I decided to take a break from my make-it-up-as-I-go-along Christmas-themed blog novel (blogvel?) and write an actual blog post.
I have to be honest with you. I have not posted in a while because there just hasn’t been much to write about. How many blog posts can I wring out of my boring job? How many blog posts can I get out of a very mundane, pedestrian life? When I first fancied myself as a writer at around the age of 15, I just assumed that every moment of my life would be fascinating to readers if I could just somehow get my writing in front of them.
That was way before the Internet. The only way you could get your writing in front of readers was to write a very grumpy, complain-y letter to the editor of the local newspaper, and even then there was only about a 0.01% chance it would get published. I knew writers who would take out those free ads in the “Weekly Shopper” or “Green Sheets” just so they could experience the thrill of something they wrote appearing in print. (No names … I promised them I would never admit that to anyone.)
Anyway, that was a long, roundabout way of saying that my belief as a 15 year old that my every written word would be fascinating to the reading public has undergone something of a change as I’ve gotten older and especially since I starting writing this here blog o’ mine. I realized not everything I write is fascinating or amusing. That came as something of a blow to my writer’s ego. Worse still, I realized one day that the stuff I write doesn’t even hold MY interest! That was an even worse blow, not only to my writer’s ego, but to my ego as a human being. I now live in fear of having a near fatal accident, because I don’t think I’ll be able sit through my own life flashing before my eyes. I might very well yawn and nod off in the middle of it.
So, I’ve slowed down on the ol’ blog and have been trying to regroup and rethink what I’m doing here.
I love writing humorous things and making people smile or laugh or even just feel good. But humor writing is a strange thing. If I were a stand-up comedian, the laughter of the crowd is instantaneous feedback. It makes you want to write even more funny stuff so you can hear that laughter and applause. It becomes a drug and you write and perform more and more material trying to get more and more laughter.
But writing humor is completely different. You write it … you toss it out there into the ether … and there is no (or very little) feedback. So you question … was it funny? Did anybody smile? Did anyone laugh? Did anyone even read it?
You don’t know the answer to those questions … so the doubt sets in. The doubt turns to self doubt. The self-doubt turns to a kind of depression. And that leads to a lack of energy and thus a lack of output. The lack of output becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy of “I guess I just wasn’t that funny after all.”
I think that is why my posting goes in waves. When I am prolific it is because my confidence is high and thus my energy levels are high. When the confidence wanes (because of the aforementioned lack of feedback), so too do the energy levels wane.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not asking for sympathy comments or likes. I’m just trying to give you a glimpse into a humor-writer’s brain. The humorist is almost always a self-doubting person who is insecure about their writing abilities … or their abilities to connect with others in a humorous way. It is no secret that comedy is almost always a defense mechanism. There is almost always a sort of nervous awkwardness behind every piece of comedy or humor.
Anyway … enough about that. My next post will be humorous. I promise! Or your money back.