Friday, April 04, 2014

Why I Do This

I've gotten a couple of lovely responses to this Lenten project of blogging that have made me consider why I blog at all.

I started blogging after Passing for Thin was published and Amazon invited authors to blog.  It was hugely successful and led to the next book.  At some point, however, I began to want to be able to manipulate things -- add links, advertise my other web stuff, post photos, so I left that blog space and started Car on the Hill.  If anyone wonders about the title, it's taken from the Joni Mitchell song of the same title.  It's a sad song about waiting for a man to show up, which is an apt description of my life.

I wonder, if I were a consistent blogger, if I'd be some web cult figure.  I don't regret not being one so this is purely speculative.

It's nice when people say they like my writing or offer consolation for my various nervousnesses, but once in a while someone says I've written about something in a way they have needed to explain it to people in their lives.  Sometimes someone says my muddling on gives them courage to muddle on through life with their own demons nipping at their ankles.

And those are the comments that make me feel OK about what I do here, that maybe I'm even doing a service. 

I worry that I am perfecting my anxiety, fear, obesity, introversion, writer's block, financial precariousness, House addiction, smoking, borderline agoraphobia, regrets and misanthropy for the sake of something to say.  I worry that I'm another person yammering on about the last least incident.  Readers have, in the past, told me to get over myself and shut up.

Oh, Lord, if only I could, I just sighed upon writing that sentence.

I splatter here what I hurl at myself.  It seems that sometimes it helps to know one is not alone in that silent dialogue, that everybody fucks up, that other people are weak and insecure.  Part of my insecurity, and I'm sure other people have it too, is that I'm a public fool.  So thank you to everyone who reads this morass, and thank you especially for letting me know that I'm not alone in the Horrors either.


Kitty said...

There is something about your writing that resonates with me and I suspect with many other people urgency, an honesty, a willingness to bare your heart and soul and share fears and frailties and show your humanity.
I will keep you in my prayers and ask that you experience some of the hope and warmth I receive from your writing.

Anonymous said...

Mostly it's important to note that you're loved and appreciated no matter what shape you're in today and hopefully that will keep you warm when the cold shards of the Eeks poke their way into the fabric of your being.

Hilary said...

I also love your writing and it makes me feel less alone. I think writing must be both a rewarding profession and a treacherous one. I have a book by a journalist--It Could be Worse You Could be Me--by Ariel Leve. She has some of the funny, self-deprecating humor you're famous for, Frances. But she isn't as blessed as you--she doesn't have dogs. She's completely alone. My cousin's wife just lost her husband to cancer which was soon followed by her dog's untimely demise. My brother, the widower, got in touch with her. She said that the pain was overwhelming. After my brother lost his wife, he was so grateful that she'd insisted that they get a dog. He's a lifesaver.

I think it's the nature of the beast for writers to experience depression and anxiety. They're usually alone much of the time. They have introspective, reflective natures which help them to be good writers.

After 67 years of getting to know people, I'm more convinced than ever that we all suffer from the Horrors in varying degrees.

Anonymous said...

you aren't alone.
I check your blog every single day. with every post you make me think, relate and you help me.

Anonymous said...

I love that you write about the Horrors and help others to feel less lonely. I think it's important, though, to share anything good or better, more hopeful days when you have them, so that you don't feel you need to perpetuate the other stuff if you are going to write/be read. I hope that makes sense. And sending warm thoughts your way.

Susannah said...

I'm glad you're writing regularly because I enjoy reading your posts. I don't know if writing about anxiety, smoking, etc. is "perfecting" them as much as bringing them out into the sun so you can decide if they are serving you or not. In my life, I always have more choices than I believe, but too often I am too overwhelmed to see them.
I may be being too intrusive, if so, I'm sorry, but if you ever want support in quitting smoking, please contact me. I've been through that hell and come out the other side. I've never regretted it.