The Unbearable Likeness of Blogging

The home of the red knight!!

Its true. The frequency with which this blog is maintained is a direct reflection of the chaos and stress that is real life. And real life, she has been a real bitch the last few weeks. As always, it’s all about the day job – home life remains the tranquil snapshot of awesomeness that it always is, minus the occasionally screaming tantrum from a random child at how unfair their life of prime world+1 living is (that’s an echelon or two above “first world problems,” as I like to think of it). Also, apparently the efficacy of Mother and I explaining the way things were back in the dark ages of our childhood are losing their appeal and believability. Surely this so-called world without streaming media is just a nightmare we parents made up to overcome our own fears and disappointments with our own youth.

The other reason the blog has slowed down these last few weeks is probably a signal of a larger problem in my general writing. I feel compelled to provide short essays for blog posts. When I can’t accomplish that, when all I have to offer the visitor is the random “you should hear what my kid said today,” or “check out this cool thing someone else wrote about” – well, isn’t that what twitter and Facebook are for? (Not that I’ve been active in those media lately either). I build up (in my head) this expectation that blog posts should be small treatises, just like when I sit down with Scrivener I should be crafting gold.

Truth is, while those small essays are  fulfilling to write, it isn’t reasonable to expect that every day or two. Raising the bar too high, it’s often easier to let go and give up rather than try, especially if you know ahead of time that you won’t make the target. That’s true in blogging as well as writing, and the effects spread. Giving up on tackling a bit of writing encourages a sense that none of it’s not worth it.

Well, that’s obviously not true. So how do you turn it around?

For blogging, I take solace in reading other blogs where a single gal or guy pull it off. Not all of them blog daily; very few in fact manage that level of output. But it is possible.

For writing, I used to take my inspiration from the crap that is published. Yes, it’s the old “I can do better than this crap!” attitude. I’ve since sobered up from that perspective, though. First, refuse from the dung heap of literature that some of these books are, their authors at least finished. There’s something I can’t rightfully say I’ve done too often. Second, they got published because they were the best the publishers had to look at at the time. Who’s fault is that?

These days, and by these days I mean of late, the last two hours, what have you, I’m trying to look at the good examples for inspiration. I picked up “The Red Knight” this week to review for the Fantasy Book Addict. I’m not far in the book, just the first 10% or so, but I’m pretty sure I’m in love. This, folks, is good, solid writing craft executed well. I feel inspired to stab the beast that is longer fiction again and again now.

So this is my apology for not clogging your RSS feeds the last week or so after maintaining a steady stream of late, and a thank you for sticking around. Expect more posts on writing, kids, and the random stuff that amuses me resuming shortly. As for the fiction side of the house, it isn’t fair to say I’ve been slacking lately (currently two short stories out for consideration and 3/4 of the way through the first draft of another), but as I wrap up this short story I want to begin looking at outlining something a bit more…epic. 😉

 

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What’s up with datanode.net?

When I started datanode.net many many moons ago, it was a simple set of web pages. I had notions of starting my own business, but it never really happened. I did a little bit of freelance work, but never quite got the taste for it, mostly because it just didn’t work for me. Then when I joined gentoo it became a soapbox from which I could talk open source and gentoo stuff. But when I left gentoo, it kind of whithered out for a while,a nd in the last year or so its been mostly about writing. I think the problem is I need to figure out what I’m going to talk about on the blog.

I know a lot of people have blogs where they talk about every detail of their lives. My last job, before I joined the awesomeness of the monkey hordes, didn’t exactly discouraged talking about yourself or your work – but they certainly didn’t consider it a wise move. Unfortunately, that became such a mode of thought that I find it hard telling you all about what funny thing Katy did this morning, or what Tara said last night. And the few times I did talk about personal things, like job hunting, I caught someone at work reading my blog and knew that I needed to keep my mouth completely shut.

So where is datanode.net going these days? Although the name doesn’t quite fit a writing blog, but if I was opportunistic, I’d find a way to integrate it into my writing so that when I do get published, it will make perfect sense, like Neal Asher’s TheSkinner.blogspot.com. “Datanode? Oh yeah, that’s what Cummings calls his pseudo-sentient sapient organic computer in his novels.”

The problem with that last statement is that I have spent a long time wasting time dreaming of what it will be like once I can call myself a writer, and not enough time working on the craft. I wasn’t always this way – I remember a year or so where I jotted down stories faster than my fingers could etch out the words.

I mentioned in my last post that the beard is here for the time being, until I either finish the novel or get published (presumably with a shoter work). Let me go further and state that the goals of datanode.net for 2010 (pronounce twenty ten, of course) is to get published reputably, and to make datanode.net an obvious forum for discussing what I’m writing away at these days.

And now, to sleep. An hour of blogging can take its toll 🙂

Hello, December!

Well, it won’t be tonight, but there are blog posts gearing up to be posted even as I fall asleep at the keyboard. I know its been a week or two, but coming up in the next we I plan on putting up my #nanowrimo post mortem (and putting to rest the whole subject for at least ten to eleven months), an entry on journaling, and somewhere in there a ramble or six on where I see datanode.net going in 2010. Consider this post tonight a line test to make sure your RSS reader’s are primed, your browser’s are ready, and the popcorn’s in standby, ready to be nuked and consumed.

But, ah, first, get some shuteye. I plan on getting a nap myself.