Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


You all have been very kind. I truly appreciate all the encouragement, praise, and support.

But it's not you. It's me.

I stopped writing for comments a long time ago, because I realized that it was changing me and changing my writing. Also, I realized that I would never be one of those bloggers who garner a ridiculous number of comments on every post, no matter how mundane.

No, it's more a question of...

Just what the hell am I doing this for anyway?

What VALUE is there to what I am doing here?

If I were to look back in fifty years, would I feel gratified by what I have done here? Would it make me proud? Would it have benefitted me or the people I care about in any way, shape or form?

Perhaps this is just a symptom of the larger sense of apathy and malaise I am feeling right now.

We are jobless and frankly, life is no fun right now. It could be worse, because we can feed our kids and keep the electricity on, but I am growing disspirited nonetheless.

And I feel incredibly useless. I have no skills, other than my writing ability. I can't do anything to help. Oh sure, I could go get a job at Wal-Mart. And I will, if it comes to that.

But people...I want to do something that matters. Is it so wrong to aspire to greatness? Is it so wrong to want to feel as if I changed something, made some kind of impact, contributed to the greater good somehow?

I always thought I would do something like that. And I always thought my life would be different from the hardscrabble existence my parents edured. I thought that there was greatness in my future.

Well shit, didn't we all?

Ah, the optimism of youth. It doesn't allow logic or common sense to corrupt it. Just how did I expect to achieve greatness with no education, no training, no game plan?

I want to take that young, idealistic dimwit by the shoulders and shake her senseless.

I know nobody is going to hand me a book deal or a syndicated column. I know that people who achieve success as writers and journalists work hard to establish themselves. But it all seems so out of reach.

I can write. I know that. But I could spend a year of my life writing a book, only to have it languish unnoticed on every slush pile from here to Random House. It's a depressing thought.

I confess I feel beaten before I have even begun.

My husband, mister glass half full, assures me that it could happen the other way too. I could be catapulted to the top of the best seller's list and become an instant success.

"You're that good." he says. But he wears husband colored glasses.

So, I don't know if the apathy is the symptom or the disease. Regardless, I don't know how to treat it. I don't know what to do. I do know what not to do...and that's to let this consume me. But how to stop it.....?

Not by writing this kind of desultory drivel, that's for certain.

Go ahead. Tell me what a whiny, insufferable, self-pitying wretch I am. I deserve it.

I sure hope Wal-Mart is hiring.

Post Script: (More of an afterthought really)

I've decide that I have good reason to be a little down in the dumps. This year has been a particularly tough one.

A dear friend was viciously murdered in a shocking act of domestic violence. The investigation was badly mishandled, the evidence hopelessly compromised. Thus, her killer is free today. Her beautiful children are motherless. Then, two deaths within two weeks on Husband's side of the family. The bully stuff, which was BEYOND stressful. The CRCT thing, deciding what to do about that and how the hell to pay for it. And now, job loss and all that entails.

We've been terribly fortuante. Our sixteen years of marriage have been amazingly free of any major catastrophe, though of course, we've had bumps in the road like anybody else. So, I feel like I shouldn't complain too much about the hand we've been dealt.

And yet....I can't help thinking that it's a teensy bit unfair that all of this has been dumped on us in the span of just six months.

So I'm going to allow myself to wallow just a bit.

But not too long. Because I'm going to have to make a few decisions about my life.

I really hate that.


  • At 5:20 PM, Anonymous a chris said…

    Well shit, me too! (Optimism of youth, time goes on, wait, where's the greatness? I'm sure it was supposed to have manifested by now.)

    I don't know you so I can't give advice. I just wonder: do you love to write? Do you have a novel to write? If I could honestly say yes to both of those, I wouldn't hesitate to act on the assumption that writing one would be worth doing.

  • At 6:37 PM, Blogger Middle Girl said…

    . . . doing something that matters.

    You do.

    IMHO, you do.

  • At 7:10 PM, Blogger Woman with Kids said…

    Sometimes wallowing is all you can do until you're ready and able to something else. That's what I tell myself. I'm sorry you're going through all that you've gone through.

  • At 7:18 PM, Blogger Tania said…

    I think you've earned some wallow time. Hope life picks up from here.

  • At 7:23 PM, Blogger Notes and letters to myself.... said…

    I want you to take a good long look at what you just wrote -- it's all out there in black and white. You my friend have had a huge whole heaping stack of shit hoisted upon your plate this year. And not only are you allowed to vent about your feelings and recognize you feel drained, tired, and apathetic -- my professional dx (of course I haven't seen your medical chart and haven't chatted about sleep issues, eating issues, fatigue, weight loss or weight gain, muscle pain, weepiness, inability to focus etc..) would be that you have some depression going on and I can see why.

    So don't be so hard on yourself, you have come through holy hell, and you are still in one of the rings of hell due to unemployment.

    2007 was the wretched year for me and I thought that things were going to even out then was hit in early 2008 with both my spouse and I laid off within a week of one another.

    We totally had several oh shit moments that year.

