In the very wee hours of the morning, as I was mulling over (and over) a few blog post ideas that were swirling around inside my head, the proverbial light bulb clicked on and I was faced with the realization that I am not your average blogger.
This all began at 5:21 a.m. this morning, when I woke up to write the words to a poem I have been working on all week. I have never gotten out of bed to write something down – ever – but I will do so from now on.
Anyhow, as I tried to fall back to sleep, writing thoughts kept popping in my head. Then my creative thoughts turned to a self-assessment of why it takes me forever to write a blog post. A lot of ideas come to me at inopportune moments – like while in the shower (soap crayons for notes?) or while I am trying to sleep. So it doesn’t help that I can’t remember the complete book I have written while shampooing my hair. But I digress.
But it has been bothering me that I can’t stop what I am doing, fire off a quick post, share it for the world to see and dive back in to life. I see bloggers churn out post after post and my feelings of inadequacy take over in my head, like a mushroom cloud that forms when the dust rises after a bomb detonates. How do they do what I can’t seem to do?
Apparently, I am just not wired that way. I need a long, well-thought process, inspiration, and more thinking.
Maybe I put too much thought into my writing. Maybe it is more of an artistic, therapeutic, method of madness than anything else. Most bloggers have a theme – fashion, finance, parenting, grand-parenting, food, diseases, going-green. Not me – my ramblings cover it ALL! Why make it easier on myself, and just go with one idea?! Why can’t I just write, post and publish? No, I have to develop an outline, then write a first-draft, a second draft, let it “simmer,” re-read, and scrap it all and start over again, then have my husband and daughters read for content (then for check errors if I decide to publish). Except for today. Oh, and then I have to take the perfect picture to accompany the text…
That’s why (a good excuse, anyway) I don’t have a blog post up on a regular basis. And so that is why SEOs and Google searches and others haven’t found me yet. I am at the mercy of my artistic self that is bucking the algorithms of digital success.
As I tried to go back to sleep, by now it is 5:55 a.m., I became more comfortable in the realization that I am a not-so-typical blogger. And, if there are other bloggers that go through this insane process, then maybe, just maybe, they will appreciate my new-found descriptive category: “The Starving Artist Blogger.”
Not that I write about fine art – yet (just give me time…why not add another category!) – but each post that I write has to be inspired. It may be about parenting, or it may be about knitting or faith or grief or a recipe or a news event or what ever speaks to my heart. Like painters who see something that speaks to them, and then express their feelings onto canvas, I see or hear something that speaks to me, and have to write about it. Eventually.
An artist takes their time to get everything just right – the colors, the textures, the mood, the lighting. One can’t just create without a thought process. Hours are spent visualizing and thinking and sketching.
And I do the same thing. But with words. I am sure people think I am aloof, but there are times that I am writing in my head as I stand in line at the grocery store. Maybe I sound like an airhead when I mix up the words that I am trying to speak, but it’s only because on the other side of my brain, I am trying to keep the words for my essay alive in my head until I can grab a pad of paper and a pen and jot it all down.
Currently, my “art”studio is my laptop in the corner of our home office, with a stash of yarn peeking out from behind a filing cabinet. It isn’t real inspiring, at the moment, which is why I haven’t painted the next Mona Lisa or developed a great knitting pattern – yet. However, in my artist brain, I will one day have the perfect studio cottage, where it is summer year-round, filled with books and paints and pencils and fabric and a little kitchenette stocked with essentials like coffee, tea, chocolate and wine. The summer breezes will gently dance with the gauzy draperies covering the big picture window that offers a view of a lake. My herb garden will be in full bloom, and I will be writing my novel as my painting dries on a vintage art stand in the corner.
If someone could look at my blog dashboard, they’d see several blog posts sitting in the draft mode, waiting for some TLC before I hit publish. (Oh, disclaimer – my closet is filled with unfinished knitting projects, and a few book outlines are stored in there, too, somewhere…) It’s not that these works won’t ever get finished, it is that they aren’t quite ready to be revealed to the world.
Oh sure, some day I hope that one of my blog posts goes viral. Is my wish any different from an artist hoping for a large crowd at a gallery opening, the place filled with smiles and laughter while photographers run around to capture the moment with the dazzling guests, each raising a cocktail in a toast to the host?
Well, my soul-searching ended with the alarm clock ringing at 6:30 a.m. this morning. I got up, had my coffee and digested the fact that I am just an average blogger. I am not massively successful with thousands of readers re-posting every profound word that I write. I can embrace and accept my “Starving Artist Blogger” status. After all, it’s only my creative genius that’s getting in the way of my virtual success.
© Lynne Cobb – 2014
Are you a “Starving Artist Blogger?” Let me know in the comments below.