Reflections

Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #27 (The “Bit of Whining but Lots of Yearning” Version)

Note: This is one of my rare blog posts that is not so much with the funny, much more so with the heart. Please keep reading, even if that concept makes you a bit squirmy and uncomfortable…

 

Dear Diary,

It’s been 10 days since my last “Sunday in the Park” concoction. I know this makes me a bad person and people will be disappointed. (Well, at least two of them.) And it’s not like I don’t have anything to say. Anyone who knows me knows that I always have something to say, whether they want me to or not. Even when I write a post I never get everything out because I’m so full of it. The spirit of writing, that is. And a little bit of gas. After you get to my age there’s always a little bit of gas.

But even with all these words, I’m having trouble with the “Sunday” posts, even though I really want to make it a regular feature again. It’s the same situation with some of my other regular features. I haven’t done a “Friday Night Clambake” in ages, despite that being the most popular thing I was doing for a while even if I never actually baked any clams and I usually wrote them on Saturday mornings. The “Blogger Spotlight” series has been AWOL for so long that authorities might as well declare it legally dead so the survivors can collect insurance benefits.

And “The Three-Word Challenge”? Dust as well, despite the opportunity it provided to collaborate with other bloggers. (Note to self: Dig out that one post with the rules for The Challenge. Seems like it was pretty funny, and visitors to Bonnywood have been kind enough to tolerate your recycling of older posts even though it reeks of laziness.)

Actually, Dear Diary, I think I realize what my problem might be. It’s not laziness. It’s a lack of focus and time. (Fair warning: The next few paragraphs are going to reek as well, but this time with a mix of self-absorption, misperceived unappreciation, too much introspection, gay melodrama, and self-induced stress. But you already know that about me, Diary.)

You see, this blog is doing okay statistically-speaking. It is not a beacon of enlightenment or traffic, and ain’t nobody gonna want to sponsor this mess. But I do have a little bit of traction. I have some very enthusiastic and generous followers, and I have become accustomed to a certain amount of activity. And I love that activity, I really do. I enjoy interacting with everyone and seeing what they’re doing on their own blogs and finding new blogs and, in general, championing the writer community found on WordPress. I could do it all day.

Trouble is, I am doing it all day. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I’ll say at least this: It takes me hours every day just to get through all the email notifications from WordPress. I firmly believe that one should show appreciation for anything a visitor might do on your blog, so I have it set up that I get notified if someone even sneezes at a blog post. I don’t want to be that blogger who seems to take for granted the people who visit. I know how hard it is to gain a following, having done this for so many years, and I am humbled that I even have such. I visit and explore the site of every single blogger who clicks “like” or comments on one of my posts, every day.

The downside is the time element. After I do all this, coupled with the fact that I love a good writer and I can get entranced with exploring the entire backlog on certain blogs (I hope some of you have noticed my doing so), most of the day has been consumed. I often don’t have enough time to compose a fresh blog, so I resort to pulling something out of the archives, giving it a fresh coat of paint, and hoping for the best. This recycling isn’t that big of a deal when it comes to the churn with your follower list, where new folks are always joining and older folks drift away. But it feels like a cheat for those who have stuck with me through the years. The stickers deserve the very best, and I’m not giving it to them.

And then there’s the elephant in the room, at least for me. I don’t have the time to work on my books, which is the real calling for me despite the overwhelming enjoyment I get from doing this blog. When this blog had a much smaller following, I was able to write and edit and self-publish two books. (Those of you who have read my books, especially the first one, might question whether there was any “editing” done at all, a fully-justified observation.) I haven’t been able to finish a new book in years, fixated as I’ve been on the siren call of a blog where I can receive instant reaction to my little stories.

Something has to change.

Now, I’m not saying I’m leaving, withdrawing into a hermit cave where I scribble madly in the night with no social interaction. The blogging addiction is too strong. But I do need to streamline, just to free up some time and give me a sense of balance This may eventually mean fewer posts here at Bonnywood, despite my years-long championing that one should post every day, if at all possible. It’s just time for me to have more focus, more structure, more discipline. I’m still working out what that entails.

One thing that will be happening is that I’m going to start debuting the longer “Past Imperfects” here on Bonnywood rather than the “Crusty Pie” blog. Those things just pour out of me with relative ease, for some reason, and they can be quick fixes on those nights when I’m not feeling any inspiration for a more traditional Bonnywood post. In the shorter term, this means I will need to “synch up” the blogs, so some of you will be seeing “Past Imperfects” here that you just perused on “Crusty” not that long ago, rather than the six-month delay I normally give such a move. Mea culpa. In the longer term, I will still be posting shorter bits on “Crusty” that will never make it over here, so you can rest assured that following both blogs is not necessarily in vain.

