Friday, February 12, 2010

Blogging -- Arrrgggh!

I Do Not Like It, Sam I Am,

I Do Not Like Self-Centered Blogs and Ham.

Boy, my writer friends and I debate this.


We really don’t want to do it.

We’d rather write fiction, do some research, interview, compose an article, hit our deadlines. In fact, we’d prefer a colonoscopy or watch a Police Academy movie, than sit down and ‘blog.’

But everything’s gone digital, leaving skulls and debris in its wake, the Kodak film cartridges, the smudgy newspaper, the printed book.

Meanwhile, my buds and I creep toward establishing an Internet presence. Having a mere e-mail address gave me hives. We crawl to the Internet in our commando gear, reluctantly joining the fray. Red-eyed crazies out there post disturbing comments, even to the most innocuous of statements, e.g., “The Sky is Blue," or "The cleaning power of this Comet really helps dissolve the grime on this sink." Wham! Torched with a scathing comment. Which leads to kitchen table discussions with the spouse of “can we legally change our last name, and how fast,” and Googling how to undergo witness protection.

“Better get on board and blog, if you write,” we are told. Established writers with a national profile don’t have to blog. On a book shelf, they are the name brand, and we no-names are the dust.

Saw Garrison Keillor speak in 2008, and he cautioned that good writing wasn’t about “narcissism.” Yet a lot of blogging reeks of it.

The self-promotion, too. Geez. Don’t get me started. I’d rather take a blow torch to my laptop than float around a room like I was God’s gift to humankind. “Oh, look at me, the famous write-rrrr.” Puh-leese. One glance at a Steinbeck novel will humble any writer – and fast. And me, I’d gladly send in a stunt double to do the promoting. Yes, I know. Necessary evil and all that, but can’t the work sell itself?

“The unexamined life is not worth living,” Socrates said at his heresy trial. He encouraged students to think for themselves, to challenge the status quo. Bloggers Gone Wild fly over etiquette’s speed bumps. These guys examine everything about their lives. They’ll drive their Springer-fueled cars, gorging on Web hits and traffic, shooting snarky replies to commenters who can’t even spell an expletive. They’ll push right to the brink, until a cop shows up at their front door with a search warrant.

One journalist friend put it like this. A blogger is like “a drunk who sits at the bar, ranting to himself. People don’t really care and all the drunk does is embarrass his family.”

Or, here’s my mom’s take: “Why does everyone need to render an opinion today? What makes people think they’re so important, that every thought they have contributes to society?"

I gotta come up with something more meaningful in a blog, other than what I had for breakfast.

I’m a writer. Experts advise writers, “Build a blog, and they will come.”

Uh-huh. Right.

1 comment:

  1. LOL You definitely have humor on your side, VanMom.

    No one wants to do this, but when you become a NYT's bestseller, how will you feel about being away from home for three months out of a year while you promote your book? That's exactly what happened to one young author with two young children had to do once she hit the NYT list. Her husband and family had to take up the slack with the little ones.

    If you think of it that way, maybe blogging and promoting your books on-line isn't so bad.