What People Like (Day 334)

Yesterday's Sunday Complaints blog had triple the traffic of my previous 5 blogs. 

It seems people love complaining and reading about complaining! They also love:

  • Giveaways (I have a giveaway on this blog from 2004 which is my most trafficked post month after month)
  • Circumcision (I wrote about circumcision in 2012 and this is my second most popular post)

I do not aspire to write about any of these things on the regular. I am not planning on ever going back to the land of being a "blogger" with giveaways and media kits (not that I was very good at it in the first place). And my days of circumcision writing ended with my son's circumcision, so that's off the table. Complaining is ALWAYS on the table; but not as like a primary focus. I think everything I write always has undercurrents of complaining--that's what brings the (dark, sad) comedy and the conflict to keep you all reading. 

What I do aspire to write about is complicated and not always clear to me. This will always be my struggle. There are days when I am so clear-headed and focused and I know what sort of writer I am. Then other days, I have absolutely no idea. Part of my interior confusion comes with the collusion of writing for other people (you know to like earn money) and writing for myself (you know to like feed my artist soul). 

This collusion is sometimes a train wreck--and there have been many dry years when I felt like I could not write for myself--years when I felt so embroiled in my public relations work that there was no space for an opinion of my own. Other times when I felt scared to write how I was really feeling--for a myriad of reasons, naming being judged or blacklisted to fired. 

I was probably being dramatic. But, some days the truth I want to write isn't very pretty. Somedays, I write things that scare me a little. Other days, I write things that I know are judged. And days like today, I sit at my desk until 10pm, thinking about who I am and what I should do next in my writing career. 

I know that I am currently creeping close to the point that requires me to jump off the diving board or cry and beg for a life guard to lower me in the water or to simply turn around and get off the board. 

I am really want to jump. But I am not fully ready, yet. 

I am writing my book about my life as an IEP mom. I want to pitch some editorial and feature work.  And I still want to get my graduate school application in for science and medical writing--if only to know that I did it.  There is a tiny part of me aching to go back to public relations. Then another tiny part of me secretly looking for stringer or reporter work. And then, of course, the entrepreneur in me is asking myself constantly: "What do people like?"

I know art and creative writing should not necessarily be created with an end reader in mind. But, I've worked in marketing and communications for too long--everything I do is created with an end reader in mind. Writing in Yoke everyday is the closest I've gotten to writing freely, while still publicly. I have my private writing scattered about everywhere--in Notes on my phone, in Word docs, on scraps of paper, in my calendar, on post-it notes and sometimes scribbled on a gas receipt at a stop light. I am raw in those scraps. When I get here, I am a little less raw. 

And what people like is often not what I need to say. But, that's okay. Because while I know people like Giveaways and Circumcisions, the fact that they like my list of complaints, also leads me to believe that people like relating to other people. Complaints are one of the best ways to relate--as is strife and sorrow and horror and terrible things. It is harder to relate to beautiful things--and big successes--but the hard stuff, well, it is both easy to align in that realm and necessary when building community and relationships. 

I am rambling now (I am definitely a rambling writer). I've gotten way off track.  I don't have anything tidy to end this with--but I am sure glad I have this place to get some words on the page and ramble (and complain).