I’m like some sort of lazy, relatively incompetent bird. Anyone who has been following my blog for a while may have noticed that I have, on occasion, taken some brief breaks to gather my strength for graduate school. One of those breaks happened to be for around 6 months with little, sporadic posts here and there but nothing consistent. Like the Common Poorwill, a nocturnal bird hailing from the Caprimulgidae family, I have been known to disappear for months at a time, hibernating through the bitter chill of winter, or in my case, Grad school. Before my last hibernation, The Lockwood Echo, a blog that is to great writing as garbanzo beans are to chickpeas, nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award.
Here are the rules of the award. As with the last post I wrote like this, I’m partitioning the rules off using the subtle craft of cat pictures. Everything between the kitties was not written by me.
Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Give a brief story of how your blog started.
Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
If Lockwood is anything like me, they forgot about the nomination shortly after telling me about it, but I didn’t forget! Well I did… because I started posting again almost a month ago, but then I remembered! But that was only because someone else nominated me for a different thing… but it still counts! I’m half a year late, enough time to watch the extended Lord of the Rings Trilogy 480 times, take 5 good naps, or make two thirds of a baby, but I’m doing this thing.
Ok. I’m supposed to give a story about how I started the blog. Damn, if I’d written this post 6 months ago, then I wouldn’t have already written a downer of a post talking about that exact thing already. However, depression and early twenties teenage angst is always interesting, so I’ll tell it again and see if anything new comes up.
During the last year of my undergrad, I was working in an independent study with a professor who somehow wasn’t sick of me after 6 other classes. The study focused on analyzing humor rhetorically and then trying to write about it in a way that was also funny. Basically, I read a lot of books explaining jokes, then watched a lot of movies while muttering things like “but why is it funny” and systematically ruining every joke for myself. What I didn’t tell my professor at the time was that I was wildly depressed and had stopped going to therapy and had recently gone off the medication that was, in essence, keeping me around. I’d also started buying spaghetti from the dollar store, which is as clear of a sign of intense depression as anyone should need. So I named the blog after the sofa I imagined myself talking to a therapist on, and then a few months later I started writing weird stuff here.
See. Total downer of a story. Let’s have a nice palate cleanser before we move forward with the award bits.
Also, because I’ve heard concerned mumbles from friends and family when I talk about that particularly mopey time in my life, I can say I’m quite happy now. My life is populated by amazing people–wonderful friends, my partner who I live with and is a better person than me and who suffers through all my objectively fantastic jokes–and I am no longer at the mercy of antidepressants, which either work really well or make everything a whole lot worse.
Let’s have a second palate cleanser for those dirty, dirty palates in the audience.
Ok, now apparently I’m supposed to give two pieces of advice to new bloggers. Wait, really? Me? Nobody should listen to me. I’m the worst blogger. I’ve had this blog since 2016, but I’ve been posting to it for a fraction of that time. I’m just a bumbling, sporadic mess over here, but I’ll give it a try.
- Post with some consistency. Whether it’s every day or once a week, make sure people know when you’ll actually be around. The internet isn’t like returning to your hometown where suddenly everyone knows you’re visiting because Dale with the horse saw you at the McDonald’s where Jessica got her hair stuck in the door. The only way people will know to look at your blog is if you show them when to do that. I try to post something every day, even if it’s something shitty or something I would love to edit further but just don’t have the time.
- Write something; move on. I treat blog posts like I treat my students: I will care about you, work with you, help you grow until you’re better than you were when we met, and then I’ll throw you into the world and only think of you again if I see you at the stoplight in front of Safeway when I’m getting lunch during my cancelled office hours. I know a lot of writers who have been working on the same few stories for years because they’re trying to make them perfect, but perfect is never going to happen because we get better at writing as we write more, and keeping something in editing stasis is just pausing your practice. Write something, then throw it into the world, then write something else.
Alright, now I’m supposed to nominate a bunch of other people for this award, but it has been 6 months, so it feels like the line is somewhat ending with me. I’ll nominate a few, but the full 10 feels like something a more prompt person would be allowed to do.
- https://jaysbrainstorms.wordpress.com/ Jay’s Brainstorms (I told you there’d be another one)
- https://howbadcanitgo.com/ How Bad Can it Go?
I’m nominating you two because your blogs are both excellent, and I want to inflict this eternal chain letter upon you.