Saturday, December 25, 2010

They're Looking at Your Socks

You think they're not looking at your socks? he asked. I nodded gravely. They're looking at your socks, we said in unison. 

That's a quote from one of my favourite books, A Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews.

And, of course, I'm NOT writing about socks. I'm never just writing about what it appears I'm writing about. I told you that already.

The quote reminds me a little of how I feel about blogging some days. You never really know who's looking or what secret thoughts they are having about your "socks."

I think I am fairly safe in saying that all of us who write blogs have a little nagging wonder about who the hell is reading our crap spewings anyway. No?

Which makes me wonder, why the hell do I do this anyway? Why do I put myself out there like this? It is a full-on public forum after all. Anyone can look. Blogging is like literary voyeurism. Well, except without the sex part....


Or maybe blogging is actually literary exhibitionism? Get a little half-undressed in public and see if anyone notices?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately as it has come more and more into my awareness that people are actually reading this garbage. I started my blog as a way of dealing with my my post-divorce identity (still haven't figured that out yet) and perhaps with the hope of having others read and say, "Yeah, I've been there too."

I actually own this magnet. Fitting. Or at least, at one time, it was.
And occasionally people take the time to tell me they relate to what I say.  I've had some really nice emails from people saying some really serious things that they wouldn't dare say publicly in a comment where they would prefer to maintain a persona of "light and fluffy" (I've done the same, by the way).

I end up writing about biking a lot because that's what I use to distract myself from the sucky parts of life. So I write about two very different things with likely two very different audiences (touch of overlap here and there maybe??). I don't know. I never thought anyone would ACTUALLY read.  I just kinda hoped they might.

I've thought about separating the subjects into two different blogs but . . . . . .  I don't really want to.

And I'm pretty reflective and serious at moments in this forum. It's really hard to write funny and fluffy, as I recently discovered, so I don't try often. I get a far bigger kick out of ironic humour than HA-HA humour, anyhow. I'll happily comment light and fluffy on your blog though, although even then I'm usually holding back and trying to masque how deeply, DEEPLY, penetrated my mind is in the gutter. The real-life me is famous for cracking some inappropriate black-humored or off-coloured joke at exactly the wrong moment.

Or maybe the "real-life" me just says what everyone else is thinking?

Anyways. In terms of the biking crap, sometimes I feel I write about biking from the perspective of someone who's walked into the room half way through the conversation and is trying to sound like an authority. I really don't know what the hell I'm talking about because I don't know the history. I'll probably write excitedly about something because I've just discovered it, in the meantime all the veterans are rolling their eyes at my "old news."

Just humour me, 'kay. I'll grow up eventually.

Mostly, though, I blog because I like to write. I'm a pretty good writer, I think. Although my style may not be for everyone. I just like to write about what is burning a fire in my gut at the moment.

And RANT a little.


But given that writing kinda sustains me, I end up feeling pretty vulnerable about anything I spew out. That's hard for me to deal with some days.

Literary exhibitionism. Hmmmmm. Notice I said "half-undressed" above, eh. It's always most exciting the moment before the last item comes off.

Maybe I'm just intimidated by all my more experienced biker blogging friends who I have come to revere and feel inspired by and I think DO know what they are talking about?

Maybe I should just stop obsessing about the whole damn thing?

It's a chicken or egg, kinda thing isn't it? Do I write because I over think? Or do I over think because I write?

Meh. Mostly I write for me.


Lisa said...

I'm the same way...most of it is for me and me alone. If others read my blog, and actually like it, then that's cool too!

Anonymous said...

Yes... this is what I also think. Why write for the crazies?...
Because some of them are just like you.

Quit thinking... it leads to crazy.

Kim said...

If only that were possible, eh, Greg. Believe me I would love to turn my brain off some days. It would save me a whole lot of stress and hassles. ;-) Akuna Matada.