18 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I have blogging for a long time but always felt like I wasn’t actually “writing” until one day I realized…yes, I am. Your writing blogs are so encouraging! Thank you!

  2. this post is exactly why i fucking love your ass. you’ve always tweeted me such lovely things and always answered all my mushy lovey dovey emails. and your books rock. i feel so encouraged all of the sudden.

    p.s. i love the name of this blogger’s website. i am so excited to bookmark and read. you’ve got a new fan, s.i.!!!!

  3. I have a blog, but it’s not real writing any more than Tibetan drunken slap-fighting with my idiot friends is “Olympic-class sport.” I do it to amuse me, and if anyone driving by happens to get a chuckle or an itch to raise an eyebrow or maybe a deep and consuming need to hang the bird and scream “SHUT UP, YOU MORON!”, then We Are Pleased.

    This is not apologizing for whatever it is that I do — it’s just objective acceptance that what I do ain’t all that much.

    And “monetize”? Man, I ain’t never monetized nuthin in my entire life. I bet it requires special pants.

    Good to have you back.

    B

  4. You’re so right about this. I also think that there’s a related problem here, which is that many people don’t really understand the idea of writing as a career if you’re not doing it in an office Monday-Friday, 9-5. I’ve been a freelancer since 2003, making nearly the same salary that I did at my last 9-5 office job, without having to serve on any “continuous quality improvement” committees! Yet now that my youngest child has started kindergarten, I have been asked repeatedly when I am going “back to work”–by people who have been hearing about my work for the last 8 years. My conclusion is that they just don’t really get how writing can be a “real” job.

  5. Sigh. I have about four or five blogs in different states of abandonment and I DREAM of someone happening by one of those sites, even if only to yell at me. And I’m ONLY posting this because in real life I am a Continuous Quality Improvement expert for the government.

    Sigh.

  6. Here’s what’s weird: I am a writer/editor for a major bank; I’m part of a team that writes and edits all the words on said bank’s ginormous website. So it literally says “Writer/Editor” on my business card, and yet? I don’t consider this “legitimate” writing. What am I writing? Instructional text for people who want to make a credit card payment? FAQs about mortgages? WHO CARES?

    I LONG for the day when I have enough time away from said “real” job to spend doing what *I* consider “legitimate” writing (can I possibly use more quotation marks? Bleh) like my blog and the series of children’s books I’ve written and am too chickenshit to submit to agencies.

    All this to say that I completely agree with you: Legitimate writing is whatever gets your true voice out there. My job pays me handsomely, but that doesn’t, to me, make it legitimate writing. It just pays the bills. And that’s really awesome, but it ain’t everything, at least not for a writer.

  7. I think your response was very thoughtful. And friendly…in a between-the-lines and this-is-for-your-own-good kind of way. With a helpful dose of shaking. I needed that.

    I found your website after randomly picking up Why Girls Are Wierd at Barnes and Noble, and have been a fan ever since, which must have been after the Chick Click days. I went to see you at a reading in San Francisco once. We took a picture together and you were so nice. Unfortunately, I was awkward, because I was shy and geeking out from meeting pamie.com!

    Anyway, thanks so much you for your reply. Everything you said is so right on and encouraging and the the kick in the ass I needed. Next time I write to you I will be loud and proud, and the next time I go to one of your readings, hopefully I can do more than giggle nervously.

  8. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement… it helped me finish an entry I’d been working on for a while now.

    You really are quite skilled at expressing thoughts with words pamie.com… have you thought about writing for a living? ;-)

  9. Thanks Pamie and s.i.

    I love blogging and I have a lot of fear and embarrassment around it! I agree that if you enjoy it you shouldn’t be apologetic about it, so thank you for saying that.

    I’m very new to being a blogger but have been reading pamie.com since the Squishy days. The thing that keeps me blogging is that I love it and that I hope to get better and find my voice, as you say.

    You just answered a lot of my questions about blogging. I needed the encouragement!

    And this made me giggle: “Actually, I was a web diarist. We didn’t have the word “blog” yet.”

  10. This is great advice, Pam. My only issue with having a blog (or two) is that blogging is often far easier and more fun than other writing that I want to do, and should be doing. It can be a distraction and, for somebody as gifted in the fine art of procrastination as me, this can cause me problems.

    Mind you, the entire interweb is a distraction. I should be writing something else right now, and instead I’m reading and posting here. GAH!

  11. When my first child was about 11 months old and taking her first steps, my friend asked if she was walking yet. “No,” I told her, “she takes a few steps and falls down.”

    She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Dude, that’s called WALKING. What, you think she has to go into the kitchen, get you a beer and bring it back to you before you’ll say she’s walking?”

    This post reminded me of that. Thanks!

    • pamie

      That is awesome. I’m sure I’d be the same way. “Well, she’s mostly stumbling, but I have high hopes she’ll figure it out.”

      • pamie

        (I mean, to be honest, taking a few steps and then falling down is something I do at some point almost every month, so it’s not like I’ve mastered the whole “walking” thing, either.)

  12. Nice Jarina

    Pam, you’re still one of my favorite authors.

    I am trying not to sound all fanatic-psycho here, but thank you. I wish my blog has a new name…Its name sucks.

    But yes, thank you for this and thank you, SI for asking the question.

    I mean, we all got to start somewhere eh? :) If not, why not write just for own self! It’s such a good outlet!

  13. Just wanted to say that after the plethora* of writing-related posts on your blog over the past month-ish, I was inspired to dust off a blog I’d set up on tumblr last year and promptly abandoned, because, oh, you know, the usual “I’m not a writer” and “I’m not good at this” and “this is stoopid…I’m stoopid” blah blah self-deprecation-cakes blahblah.

    I finally decided: SO WHAT!? So what if my blog is random, and disorganized, and poorly written, and has punctuation (and paragraph breaks) in all the wrong places? So what if I write 10 posts one day, and then nothing for a month? So what if nobody reads it? or everybody reads it and they hate it? I mean, who do you think you are, Pamie? the Bloggess? NO, you’re not. But that’s … OK! I’ve given myself permission to do something that others are better at and, more importantly, stop *caring* that others are better at it. (I didn’t stop taking photos with my crappy camera just because Ansel Adams existed.)

    I want … no, NEED a place I can fill with all the random crap I can’t put on Facebook because I have too many work friends and am constantly self-censoring because I’m afraid it will get back to the wrong person and I’ll be fired. I NEED a place where I can just be me and swear and drink and smoke (figuratively speaking) without worrying about whose delicate sensibilities I’m offending by not being genteel and ladylike. I NEED a place where I can just let loose and let it OUT. (“IT” being the voices in my head who are constantly reminding me that there “is no Dana, only Zuul.” Shut up, voices. I got it. Next topic.)

    I hold back all day at work. I hold back at night on Facebook. This will be my escape, my outlet, my “I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!” bloggy blog. And fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.**

    So, from now on, whenever I comment on someone’s blog, and there is a space for a “Website”, I will proudly type my tumblr address in there. Because…well, why the hell not.

    * plethora means “three”, right?

    ** apologies for being a little rant-y and swear-y. I tend to get that way when I’m feeling “empowered.” Or, you know, “hungry.”

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