Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Here I am baby
Signed, sealed delivered
I’m yours
– Stevie Wonder.

Is blogging writing?  I find that an amusing question.  I’ve seen people debate this in various articles, blogs, and so on.  Many people don’t know what blogging is, and if they do know, they don’t care.  Isn’t that just, like, an online diary?  Isn’t it kind of, you know, narcissistic?

me
Wait, where did that come from?

Well, yes, but I’m really not sure what isn’t when it comes to writing.  And yes, of course blogging is writing.  I know there are some bloggers who would hesitate to call themselves writer, as if writer were this magical title only bestowed upon those lucky enough to get published.  Let’s think about that a moment, shall we?  Who do we know who has gotten published and has the brain of a sea monkey?  That’s right.  E.L. James has been published and made millions!  Does that make her a writer?

Yes, it does.  She’s a BAD writer, yes, but still, a writer.  Anyone who puts a pen to paper or fingers to keys is a writer.  But there are, as always, degrees.  I had a college professor hand me back my paper once and tell me, “You can write, Alice.  I can teach certain things like structure and grammar, but I can’t teach this.  You have it or you don’t.”  Would you believe I had a major crush on this teacher?  Yeah, big surprise.  But he had a point.  People can improve to an extent, but either you have natural talent, or you do not.

E.L. : You don't.

E.L. : You don’t.

So there are bloggers out there, just like there are some published writers, who suck.  I mean, really suck.  Reading E.L. James was like repeatedly hitting speed bumps with my car, only instead of speed bumps they were stupid things.  La la la STUPID  la la STUPID la la la STUPID STUPID STUPID la la etc.  It’s hard to concentrate that way.  I’ve seen some blogs -no none of yours – that are also pretty awful.  A good way to find some of these blogs is to check out some of the random people who follow you before anyone else knows who you are.  For instance, there was one guy from the Middle East whose blog consisted mostly of pictures of half naked, overweight American women.  He was one of my first followers.  But he was what I’d call a “bad blogger.”

He DID earn one of these, though.

He DID earn one of these, though.

But there are so many good bloggers!  And just like with publishing, there are many who haven’t been noticed yet.  They just need a little push, usually from someone who already has an audience, and then bang!  Like me, they become wildly famous!  Yeah, okay, I’m not a famous blogger, but that’s okay.  I have an audience of loyal readers and I’m happy with that.  There was a time, and this probably happens with a lot of bloggers, that I thought – hey, maybe someone will publish this mish-mash of stuff I vomited on the page!  But I’m mostly past that now (not that I would turn it down Mr. bored publisher who happened upon my blog!).  All I’ve ever really wanted was to make people laugh, and sometimes think a little, but mostly just laugh.  And I do that.

Ha, ha, ha.

Ha, ha, ha.

I’ve seen what writers go through to get published.  Just check out Carrie Rubin’s blog to see the fun she’s had on the road to publishing.  By the way, she has this book out, and another one is coming out soon.  But the thing is, it’s just not worth it to me, at least not at this point.  Maybe when the kids are older, maybe when I have more time, maybe when I start farting unicorns, I don’t know.  But right now, at this moment, what I have is okay.

So in a way, this is kind of my love letter to my readers, and just in time for Valentine’s Day.  I can pretend I don’t care if anyone reads my stuff.  Like, I am a writer, and I’m good at it, I know this, and I don’t have to have people validate it.  I don’t have to, but, well . . .

signed sealed delivered

Pathetic?  Some might say so.  So be it.  Because here I am, right here, writing for myself, but also for the ones who read me.  I’ve discovered that there are more than I realize, people who read and don’t comment, who just “like” or even who just breeze by.  None of us can know how much we affect other people day by day.  Some of the best comments I can get are “That made me laugh.” or “That brightened my day.”  or best of all “That made me snort my drink through my nose, thanks Alice!”

So now I thank you.

Signed, sealed, delivered,

Alice

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51 responses

  1. This post made me smile.

    I write for me, I have just been lucky to find friends along the way.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Alice!

    1. Happy V-Day to you too! Wait, that could be so many things. Maybe I should not be too lazy to write out Valentine’s. Ah, well, have a good day, whatever it is.

  2. The best comments I get are the ones (on the less silly posts) where someone understood what I was trying to say.
    That I was able to get my point (or point of view) across is about as good as I can get.

    Being able to make people laugh occasionally is just a spiffy side benefit.