Another thing that needs to happen, Dear Diary, is that I need a little feedback-

Oh, let’s be real about my true target.

Dear Reader,

I need a little feedback on what bits on Bonnywood satisfy you the most. Or don’t satisfy you. This will help me with the streamlining. Do you enjoy the “10 Reasons Why” posts? Do the “Backup Dancers” pieces annoy you? Are you the most pleased with the nostalgic, personal pieces? Do you like seeing excepts from my books-in-progress? Do any of you care for the Dr. Brian posts? More talk about movies? Less talk about politics?

Please feel free to share anything that comes to mind, as I greatly appreciate the community here, and no voice should be unheard. And I say such knowing that 90% of the people who click like on this post won’t share their thoughts at all, which is completely understandable given the slight awkwardness of the request. But I hope that a few of you will understand that I really want to keep the spirit of Bonnywood alive while still giving me the freedom to write my little books that are in woeful need of editing.

Thanks for listening.

B.

 

25 replies »

  1. You have hit upon a common problem with writers who are also bloggers. We start our blogs to introduce our works to the world, learn from other writers, make new friends and generally have a marvellous time while doing what we love. But the blogging world is HUGE. And there are SO MANY wonderful blogs and writers to grab our attention. Before we know it, blogging becomes a full time activity. And then where is the time to attend to our beloved tomes? It is a quandary. Personally, I dedicate three days a week to the blogging world (usually Tuesdays to Thursdays, but it depends on my schedule). My readers and followers have got used to this and therefore won’t feel offended if I don’t visit or comment on their blogs the other days. They know I’m just not about. They can tweet, email or Facebook me a link if there is a post they think I’ll really like. I have the WordPress app on my phone, so on non-blogging days I can check in and reply to comments here and there. The rest of my week is dedicated to writing, the peripherals of writing and publishing and, occasionally, my actual real life. This system works well for me, but everyone finds their own way of managing it. I bloody love your blog, especially the Past Imperfect posts and also your musings like this post here, it’s nice to get to know you a bit. You are doing a marvellous job, dear Brian, and I know I am not the only one who earnestly hopes you keep up the good work! Hugs from the UK 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oooh, I’m the first, I’m the first. Oohhh – I am the first – huge responsiblity, huge!!!

    Aw, crap, it’s me, lets me real I’m just going to say what I want anyways.

    Dear Brian – I think you are mad!
    In the nicest possible way mind you, but utterly mad, to be trying to keep up with (if I have the count right 3? blogs). That’s a huge ball of stress right there my friend. Of course, if you like stress, or having multiple blogs, just keep on doing what you are. If not, then perhaps a merger of some sort is in order!

    At the least I really think you might need to stop “Pavloving” to every like, or sneeze, or sniffle from 50 thousand miles away – how do you find time to eat???? Life isn’t going to reward you for all the time you are “investing” in the blog if it means that you are not actually doing what you really want to be doing, as you stated: writing your novel/s.

    On a side note: life can change direction in one stupid minute, don’t NOT do what you really want to do now, because you might not get a chance later if that minute happens.

    Content: I like most of what you write, sometimes I don’t get all the political/american/movies references – so you may notice I might give you a like – or, horror, no like at all sometimes.

    What I like the most is your inventiveness, especially in your longer pieces, in your writing. The way that you veer off somewhere I truly wasn’t expecting you to go, and how you make it seem almost inevitable that it should have gone there right from the start (if you get what I am saying).
    I LOVE you sark, your sass, your bitchy, your humour and your serious.

    I think you need to stop being superman blogger – those of use that truly appreciate you will stay even if – GOD FORBID – you only post once a week (gasp, gasp, gasp). And let’s face it – we are the best types of followers to have, we love you, we appreciate you, we know you are human and have a real life to live. All the other riff-raff just drop in now and again, fart, and off they go to somewhere else because they a have the attention span on a gnat.

    Anyway, In the end you should do what you think, (and if in doubt ask talk to your loved ones re suggestions) but you did ask, and I did speak.

    Much much love

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had blogger envy before, but I believe I may be experiencing a case of comment-envy right now. 😾

      So… ummm.. can I just jump on your marvelously written wagon and holler “What she said!!” ?
      Pretty please? I’m mostly harmless, I promise!

