Monday, May 23, 2016

I'm Not a Blogger (an #atozchallenge story)

Today we welcome 2016 A to Z Challenge survivor author Martin Reaves with some thoughts on "not blogging" and his A to Z experience. 

I’m not a blogger

Seriously, I’m not.

Odd that my words should continue to unspool before your eyes, isn’t it?

Well, they did the same under my fingers, and have done so for years now.

I keep telling myself I’m not a blogger, I don’t grasp the format, I don’t understand why anyone would want to hear (read) what I have to say.

So I write novels. Blame my characters if you get bored; after all, they told me what they wanted to say.

Books and stories, that the ticket. Not blogs.

No juicy rants about politics or—Heaven help us—religion.


Ah yes, but.

Detractors be damned, blogging IS writing. It is the brain (or the Muse, or what have you) speaking through the fingers to an unknown and faceless someone. My stories generally start with a bare notion, a fleeting nudge of feeling that there might be a story if I start writing RIGHT NOW and don’t stop until that nebulous nudge is through with me.

Blogging is no different. Screw outlines, all I need is an opening sentence. Something to move the cursor forward.

Wanna know what the sentence was for this post? Wanna know exactly what it was that sent my fingers scampering over the keys?


Here it is: “I’m not a blogger.”

I sat here, wondering what on earth I had to say to my fellow A to Z’ers. I scanned several other A to Z posts, saw the crafty lists, and thoroughly enjoyed those breezy, enchanting posts.

And I thought to myself: But I’m not a blogger. My blog posts generally have to do with my writing; my current work-in-progress; my ongoing review blog concerning movies about writers.

I’ve been not blogging for years now. And the more I don’t do it, the more natural it seems.

Exactly why did I start not blogging in the first place? Well, looky here…a list (albeit a very short one) emerges.

Why Martin Doesn’t Blog

1) To Keep From Writing. Think blogging is tough? Try writing novels. Sometimes the words thumb their collective noses at you and decide they’d rather not play right now. I find in those dark times that I can always write some random sentence (“I’m not a blogger,” for instance) and keep going stream-of-consciousness-style until something takes shape. Not blogging was my favorite way of not writing.

1b) Because It’s Easy. Wait…what?

Yeah, there’s the truth within the lie…or vice versa. Because the truth (or the lie) is that I should be writing every day. But sometimes I don’t feel like it. But I can always write something if I give it structure ahead of time. Hold on, didn’t he just say he likes to start with a sentence to see where it goes?

Indeed. But that only works once in a while. Try that on a regular basis and the result would be a chorus of irritated yawns. This is where the A to Z Challenge came into play. 26 posts; scheduled; clockwork. This was terrifying until I came up with my format. Make it short. Hell, make it Haiku. Honestly, I don’t know why that was easy, but it was.

2) To Figure Things Out. Some ideas are not meant to be stories. Some are not actually ideas at all, but random musings. Ruminations, if you will. Occasionally I attempt to come to terms with some horrific crap I perpetrated years ago. I have channeled that confusion and self-loathing into any number of stories (see Relative Karma and Relative Sanity), but there came one of those Dark Nights of the Soul when I imagined the Other Me as a beast that I kept chained. To learn from him; to study him and make sure he never got out again. I began to realize this Darker Me, hunched and drooling in a dark corner of my muse’s basement, was fueling my writing. That post became Chaining the Beast in the Basement of the Muse. Check it out HERE.

3) Because I Love Writing and Writers. I am endlessly fascinated with the mechanics of writing and the processes of those who do it well. I never get bored reading what writers have to say about the craft. And I am a bit giddy when I stumble on a movie that has something to say about the writing life.

So I began compiling a list of movies that deal with writers/writing/the writing life. And I began watching these movies and offering my opinion in review form as to how Hollywood treated those hacks and scribblers. I entitled the series Scribblers on Celluloid and if you haven’t had enough yet, feel free to check out the introduction HERE.

What is the point in all this? It would seem to be a simple admonition to find out what it is you are not doing at which you are half competent.

And then, regardless of what the haters may say, continue not doing that thing with a passion.

I am not a blogger, and I intend to keep it that way.

For more from this author, visit Martin’s website by clicking HERE.

Visit Martin’s Amazon page by clicking HERE.

      If you'd like to contribute a guest post to the A to Z Blog please let us know and we can discuss your idea.


cleemckenzie said...

Be careful! There's a blogger gremlin out there and it pounces when you least expect it. And then, voila! You're a Blogger, crown and all. Wait! It sounds as if you've already experienced that unexpected pounce.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry, I think you're hooked now!

Martin Reaves said...

Ha, yes. I find myself thinking in the form of blog posts! :-)

Martin Reaves said...

Indeed--no turning back now! :-)

Calensariel said...

You have definitely taken NOT BLOGGING to a whole new level! It will be interesting to see what you don't blog about next! :D

Calensariel said...

Forgot to sign my name! Obviously I need to learn to NOT BLOG better.
Impromptu Promptlings

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Welcome blogger not. We love all kinds here in the blogging community.

Arlee Bird said...

Martin, that's scary! I think in the form of blog posts as well. Everything is a potential subject for me.

Thanks for your guest post!

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Heather M. Gardner said...

Great post. I'll have to check out this blog w/o any information in it.
Thank you for sharing.

Martin Reaves said...

Arlee, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting and contributing. Thank you again for the opportunity!

Martin Reaves said...

Thanks, Calen! :-)

Martin Reaves said...

Happy to not be here! :-)

Martin Reaves said...

My pleasure--I hope you continue to enjoy the lack of info. :-D

J Lenni Dorner said...

Ha! Fantastic post. You made me laugh.

Martin Reaves said...

Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it! :-)

Jen said...

This is a great post, Martin. Thank you for sharing it with us. It gives me courage to continue "not" blogging. I feel like I'm one of the only ones out there who blogs whenever, a little here, a bit there. This was great encouragement.


Martin Reaves said...

Awesome, Jen, so glad you enjoyed it!