I’m not going to make you sit through another fight between me and my blog although the last one was kind of satisfying and productive, and I was certain coming out of it that we were back on track.
Turns out we weren’t.
I won’t bother counting the weeks, but I feel guilty and while I’ve been told repeatedly by people who hate guilt, that it’s a useless, time-flushed-down-the-toilet emotion, it has worked for me. Although sometimes it hasn’t, like when I go to a party out of guilt and then think, it’s a fucking party, it’s not a meeting, it’s not my best friend going to a scary doctor’s appointment, it’s a social gathering that serves no greater purpose than amusing oneself. So letting guilt drive me to shampoo, blow dry and stand in front of the mirror in four outfits, kind of defeats the purpose.
I digress. I was talking guilt as default motivator.
I belong to that class, ethnicity, generation, religion, gender or blood-type who can’t imagine moving forward in this world without it, or have paid for years of therapy that dislodged all sorts of nasty behaviour, but guilt wasn’t one of the things that got kicked to the curb. So how badly did I need to let it go?
Once when I was doing renovations a contractor told me that my staircase to the second floor was being held together by a hundred years worth of dirt. He did manage to convince me that I needed a new staircase. But the point is, dirt holds things together pretty well, so you want to think good and hard before you get rid of it.
If guilt and I weren’t so tight, I might say to myself. Hey (self), no big deal, the 26 people that read your blog regularly will have to wait a few weeks. And the throngs who will come when that big writing thing happens, or when I next take off my actual or metaphorical clothing in front of tens of 1000s of people, will find stuff they haven't read. It’s not as though I’m a therapist whose online clients are in mid-crisis, awaiting advice.
I have a long list of acceptable reasons for not blogging:
· - Grant application
· - Novel revisions
· - Trip to Guatemala that involves writing something new
· - Two pieces in Huffington post
· - Tons of laundry
· - Shoveling snow
· - Eating no sugar
I don’t owe anyone an apology, because really, there’s only one person who was disappointed. Me. The list of reasons why I’ve been absent does not make good reading so I should just shut up about it and either get back to blogging or not, but not waste anyone’s time explaining where I’ve been. (You’ll notice I have left the list.)
I had a moment recently when I was convinced twitter was my new thing. That my route to fame was paved in increments of 140 characters. But I had that delusion knocked out of me by a close friend and professional confidant who told me, out of kindness and in earnest, that I was a bit hit and miss. That was after he told another friend that we were sitting with, that she and Margaret Atwood were his fave tweeters.
So I’m left wondering whether a handful of characters, 600 words or 90,000 will be my format of choice. And whether or not to stick with dirt.