Friday, March 31, 2006
How Do You Think This One Got Started?
OK people, in my quest to make all of you All That You Can Be without having to suit you up in substandard gear and send you to a furnace-blasted hellscape in order to be shot at by people you've never met, I think it's time once again for another lesson.
Now, I have a vast wealth of personal knowledge and accomplishment to draw from that I could impart to you. I could teach you a great many things about a wide range of subjects from how to marry in such a way as to avoid work for the rest of your natural life, how to avoid death by pulmonary embolism caused by sitting on your ass for 18 hours a day, a thesaurus-like (and I mean a whole thesaurus) list of alternatives for the word "penis," 16th century Welsh political and religious history, how to download porn discreetly in horrifying amounts, découpage and where to find "herbal v1.agk.ra CHEEP." These are a list of my skills.
But seeing as this is a blog, my main concern is trying to leave this blogosphere better than I found it. While your excrement is indeed organic and is perfectly OK to leave any ole place when you're camping, the same rules do not apply to the blogopshere. I'm here to help you know what to leave behind and what to carry out with you. Think of me not so much as a tour guide but more as the plastic Ziploc bag you wear inside-out on your hand so that you can safely and hygienically handle your own shit. I know it's vulgar and disgusting, but then, so are blogs.
If you would like to recap my collected works of wisdom already offered in this field, please feel free to review Lesson #1, Lesson #2 and Lesson #3. Are they worth your time? That depends: how terrified are you of your own potential for Awesomeness? If the answer is "not very," feel free to go ahead and enlighten yourself. I'll wait. If you answered "Oh God, I think I just wet myself," maybe you should stick to cat pictures and Farscape episode write-ups.
So You Want To Be A Blogger, #4
My first few lessons were about getting started and how to best present yourself to your potential blog audience. How well I apply these lessons to my own blog can be seen in the tag-line below the banner title currently employed above (if you're reading this in the future at, say, the Pops Beloved Dictator Library and Archives in the "Early Days" exhibit, the tagline and banner might have changed by then; in case you were curious, it currently says "Married, Looking"). Just because I KNOW the rules doesn't necessarily mean I'm some kind of expert at employing or following them.
Look at any coach or manager at the highest level of professional sports and you'll see someone who was a mediocre player at best. There are exceptions of course, but the point is that the people who are The Best tend to miss the nuances because they are too busy being The Best and having six-way sex with stewardesses, hoochies, groupies and hotel maids. I can tell you from personal fantasy experience that six-way sex is extraordinarily distracting.
What I'm saying is that when I speak, I speak from experience and from the privileged observer station of mediocrity. I know I SEEM awesome, but until I get the six-way and the endorsement deal with Gatorade (or, OK, maybe not Gatorade, but something more blog-related like ass balm or those carpal-tunnel wrist braces), I'm a middle-of-the-pack-er just like everyone else. Enjoy me while you can. When I hit the big time, you "little people" will be the first to go.
Today's lesson assumes you've been blogging for a while. You've gotten your legs under you, you've gone through the standard phases (song lyrics, poems, movie quotes, confessionals, Hasselhoff, naked pictures of yourself, getting fired from your job, etc.) and now here you are: stuck.
You love your blog. You love the idea of your blog. But the last thing you ever, ever want to do again ever in your whole life is write another fucking blogpost. Oh my God, the level of disinterest is staggering. Even you are no longer interested in what you have to say.
And the readers... sure, at first it was nice to have people read what you wrote and offer advice/praise/insight/personal insults (hello, Bucketeers!) but now you sort of--and not really, but just in a hypothetical sense since you don't know any of them and you're sure they're really OK people in real life--wish they would all die horrible painful deaths and just leave you alone for ONE SECOND so you can collect yourself and not have to answer the goddamn bell anymore. My God, this was supposed to be FUN, remember? A goof. A lark. Something to do after you'd seen all the episodes of MacGuyver on Spike TV. And now look at you: hands shaking, the muscles in your neck a knotted mess, sweating, scalp itching... it sounds to me like you've got scabies or something and should see a doctor. Also: you've probably got a bad case of Blogger Burnout.
I made a joke of it when I first started blogging. I began each post with a countdown labeled "Estimated Days Until Blogger Burnout" followed by a number which humourously fluctuated day to day depending on my desperation for material that day.
I stopped that little gimmick when I realized the sad, awful, cruel irony: after a certain point, the Estimated Days Until Blogger Burnout scale is stuck permanently on 1.
So what's a blogger to do?
Well, I DO NOT recommend taking an assault rifle to a McDonald's and pretending the patrons are some combination of demanding readers and personifications of your crippling OCD. Again, I DO NOT recommend this. Yes, there is no blogging from prison, but there is forced sodomy. It is both ubiquitous and quite vigorous, from what I understand. You have to weigh all the pros and cons.
All I can really tell you is how I deal with this particuar problem. Not the forced sodomy, the blogger burnout. Fending off would-be anal rapists while incarcerated is a whole 'nother post. Suffice it to say you should always sleep on your back.
The best cure for blogger burnout is to simply sit down and start writing. For me anyway, blogposts simply have a way of working themselves out, for better or for worse. To put it metaphorically, if you squeeze the stone hard enough and provided it has at least one sufficiently sharp edge, you will eventually get blood out of it. The fact that your own hand may be gashed open all the way to the bone, you will have to tell yourself, is merely a coincidence. The trick is convincing yourself that the blood came from the stone. Try saying it over and over and over again. If that doesn't work, do what I do and get roaring drunk first. You can convince yourself of almost anything if you get the reasoning centers of your brain good and impaired first.
Drinking is also helpful in that you can write something that is complete and utter crap, but it will SEEM like genius because you're too drunk to notice the difference. By the time you realize what you've done and that you posted your own phone number and a scanner picture of your scrotum in a blogpost, well, it will be the next day and thus too late. All you can do is congratulate yourself for having got through another day blogging. And change your phone number.
Just sit down and start typing. You'll see. New blogposts have a way of opening themselves up, like the first flowers of spring, each and every day, infusing your moribund endeavor with unexpected new life.
So that's my advice to you: be like new Spring every single day. Sure, the world can only do it once per year, but the world is a big stupid rock floating in space. You're a blogger. You have nothing better to do.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 4.0