Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Take That Down, You're Killing Me.

Woe-is-me, I can't stand the pain. I could of had a V8. The things I do that makes me wanna holler.

As a would-be, wannabe, storyteller, writer and author, I've often laid pen to paper, and came away with a masterpiece. But upon further examination, it was garbage. I mean, it all made sense in my head, but it didn't make it to paper. I wonder if other writers have experience that same dilemma? I wonder how many times bloggers have deleted a post, or have gone back in their files and edited a few.

They say a person learns how to be a better writer by reading the works of other authors. On the flip side, when I read some of my past scribblings, I've learned that I have not arrived. Heck, I am not even in the ball park, not to mention the playing field.

There's so many elements to writing a good piece. Well, first and foremost, I think it's important to know ones audience. That's tricky in the blog world, because finding a crowd or a niche could pigeon hole a person to be nothing more than a bullpen for like thinking individuals. Well, I can't do that because that's like having clowns on the left of me and jokers on the right. Then I am stuck in the middle with me, myself and I. Personally, I believe that's a terrible place to be. I like to mix it up.

More importantly, the cadence of writing is totally different than speaking. When I talk or give a speech, I can jump between thought, using voice inflection and various tones to transend between each separate idea and/or thought. Also, I can open a topic with something that has nothing to do with the central issue other than to set a tone or comfort the crowd with laughter. This writing thing is totally different. A quick 30 second sound bit could take 250 words if written on paper. Then I ve taken the risk of losing the reader. We live in a day of instant access and most readers (of blogs) want to get in and get out. Woe-is -me, what am I do to?

My discomfort continues when I try to decide if I am writing a post designed to seek comments or if I am simply telling a story. As I've said many times, if a person's main goal is to receive a gaggle of comments, there's certain ways to do that. Hell, there's advice columns/blogs that outlines that slippery task. Subject matter like celebrity gossip is a draw. Beating down men is always a hot topic. Nudity riding shotgun with the opening title is sure to get a few hits. I mean, I am frequently torn between moving a message or writing for some sense of relief or simple self expression. In the end, the only thing I really know is that some of my stuff... suck!

Have you ever deleted a post after publishing it? Or, have you put in hours writing a post, yet eventually scraping it? Take me out of my misery and tell me that you've done all of the above.


Anna Renee said...

Hi Carey! I feel that I'm a much better writer than speaker. It takes me a while to put it together on paper (blog) but once I do I release it. I like to switch between "ebonics" and "regular english" as a device to express myself. I think I'm good, (I could be wrong) because I've worked in a library 15 years and a bookstore 10 years. I've read many many books and it helps me I think.
I have desired many comments and constantly am looking at my feedjit and sitemeters to see who's reading. But then I have to accept that somethings I write just won't connect--people were on another blog, or the post title doesnt grab their attention. I take comfort in my posts being read at a later date. So I try to write something relevant. I have deleted a post when I realized that people actually do read and what I wrote may offend in a way I dont want to.
I write for comments and to teach and pass on info for research.
You're OK--I think many good writers are very hard on themselves. What Ive read of yours doesn't suck.
Peace to you dear writer.

A.Smith said...

I have way too many unfinished posts to count.

I get started -- and these are usually passionate posts -- get mid-way or even all the way through and realize it doesn't make sense or that I actually don't know where I'm going with it and so I save it, intending to come back, but I never do.

I'd like to think my writing has improved since I started my blog, but there are many blogs I frequent with excellent writers that let me know I have a long way to go.

What Anna Renee says is true, too. I think we're hard on our own writing. I go back and read some of my posts that folks have told me they loved and I shake my head because I can see all the things that are "horrible" about it.

Carey, I like your style -- it's definitely not something we see in the blog world with frequency. Some people may take a second to get used to it, but that's part of the appeal!

It's like beer -- an acquired taste -- unless of course you hate beer, then ignore this simile. :)

CareyCarey said...

Anna, that's very interesting, because I just added a feedjet to my blog (yesterday). I did so because I knew that post was the type that would not receive many comments. And, like you, I just wanted to see if the title was a draw and if they stayed around to read the post. I plan on dropping the feedjet. It tends (for me) to move or dictate my purpose for writing a particular post.

I am sorry I have not visited your spot. I will do so. Well, it's a po frog that doesn't brag on it's own lilly pad, and you said you are a good writer. Well hell, I'd better get over there and get some of that. I might even steal a few thangs :-)

Library and bookstore huh? Psssst, did you ever steal any books *lol*. I mean, a brotha could use a hookup.

CareyCarey said...

Okay Ms Smith, you always bring the real thang, so I am going to say thank you for your compliment. And I agree, I want to steal the writng skills of many other bloggers. However, in many cases, I'd like to keep my voice and my humor, storytelling etc,. I mean, many people are excellent writers but... you know.

You are not in it to win comments. Well, I've read all of your posts (last 6 months or so) and some only get a few replies but you continue to write. How does that work for you? A better question might be, do you have a niche topic or a set goal with your blog? I know you talk about men/relationships.

Anna Renee said...

Uh OH! Now I'm skeered! I might be a po frog on a sinking lily pad!
With my foot in my mouf! I like to THINK I can write!
I had to get used to the feedjit and it does help if you can not let it control your writing. I now only constantly look at it--before I lived on that feedjit site!
Try to keep it, it's good to have the info.
BTW, I "borrowed" books from the library and bookstore!! NOw my style of borrowing didn't involve a library card and I kept the books for weeks and weeks, but I did eventually return them! LOL
95% of them anyway! Shhhhh!
Im not in the book business anymore though, but are you familiar with the online black bookstore Mahogany Books? They are the bomb with discounts and free shipping and a very nice collection of black books. The site is very user friendly too!

