I found out over the weekend that my mother reads the blarg here at Pavorisms.
I have mixed feelings about that.
There are basically two kinds of people reading my more-or-less daily word-tripe here. No, make that three. Actually, it’s a little bit more complicated than … ah, Fargo it.
There are a few different types of people reading this blarg.
The first type is the family and friends whom I personally invited to look at it or who saw it on my Facebook and are checking it out as a sort-of-obligation, sort-of-curiosity, sort-of-show-of-support for my recently declared writing endeavors. I love them dearly and thank them for taking the time to show an interest in what I’m up to.
The second type is other writers stumbling in from some writing sites I’m frequenting. These people do not know me personally, but rather are here strictly to check on the art and, presumably, to suss out the competition and maybe even get some ideas for their own work (I know that’s what I’m doing when I visit your sites, type-number-twoers). I love them dearly and thank them for taking the time to show an interest in what I’m up to.
A third type is other users of WordPress who have had my blargs end up in their queues for one reason or another and who, again, have stumbled in to see who the haberdashery is making all the noise down the hall. Sorry about all the sawdust and classical music. One of those is good for my sinuses and the other relaxes me. Nevertheless, they are here, poking around, checking out the decor, probably thinking to themselves how much I’m bringing down property values around here. I love them dearly and thank them for taking the time to show an interest in what I’m up to.
There are probably some other types out there, too. My wife sort of defies categorization (in all the best ways!) because she reads up on me and probably most importantly is responsible for allowing me the time to write and Ramble here and on the Project. I mean, sure, she’s family too, but she’s in a class of her own (sure, I’m obligated to say that, but honey, I mean it!). Then, it’s even possible, if not likely, that at some point one or more of my students will discover this site and I’ll have them to welcome as well.
All that is to say, finding out that my mom is out there reading got me thinking about a couple of things.
First of all, persona. The me you see writing here is not necessarily the same me that parents a toddler or teacher high school English or gets up at 5am to run. I don’t talk this way in real life. (Most of the time.) But these thoughts buzz around in my skull ALL THE TIME, and I am pleasantly surprised to find that blarging and letting some of these thoughts drip out has a dual effect: one, the buzzing in my head is diminished; and two, it actually helps me to focus my thoughts for future writing, both Project-related and blarg-related.
Second, my audience (such as it is). After all, as an English teacher, one of the things I typically remind my students in their writing is that you have to know your audience. How can you write appropriately if you don’t know who you’re speaking to? You won’t sell a lot of Legos and toy airplanes and matchbox cars if you advertise in black and white. You won’t get a generation of teen girls out to see the newest vampire movie if you don’t put a bronzed, bare-chested, vaguely ethnic heartthrob in the trailers. So who the Fargo am I writing for?
The answer, it turns out, was simpler than I even thought. I’m writing for me. I don’t know if that’s the best way to write, but it’s the only way that makes sense to me right now. I’m writing my novel the way I want to write it – in a way that I would want to read it. I want to write the best goldfinger book I can , but more importantly, I want it to be a story I’m personally proud of. As far as this little pile of brain crumbs goes, I am just trying to have a little fun and reflect on what it’s like to go through what I’m going through. Writing in any capacity is stressful at the least, and at the worst it can make you want to dig a hole in the earth, fill the hole with your broken and pitiful ideas, and set them all on fire before diving in headfirst yourself. Writing a novel — working with the same characters, the same plotline, the same problems, the same story — for days, weeks, and as it will soon become, months at a time, magnifies all of that. Some days writing is transcendent. I open my brain, let my fingers do a little tap dance on the keys, and the magic just streams forth as rainbow colored goop streams from my toddler’s mouth. (Sorry, got a little bit topical.) Other days it’s like practicing dental work on an irate shark; all thrashing and screaming and fighting for air. Other days still it’s like the 13th hour of a stakeout; the donuts have gone stale, the coffee’s cold, and I’m fighting sleep just for a glimpse of the perfect word to come through the door.
Writing is hard. This blarg is here for me to clear the pipes a bit, to burn out the gunk, to give my brain an ice bath after it runs its verbal marathons. I hope that those of you out there reading it find some enjoyment in it. I hope that you can find some humor in it. I even dare to hope that maybe you can find a little inspiration in it. But this is not for you.
If this blog were for you, family and friends, I’d try harder to clean up the language and use less disgusting metaphors and talk less about my spiraling, uncontrollable writer’s brain thoughts. If it were for you, fellow writers, I’d try harder to clean up the run-on sentences and the overly wordy similes and unnecessary adverbs, and talk a little less about my kid and my job and the rest of my life. But it’s not.
Today, I squeezed off 1100 words on the Project. Some of them were the right ones; many of them, I’m sure, were the wrong ones. But they all felt right. They all work to tell the story I’m trying to tell. There’s some gouda language in there. There are some run-on sentences and probably too many adverbs. But I love the story like crazy so far, and if I’m lucky, it will eventually find some other people who enjoy it like I do.
Who knows, my mom might even enjoy it, too. Despite all the gouda.