      Tiny little deviation due to geography – I do get the references, and as Brian well knows lots of them make me laughsnort. Coffee. And I remember the Village of the Damned to this day, not least because I had an inexplicable (to the poor bewildered staff) laughing fit at the PX when I came upon a lovingly created display … of Hallmark Houses

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay! What I like the most:

    1. Birthday posts. (Did I miss the last one? Or not ready yet?)
    2. Personal nostalgic pieces.
    3. Cat talks

    I understand why you do reposts but to me it really is cheating, in a way. They show your state of being in a past point whereas I’m interested in the here and now.

    If I piece is too long, I tend to get scared too. Just like you, I spend too much of my time reading people’s blogs and I don’t like to cheat (clicking “like” even if not read till the end).

    Occasionally I’m not interested in the subject matter so I skip it (which ones? hm… bodily functions? hahah).

    Anyway, I stopped reading you regularly because of the bulk of it and the reasons above but I still have saved the post where I stopped, should I wish to come abreast.

    I appreciate your blogging style – return visits, replies etc. – but I agree that it’s tricky for people who wish to do anything else in life. Such as write a book. Instant gratification is a heavy pull.

    Happy writing!

    Like

  4. Hi Brian. I love all that you write. You have a real gift for writing and your words are a joy to read. Your talent for comic writing is second to none.

    At the end of the day this is your blog. You should feel free to post as little or as much as you want to. Real life is much more important than the blog. So if you have stuff you need to do, you should go right ahead and just focus on that. We’ll still be here when you get back.

    If you are taking reader requests I would love more articles written by Scotch. If he has the time that is to write in between eating, sleeping, wondering why humans do the things that they do etc. 🙂

    Maddy

    Like

  5. Brian, I only “met” you and your blog a few months ago. Since then, I’ve really enjoyed the diversity of it. I never know what I’m going to find. I enjoy the dialogues and descriptions connected with old sepia photos (I’m a sucker for William Powell), I guess those are the “Past Imperfect” posts. I also enjoy your listicles (10 Reasons…), and your more personal, ruminating pieces. Mostly, I just really enjoy your voice and your humor. So, keep writing for yourself, we’ll follow along. And pace yourself as needed so you can attend to your other writing and your life outside blogging. Let it be a relaxing and enjoyable process—that will come through in your writing. Thanks for asking!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I admit to enjoying your sarcastic posts best…the ‘ten reasons or fifty reasons WHY’ someone shouldn’t do something obvious.. BUT. I also love the eclectic feel to your blog. Reassures me I’m not alone in writing whatever I want to write without themes and organization, which is highly overrated. I have come to realize, however, that a little organization isn’t a bad thing, given that someone will comment on a post one wrote long ago, and one spends the better part of a whole day trying to find that %$@# post so they can say “thanks for reading” at least… o.O You carry on dear, whatever you write, be assured of this one thing “They WILL COME and they WILL READ.” We love you. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  7. It’s a difficult position. I remember my first blog on another site and for little introverted me, it’s popularity was daunting and draining but the feelings of appreciation for the people who were interested in things I had to say were enormous. It took a great deal of time to respond with sincerity and in depth. As well as returning their attention they’d bestowed on me. What was beginning to be left by the wayside was different for me but still imperative to me.
    Mostly, as you number one fan, (thank you for letting me believe that lol) I’m saying I understand perfectly. 🤗

    I love looking in your archives and finding new things to love about you, but I’m thinking that’s a me thing.
    My number one favorites are the nostalgic pieces
    Your lists come second
    Photos and writes a third.
    And then everything else

    Hope this is helpful and whatever you do you’re loved much from this girl

    Like

  8. I’m in awe of how open you’re being with your struggle and quest, and can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you to write this post. That being said, I’m worried lest you see what a callous blogger I am, ignoring many of the likes and *gasp* even follows my blog receives, especially when they seem out of the blue and insincere. I applaud your kind heart, but maybe you should cut yourself some slack.

    As for my favorites here, I suppose that would be your nostalgic pieces and movie bits. But as a comment above said, I do love your diversity too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Don’t look at me. I’m just here for whatever topic appeals to your tiny mind, and the distraction from my own life.

    Purely selfish, I read you like any other newspaper columnist.

    I keep coming back because I’ve enjoyed what you had to say in the past, and look forward to seeing what you wish to share in the present, without any need to guide your thoughts.

    Like

  10. I have just arrived so I have no opinion yet. However, I too have been overwhelmed with the time consuming socializing and have found the “scheduled posts” feature to be a huge help! I schedule my posts staggered throughout the day while I enjoy everyone else’s blogs ☺️

    Like

  11. Dear Brian,

    You are a human being! How are you keeping up with three blogs and posting every day? I have found it amazing how completely attentive you are and have wondered how you do it!