    Be good to yourself -- only write here when you feel like it. And forcripesakes if you don't feel like writing just plain don't.

    The last thing you need is something else pressuring you.

    Hang in - we care.

  • At 8:21 PM, Anonymous gurukarm (@karma_musings) said…

    Like your other readers, I would SO miss you. But us missing you is not necessarily a good reason to keep up. Having this "memory book" of things you and your dons have gone thru and done over the last several years... Don't you think that's useful, to be able to look back at? I know other bloggers who talk about that. And there's miles to go with both of them, right? :-)

    And? It would feel a little bit like a fave show that ends on a cliffhanger but never comes back to show you how things work out, for you to leave on the "lost job" note.

    Yes, I'm whining. :-) You are just about my favorite blogger. I hope you will choose to only take a break, but come back. Thank you for all you've shared.

  • At 9:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ah, DAMN. Damn, shit, f--kin Hell and more. I have nothing to say that would help you at all but feel like I should say something anyway.
    You ARE that good. My time is limited. I can't remember "where" or when I found your blog but you are one of the few I have to check up on. I couldn't pick you out of a police line-up to save my life but I HAVE to read what you write. I can't explain why, but I have to.
    Self-pitying is not a word I'd use to describe you but Hell, you have reason to take a moment or several to do so.
    I will pray that things pick up for you. Although I don't know your "real face" I do know that God or who/whatever is out there will know who my prayers/hopes/wishes are going out to.
    I wish I could hug you; wouldn't help, but I wish I could.
    Ame I. in West TN

  • At 9:35 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Please continue to wallow all you want. This past year has sucked for you even more than it's sucked for me, and that's SAYING something! You win the life is fucked prize. Congratulations!

    I have an idea for a way for you to make a salary without too much outside the home, so you could work around the kid's schedules. Because baseball is important! It's what I'm doing in the fall. Email me for info.

  • At 7:33 AM, Anonymous heidig said…

    Why not write a book? What have you got to lose? Nothing. I say go for it!

  • At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, it's depression, and you have every right to feel the way you do.

    Everything aside, I've always felt you could do makeup for weddings. People are still getting married and they still need help. Often, the wedding makeup is a gift from someone to the bride, so I think there will always be a market.

    Think of the blog entires THAT could bring!

    I hope you just take a break and return when something just has to be said. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • At 9:24 AM, Blogger Shelley Jaffe said…

    We are all teabags - we never know how strong we are until we're in hot water.

    And you, my dear, are a lovely cup of strong, fortitude-building, tea.

    Just know that there are many of us championing you on, and sending you the strength to keep your tenacious spirit going.

    It has been a really rough go for you and your family. Reflect if you must, but don't wallow. You're better than that.

  • At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wallow, wallow, wallow!! You have definitely earned it!

    And when you're done, maybe you should try to write that book. Because you ARE that good!!

  • At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You have earned the right to feel the way you do after the year you have had. The bullying incident alone would have left me in the fetal position.

    You have lots of skills - writing is one that lends itself to many professions. I write a lot at my work, and I am not a writer. I get a lot of compliments and kudos for being able to craft communication and spin things. Its fun when its easy to do something that other people find difficult.

    Many of us help to raise our families without doing something that you may classify as "important" or "meaningful". I work very hard at a job that I find challenging, however both the job and the company could fall off of the planet and the world would still keep turning. Most of the universe and those in it are like that.

    Still, there is much pride to be gained from surviving, and sometimes thriving in a job. The problem solving skills, the patience you need to acquire, the resourcefulness, the things you need to do in the process of becoming a more fulfilled, more successful and more well rounded human being comes from work. Jobs provide dollars and cents, of course, but they provide so much more than that.

    Of course, I can say that now because after many years, I'm finally in a position that makes me feel alive from my head to my toes - however I could have never got to this job without doing all of the others - and the others were not as inspiring.

    There was a time when I was home because that was where I needed to be. With young children, I simply could not be everything to everyone and take care of both work and home. But as they grew more independent, I had to get out and help my husband pull the cart and earn a living. Some days I work strictly for money. Other days I work for personal satisfaction. Other days its something else.

    I know a couple of people who are quite successful writers. Successful enough to be paid for it. No household names yet, but definite recognition. They all do it part-time, while working at their day jobs, (1 has kids as well). They all long for the day when they can have the choice to write full-time, but it takes a while to reach that point.

    If you really, really want to do more writing, you will need to have more experiences - and being a housewife with kids in school is pretty limiting when it comes to creating a well of experiences to draw from. If you get out into the world and put yourself in situations, you will find you won't be able to stop the writing, it will pour out of you. Every person you meet will offer you something - a word, a sentence - and sometimes even a paragraph.

    And you get to pay bills and buy stuff for your trouble.

    I have gone on too much. I wish you well.

  • At 9:44 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    You've had a helluva year, really. I don't blame you for wanting to step away from this and regrouping.

    But, if you love to write, write that book. You could work at Walmart for cash and write for happiness. And, if that book goes on to do great things, wonderful. But, perhaps you are destined to be "more" than a blogger. It makes me sad that I may not see you here anymore, but I do want you to achieve all you can. Hugs to you and best wishes.

