“… an endless griddling of greasy ‘me’ posts”

I can not get these words out of my head. I hope that Autumn Circles won’t mind me reproducing them here. She’s not the author of them, but happened to be the lucky recipient of them on her blog. To be clear, the aim of the person who did author these words was to point out what an excellent writer she is and to encourage her to continue working away at her most excellent blog. And, to be even more clear, I don’t have a clue who the person is who wrote them but, honest to God, I read them in her comments, felt a hot flash of shame and haven’t been able to write a fucking thing since.

I don’t fancy myself a writer. This blog started out as something of an open letter to a dear friend who had recently moved away and, whenever I feel completely stymied, going back to that initial purpose seems to help. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to get better at it.

“Is that really the way your mind works?” I’m quizzing Patrick about his latest blog entry. I want to know if the illusions and the metaphors that seem to come so easily to him are actually a part of his normal thinking process or if he has to sit down and work at them as he’s writing. “It’s pretty much stream of consciousness” he replies. Humph. That doesn’t help. “Sometimes I’ll sit down to write and I’ll find that I’m using my whiny voice. I have to scratch all of that and start over using my thinking voice.” Double harumph! That doesn’t help either. How? HOW?! How do you stop the whining and get to something higher? I honestly don’t know. For now, I can’t stand it anymore. I guess we’ll see what comes.


~ by jenzai on January 15, 2009.

18 Responses to ““… an endless griddling of greasy ‘me’ posts””

  1. I happen to like YOUR voice just the way it is. I like P’s voice too. But I wouldn’t want to live in a world of all P’s, or all me’s or all anybody else’s. For what it’s worth. My blog isn’t like anyone else’s, and sometimes I get very insecure about that, especially since what is posted up there is stuff I originally wrote with the intention tha absolutely NO ONE would ever see. But it is what it is. No has to read it, right? Those of us who want to read your blog will, I promise, and we look forward to it, because it is you we are coming to see.

  2. Hey, she said what I was going to. And also. That there isn’t particularly a right way to do this. Sort of like there not being a clear etiquette on Facebook. And so there are people, some blogs, some of us would be happier steering away from. But if you need to whine? This is the place that is all about you and people who love you will no doubt rush to tell you how entitled you are to whining and how great you are. But of course you can be so self-deprecating that you see whining where I see telling it like it is. Which ought to be told. And the lovely thing about blogging is sometimes you take a risk and publish something and a connection is made. It’s easy to imagine there are rules to this whole thing and feel all constrained by them, even if it’s the sense you ought to be consistent or make a point or whatever, and sometimes it takes breaking that rule to realize that it wasn’t serving you at all. Plus, if anyone is ever mean to you on your blog? I’ll come and beat them up.

  3. I don’t know why but when I read your post I immediately thought of

    Tell me where is fancy bred,
    Or in the heart or in the head?
    How begot, how nourished?
    Reply, reply.
    It is engender’d in the eyes,
    With gazing fed; and fancy dies
    In the cradle where it lies.
    Let us all ring fancy’s knell:
    I’ll begin it,—Ding, dong, bell.- Merchant of Venice

    You have such great things to say and the fact that you make your struggle with your voice part of that dialogue only enriches it further. Your posts always remind me of how beautiful and amazing the world is, and if that is born from your struggles, then I selfishly hope you never stop struggling.

  4. Thanks guys. Of course, now I realize that this post not only sounds incredibly whiney but also like I’m fishing. aargh! I can’t win for loosing.

  5. Well, FWIW, which is to say, my unreliable opinion and five bucks might get you a cup of sexy coffee—I’m ALL ABOUT THE WHINING. So I say, bring it! (But then I defiantly style myself a confessional poet, so, what else is new?)

    For me blogging started as one thing (a way to impress the unimpressible people in my life? a place to collect links to and pictures of pretty things I wanted but shouldn’t buy, or bits of language and image that inspired me?)—but has rapidly become something else in addition: a place to practice ending self-hatred. As in, that sucker is on an EXTINCTION SCHEDULE (behaviorist slang).

    So: I write it, I post it, I hate it, I like it, it bores me, it delights me; other people like it, don’t like it, don’t get it, ignore it. Or, I don’t get it; it still bothers me, I can’t let go of it, I write something else, I post it, I hate it, I like it….

    Or, as those irritating Buddhists say: praise and blame. Meaning, they’re the same.