    1. Sorry – and yes, you are a talented and entertaining writer.

      1. Thanks, Guap! You too. 😀

    2. It IS nice when someone understands what I’m saying, since half the time I don’t.

  3. Alice, this post made me fart unicorns.

    1. I can smell them and they smell like rainbows!

        1. Taste the rain . . . ewwwww

  4. This post made me snort a unicorn through my nose, thanks, Alice! 😀

    1. You’re welcome! That must have been painful . . .

  5. I’m not sure why we’re so hesitant to call ourselves writers early on. It took me a long time before I comfortably called myself that online. And in real life? I still have never uttered the words, “I’m a writer” to someone. Not sure when that day will ever come. Weird, because I think of every other blogger as a writer. Ah, the brain is a strange thing…

    Thanks so much for the mention, you sweet librarian you! Very much appreciated! I thought of you the other day, by the way. I went into my public library to pick up a book, and I paused for a moment, realizing that even after all my decades of visiting the library, I still get a special feeling of excitement when I’m in one (and I never want to leave). I wondered if the books and the environment still give you a warm feeling or if being in one so regularly takes away that feeling. I bet some days, if you’re there when it’s closed and no one’s around, you still get that tingling feeling from the endless possibilities books can provide. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I’ve been at the university library for four years, and sometimes I’m like, ugh, I’m tired of this place. But yeah, every once in a while, like when I’m showing someone what I do, or I find some new old treasure of a book, I remember why I love this profession. I grew up in libraries, riding to the public library all summer long, and spending time in my mother’s library (she was a school librarian). But it never occurred to want to be a librarian until much later. Funny, that.

      And as far as calling myself a writer, yeah, I’ve struggled with that some too. But if I’m not a writer, I don’t know what I am since I’ve been doing it since I can remember! I used to have the same issue with librarian – I am technically a library assistant, but I have the degree, so I say I’m a librarian. It’s not like patrons can tell the difference, or care. And there was this elderly lady I used to bring books on tape to – she called me “her librarian.” So I think, yeah, I’m taking that title too!

      1. As you should! Oh, I remember summers as a child riding my bike to the library and spending hours there reading (well, on the days I wasn’t babysitting that is). A librarian is the very first thing I ever wanted to be, back in first grade. Guess I strayed a little from that, but my love of books never faded!

  6. Okay, don’t shoot me. I don’t think bloggers are real writers. I think they are spinners of personal tales, diarists, but not writers in the sense that I would define it based on my high esteem of a Salman Rushdie or something (I know that is a ridiculous standard). Part of the reason I say this is that my most popular posts are based on ridiculous minute personal stuff. My least popular are actual fiction efforts that are longer and are actual writing in my mind. My definitions are narrow, I know; they are particular to me, I know; but I don’t feel my best writing has any home in the blogosphere, and thus I don’t know if the blogosphere is for such writing.

    1. I could so totally write Satanic Verses if I wanted to, you know, be on someone’s hit list. But I think I get what you’re saying – that you see fiction writing as more than just personal writing, essays, articles, etc. I’d say that’s the category a lot of blog posts fall into, but then again, my favorite writer is humor writer Dave Barry. He made books out of his newspaper columns, and I have almost every one. They are hilarious.

      I like writing both fiction and this essay type stuff. So I love blogging, but I will admit that I can spit out a blog post about ten times faster than I can any of my fiction. The fiction is tough. I love it, but I can easily lose four hours if I’m not careful, and only have half a chapter! But I’m always spinning stories in my head, whether at work or home or wherever. I used to read fiction voraciously for years, but now I prefer to write my own.

      But I wouldn’t write fiction as blog posts, because like you said, I don’t think this is, in general, the best audience for fiction, though I know some bloggers do well with it. I have a private blog where I’ve been posting chapters of one of my stories (if only I could finish and be happy with a book!) and daring to let a couple of people see it. It’s very hard for me, because my fiction writing is extremely personal, much more so than my blogging.

      1. That’s interesting, that your fiction writing is more personal than your blogging… I hate writing about myself, putting myself out there. There are personal aspects in all fiction, though, and I know there are, but I try very hard to write about people who are nothing like me and with whom I have no familiarity. I agree with you, it feels so much harder to write fiction and to be convincing about it. But I love the challenge. I love stories. I love worlds that are not mine.

