Thursday, June 6, 2013

Coffee, Comments, and Change

You may have noticed: there are no longer any 'comments' capabilities on my blog. There used to be (and I've appreciated every one that I've ever received, please know!). But recently I found myself of two minds about a post I was editing, wondering if I was about to step on any toes by hitting the 'publish' button. I had an opinion, but I doubted if many would share it or understand it. And then I wondered how I'd feel if I was challenged. Would I waffle? Back down? Go into a tailspin? Do what I usually do: hide until hopefully everyone's moved on so we can change the subject?

And at about the same time, I realized just how much I check (and recheck) that dang 'comments' section to see if I've Got Mail. I'm not an attentionmonger, but no one wants to feel completely invisible. And lack of comments just made me think that all the time I was taking to write, hone, proofread, perfect was for nothing, like writing a letter and attaching it to a balloon....

I realize The Maily is completely narcissistic; except for those occasions where I sneak in a post about a Bigger Picture, every day it's all about Me, and that's not the way to write a blog and expect it to be read, at least that's what I've been told, and I tend to agree. But I'm still learning and still trying to find my groove here. And I hope that if I haven't driven you away yet, that you're willing to hang in here with me until The Maily gets its legs proper....

But my goal is not to have a crazy big blog that gets me a spot on The View. I get my 15 Minutes of Fame every season at Fest when a customer takes a moment to personally tell me how much my work has made them smile, and that's way more than enough attention and responsibility for me. This blog is for that customer. It's because we meet only once a year, and this is for the rest of that time, for keeping in touch, for making that special moment last a little longer, maybe enhancing it with a personal story or two.

Before I began The Maily, I knew it was going to be for That Customer, and I tried to put myself in their place. I picked up a favorite picture book will illustrations by a favorite artist and remember thinking, "If Tasha Tudor were alive and writing a blog, I'd be all over that! And I'd want her to write as if she was taking a moment out of her day to have coffee with me."

The idea gave me shivers. I wouldn't have wanted her to write about anything but herself and what was happening in her magickal world. What was going on outside her window? Better yet, what was going on inside her head? And when I tried to imagine what a post from Tasha would look like, I didn't see a big, long, wordy, opinionated diatribe with links and advertisements. I saw a single photo and a paragraph. A magickal moment.

I began The Maily with that format in mind, then doubted myself when everything I read about blogwriting told me I was doing it wrong. Then the 'comments' section seemed to prove to me that I was doing it wrong. And then I began rethinking the whole dang thing.

But now I'm back to Square One. I like my original idea and I don't want to change it.

So I made the decision to take away the 'comments' capabilities. (Everyone knows they can still share a word on my Facebook page if they must.) There is now nothing to be checking and rechecking. I don't have to self-edit -- how will I know if I've stepped on toes if this is essentially a one-way conversation? And -- save for the occasional bout of wordiness -- I plan to continue doing exactly as I originally imagined: write to you as if I was taking a moment out of my day to share a coffee.

Because I am.