No Pressure

No Telling

This Blog of Note business is mindboggling. Last night I watched my stats go astronomical, cheered, answered email, and celebrated with sushi from Kroger. Yeah, I’m a wild one.

This morning, still hung over with delight, I sat in front of the computer, opened a new empty post, and stared at it. For a long time. Damn. See, my blogging philosophy has always been to slam it out, sling it up, and clean up the typos later. I’m a one-draft blogger. In fact, the whole point of this blog was simply to get my butt in the chair and writing every day.

But now there are people actually reading it. I’m suddenly hyper audience-aware. If I’m casual, who will I offend? What do all these new friends want to read? Should I do a little research and see what they like best, tailoring topics to previous posts? I stared some more. Another cup of coffee. Checked my Ebay watchlist.

I teach writing for a living, and much of what I teach centers around this mantra I repeat about No Such Thing as Writer’s Block and Just Go Write Something. I can honestly say that this is the first time in recent memory that I’ve found myself stumped. Physician, heal thyself and all that.

So that’s what I’ll do. Just dive on in and slam it out and devil-may-care. If you find typos, be kind. I’ll fix them in a bit. If my politics/tomato snark/social networking cluelessness offends you, let me apologize right now and be forever done with it.

I’ll just keep scribbling like nobody’s watching. Kind of.

64 thoughts on “No Pressure

  1. Congrats on Blog of Note. I'm currently trying to put myself in the same mindset: Write as much as possible and whatever comes out comes out. I enjoy your writing style and I'll be here more often I'm sure…

  2. That's exactly what I do, pretend no one can see it. It's a good tactic in my opinion. You can never please everyone, there will always be people out there giving you crap (excuse the French) and you just have to shove it off. I'm following you! Take a look at my one and only blog, written today. I am a one draft writer too. Much love. Rachel

  3. A lively and truthful post. I like the layout and the images and you have been at it for quite some time, an old pro' one might say.

    Pray tell me is this the right way to respond to a post as I have never sent a comment before.

    I'm a newbie blogger and it is a bit of a minefield.

    With that I will close and hope that you will reply so I know I'm doing this ok.

  4. Thank you all for coming! Peterg, you're doing great on the commenting thing, and yes, it IS a minefield. Millions, this is easier said than done – but keep writing! Domminic, I can tell you're laughing at me and I love that about you. DontPatronise, love your blog!

  5. Pressure, pressure, pressure – IGNORE US. We came over to check your pad out just the way it was. I have been doing some snooping around (I can't help myself) and I really enjoy your writing.

    Thanks for hosting us, we'll make ourselves at home and you can just forget we're here. 🙂

  6. “In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?”
    -Maria Rainer Rilke

  7. We're all reading (and now following in my case) because we loved what you wrote before and imagine we will like it in the future too. Write like there's nobody watching! : )

  8. Hearty congratulations on your “Blog Of Note” status.

    I had to chuckle to myself (chuckle? Who am I, Santa??) upon reading whether or not you'll have to become more guarded now that you actually have readers.

    My own blog has received underwhelming responses. Zero, I believe to be exact. So, I thought about what you wrote.
    We're I to have readers, I couldn't any longer rant, rave and muse about my life as I go off on one of my soliloquies–occasionally peppered with blocked out four letter words–for fear I may offend somebody. We THINK we want fame but…..
    Oh, who are we kidding? Go for it.
    You've earned your honor and those faithful readers who adore you now, will adore you no matter what. Being unfiltered isn't always a bad thing–and when one has the gift of articulation, as you clearly do, all can be forgiven.
    I'm only too happy to count myself as one of your readers.
    Congratulations, again.
    ~Jo
    “Diary Of A Sad Housewife”

  9. Frannie, I'll bet more of us than will admit it go back in horror to fix a typo or dreadful sentence AFTER the post is up.

    Rita, you sound like the kind of gal I like hanging out with. Help yourself to anything in the fridge.

    Alpha, it took a while before anyone commented on my blog. Hang in there!

    Ah, Ashley. A little Rilke makes my day!

    Trimommy and Jo, thanks for the encouragement! I can't wait to visit your blogs – watch for me.

