Green Monster

Saturday 2 June 2012

I get jealous when I see how popular other people's blogs are.

There, I've said it.

I hate to admit it.  I really really hate to admit it because I don't want to write for popularity.  I want to write for me, write free, write whatever the hell I want because it's my blog, and this is my writing playground, and if other people come and read it and like it, then that's wonderful (it's so wonderful), but if they don't like it then who cares.

And I do write for myself.  Every post I write has a kernel of something that I feel passionate about that it drives me to sit in front of this white box writing words and deleting them and writing some more.  It's just that if I wasn't simply writing for myself, then I wouldn't be blogging at all, would I?  Would I?  Why would you do that?  Why wouldn't you just be writing in a journal, or in a Word document, if you didn't somehow want other people to read it?

So I do want other people to read my blog.  And I hate it that I do.  I want to be an island.  I hate neediness.  It makes me feel depressed and vulnerable because from my experience, I'm not very good at making it known, at asking other people to help me.  I am very good at hiding my vulnerabilities.  It's sort of like a really well-functioning mask, and now it's been there so long that it's soldered to my face.  When I look at other people and how free they seem to be to talk about how they want encouragement or whatever, I realise that in comparison I'm not so good at it.  And those people who are good at it therefore have a ready supply of people to support them whenever they are feeling needy and they say so.

I resist it because it scares me and I don't know how to do it.  Because my fucking father never gave me even the rudiments of encouragement that a kid needs if she's not gonna feel like she collapses every time a bit of criticism comes her way (internal or external).  So by the time I manage to get across that I'm needing support in some way, and yeah, some validation and encouragement, I'm probably a bit too far gone and I'm melting down in some fashion and my needy hole is weeping out my eyes.

And so I'm jealous today of those people with popular blogs.  And then I'm jealous of  those people who have writing careers that publish their stuff for money.  I'm jealous of people who lived in ages other than mine where greediness and status and money-focus was not the only currency their society seemed to speak in. I'm jealous of those people who seem to be able to do living in this world better than I seem to be able to do.  There are some people who feel at home here.  I have felt on the fringes for as long as I can remember.  I'm jealous of people who are employed to their abilities, because here I am still transcribing stuff, and some days I think I'm going to go a bit mad because I'm too fucking smart for this.  I'm jealous of people who don't spew up in their mouth every time they have to do some sort of marketing on their own behalf, who are happy to work on their "platform" to aid their career. 

I'm jealous of those people with thicker skin. The type who would read this and think "oh, she's having a pity party."  Those sorts of people.  I'm jealous of people like Catherine Deveny, the Australian comedic and author, who regularly wrote stuff for The Age that went against the commonly accepted grain and rode the virtriole that came with it.  People with thick skin - I hope those people feel thankful that they have this as part of their temperament.  Because I'm not like Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, and I haven't yet been able to find anyone that sells extra skin on eBay.


  1. How have we not met before today? I love the way you write, I will be back, But first I will safely add you to my reader so I don't lose you, as I am seriously absentminded and very easily distrac

  2. Haha :)  Right back atchya, Frongpondsrock and I agree.  I've added you to my reader too, and now I'm going to go and find out what all the furore is about :)

  3. "sells extra skin on ebay"
    i love that line !!!

    good on you for naming the monster and sitting with it as it is
    i think we all go through that experience of wishing we were in someone else's skin, or that our own skin was tougher, or that our skin tanned instead of burnt when exposed to more than ten minutes of midday sun

    it occured to me while reading this post that a blog is a skin too . . . a thin veneer holding together a body of work, social or corporate connections, memories of things past and dreams for the future . . . but behind it all, just as behind real skin, is a living breathing person

    one of the things i love about your writing Sue is the way you get into the blood and bones of navigating the world from a soul perspective, it's gutsy, real and reminds me that we're all in this together

  4. Aww, thank you so much, Kel.  I think that's why sometimes this blog skin feels too thin, along with my own skin on top.  If I could only stop writing from the blood and bones then I would feel safer ... but then I don't WANT to feel safe.

    I don't know - I miss the community of blogging, like you said.  I was reading a blog post yesterday at Miscellaneous Mum ( where Frogpondsrock (who commented below) said that "The blogging community is very different now because it is growing so
    rapidly and the art of conversation seems to be dying. Facebook has
    trained us to just “like” something without having to put the effort in
    to articulate why we actually like or dislike an article. The sense of
    all being in this giant internet adventure together has faded and been
    replaced with a broadcast mentality."

    That sums it up for me.  Like the suburbs outside my window, everythign sure is sexed up in the blogosphere.  Everything looks better and richer ... but it feels poorer.  What is missing both from outside the window and in the blogosphere is the community.  How can you have community when you have ADHD?

    Facebook has a lot to answer for :)

    Thanks for your comment.  I really seemed to need it ... and I appreciate you, and that we are part of each other's blog communities :)

  5. i'm sure there are plenty of us who miss the 'caring community thoughtful comment' days of blogging

    while I am on facebook, I do continue to interact as always on blogs, and am carefully selective of how  many blogs or feeds i subscribe to so i can fully participate with them, the old less is more principle (also why i no longer participate on twitter)

    facebook churns out a massive flow of feeds, it can leave one feeling bloated, but undernourished

    us blood and bone bloggers/writers/artists/thinkers gotta stick together
    fertiliser for the spirit

  6. You're so right about gatekeeping how much stuff gets in.  I'm sometimes not very good at that at all.  Bloated but undernourished - I like that.

  7. Oh I love this - could have written so much of it myself. I'm jealous too, but I also want to be authentic, and I'm not sure how to be authentic AND popular. The topic of much internal toing and froing at the moment... So glad you're here and writing.

  8. Thanks, Tess!  It was one of those posts that felt awfully dangerous to write, and then afterwards I realised that it really wasn't *that* dangerous.  It's funny when that happens.

    I so get what you're saying.  Yeah, I want to be authentic too.  There are lots of avenues to take that would gain more popularity (and money) but I can't seem to bring myself to do it.  You always come across as authentic to me, and it shows in what you do and what you write.  I'm so glad you're still writing too!


Newer Older