        1. Oh, well I don’t write about actual people I know, but for some reason it’s just more personal because I’ve worked so hard on it, I guess. My characters kind of feel like my little people, you know? A writer once said that when someone says your story sucked it’s like saying your child is ugly!

          1. Honestly, I would be glad to have someone say my story sucked. I would take some pleasure in knowing that someone had read it. And thought it sucked enough to finish reading it.

          2. You are braver than I am! I am very nervous about showing off my fiction, even though I have had a few people say it is good. It took a lot for me to start this blog, though, so I’m getting there.

          3. Well, if you ever want some honest slightly-private critique, feel free to e-mail me a story. I promise to be honest.

            Fiction is my thing. My everything.

          4. I will think about it. Thanks.

  7. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and thank you for making me laugh.

    1. You’re welcome! Thank you for reading my nonsense! Happy Valentine’s Day.

  8. I’d read a book if you published one.

    1. Thanks, Cutter! I promise to be better than EL James.

  9. However “blogging” is defined, just keep on keepin’ on, Alice.

  10. Um, well, since you are a librarian, I thought you might enjoy this archival (not-precisely-unicorns) fart material – http://hyperallergic.com/109023/an-illustrated-japanese-battle-of-farts/

    1. That was hilarious! And people think archives are boring! You can find the funniest stuff there.

  11. Do I detect some envy directed at poor old E.L.?

    I have hard time with blogs that are pure, unadulterated, 100% mommy blogs. I can’t relate to the subject matter, even though I’m a daddy. A little bit is interesting but too much is…well…too much. Darla, up top there, strikes a nice balance.

    Also, too many people confuse a blog post with a Facebook post. Blogging is writing. Facebook posting is, to steal from Truman Capote, typing.

    I care plenty if people read my stuff. My goal in life is to become as evolved and detached as you are. Less needy, would be nice. Do you think that’s too much to hope for?

    1. Envy of E.L.? Well, I do envy his squirrel comic making abilities. I have a hard time with mommy blogs myself, and I am a mommy. Maybe because I’m past a lot of that baby stage and am like, pfft, who cares. Much as I loved babies, my kids are getting to be more like actual humans, and I’m enjoying that.

      Yeah, Facebook posting is typing – often really bad typing. Evolved and detached? I just wrote a love letter to my readers . . . I think you have as much chance as I do!

  12. You are a much better writer than E. L. James. Please write a book, I will buy it!

    1. Oh, now I want to actually finish one! Thanks!

  13. Thanks for all the laughs… and smiles… and… and all the things that make me go “hmmmm”
    😉

    1. That would make a good blog title – things that make you go hmmm.

      1. I bet somebody already has it.

        1. Probably. And they aren’t nearly as funny as we are.

          1. That is guaranteacozied, without a doughnubt.

  14. Some of those weird followers are something else! No wonder they have to troll the blogosphere following everyone and their cousin just to find a reader or two. But you’ve discovered the secret to being a good blogger… staying true to yourself, and of course, it helps to fart unicorns….

    1. It does. Can squirrels fart unicorns, or do they fart possums?

      1. Even better… possumcorns!

        1. Now we need someone to make some of those!

  15. I had to ask myself the other day why a writer (of books and such) would follow my blog?! It was weird. I decided he must have been trying to increase his followers (beyond the 2500 that he already had??!) For me, blogging is a way of connecting with others that is more personal (and, obviously, immediate) that writing a book. Besides, I tried my hand at a book, and even I didn’t like it! 😉

    Thanks for the laughs, Alice. The blogosphere is a great place to examine how other minds work.

    1. It is! I know I’ve learned a lot – some I can never unlearn eeeek. But mostly good stuff!

  16. You so are a writer, Alice, and a damn good one. Plus, you crack me the fuck up. I thought I smelled something funky, should have guessed it was TD and his unicorn gas..

    1. TD needs to cut it out with the sparkly burritos! Thanks, WT! You crack me the fuck up too!

      1. We crack each other the fuck up! I suppose TD does on occasion.

  17. Auh yeah! I totally think bloggers are writers. At least, many of them. I love a good book (I mean, who doesn’t?) but I follow such brilliant people on here that it often feels like sitting down with a good book every time I open a new post.

    1. I know what you mean! I can’t tell you how many people I’ve read on here that are ten times better than many of the books I read – and I’m not just talking that awful 50 Shades. The telephone book is better reading than that.

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