  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger Amy Sue Nathan said…

    Ah,this wallowing you mention? I know her well!!

    Let me suggest that you continue to give yourself permission to wallow in anger and self-pity if need be. Feel sad, question the cosmos, curse the powers-that-be. Say why-me, why-us and why-not-them instead.

    And find as many people to high-five along the way as you possibly can because we all know that misery loves company.

    Admitting something sucks is OK. Yes, you're fortunate in many way.

    WHO THE FUCK CARES? Your family is jobless. That's awful. Could it be worse? You bet! Does that matter? NO WAY!

    It's OK to not care about the good stuff (temporarily) and to realize and embrace the bad.

    I believe that's then the time we can and will turn it around on our own.

    My kids and I have had a lot of blows to our lives in the past years. I feel like if you click on Wikipedia and look up "It Could Be Worse" that you'll see my photo. BUT, eventually, and organically, I was able to see what was left over after the suckage subsided a bit.

    I can tell you from today until tomorrow to get busy with the writing, to submit submit submit and to enter contests and do research, to edit and polish. But you'll do it when you're ready.

    And then the world will really be most grateful.

    If you are wondering what to blog about...I'm going to offer a suggestion even though you didn't ask. Mine your life, BA. But not the ick of now - the wonder of back when. Write a story for us about something that happened before all this. Do a character sketch of someone you love. Or hate. Draw us a literary picture -- and don't roll your eyes -- we all know you can do it -- of where you grew up and where you live now. Write stories about your friends. Bring your happy memories to the surface and couple them with your writing gift.

    You will love it and so will we.

    Just my two cents.

  • At 7:34 AM, Blogger Nachama said…

    What if we all post a link to this blog on facebook and ask any friends in publishing to check it out? I'd read this blog as a book. IN A MINUTE. And I'd pay for the hardcover version. YOU ARE SO THAT GOOD! I'm putting a link on FB now. If we all do that maybe you'll get a bite!

  • At 7:56 AM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    I always allow myself the time to wallow. I wear it, put it on like a cloak and drape it over my shoulders. I think we need to do that, to almost immerse ourselves in it, so that we can shed it fully and move forward.

    Does that make sense?

    As far as blogging goes - I totally get what you're saying. I really do. And if you feel like you should close up shop, so be it. I mean - don't get me wrong, I'd be quite disappointed to see you go. I've been reading you for quite some time, and I truly think you are a talented, gifted writer. But if it's not good for *you*, then it's not worth doing.

    Be well, and go with your heart.

  • At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    my blog has allowed me to hone my voice and grabbed the attention of people who can help me get gigs. i'm just sayin' :)

  • At 10:17 AM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    You're a good writer, and I think you have to write. So forget about abandoning your blog. Even when you start writing professionally, you can use it as a place to come kick off your shoes and relax.

    I never thought I could make a living writing. Until I did. Now I realize that the skill is much more rare than I thought it was. I assumed that, because writing came easily to me, that others had the same facility. Wrong. Only one person out of ten can put a decent sentence together. Only one out of a hundred can make it interesting enough for other people to want to read.

  • At 9:44 PM, Blogger 4kevinblack said…

    Blogwise I was where you are. It became a chore for me so I stopped. Originally I liked that because of the innerweb's permanence my stuff would be out there for anyone to read, maybe my kid, maybe even after I'm gone, blah blah blah, but really who cares?

    It's like some huge mutual masturbatory cyber aggrandizement. Remember?

    It's geeky but I facebook now. It's kinda like blogging for dummies, but I like that I have to figure out how to say everything I want to say in only so many characters.

  • At 1:41 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    I blog every day as a way of keeping the depression at bay. It's my way of keeping an eye on the blackness and shining a light onto it, steadily and firmly, so that I don't ever sink down into it again. It might not work for you. But you absolutely must find some way to self-monitor/self-therapize so as to keep your poor head above water. If you don't want to keep blogging, then please at least visit my blog (you know, malkatsheva(dot)livejournal(dot)com) every day and make stupid comments on my stupid blog posts about nothing. I feel your pain. Keep swimming, girl.

  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    But back to your post. . . putting bread on the table and keeping your kids dressed, fed and happy is PLENTY GREAT, dammit. Now, I'm the last woman every to fetishize motherhood and be all "it's a sacred cathedral" and shit. But even so, I do believe that, especially in hard times, it is the very essence of greatness to just keep your shoulder to the wheel. It's so darn hard. We should all get a Purple Heart of Parenting Above & Beyond or some such thing.

    As for your own personal greatness. . . do you have the ability to volunteer at the VA? I've never felt so loved as when I am working there. I recommend this more than anything. True, it doesn't pay. . . but so what.

  • At 5:40 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    So so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend... for you and for her children.
    I hope things turn around for you soon... and even more, I hope that you don't have to work at Wal*Mart! That's a fate almost worse than death! I can say that because 75% of my inlaws work there. ;)
    Hang in there, Mama.

  • At 3:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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