Truthfully, I nearly packed it in. I mean, I nearly gave up on posting to this blog. Not because I stopped considering myself to be a writer (that's not gonna change) but because I had drifted away from the point of blogging about my perspective as a writer. Part of the reason doesn't even have to do with anything I've done here. Readers over at Scouring Monk may or not realize (or care) that I stopped posting my Zooropa strips there. I started receiving feedback that didn't seem to realize what I've been doing with them, so I figured people were just tired of it and didn't feel like just saying so (people rarely are that direct on the Internet; we're a very passive aggressive digital community). So I just took that ball and went home. Nearly did that here, too, as a result. I got a comment from one of the Geek Twins (you can't please them
Now (here you get a new paragraph), lately Andrew has been submitting actual book talk links to the list. That's fine. I hadn't really been thinking about it that way, but I guess the whole reason I reacted the way I did was because it was basically Squid's fault for keeping all of Andrew's bad links in the list to begin with. I tend to start thinking like this. I assume Squid was fine with Andrew's antics because they actually know each other in real life. Maybe they don't. I can't keep all these relationships straight. I know Squid knows Mock, and that Andrew to me is better known as part of Pat Dilloway's dedicated circle. I know that Andrew and Squid and Mock are all teachers. Anyway, I have a history of not agreeing with Andrew's thought process (although bizarrely we sometimes randomly, completely sync up, such as our positive opinion of Saving Mr. Banks), and so that had a huge role to play in why I ended up making a comment about his Cephalopod Coffeehouse habits (at that time). When I read a blog and don't agree with their thought process, I don't feel like making a contrary comment after all their posts. I just stop reading them. No one on the Internet wants to have conversations. This is a land of histrionics and disagreements. (And cats.) Or unconditional support. Which I can't do. (This makes me a bad person in some ways.)
All this dirty laundry...This isn't the way the IWSG/A-to-Z Challenge folks (either those who participate in these things or are associated with those who do and/or have) behave toward one another. I know this. I'm a rebel with low readership. I'm talking about any of this because that's my thought process this month. This is definitely a problem for a writer working on a blog for readers who spend all their time supporting each other without really giving it a second thought. I give everything a second thought. And a third thought. And so on. I quit Squid's club, and stopped reading his blog entirely, and by the rules of reciprocity, he gave up completely on me, too. The only person who doesn't follow these rules is Pat Dilloway. I still can't explain that. Perhaps you are aware of my other great blogging faux pas from early in the year: giving Pat the silent treatment for a few months after he gave Pale Moonlight a devastating review. In fact, that's exactly what the subject was from the most recent incident I mentioned at the start of this. I know Pat's instincts pretty well at this point. I knew he wouldn't even come close to liking the book. And so it was not at all surprising that he didn't. All this time since, I've been trying to explain why it hasn't affected my creative thought process so much as my blogging experience, why I wonder why I should bother.
I blunder all the time. I can't be the shiny happy blogger. If that means I have to spend an entire IWSG post talking about matters that sometimes don't have anything to do with actual writing, then so be it. Because being a writer in this context also means being a blogger. And being a blogger has become so much more complicated since people actually started reading my material. I still don't know how that happened. I don't remember how I stumbled into Alex Cavanaugh. But then I did the A-to-Z for the first time, and suddenly I had readers, full of expectations, ones I had never even considered before. I was writing long before I had readers, but suddenly these readers are coming up with comments that aren't all that relevant to what I'm doing. I just don't get that. I get that I don't overlap in my thought process with a lot of other people. I've dealt with that my whole life. That, apparently, just is not going to change, even in the expanded pool of people available on the Internet. I get that people in the IWSG are here to support each other no matter what. But what I'd really like is someone (anyone) who gets what I'm trying to do.
And so every setback is a cause to make me insecure. So there's that tie-in with the point of this particular club. When I spend months trying to explain what Pale Moonlight is, even after the Dilloway review, and still get the comment that I should just forget it, I think that's completely beside the point. Having this blog is all about my perspective. If it's not, what's the point? I'm not here to rationalize why someone didn't like my book. I guess I'm not even here to convince anyone to read my book. I've found that just doesn't work. People read books by bloggers they like, not books they like. (Most of the time, they end up liking those books anyway. So you see why that whole thing baffled me.) I can't say things like this without alienating everyone. You guys are the definition of support. But only as long as the rules are adhered to. The people who define those rules, they have the greatest support around. Everyone loves them. They're lovable. I get that.
I kept this ball on the field, but this is to say that I'm going to play by my rules. The consequences don't really seem to matter. Bad reputation? For what? For being honest? For calling a spade a spade? In the best of all possible worlds, Candide is running around experiencing all kinds of shenanigans, and people like honesty. I don't know. It doesn't matter.