All Apologies

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“I wish I was like you,  easily  amused. Find my nest of salt,  everything is my fault.” – Kurt Cobain

I’m sorry for what you’re about to read. This isn’t funny or even terribly interesting. But, it is honest. So, if you don’t like it, at least I didn’t lie.

I apologize a lot. That is to say, people who know and tolerate me think I apologize too much. I call it self-awareness and kindness and being well-mannered.

In separate incidents, I recently discovered that there’s a negative opinion of what I do online; blogging, social media, writing a book. It’s easy to say “screw them and keep doing what you do”, but I know that even among fellow writers, bloggers, twitter followers, and the Facebook friends, the fourth wall known as “real life versus online life” makes criticism from “real life” sting. While I’m internally proud to fly my freak flag on My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog, the more I put my byline out there, especially through Sprocket Ink and guest blogging for more popular authors, I’m feeling external pressure. A woman approached me at my gym, said she knew a friend of mine, and began conversing about the Taste Like Bigotry column I wrote for Sprocket that got a thousands of views and almost 50 comments. She disagreed, but was very nice and quite civil. Her biceps were bigger and better than mine so I wished her a good day and started killing myself on the bench press. It was the first time I was “recognized” away from the computer.

Not being obsessed with fame or money through my writing has allowed me a great deal of freedom. When my novel is printed, I don’t even have a goal for copies read or sold. But I feel the need to apologize because I don’t view this blog or my twitter and Facebook as ways to “brand” myself. The phrase “hell, everyone’s writing a book” doesn’t feel like it belongs on me. I’m writing for myself. In fact, I’m sick of editing. I think I should stop taking advice and critiques and just get it out there. Don’t freak out Marian, Cameron, or of course, my wife, The Bobina, Deana. I’ll do it the right way.

What I’m really afraid of is having to promote myself and anything I do. A few tweets and the Facebook posts are enough for me. So, I’m apologizing for not being ambitious with this blog or anything I write away from this place. Hits are down because I’ve been concentrating on the book and real life stuff like being a husband and father. Plus, these four women have been busy this summer and relatively boring because they’ve been too good.

The top search term for My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog is “Kurt Cobain sycophant”. I’m considering having that put on my headstone. It’s taken me twenty years to figure out why I relate to and understand so much as to who Kurt was and went through. He didn’t feel normal. He didn’t like whatever everyone else enjoyed. He didn’t think artists were greater than average people. He hated fame. I feel the same. I don’t know if he would have liked my writing, but I love his music.

August will be about finishing The Ballad of Helene Troy for publication in September, hopefully early in the month. Millicent the serial killer will get a lot more exposure. Leeroy will continue to rock 100 word song, please tell a friend or 50. And we’ll visit Jake and Violet until they’re finished. The kids are headed back to school and two of my three daughters have birthdays in the next six weeks. I’ll try to fit it all into blog fodder.

But, I’m sorry. I do wish I was like you, easily amused. My nest of salt is writing this blog, and reading your hits and comments. Oh, and Kurt was right…..everyone is gay.

28 thoughts on “All Apologies

  1. Oh dammit, just STOP it right now – the apologizing, I mean. You have no need to from where I stand. People can criticize all they like. If they don’t enjoy your writing, so be it. It’s a free internet, they don’t have to read it.

    Brand, no brand, who cares? You write a good book, you tell some people, they tell some people, and off you go. You’re not going to force anyone to buy your book – I can already see that’s not your style. What you’ve got are avid (rabid?) fans who will share for you. That’s the power of social media. YOU yelling about YOU doesn’t need to happen because you have true online friends who want you to succeed.

    Looking forward to the book, and if your blog is quiet for awhile as you finish it, I will certainly understand.

    eden

  2. Lance, I consider you my friend not because I enjoy your writing, or because of your vast knowledge of all things music, though both of those are also true. You’re my friend because of your honesty. You are true to yourself, and that shows in everything you do. If only we could all live that way. Don’t ever apologize for being you.

