It’s My Blog and I’ll Judge if I Want to

So, what is this blog about, anyway? Before I can dive in and start posting about the million topics bouncing around in my head, I feel I need sort of a mission-statement type post. Here goes:

I am a writer. I know, duh, right? I have wanted to be a writer since I was old enough to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Little did I know then, a writer is not really something you can become. You either are or you aren’t. Lucky for me, I was born the former. However, having the right tools to do a job does not make one a professional. I may have been born a writer, but before I can call myself one, I have to actually write something. That is the purpose of this blog. This blog is a vehicle in which my talents, thoughts, opinions, and experiences can cruise the carpool lane, hopefully all the way to the bank.

I feel the need to clarify, I am no writing virgin. Of course, I have written before. I have written papers and other school assigned pieces, mostly in high school, but I did take a few college composition classes. As a teenager, I fancied myself a poet, but I always hid or destroyed my work because I felt it was too personal to share. I’ve written letters, a few speeches, and of course emails. I helped my six year-old niece, Rachel, write a fairy tale just a few weeks ago. I’ve started two books. I used to have a blog on a social networking site. (I am not saying where, but some of my friends will remember. Note to self: blog post idea – a visit to my dormant account and my past self.) But my most creative writing in the past few years can be found in one place: my facebook status updates.

The idea for this blog came to me last week. I saw a meme on facebook that annoyed me. (Trust me, it was stupid, but I will blog about that particular meme later.) I often post observations on my status updates, about everything from relationships to current events. Here is an example:

This update is one of many “I hate it when…” or “I think it’s funny that…” updates I’ve posted. Some are witty, some lean more toward incendiary, but they are all true, at least in the sense that they reflect my personal views. I once posted that I was tired of my news feed being clogged up with complaints, to which I got a comment saying, “So you are complaining about the complaining?” I responded the only way I could: “Touché.”

This exchange came to mind as I began to type up a staus about the annoying meme. Was I being too judgmental in my observations? Who appointed me to be the social police? Was I being a hypocrite, in the sense that by deeming so many people and their actions annoying, I myself had become annoying? Should I keep my opinions to myself and mind my own business?

Hell, no. Where is the fun in that? I did, however, decide to change my outlet. And that is how Tiny Irony was born. In fact, even the name “Tiny Irony” is a direct response to the meme-which-must-not-yet-be-named. (It is also a reference to the fact that I do consider myself a bit of a “skinny bitch.” Although I may easily intimidate with words, I am actually very meek physically and a threat to no one besides exceptionally weak midgets.)

This blog gives me freedom my facebook page just cannot offer. Here I can be (almost) uncensored in what I write. This is the place where I will be able to divulge why I hate people who won’t get a job, why I think stereotypes have merit, why I want to grab and shake every young unmarried mother supporting a lazy man, and why I am hesitant to call myself a feminist. I can, and will, say exactly what I think about whatever I want, just because I can. That sounds a little cocky, right? Here comes another dose of the raw, self-exposing honesty that I hope to inject into all my posts:

Hi, my name is Abby, and I am a narcissist.

I would not say that I think that I am better than other people, more like I think I am more enlightened than some people. Ok, maybe a lot of people. Even so, it’s not all about me. I know there are like-minded individuals out there. This blog is for you. It’s my way of saying, “Hang in there. We’re all in this together.”

So, whether you came to Tiny Irony by way of my facebook page or other means, I welcome you to my blog. I encourage you to like my posts when you agree and comment and tell me why when you don’t. I am not only wanting to get my writing out there, but I would also like to form relationships with other bloggers. I challenge anyone who reads this (or any other post I make) and thinks, “Yes!” to follow my blog via email. If you have a blog or posts with content you think I will enjoy, by all means, leave me a link.

Now that I’ve stated what this blog is about, back to that meme…

Disarming the Bomb – The Courage in Hitting Publish

Sometimes when I watch the flicker of the cursor on a blank page, I cannot help but hear the time ticking away to its rhythm, tick-tock, tick-tock. I created this blog three days ago, but I have been impotent in all my attempts at a first post. I spent hours deciding which hosting site to use, trying out different themes, and googling blogging tips–otherwise known as procrastinating.  Yet, when it came time to write, which is what I love to do, my one true passion, I could not perform. Tick-tock. What happens when the time runs out?

The bomb goes off, of course. The only other possible meaning (in my head) is that the cookies are done, but you are more likely to see an explosion than me baking, so for me, the timer is always a connected to a bomb. Of course, no one gets hurt if I don’t post anything. In fact, no one is really affected but me. Besides, the bomb has a failsafe. I can stop the cursor and pause the timer, simply by shutting my laptop and ending my writing session. No harm done. No chance of being subject to rejection, ridicule, or attacks by the grammar police due to silly typos. No risk taken. Nothing to fear. Now, we have discovered the power source of the bomb and what keeps that cursor ticking — fear.

Fear is the father of all excuses. Fear keeps us stagnant. Fear fosters weakness and murders passion.  Fear will cripple our dreams, and worst of all, fear will make us think it was our idea.  So how do we overcome it?  How does one disarm the bomb?

To overcome fear, you must first identify it then acknowledge it. This is really easy for a writer to do. I’m going to do it right here, right now:

I am afraid people won’t like what I write.

Whoa.  Did I really just say that? Did you see what I did there? I identified the specific fear that was keeping me from writing and acknowledged it in less that ten words. Fear of rejection is my greatest fear, but fear of failure or fear of public speaking could be yours. Luckily, all three of these fears have the same weakness, and that weakness is something everyone has in their arsenal:  courage.

All it takes to flush out fear and disarm the bomb is courage. Just typing, “I am afraid,” is easy, the hard part comes when I hit “publish.” Putting myself out there is a risk. There will always be people out there who will not like me, but I hope to find that even some of those who do not like my content or style will appreciate my honesty. It takes courage to be honest, and honesty generates loyalty. Loyalty means more readers. It would easy to pretend to write ironically and that I am above wanting readers. It takes courage to admit that I am writing for a purpose. I am writing because I love it, but also because I would like to one day make money doing what I love.

With two statements, one acknowledging the fear that was getting in the way of my writing and one stating the purpose of my writing, I have disarmed my bomb, and I am almost ready to publish this post. Yet, the cursor is still blinking. I thought the bomb was disarmed? The thing is, I can only temporarily shut it down. Fear will come creeping back, in the form of feedback and comments and new posts, but after I have wrangled it once, I can do it again. And again. And again. For the rest my life, I will battle and dance with fear, until we are more friends than adversaries. One day, the timer really will run out, and I will thank fear for motivating me to have the courage to hit “publish” this first time.