Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Blog of Eternal Stench


From overload to withdrawal… that’s how it feels having completed the November Nablahblah blogging challenge and then taken a few days to cogitate on why and what and whether I’d do it again… And I have to confess, I find myself back in the same sort of mess I was in before I started.


During November, I took a tangled ball of yarn — different colours, different textures, different ply —  and managed to extricate enough usable lengths to knit thirty squares of varying sizes. Disparate patterns. Some more pleasing than others but all of them creatively challenging and, to some degree, satisfying.


Word by sentence, I knitted my way around the maze of beginning a blog, through the labyrinth of self-doubt. I turned at the prickly hedges of uncertainty and increased beyond the black holes of despair. And at the end of the month, I cast-off with a sigh. Challenge met. Indeed, more than that, I felt some degree of joy and pride that I had developed new skills, practised some old ones, and met some talented and like-minded writers …and readers…along the way.

But in the four days since I stopped, I’ve fallen back into the Bog of Eternal Stench. And I'm pretty sure I dropped all the squares in too.
 


It wasn't actually my idea to write every day for thirty days. That's something else I fell into. At the Gunnas Writing Masterclass I attended back in September, Catherine Deveny talked about Blogher.com and how November was to be the month of writing. She told me about the challenge in that writing workshop I hated... the one I cried for a week after... the one where I was sure I felt my arse hit rock bottom. 

And then on October 31st, Gael over at The Vinyl Edition sent me a message to say she was going to give Nablopomo November a go. So I said I'd join her. Just like that. Why not?  Nothing to lose. Stop being a gunna. Maybe it really would help the happy hormones surge. Maybe I could find an opening for the light to shine in on the demons of the dark space inside my head. And for the most part, it did.

And yes, I met some 'incredibly helpful' worms along the way.





But this week, I fell back into the stinking quagmire of uncertainty. My bog of qualms. 

After my month of blogging, I still have fewer followers than you can count on one hand. I spent November reading and commenting on all sorts of blogs. Learning about what others do. Hearing what others say. But numerically, I failed. 

During the month, I found myself checking daily to see if anyone had visited my post, left a comment, noticed me. Pathetic. Embarrassing. Needy. Fail.

History repeated, regurgitating images and feelings from that time nearly fifteen years ago when we lived in a towering apartment block in Kuala Lumpur and I would click on the dial-up link every time I walked past the laptop...every time... hoping for an email from home. A connection to outside. Proof that I exist.



So in the past few days, I have examined my ugly need for validation. I have confronted the shallowness of my not having grown out of the need for approval. I have stared at the bubbling mud and breathed in the rancid fumes of self-loathing at my blog of eternal stench...

And I have decided that I will just keep on going until I reach the castle.

17 comments:

  1. Wendy it took me a couple of weeks to get around to reading your blogs but then I was waiting each day. You write beautifully, with such entertainment and honesty. You should be very proud - don't suppose you would consider extending....

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  2. Thanks, Jenne...I really appreciate that... Yes... I'm gonna keep blogging until I work out WTF it is I want to say... thanks for listening... That means the world

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    1. Without wanting to overly distract from your message. I think you will find that there has only been one person who actually fell into the bog of eternal stench and lived. And that was me. You should know that it is not as deep as it appears and after a while people will reach in and pull you out. (Of course in my case it was when they stopped laughing)

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  4. Yes... If I was you I would definitely have that on my CV...

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  5. OK, I wrote a really long comment before I put the kids to bed, and it wouldn't post, so I'm really pissed off about that, and cannot revisit the genius remarks I made. I think it had something to do with not being logged in as Vinyl, not sure.
    Anyway.
    Yes, I'm sure you are absolutely the only blogger who ever desired an appreciative readership, or any kind of acknowledgement or approval of their work.Why do you think blogging platforms spend so much money making sure bloggers can check their stats in such detail, and refresh 300 times a day to check them again?
    We love writing, but it is extra special if other people enjoy reading our work. Anyone who works at anything appreciates some kind of acknowledgement, but I think the need is far greater when you are working on something in a subjective, creative field. You are so clever. And talented. And besides, 30 days is way better than 7. xox

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  6. Thank you for your kindness. But it's all your fault

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  8. self doubt begone! You are a marvelous blogger, and I totally relate to checking your blog for constant validation....I do that too! And I have 5! Count em 5 followers so that isn't necessarily a sign no one is reading because my blog stats tell me how many times my blog is read. Keep going. You are a blogger. Repeat after me...you are a blogger. Now, go have a glass of pinot grigio and regroup!

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    1. It's a bit early for the vino... but I truly appreciate the sentiment... I'll go brew myself a coffee and smell the beans...
      It's just not possible that you only have 5 followers...Do you think that maybe lots of people go down the 'Follow" path because their In-boxes are already inundated? Or maybe they worry that they won't have time to read them all?

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    2. I think people don't want their in boxes cluttering up, but I know from checking my stats that I can get anywhere from 100-200 hits on a day when I post something new....so I go with that.....I know I read alot more blogs in a day then I am technically following......I just keep plugging away and my readership is growing - and the best part is finding other bloggers like you!

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  9. You wouldn't even be here if you weren't compelled to write. So write, write and write on, baby. So what if millions aren't tuned in to your every word if you enjoy the writing and brightened someone's day with your words? :-)

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    1. ...beautifully said... thank you for the loving foot in the butt

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  10. I find myself back at the black hole of "wtf am I gonna write about now?" The same one I somehow crawled out of 1 November. The times I get read the most are when I share on Facebook, but what do I expect when I can't find the time to scout around at others' work? But that castle awaits, so on we forge...kinda.

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  11. Exactly... My Facebook friends are the bulk of my audience too... But it's all baby steps... You're ridiculously busy doing a no-applause job... You're doing the toughest job ever... And blogging... Cut yourself some slack! Yay you...

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  12. Maybe some of your readers are like me. We lurk and read when taken to do so, but always have faith in our friend on the rock for a little empathy and entertainment.

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    1. Thank you for lurking with generosity

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