    The important word in all that palaver was PRACTICE. Not yet extinct by a long shot, good ol’ self-loathing. Thus I blog on.

    But if it’s not a fun practice for you, there are other so much funner practices to practice! Many of which you already DO practice. Yoga, coloring, eating, sleeping, journaling, talking, singing, praying, playing, making love, making art, making a mess, buying dishtowels, doing what Mandarin calls “pasting bits of paper to other bits of paper.” Germaine Greer said, The surest guide to the correctness of the path that women take is joy in the struggle. If it’s not fun, I find that I tend not to practice it no matter how good for me I think it would be.

    In summary, although not that I have really managed to say anything coherent or convincing at all, I shall now further aver two things:

    1) I will totally help Ms. O. beat up the mean people. I’m skinny but I’m fierce.
    2) What would happen if you never used the word “whiny” again, to describe your own thoughts or writing? Because that’s basically you leaving yourself mean comments (sometimes before you even hit “post,” right? or before you even sit down at the keyboard, I’m guessing?).

    And, well, I’m just saying: Don’t make me come over there young lady, is all.

  6. PS—Is fishing bad?

  7. PPS—I adore the title of this post. It reminds me of Hopkins. Another writer, who, as it happened, struggled with poem-obliterating self-hatred.

    I should also confess that the poem I linked too is the poem that saved me from self-obliteration, in 2005. Please be kind to the you.

  8. Can we please henceforth call fishing “sea kitty bludgeoning”? Please?

  9. I’ll gladly call it that! But, um, why, exactly?

  10. Okay – I went to bed too soon. Then I laid there and thought about all the things I really meant to say here, like how when I come to your blog I am stunned by your art, amazed by your generousity, provoked by your insights, disturbed by your self-flagellation, blown away by your children, amused by your quirkiness; need I go on? I experience myself experiencing you.

    As others have now gotten in before me, we all have blogs for different reasons, and they take different shapes and forms. But ultimately, don’t they all boil down to us attempting to communicate something about ourselves to others? I’ve seen some blogs that were so carefully constructed it was clear the author was taking few risks of exposing themselves. I mean, they were trying to communicate but at the same time limiting the possibility of damage. And I have to say, those are the blogs I personally find boring. But those of us in your charmed circle are made of more courageous stuff! Every genuine or authentic attempt to communicate something about your self cannot help but be fascinating to those of us who want to know you better . . . which is the whole point of reading your blog in the first place.

    With maybe one exception? I haven’t read every single comment to every single post, but as the reliable unreliable points out, it does seem like you are the only one who writes mean comments to yourself. My guess is you are the only one is even thinking mean things at your blog. Someone’s big sister is going to mess you up if you keep it up . . .

    P.P.S. Both Jim and I vote yes on the sea kitty bludgeoning!

  11. Man, I woke up this morning intending to use an elliptical, not be elliptical. This explains everything. Sea kittens reference = http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99249669


  13. “Fish Killer!”
    “Oh no! K-K-K-Ken is going to k-k-k-kill me!”

  14. “Whiny” is hereby banned from your vocabulary. ‘Nuff said.

    What exactly is wrong with writing about yourself and your struggles? I think I understand exactly why that comment gave you a “hot flash of shame” (I’m all too familiar with those!), and I can assure you that it is simply thT same old mean-ass shaming voice that tries to kill you. That’s the long and short of it. It’s a mean-spirited, fucked up bullying liar. Please-ph-please tell it to shut the fuck up and WRITE WHATEVER YOU WANT. Your feelings, your so-called “whining”, your life and struggles and joys and triumphs are all blog-worthy because they are all human. That voice is a fucker and I hereby demand that you tell it to shut the fuck up.

    Sorry to “f” so much, but you know what that means…. I know what that sob is up to and I am sick of it for you!

  15. The solution to not whining is very simple: don’t whine.
    Having said that, I don’t think you spend an excessive amount of time doing what you consider “whining”! I love you and your posts just the way they are.

  16. WOW! Where the hell have I been to miss all of this excitement? I agree with most everything already said and am a bit jealous I didn’t get to say some of it first!
    Write on, humans, write on…

  17. If it makes you feel any better, my internal censor is so strong that I can’t even comment on your blog. Clearly you have made a lot of progress on overcoming.

  18. […] discussion last week, on Jenny’s blog, and the unreliable narrator puts out that whatever the reasons were that she started blogging for, […]

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