July 23, 2015 Update: It’s fun going back over this post and reading it. At the time I wrote this post, I had no idea the direction I was going with my blog. I had these strange ambitions of having a DIY/writing/statistics blog. I’m glad I settled into story-telling! It’s very cathartic. But, I couldn’t just take this down. For historical interest, I had to leave this as is. This is where my “blogging revolution” began. Enjoy…
You know what? I’m going to skip an introduction. You want to know why? Because that’s where I get stuck. I keep thinking, “hey, dude, you need to blog. Get started!” And then I’m like, “Okay. Yes. Blog. Got it. Ok, I know I want to blog about dungeon-raised pigeon hybrids, but how do I start….hmmmm, let’s see…”
And nothing happens.
So screw the introduction! I never read intros on other peeps’ blogs anyway. I don’t need to know why I’d want to replace a kitchen floor or how it’s going to increase my home’s value. I already know that! That’s why I’m searching for how to “replace my tile” in the first place! Give me the good stuff!
So with that….er…intro, let me tell you why I suck as a blogger.
1. I just want to get my DIY projects done! A little snippet into my personality–every time we go on vacation, my wife will stop the activities, stop the conversation, and stop the fun, so we can take a picture. Every time, I think to myself, “Seriously????? We came on vacation so that we can have fun! NOT to take a stinkin’ picture!”
But…Months pass and I stumble upon the images from our family vacation. I’d never admit this to her, but…
I’m always glad we took a picture. Yes, it kinda sorta sucked at the time. Yes, I got annoyed that my three midgets wouldn’t stop whining or wouldn’t smile, or wouldn’t stop goofing off. Yes I got annoyed that our swimming excursion was interrupted for ten lousy minutes. But with that tiny price, I get a lifetime of memories–memories that are clear as Everest air because we took a picture.
With that silly intro (see, there I go again), it is not in my nature to record things. A photograph is an inconvenience, a video is bothersome, a tutorial or an explanation will only delay the completion of the project.
So, yes, I get tons of stuff done, but I have no record. And you, community of interwebbers, don’t get to see the transformations.
So, with that, here’s my promise to my blog audience (i.e., my wife and my mom)–I will document my projects.
2. I forget to document my DIY projects! This isn’t far removed from my twin reason #1–I don’t like pausing an activity to document it, but an even bigger culprit is that I forget to document my DIY transformations!
I’m in the process of a kitchen remodel (okay….so I may have started it 8 months ago :/ ). My first order of business was to paint the cabinets. In order to paint the cabinets, I had to remove the doors. So I did. And I tore the kitchen and the house to bits to make room for them 9,000 cabinet doors.
Then I remembered I never took a before picture. Holy [curse words that didn’t make it pass the blog filter]! I had a choice–forever lose the opportunity to remember how the kitchen used to look and save myself an hour, or put those doors back on.
I put them back on.
More curse words escaped my Christian brain filter. But I got a picture.
I don’t know what it’ll take. Maybe it’s a Siri reminder, maybe it’s a wheelbarrow full of sticky notes, or maybe it’s a thumb-tack attached to my work boots–but I’m going to find a way.
So…I promise my audience (my wife, my mom, and my dog) that I will remember to document my DIY projects!
3. I don’t want to become what I hate most. I hate pretense. I hate so-called experts with a myopic view of their own weaknesses and biases. I hate when some dogmatist touts their opinion above all others when any Jack or Paul or Pedro on the street has just as much a right to opine as Oliver Opinionated.
Especially when said dogmatist has no credentials.
This blog is both a DIY blog and a novelist’s blog. I have no credentials. I haven’t published any fictional writing except for a paid slot for poetry.com (and yes, I intentionally left out the hyperlink because I think they’re scammers!). I’m not an agent, a published novelist, a trained editor, or even an agented writer (yet).
So, what gives me the right to offer any advice on writing query letters, finding an agent, publishing, or writing successfully?
Just as much right as anybody else, I suppose. And yet, the taunting inner voice berates me, taunts me, mocks me…
And silences me.
The more I write and the more I critique others’ writing, the more I’m convinced that there’s no secret success serum–no one way to write, no one way to find success. Sure, people try. “Oh, JK Rowling was successful because xxx.” Or “Stephanie Meyer’s fame was simply a matter of xxxx.”
So glad it’s easy to make billions, pompous experts! Why, I’ll just start that billion-dollar novel now!
Sometimes success comes because of absolute, ridiculous luck coupled with some deep insight or a bit of skill. Other times, it’s absolute brilliance–the sort that is stupid to strive for. So, screw the retrospectively-minded experts because we don’t know! If we knew, everyone would be making millions.
And most agents recognize it’s a crapshoot. Most editors do too. Implicit in their wish lists is the recognition that they might miss the next Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling. If agents and editors struggle to find successful writers, what makes me think that my advice is worth an ounce of Unobtainium?
But here’s the thing…I’ve read a half-dozen books about how to write. I’ve paid agents and editors to read my work and give me feedback. I’ve participated in contests where some of the top dogs in the industry have scrutinized my work.
And yet, as I recollect upon the jewels of wisdom I’ve received over the years, nearly all of them have come from fellow neophytes. It was people like me that have shaped me most as a writer.
And so, maybe it’s because I’m new enough that I remember struggling with a principal of writing, or maybe it’s because I’m so used to seeing my own weaknesses that I can offer insights into overcoming them.
Why let the inner critique strangle my voice, when a fellow NOOB might finally hear something in a way that sinks in?
With an adamant admission that I’m a novice, I promise you, my audience of four, that if something clicks, I’ll blog it. If something rings true, I’ll amplify that noise on the interwebs.
And if my advice makes you the next Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling…
Then that’s pretty cool. (Man…I really wanted to think of a really poetic “then.”)
In conclusion…ah, screw the conclusion. I’m done.