Saturday, September 20, 2008

Blogging about Blogging

I once edited a literary magazine. It was a small production so my staff and I couldn't afford to be too choosy about which submissions we would accept. Because our magazine considered submissions from all literary genres; we did have to be somewhat discriminating. Anyone who has ever worked on staff for a college literary publication knows all that post entails: occassionally striking gold with some refreshing, unexpected submission, but more often than not, slogging through manuscript after manuscript of overwritten, cliche. . . crap.

Poetry is definately the greatest culprit for crap contribution in the annals of rejected college submissions. Some of my college chums and I have a running joke about our most hated poetic theme: dead babies. There are a surprising amount of dead baby poems submitted to college literary magazines for some unknown reason. (Though I must defend Elizabeth Bishop whose "First Death in Nova Scotia," I am quite fond of. There are, as we know, always exceptions). Dead babies aside, our second most hated poetic theme was writing about writing (which actually William Carlos Williams pulled off with aplomb; also an exception, but hey, it's William Carlos Williams, so are we surprised?)

So even though I know I am breaking my own rules, I am going to blog about blogging because I ate hotwings last night (a big mistake) and, as a result, am not sleeping. Instead, I am obsessing which is something I am prone to do in the wee hours. So like all new bloggers, I ask, "Where is everybody?" "Is anyone actually reading this?"

Admittedly, I perused several popular blogs during my nocturnal foray on the internet. I discovered that some of them are better than mine. Some are not. Some are, as Tracy, my blogging consultant, pointed out nothing better than really bad reality television. So I ask myself, is there a place for me in blogging? Can I build a fan base beyond my own friends and family? (and by the way Mom, could you please disguise your name with something like Annie Dillard or Edward Gorey or Carolyn Keen so people don't know that I have to recruit family members to leave comments?) Anyway, whether there is or not, I have staked my claim on this little slice of cyberspace and, like all squatters, I am not going anywhere without putting up a good fight. Ignore me if you will. See if I care.

Having voiced my blog insecurities, I now realize why people HATE reading poems about writer's block and I now present the final quesion "publish or delete?" "publish or delete?"


laura said...

don't delete this one! i loved it. and i agree mom. you've gotta change your name to something way cool to make us all look better.
i love your blog marie. I know i'm yr sis, but i hope you never stop. think about the benefits of blogging in your own life, that's my approach.

Carroll said...

You've only just begun. Don't stop now. Please don't stop.

Marie said...

OK, I'm awake now so I'm willing to set aside my sniveling and move on.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to admit that I wrote about writing. Once. But it wasn't about me writing about writing and it was entirely fictitious.
I read your blog! Even if I don't comment all the time.
Sometimes I get really paranoid about my livejournal like, who's reading it and who's not but then I decide that I just don't care. If random people want to read about what I'm reading in English class than more power to them. Or something.

Now I'm rambling and I apologize. I'm just waiting for Edward Gorey to comment on your blog. ;D

Chris said...

The writing about writing wasn't the worst part, though. It was the writing about *writer's block.* So unless you're planning a blog entry about your words vanishing into the blank computer screen, you should be okay.qisbzw

Marie said...

It could happen. . .It just depends on how desperate I get. I'm hoping I've hit rock bottom.

Chris said...

That's the thing about blogging. You can always go lower.

Actually, I think the blogging equivalent of the poem about writer's block is the post where you give excuses for not blogging.

mim said...

I like it!

CarpElgin said...

Comment Time:

1 -- My first thought on reading the first two sentences was... "dead baby poems." Good times.

2 -- Much of the writing about writing wasn't that bad. Writing about having sex with your writing professor was.

3 -- Bad poetry in general... I heard Garrison Keillor reading poetry readings on the radio recently.

4 -- Please don't stop blogging. Please?

5 -- I'm sure there is a blogging equivalent of a dead baby poem. I just have no desire to find out.

Dawn said...

I want to encourage you to continue!! I found you by way of April!

I loved this post. You definitely got the ability to blog! ;-)

By the way, I'm choosing your blog to follow for a month (and probably indefintely!) because I'm participating in Blog to Blog. Check out my blog. I'm still working on the actual post so check it out later tonight! :)

A said...

I think I have multiple personalities in blogging. Sometimes I write what I want to, but often I am trying to cater to my friends who I think are reading...hmm, I love to read your blog, and in the wee hours, your blog rings true and is devoid of fluff. Keep it up.

A said...

I'm a dork, but I am commenting again. It is fun to have different types of blogs to read because it is like different friends that you enjoy talking to that all have a different outlook. You are the witty intelligent friend, I love to read your blog...I am hoping some of it will rub off on me!

Dawn said...

Okay, here is the link to my post about blog to blog love! :)

Marie said...

Chris, I was contemplating exactly that point the other day. I love blogging because I can use second person. Yes!

You of all people should slap my hand for that insipid post; intrepid blogger that you are and continue to be.

Chris said...

I'm not intrepid at all. One post a week, nothing particularly personal, and I take weeks off ALL THE TIME. I just don't offer any excuses anymore.