blog genre, it’s about revealing one’s self and strong voices.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s