  10. Hey hey. Congrats on Blog of Note. If you made it, it means whatever you're doing works. It doesn't matter what others think. If they're offended that's their problem. What you write has to please you, not others.
    Anyway, congrats. This is an awesome blog and I'll keep posted.
    Offend me if you must, but don't freak yourself out. This is your space.

  11. well… I'm no writing expert but I can tell you one thing… Whenever you feel like writing simply do it. It doesn't really matter what you write about or to whom it's directed… Writing is something that will liberate you… At least that's what it does to me…

    oh yeah, btw, I'm usually a one-draft writer too… Don't ever change that… I usually used to do this: write it, not even read it, post it, check comments later (hehe)

  12. That's exactly what I do. I have no edit button and just write exactly what I'm thinking, all in one draft. I keep my fingers crossed that my growing fan base (ahh I'm currently up to 3 followers and one of them is myself) will be able to follow the stream of consciousness, have the Rosetta stone handy for spelling and grammatical error's and might leave some feedback. Congrats on blog of note status..that's how I found your blog. And will be following.

  13. Thanks Sharon, 3butterflies, and Kurt! We all sound so writing-healthy.

    Oh, and keep the one-draft thing on the down-low. I make my students revise like crazy and I'll never hear the end of it. Do as I say, not as I do! (At least when I'm having fun blogging…)

  14. congrats on blog of note:) I am new to blogging, and new to your blog. I am enjoying both very much. I myself have two big followers at this point:) one of them is my best friend.
    Just keep doing what you do, and we will continue to follow:)

  15. I write how I think. I think a lot of people do! Who really thinks without typos and grammatical errors? If I wanted to read something perfect I would read a book but I enjoy reading people's thoughts, as they are. That's half the beauty of it. You're a fabulous writer and really entertaining. Someone in another comment compared the pressure to write to the life of a celebrity… but think, what celebrity comes without their mistakes? It's wonderful to see them just being real. So please, feel no pressure for our sake. Just keep on being real because you can't make mistakes being yourself.

  16. I think thats the way to go, its too hard to be audience aware. But I imagine if I had a large following I would be to.

    Can't wait to dive in!

  17. it's so weird to see all these new people. *sniffle* What happened to like, 3 comments on an entry, gradually creeping to maybe 7 or 8 as we all enabled each other? I will miss those days. Sigh.

    tedia: sifting through all the comments on Monda's blog, then going TL;DR and giving up.

  18. Thanks Steven, Aoidos, Dandy, and Molly – I'm thrilled you came by to visit! I love finding new friends who “get it.” When I get a little time (after the laundry's done) I'm going blog visiting. Can't wait!

    Oh, Julia. You know you're my favorite 'zine gal. Saw your new blog, by the way – VERY nice. Don't you dare run off.

  19. Congrats on Blogs of Note, and a further congrats for deciding to keep up just as you have been. Don't change your style – that's what we love following you for. =)

  20. You're Famous!!
    Congrats 😉

    It's like Conway's 2nd Kris Allen. Don't forget about us little people! I'm posting a new blog today just for you.

  21. Thanks Terrace, Robin, Eva (great name), and Jamie! So glad you're here!

    Kris who? Oh! That boy with the nice haircut. Abby, if all this does is make you post today, my work here is done. Keep scribbling!

  22. …Nice.

    This is the first 'blog of note' on any of the sites I have visited over the last 4 years or so, that I can honestly say, I have enjoyed reading, and every word at that, too.

    I usually find that someone else's idea of what is worthy, is a highly personal (subjective) idea that should not be pushed at people. Not this post! I enjoyed the bounce in it.

  23. Amplife, I have no idea. The moon must be in the seventh house or something.

    Zacl, you just made my day. Thank you so much for the kind words. Really.

    Jeff, you're dead-on, mister! I'll just keep on scribbling.

    Hope you all have a fabulous Friday night!

  24. Congrats on the Blogs of Note honor. I'm a new follower (and more than a little jealous) because of the honor, but just keep doing what you're doing. I think that a lot of us out here are in the same boat; blogging keeps our butts in the chair and keeps us writing. It's a perishable skill.

    Congrats again!

  25. Awesome, congratulations!
    I think you should just keep on being yourself.
    Did you do something to get to be on blogs of note, or did it just happen?

  26. Thanks Gundiva and Livenomad – I love that you stopped in and hope you will again!

    Living, thanks for the advice and no, I don't think I did anything at all. I only knew about it after other bloggers left comments. I suspect the blogger team threw darts or something and one landed on me.

