not real good at small talk, me

Last month I signed up for a blog challenge to post something every day.  I should have known better.  My creative self doesn’t manage real well with rules.  It was good for the first little bit – it gave me the impetus to stay in the moment, because in the moment is where I find things to write about.  But it was also December, and for me, December is a month of parties and shopping and preparing and friends and events – it’s a month of distractions.  And this particular December was particularly distracting.

I do approach this blog with the intention of writing every day.  Everyone who engages in this process knows that if you write every day, your readership is more likely to grow.  I enjoy the growing numbers as much as anybody – creating something, and sharing it is a source of enormous personal satisfaction.  I am exceedingly grateful for you, that you show up to read what I have to say, and that you may have shown up to find I haven't written, again, is the primary reason I chastise myself for missing days. 

But I got a little jaded, I suppose, as I explored the many bloggers also participating in this and other challenges, because so many would fill up space with nothing just to get a post up.  Some of the posts would even say “I don’t have anything to say today, but here I am.”  In one respect that’s GREAT – a cardinal rule for any writer or artist is to show up.  Sit down and if all you have to write is “I have nothing to say” write it anyway because it may turn into something else.  At least you’ve kept your office hours, and if a writer didn’t have any discipline, then nothing would ever get written.  But in other respects, you write because you want people to read you, and a sure way to get someone to run the other way fast is to say “I have nothing to say, but listen…”

That kind of stuff belongs in my journal, not on my public space.  My space is about ideas, not clicks; style, not volume.  Experimenting yes, but striving to maintain a standard more so.  I’m certainly not above light and silly – I’m sure you’d dump me quick if I was always long and serious.  But if a post isn’t interesting to me, it sure won’t be interesting to you, and you are here because something I said once resonated with you enough to bring you back. 

And for that, I couldn’t be more grateful.  So this year's posts will be dedicated to you.  I couldn't think of a better reason to try a little harder and dig a little deeper, could you?


  1. Reply
    reluctant blogger January 5, 2011

    hah yes, you are more than a little like me in this. I hate to feel obliged even when I have brought the obligation on myself. So I could not promise to blog every day or even every week. It has to be about when I want/need to do it.
    But yeah, the main reason I have not given up blogging is because of my loyal readers. I love the fact that they trog back even when I haven’t written anything for months. I have very few readers but they are great and write fabulous thoughtful and thought-provoking comments. They definitely make it worthwhile. Otherwise I think I would just have stuck to my handwritten diary.
    I love reading your posts. They always make me think and often they make me smile. But yeah, just write when you want/need to cos otherwise it can feel a little forced.

  2. Reply
    deb @ talk at the table January 5, 2011

    I appreciate you here , whenever you feel inspired to share. No obligations.
    I am fascinated by the spectrum of bloggers, blogging motivation, commenting vs not, etc.
    I don’t treat my blog like a facebook status update, but if someone else does I have to really enjoy reading or have made a deep connection to keep up. I’m finding those types of blogs less and less appealing.
    I don’t set any sort of schedule for myself really, but I guess two or three times a week ends up being the average. I made a conscious decision in the beginning to post in a certain way, and I’ve stuck to it I think.
    I do enjoy a variety of blogs , but in a small way this is how I chose to “make art” , be creative and intentional in my own minute piece of the web.
    does that make sense?

  3. Reply
    Jeff Griffiths January 5, 2011

    Sometimes I accidentally ‘hit’ post for something that is maybe just a title, or incomplete, and I feel horrible thinking that the subscribers are going to get an e-mail for nothing. I put a lot of time and thought into my blog. The readers are what keep me going and I feel indebted to them for coming back.

  4. Reply
    Marilyn January 6, 2011

    I have always enjoyed your blog as you have a message, a point, that you are sharing. I appreciate what you are saying.

  5. Reply
    Jennifer January 6, 2011

    Yeah, RB – I suppose this post was about the combination of writing forum and social media. For some – and I’m all for it – the medium is more social than anything. It’s fantastic developing this circle of like minded friends around the world. But I started it to have an excuse to write more, and to become a better writer. A place to exercise my creative ‘ya-yas’ so to speak.
    At any rate – I’m sure glad we met. You’re one of the first bloggers I really connected to.

  6. Reply
    Jennifer January 6, 2011

    It makes complete sense Deb. And I can say that you have certainly developed your own personal creative ‘mark’ out there, and I’m so glad you did. I’m sorry I don’t visit often enough, but I’m always glad when I do. Funny how we, who live relatively close to one another, connected through a blogger in Ohio! 🙂

  7. Reply
    Jennifer January 6, 2011

    Ah yes – and I must admit that I’ve gone back and edited my posts. Like you, I put a lot of time and thought into this – and much before I even developed it. I feel that indebtedness too, and strive to give them what they came for.

  8. Reply
    Jennifer January 6, 2011

    Thank you Marilyn. I’m so glad we have mutually discovered one another!

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