  3. Bravo, dear. I think I may have felt a twinge of inadequacy for a millisecond many, many months ago for being a subpar blogger and self-brander. And then I remembered. That’s not my goal. It’s someone else’s goal. Other people want to make names for themselves as bloggers. And so they have protocol and steps and rules and things that seem so bizarre to me. I actually stumbled across someone’s blog once, and I wish I could find it, but she actually had written a list of things she needed to do to get..,.. well.,.. I guess “blog famous.” She had written things like, “only comment on popular blogs.” and “Only comment when it includes a link back to your blog.” And on and on it went. I’ve read articles and discussions with the same overtones. Honestly, the whole thing feels like an Amway convention. It’s strange to me. I am a writer. I write because I love words. I write because I know I am a kickass writer. I have known I am a kickass writer since I was 5. I don’t need people to tell me that, although it does feel good when they do. I don’t need to be blogfamous to be a kickass writer. I don’t even need a computer to do what I love. And to do it every day. The ONLY reason I blog is because I enjoy the company. Seriously. It’s the truth. If I could invite a bunch of you guys over to my house for a few hours every week and we could sit in the living room drinking scotch and swap stories, I wouldn’t need to blog. I love writing. I love writing with people who love writing. I love writing with people who love writing and have just as many social neuroses and quirks and idiosyncracies as I do. It doesn’t make me feel less weird, it just reminds me that my weird fucking rocks. I don’t need a blog to write just like I don’t need a bed to have sex…. it just makes it a little more convenient ;-) Do you know why it annoys people when you apologize? Because everyone else knows you haven’t got anything to apologize for.

  4. Have fun with this. I am not saying that you aren’t, just saying if you have fun then things have a way of working out. The question I ask is what do you need to do to have fun. Once you know that answer things move along, or so I have experienced.

    I may not always comment, but I come by here more than you probably realize. Keep going.

  5. “He didn’t feel normal. He didn’t like whatever everyone else enjoyed. He didn’t think artists were greater than average people. He hated fame.”

    Minus the last part, as I’ll never experience fame unless I get hit in the head with a meteorite, this is me to a T. Perhaps that’s why we’re friends. We’re both humble weirdos with no regard for societal expectations and a love of sport and words. Anyway, I do think everyone’s writing a book, but I also don’t think anything’s wrong with that. If it’s good, people will know. If it’s not, at least it got written, at least all those words were created and shared.

    “I’m apologizing for not being ambitious with this blog or anything I write away from this place.” Umm…me again. I’ve been going through this a lot lately, as it seems everyone is self-hosted, making money with ads, getting these great gigs that I have no idea even existed, etc. I apologize-mostly to myself-for not being able to do more, for not marketing or making it more than just a hobby. But you know what? Sometimes that’s life. You just keep doing what makes you happy–online and off–and make no apologies for the way that path takes you.

    As long as you don’t go down the same path as Cobain, it’s safe to say all will work out. No apologies ;)

    P.S. Sorry I rambled and that this is so long.

  6. You should go back to writing for you. Write what you enjoy. You are an amazing writer.. Dont let people change your blog into what they want it to be. I am proud of you for how hard you work on your book and your blog. I am even more proud that you do all of this and still make time for me…

  7. You never have to be sorry for who you are. Your writing is yours and if you’re happy with it, tell the haters to ‘bite me.’ Big difference in helping edit, and trying to tear you down. Seriously, enjoy the ride. Throw your hands up and laugh your head off, it’s all good

  8. No apologies needed. Do your thing, your way, it’s what makes you appealing. You write, I read, you publish, I’ll read and I shout it out. There, publicity. ;)

    there are haters everywhere. No one knows this better than I do. I use a freaking pseudonym for crying out loud. Do your thing, be happy. That’s all that matters.

  9. Anything that starts with Cobain is fine by me. I feel like Kurt and I woulda been friends had we ever met. Maybe you would hang with us, too? Rainey

  10. I love this. And I totally identify, but that’s why we’re virtual friends isn’t it?

    However, someone once gave me the advice to stop apologizing all the time and just own myself, my thoughts, my feelings and actions. I would feel remiss by not saying it. Save the apologies for when you screw something up or do something wrong.

  11. I don’t know what SAM is talking about – I use MY real name – Purplemoose – everywhere I go. Wha? You don’t believe me?

    Yeah, and your whites are brighter than mine, too.

    My biceps might be bigger, but that is mostly flab, so you’re safe.

    Who loves ya man? We do – so write on, right on, ride on, and when you apologize know that you are being channeled by me lately, so sorry.
    :)

  12. Marian is right about eden being right, and I would have said so similarly to her. But I would have never used the word “tarnation” when doing so.

    Stop apologizing, and keep writing man!

  13. Hmmm… no apologies needed, I think we all write for what it does for us, and with you taking it to the next level and writing a book, it may or many not take off, either way you have done it, which is amazing, and I am gonna read it for sure.

    I never really identified with Cobain, but I sure admired his artistry and integrity.

    And I just wish everyone was gay….

  14. Lance, I’m positive I don’t go about writing, blogging, branding, tweeting…whatevering the *right* way. But there really isn’t one. Only your way for you, my way for me. That’s the beauty of it. Never stop having fun or lose your passion and the rest will be just fine, even if, or maybe because you never say sorry again.

  15. Seems a number of us are these types of moments around the blogging cooler. Shit, I almost quit writing altogether! Don’t apologize for doing what you do. Just do it because you have to, because you want to, because it’s a catharsis. We’ll still be here.

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