    Thanks for stopping by, Liznwyrk! I've got a writing prompt site, too. Slide on over there when you get a chance.

  27. Oh yeah baby, you know Billy Joel said it best (well, he may be cheesy but he is a New Yawka)–being you is what got you here–being you is all you ever need to be.

  28. Just found you on blogs of note… CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'm a future lit PhD student so I'm excited to know you're a writing teacher – and you're funny! Always a good combo. Anyhoo, I'm a follower now so I'll be back more often. Congraz again:)

  29. glad they put you up. Nice blog. Congrats. Just figured Ishoudl add to your stat counter! I like your blog descript of the underside of Arkansas though. intriguing.

  30. You know what? I just write what's in my head, but I'm waaaay too fussy to allow spelling & grammar glitches creep in; this is a reflection of my head, and I want people to know that these things are important to me; that said, I do just write what I'm thinking, and I write what i want, not what I think anybody else wants. Come on over & have a look!

    isabellagolightly.blogspot.com

  31. Loving your blog! Inspired by you're comment 'There's no such thing as writer's block'. I write a lot but if I get stuck I give up. Now I know I should read your blog for great inspiration! Thanks!

  32. Hey-I'm one of those people finding you on blog of note. I always seems to be a day or two late on blog of note and it's so funny that I almost always see this reaction from the blogger. Instant Paranoia-I don't even know how to spell that and I'm not looking it up! So, you're in good company with your reaction. I will say I read back a couple and the dead Twitter bird caught my eye-loved it. I have a Twitter thingy too and have never gotten it. Twitter just seems boring to me. I haven't found anyone that I'm interested in enough maybe to want to know they just went to Walmart and then rented a movie. If I am that interessted in them, it's probably someone I have a real relationship with-like you said. Cheers and Congrats on Blog of Note!

  33. Thanks Cindy, …mmm…, Isabella Golightly (love that!), Chloe, and Missy – I love that y'all stopped by!

    Oh, Mikey. I'm still nobody and you know it. Viva la Writing Project, podnuh!

  34. Like youe writing style as it is breezy & direct, a pleasure to read.
    Have a new blog myself: (www.spiritsoulchat.blogspot.com )
    Would appreciate if you would like to check it out also(?)
    Thanks & have a great weekend!

  35. I agree with you 100%. Some times it's difficult to produce something you think is worth reading. More often than not one is overly critical and everything ends up in the recycle bin. It's better just to take the rough with the smooth, and learn from one's mistakes; then real progress can be made.

    Mike

  36. Love your blog 🙂 I can write like to one is reading beacause so far, they're not….how do you get readers without telling your friends and family? I dont want to know that people I know are reading me, haha 🙂

  37. I don't know about you, It'sjustme, but most of my friends and family don't even know what a blog IS, so I'm fairly safe there.

    I've seen lots of online advice about building a readership, and I guess some of it is good. The best advice I ever got was to simply keep writing. Not very glamorous, I know.

  38. Thanks to Blogger, I've learned about your site, and what Generation Jones is! Who says it's a waste to surf the 'net? (Someone, and clearly they're wrong!). I was suffering blog envy the other day, and thought what is the point of my blathering about anything. But the point is to get it out of my brain and somewhere. Keep on keeping on!

  39. You got it. The point is to get it out and get it up on the blog. Period. The hardest thing to do is hit “publish.” I'm so glad you didn't give up, because that blog envy thing can be a word-killer.

    Thanks, Nancy!

  40. Oh the pressure! hehe. That's so interesting that you don't believe in writer's block. Sometimes I have it (or so I think I have it… I must have something haha) and it's so frustrating not being able to express myself properly. Or then there are the days when I feel like I have nothing to say, not a single thought in my head that I would like to share with the blogging community. On those days, I think, Have I really nothing to say? Am I really that boring?? Then I post a picture of something everyone will like, like a picture of a baby or some cheese. I find those are some common photo crowd pleasers when there is nothing else to talk about. Great blog though! Keep it up!

  41. hi there!

    I seem to be late to the party, I haven't been checking the blogs of note in a while… but the title on yours really intrigued me! I think I'll hang around for a while and see what else you've got cooking down here!

    cheers!

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