Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Work

It is the 14th of January, which means that it has been 20 days since I wrote a regular blog entry here (by which I mean one that is in paragraphs and is non-Schmoetry/Phoneography/Five Star Friday/Canadian Weblog Awards). I think this may be the longest I have gone in the nine years, four months, and 20 days that I've been at this blogging gig.

At coffee with @palinode

Something in me froze up at Christmas. I'm searching. I don't know where to put my feet next.

You see, this year I plan on revamping my whole online deal, because it's grown over all this time, and it's developed appendages, and it's starting to feel a little like the hair on Medusa's head. My house has grown cluttered and makeshift.


So, while I let plans percolate in the back of my mind, I decided to take on publishing one poem every day during 2013, and this has started pulling some pretty deep chords within me already, 13 poems in. It has made me take a second look at how I tell my stories and why I tell them, and it has made me listen to the changing tenor of my voice as my writing and online real estate grow into something else again. It's also making me look at how all of you tell your stories and why you tell them, and it has made me listen to your changing tenor as we all move in this medium together.

It's very distracting, and so outside my specific time-sensitive projects, I have been quiet here. I'm a bit of a publishing maniac, so you may not have noticed my lack of paragraph writing, but I really have been quieter.


While I've been quieter, I've been thinking about:
  • blogging and the deep sexism that often runs behind confessional writing, and
  • how marketers still struggle to define women by their relationship to children even when those women don't have them (I'm looking at you, PANK), which just shows again how people still don't know how to value women as individuals with their own merit the way they do men, and
  • how so many people decry the state of blogging as having gone down the marketing toilet, destroying authenticity and the power in not selling stuff, but how that is a myopic and cherry-picked opinion not based on the thousands of examples of bloggers who aren't selling stuff or who are but who aren't spam-sleazy about it, and
  • how some online blogging critics more often than not conflate criticism with conjecture and insult, and, while criticism within the medium is important, it is equally important that that criticism move beyond sophomoric snark, and
  • how I need to find my way through all the arguments I have up in my head so I can find constructive pursuits guided by love to put out there with my hands.

One of my guiding statements this year is this:

Keep your eyes on your own work.

Constantly altering measurement of the joy in my own pursuit with perceptions of how others are doing it better or less well than me means that I also alter my perception of my own work based on either how I am failing measured against someone whose work is not what I do or against how others are failing based on what I think they should be doing.

How about we all do something that makes more sense? Like make stuff we believe in? Yes?



If you are more obsessed with how other people are failing or judging you for failure than you are with improving your own work, you need to recalibrate your priorities.


So, this entry has been a rather meandering and disjointed journey, but it means this: I'm figuring my stories out, I'm working to understand what words should go where and why, and I'm learning how to centre it through the force of love.

And it feels damn good to write even a disjointed mess after 20 days without paragraphs. Goddamn.

14/365: Fear and Ruminations