For a little more than a year, I have been immersed in the study of things I traditionally despise. Things I have long avoided like the plague. Things I suck at. You know, dumb little things like marketing, list building, sales funnels, social media, web development...
(How's that working out for ya? Yeah, what I thought.)
A few of the courses have been up my alley. I actually enjoy making videos, and this week I discovered Canva. Oooooh...shiny. I have been tinkering with the graphics for my impending online courses for days now. It appeals to the wanna-be-visual-artist in me who can draw a mean stick-figure, but that's about it. My inner child still loves to color, so she goes squeee over a program that does the genius-work-I-suck-at for me.
Know what else I traditionally suck at? Blogging.
AND THAT'S BULLSHIT.
Who says I have to compose 1-3 blog posts per week that all revolve around the Single Solitary Subject of the Scheme dictated by my bloody Editorial Dominatrix (a.k.a Calendar)? How is the Mercorn Unimaid going to pick A scheme? Not possible unless I want to juggle five different blogs for the five different people who live in this body. I already require clones that have, thus far, avoided materializing into my life.
Who says I have to let each draft ferment for a day or two, and publish them that week in a consecutive manner that makes sense and corrals people into whichever paid content I'm currently advertising?
That doesn't work for me and it really doesn't work for my Muse. You know what else doesn't work for us? Trying to concoct the almighty **Free Value In Every Post**- BING! - **Insert Heart Eyes & Bulging Bicep Emojis Here!**
**Insert 100% Emoji**
Yeah, I got an emoji for ya. Two of 'em. Matched.
Because I'm a dancer and currently, that is my main project. But the primary ways that I am inspired to Provide Value don't occur to me on a bullet-listed blog. I have all sorts of ideas that will be seamlessly created during the videoing process of my courses, and yeah, I'll diligently apply them to my herd-funnel.
But trying to muster up dance tips on this page just because dance is the medium of my upcoming launch has been worse than yoinking nose hairs.
So during this type of season, how am I supposed to maintain that almighty consistency? I've almost scrapped this entire endeavor multiple times with a shrug and a "meh" that blogging just isn't my jam. Besides, aren't blogs going through as massive a change as the publishing industry itself? As a society, we are losing the rapidly antiquating art of legit reading. All I could think was why bother?
Then I sent one of my short stories to a friend the other day after we spoke about a movie-scene-magic incident that happened to me in my early 20s. The tale was published by Crystal Bridges in an anthology compiled for a writing series they offered with the Village Writing School a few years ago. Before I forwarded it to my friend, I reread it to see if there were any last-minute tweaks I wanted to make.
At that moment, it occurred to me with the appropriate **BING** and bicep emoji: I have tons of Free Value sitting right here in my Scrivener folders, and I DO NOT CARE that my way of delivering it swims upstream from everything They say I should be doing if I ever want anyone to read it, because if I continue to be uninspired, there will be nothing to read. I also don't care if it doesn't directly correspond to my launch.
In my world, it's all interwoven anyway.
Because I'm not just a dancer. I'm the WRITEY-fighty-dancer, so why in the bleep am I waiting to share my best tales just because they're not encapsulated in a way people will pay me for? Why am I waiting for the day I will corral my non-book-length stories into an editorial calendar because The Almighty Publishing Miracle finally occurred?
I have a perfectly good platform with a miraculous Publish Now button right here, and I have a crap-ton of tales collecting dust in my hard drive.
And I don't just mean the current doings that are a documentation of my creative process, because that's what proper Content Creators are supposed to do.
I mean the biggies.
The ones that I've been trying to wrangle into actual books for years. But that hasn't happened either, so fuck it.
It's like the cautionary piece about saving the super-special rose-shaped candle for some extraordinary occasion and it gets melted in the storage shed on a hot summer day. It's the never-used wedding china that waits for some grand event and gets broken on a "regular ole" Christmas when Uncle Eddy's asshole dog Snotz crashes into the hutch while trying to eat a squirrel.
I've said it a gazillion times since my Rebirth Day, when my old life ended at the hands of a drunk driver: I could be dead tomorrow.
Or so could you.
"The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream."
Hoarding my best stuff for that "book I'll write someday" feels like a step toward a regretful grave--which goes against my #1 purpose for writing about my personal life and actually sharing it: because I want to provide a living example of how to croak with as few regrets as possible.
I want, more than anything, to LIVE with as few regrets as possible, so today I'd like to invite you to eat brunch off my china.
Why? Because you're here.
Just like I lost interest a few years ago in commercially producing the dance video projects I yearn & burn to create--nope. I just want to make dancey art and post it to YouTube, and if something comes of it, great. Well, today I want to make nerdy-wordy art and post it to my blog the way my mother leaves random art projects on trails around town for anybody who happens to stumble by.
There are things I will charge money for. But not this, not today.
Sometimes I'm an extra-big dork, and it takes me a minute to realize how valuable something is because I look at it every day--more like, it takes someone else's reaction when they enter my home and see what's covered in dust on those old bookshelves because I've been focused on overhauling my new dance studio. It's probably the slovenly little cousin of "Who would ever wanna hear about anything your stupid arse has to say?" You know, that internal monologue that shrugs about some of my doings because to me, it's...meh. It's just my life. It's what I do.
But somebody literally stopped in his tracks to gawk after a comment I tossed out yesterday. "You have a torn meniscus and so you've slowed down to ONLY FOUR different martial arts you're currently studying?"
The look on his face warranted an exclamation point at the end of that question. (I love me some interrobang, and do you think you can stop me?!)
The way my other friend sat in rapt attention as I told him the Sparknotes version of the tale I later sent him only adds credence to this realization: I'm a blue-haired, brain-damaged, belly dancing black belt. (And sometimes a babbling, bumbling baboon.)
Say that five times fast.
I guess maybe my life and the entertainment value, the momentary escape from your own life, the insights a storyteller can provide without purposefully contriving a bolded, bulleted list of Dos and Dont's for easily-digested-commute-content...I guess maybe that has a value of its own.
As I consider this re-retweaked approach to my trusty old attempts to bloggedly Double-Dutch, the valid objections--*cough*--bullshit excuses steamroll me like my BJJ instructors.
ALWAYS ADD VALUE, YOU SELF-INDULGENT SLACKER:
--Your little stories are not "Top 10 Ways to Crochet Your Nose Hair Into A Cat-Sweater."
--Your musings and memories are not "5 Ways You're Living Wrong."
--Your expository excrement is not "3.46 Ways I Can Show You How to Do It Right" with a link to "1001 Ways You Can Pay Me to Show You How to Do It Even Right-er."
OK, so I write in an old school medium called coarse, blunt, and sometimes vulgar prose, rather than bullet lists. And yes, I do use the semicolon; you still can't stop me. Will anybody even read what I write in this world of skimming and swiping? I skim. A LOT. But usually because I'm hunting for a tool or insight I don't already have, not because I'm curling up to go on an adventure. DIY manuals and bolded, bullet-ized smoke-break snacks are not the type of value I'm inspired to offer in this medium.
Then again, when have I ever appealed to the masses, except for those three days twelve years ago when that one DVD came out?
So today I'm going to leave you with a tale that is dear to my heart. Let me transport you back in time to 1997 where an Irishman, a Viking, and a belly dancer walk into a bar...
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Hmm...does this post, in fact, constitute the documentation of my creative process? Am I actually doing what I'm supposed to do, but must pretend that I'm not because I'm the writey-FIGHTY-dancer - a contrary, interrobanging Sag, and you can't tell me what to do?!
Well, I still haven't established a consistent weekly rhythm yet, so there!
(Yep. I make myself tired, too.)