Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Topic: Blogging, and Why I Fail At It.

This is slightly ridiculous to say, but... I suck at blogging.

It's not that I have nothing to say, either. I have an endless anount of things to say about a lot of things - I spend a lot of time monologging to myself over the course of the day: it's what helped me pass my Creative Writing final, after all... But when I go to sit down and actually do something, I come up short every time.

As a creative writing major, and someone who actually wants to pursue writing as a career, not having an established blog is like shooting myself in the foot. Having an active blog gives those who want to employ me (as a writer) an active, constant look at:
  • My abilities as a writer: what I cover on the blog (and even what I don't) can show off my strenghts and weakness better than any kind of resume could. What I write about on a blog that I expect to be seen by people could tell them what kinds of writing styles I excel at versus what I'm wretched at. (For example, I freely admit that most of my poetry is pants. By comparison, my fiction writing is strong and vivid. And compared to my nonfiction, my fiction looks childish.)
  • How my writing is evolving (or lack thereof!) With an easy glance at a portfolio that can be seen right on a screen, anyone can see how my writing changes over time. If someone were to look at my writing style from even a year ago and compare it to now, there would be an obvious difference. This is actually giving myself a starting point to go off of later. I'll be able to look back and see how I've improved, and I'll be able to check back at what still needs improvements.
  • My own writing trends. I'll (and others looking at this) will be able to see what I tend to write about, and what things I kind of lack on. For example, I'm an active gamer and reader, so writing about books, games, and upcoming events wouldn't be all that uncommon. And it helps me keep a look at what I could use in here as a portfolio for jobs, gigs, and other application uses.
So, even with these pros on the list, why can't I seem to keep myself motivated?
  • I'm lazy, and I admit it. Blogging "for fun" isn't really my thing, because I don't find blogging fun by any stretch of the word. It find it almost like a chore, and it probably tends to show.
  • I'm always doing something else. Don't get me wrong; blogging's a great hobby for those who enjoy it and can keep with it. But I'm always out with friends on random adventures ("Let's go west, guys!"), or looking for things at Savers for costumes or to add to my expansive wardrobe, or playing games, writing other things, or watching movies. And then...
  • When I think about blogging, I say that I'll do it later. Remember that part about being lazy two points up? Well, that's only half of it. The other half is that I'm notorious for procrastination. Why? Because I can be! I'll jot something down in the margins pof a notebook ("Ha, what a great idea for a post!") and then when I have the chance to use it, I'll forget or say something along the lines of, "I'll do it later."
  • I'm self-motivated...but not when it comes to keeping a "diary." I've never been good at keeping a diary, even as a kid. Lots of my friends had them and used them constantly. They probably have everything that they did from the time they woke up to the time they went to bed written down in cute pink books with crappy locks on them. But not me - I was too busy sketching, writing short stories, and reading to give a damn about my day that obsessively.
  • I forget that it's even there. Yes, it's completely true. I forget that my own blog/journal/whatever even exists. I'm so bad at blogging that I forget that I even have a blog, then when I get hit with sudden inspiration, I remember that it's there and immediately lose interest because, you know, who wants to use a blog that's three years old for one new thought?
Not me, that's who.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quite the score

Ocean State Job Lot has a bunch of young adult books on sale right now, and it's quite a score on my part. At $1.50 apiece for hardcovers, I've been able to snap up a good collection of interesting, offbeat YA books for about eighteen bucks total. I'll write about them as I read them. If you're looking for a quick read (none of the books I've found so far have been more than 400 pages long - the average seems to be about 200 pages, in fact) then these are a great bet.  

All of the books are closeouts of the The Macmillan Children's Publishing Group family: FSG, Feiwel and Friends, First Second, Holt Young Readers, Roaring Brook, and Square Fish.

External Links:

Macmillan Teen Books - from which all other imprints' websites can be reached.