    Personally, I think I’m doing well if I post a couple of times a month (and thank you very much for taking the time to comb through my old stuff 🙂 ). I just don’t have the time because of my job and besides, I’m not really a writer. Writing is just something I do to help myself sort through my confused thinking. I’m much more interested in what others are saying because they often say it much better than I do, or I’m thinking, “oh yeah, that’s it” as understanding dawns. You’re one of those writers. 🙂

    You have to do what you need to do in order to attend to other interests and passions. Be gentle with yourself – try not to feel guilty about it. 🙂

    And my favourites are probably the Past Imperfect posts. But if you wanted to share some novel excerpts that would be good too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The time sink trap is a huge issue for me and a huge reason that I write less on my own blog than in commenting on others. I adore the interactions (and being a bit of a hermit, this is my social life in some ways) but my own work does suffer. So I hear you loud and clear. It is time for you to get things straightened. Now, I’m not much help on what you should focus on because I love your work – all of it. The only thing I have to say is that daily blogging has never worked for me but I do think that setting aside particular days for particular things might be the thing but with definite days away. Use those days to catch up with reading and to write whatever takes your fancy even if you don’t publish it. Long pieces of writing take great energy – even short pieces are sapping. So perhaps concentrate on having a weekly schedule rather than feeling you must blog daily. I actually think that daily blogging is too much of an ask if you are writing seriously. You have enough Klout to take days out. Just my thoughts and sorry if they are a bit incoherent …

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You’re a really witty writer and I like everything you post. I especially like your lists, your stories from your past, and your reviews. But it doesn’t matter what you post, I still read them everyday because you never fail to amuse me. Although I’m always behind on reading posts these days, I still get to it. Like you I also believe in reciprocity. And I also have books waiting for me to either start or finish writing.😆
    I’m sure your books will be great. Take your time. I wish you all the best, Brian!😊

    Like

  14. I like all your posts. The duplicates are new to me, so I enjoy reading them. I think the first one I read was of Scotch the cat, and I was hooked on your style of writing. After reading both your books, I’m greedy and want more, so take the time to write some more. Until then, I’ll be happy to read anything you post on here. 🙂

    Like

  15. I have just a tiny following and find THAT overwhelming, so not surprised at your struggles. I too am re-thinking how to run my blog, logistically speaking, and part of that is me sat here now catching up on everyone, but doing that in one long session, just once a week. I’ve loved pretty much everything I’ve read of yours, your style is right up my street. From the UK some American specific references might waft over my head, but I read the news so get most of them! 😉 Others have mentioned Scotch the Cat, yes please more Scotch 😉 Always laugh out loud at your Lists and Past Imperfects. Anything that goes a bit leftfield. And one of my recent favourites was the Plumber. We’ll be here for however often you post. Hope you’re able to find the balance. 🙂

    Like

  16. I feel your pain! I can’t keep up with the reading or the blogging. I love your blog, but I get a bit overwhelmed with the number and length of posts so I don’t always manage to read them all. However, if I have Liked a post, I have read it. I love your Sundays in the Park, anything about or by Scotch has me in stitches, the lists, the clambakes (I have no idea what a clambake is but I enjoy reading about them 😄) and the political posts. But I too think you probably need to merge your blogs and publish fewer posts on a regular schedule so that you can free up time for what you really want to do. Your blog makes me smile and there’s not a lot of that about these days. 💜

    Like

  17. Most enjoy: your satirical pieces on old movies.

    “10 Reasons Why” is fine when you restrain yourself to 10 reasons why — it’s when you go well beyond 10 that it becomes a bit much. Other than the occasional “too much of a good thing” (trimming back a bit would also fit in with your time-saving plans), I have nothing more to offer but plaudits for a “Most enjoy”able blog.

    Like

  18. Well, OBVIously I’m going to read and most often laugh whether you’re writing about who fell off the turnip truck or who can’t find their way across the dang street in Paris, France, ahem, but of course your personal introspective posts have always been my favorite, and the top tens are way up there too. To summarize, and I know you’re hoping that I do so soon, so you can refresh the beverage and reposition the couch pillows, I love everything. All of it. Especially if the post is about family members, HA! Because you see, I *know* them, and I *know* things. I am most definitely patiently waiting for the next book, so if you have to take more time to write it, please feel free to roam about the cabin, er, I mean, (I always wanted to talk on that airplane PA system), take the time out once in a while so you *can* write said book. I’ll be in the wings, re-reading Scotch’s thoughts on the neighbors lack of silence. Waving to you…..

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.