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

I suffered for a second on those same thoughts Carey.
I wanted the 200 followers and 200 comments everyday.
But I was reminded that anything that comes easy is not work.
So we both must continue to hone our skills and thoughts.

A.Smith said...

I don't think there's a blogger out here who doesn't want comments. There are things that I've modified about how I do my posts to attract comments -- and that mostly came from thinking about what makes me want to comment -- cause I don't always comment on every post I read and that's for a variety of reasons, many outside the control of the blogger.

However, I keep posting because I started the blog as a way to vent. Eventually, it just became a place to discuss things I think about (and it so happens that I think about human interaction a whole lot -- and apparently I'm at a point in life where it's mostly of the romantic/intimate variety...).

What really got me to a point where I stopped thinking about comments was 2-fold. 1, when I added a site meter to my page. I was amazed at how many unique visitors I get. Folks don't comment, but they do read it and I think ultimately that's really what I want -- for people to read what I write and take something from it to help themselves. 2, my guest posts on other blogs with frequent commenters always get lots of comments -- so it's not my writing, it's just exposure.

I don't publicize my blog much. No facebook, I occasionally link on twitter... what readers I do have have come from people stumbling on the blog via google search (that site meter also will show you what google searches led people to you -- there's been some wacky stuff for mine) or from my comments on other blogs.

One more thing... I've been hit with a lot of inspiration to use to write in the last few days -- but before this week, I was posting very sporadically. You lose people that way and to keep people, you have to be regular with it. I'm not in a position to be that regular with my posting, so I'd rather not have a lot of comments than feel beholden to a group. I think about blogs I frequent with lots of commenters: they post every day, and when they don't, people notice. That's a lot of expectation I don't want just yet. :)

FreeMan said...

When I shut down the FreeMan Press the first time I deleted like 40 unplublished posts because I was tired of them. Sometimes it's like I learn something midstream and my old words don't fit my current understanding.

Writing is limited and has to be hard hitting. Speech can build and convey so much more while keeping everyone entertained. In other words Words are the Raw and Speech can be quite entertaining. Some things I write people say it's funny but most of the time that's when I am writing exactly how I would say it.

Either way we all pull them down, (You caught me on one that was written out of pure anger)Edit and say WTF was I thinking when I wrote that.

It's alright man you're Human! I always try to give people 3 paragraphs of power and if not one paragraph of WTF. But, that's the way I am naturally so they get what I am on every post. Sometimes it's funny sometimes it's another WTF post.

Mizrepresent said...

Whatup Carey. Well yes, i must admit i have taken down blog posts after i thought i may exposed waaaay too much of my dirty laundry then i wanted, and i didn't want comments. Sometimes i treat this blog thing as my own personal journal, but when it is public you allow others comment on your life. It's a slippery slope at times, but i deal with it. Writing the blog keeps me focused, keeps me writing, allows me the freedom to say what i want even though i am most often the most critical one of myself. I like comments, who doesn't but sometimes i just want do like they did back when columns were great an essential and just write what i want and you can believe what you want. period. Keep writing my friend, it only gets better with time and practice.

CareyCarey said...

@ Mrs. Renne, oh no, don't turn me on just to turn me off. I am coming to a swamp near you.

@ Big Mac Attack, you're a man of few words. I appreciate your words of wisdom.

@ Ms. Smith, a site meter?

@ Mizrepresents, well, of course you know where I've been and why I started this blog. Which brings me to my comment.

First, the central point of the last post (that I deleted) was that I have no secrets. I did not take it down because " "I" i may exposed waaaay too much of my dirty laundry then i wanted"

In order for me to move forward in my life, I had to shed a self image that was very destructive. Now (present), if I don't do anything wrong or have personal bad moral secrets, I do not have to look back.

I mean this. That's why I've constantly poised the question "what and why is a person afraid for others to know". It's deeper than a thought, it's an emotion that the person can not identify or runs from, ie, shame, guilt, insecurity,remorse, fear of being exposed, busting a projected image/intrensic self image,etc.

I decided the last post wasn't for a blog crowd. It was better suited for an open discussion audience. I intended it to be a way of giving something back. The poem "Misunderstood" (which many may not know), was written/inspired by you (a couple of years ago). In that poem, I was telling you and others that those that have not been down "our" path, may have us misunderstood.

Also, the deeper thought/message of that post revolved around pain. Pain comes in all flavors. It's not about drugs and alcohol. Hence, if a person finds the core issues of their problems, (which, for the most part, lies within) they may find rewards on the other side.

Side note: If a person gives a smile, they generally will receive one. Conversely, if a person shares their pain and struggles, that might inspire others to give their's away.

So my friend, I will see you later *wink*

A.Smith said...


That's the one I use, but there are plenty of "hits counters" out there...

jjbrock said...

Carey it's alright to go live with a post then think that's not what you wanted to say. And take it down.

Carey you are a great story teller...I love reading your work.

I am also a fan of Anna Renee, A Smith and especially Free Man.

I got about 50 post in draft because I can't decide how I want to present them.

One post I am working on is: Marvin Sapp is proof that gospel music is dead. And when I go live with the post. I can get ready for the hate and back lash.

Keith said...

I've written many posts and decided that maybe I was a little strong here or maybe not strong enough and scrapped them and started over...There have been some nights that I just didn't have anything and rather than force somethin out that was pure junk..I just haven't written anything or I've pulled something out of draft and ran that for the day. I write so much that I often have something in draft that hasn't been fleshed out yet...I often second guess myself..All creative people do that.