Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Honey that Drives Us In Spite of the Bee Stings

***Warning: this post uses made-up words.***

Oh man, I've done it again. I won another blog award! This time, I've won the Scribbler Award! Yeesh, I do believe my head has just about swollen to Attack of the Killer Bees proportions. On that note, have you seen that episode of Bear Grylls where he has an allergic reaction to bee stings? Check out the video:
Bear Grylls is almost unrecognisable after bee sting

Yeah, that's my head right now. A big thank you to the three amazing people who gave me this award: Shannon Messenger of Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe, Eisley Jacobs of Eisley's Ellipses, and Laurel Garver of Laurel's Leaves. Please please be sure to check out their spectacular blogs. I feel so honored, like Queen Elizabeth has just handed me her crown. But now I shall pass on the crown to some other blogs that I've started following recently and have enjoyed *immensely (the crown was a little tight for my swollen head anyway). You'll find those super blog links down below. But first, I'd like to focus on something that Bear's video has inspired me to consider.

In the video (linked above), Bear Grylls, a Born Survivor, tries to explain why he braved the bees to collect honey by stating, "If you risk nothing, you gain nothing." How remarkably quotatious of him. Indeed, Bear did get a big fat honeycomb out of it...but he also got a face full of bloat. Let's get real: Bear wants us to believe he's surviving in the wilderness, but we all know he's got a shiny helicopter waiting around the corner. So why would he risk his well-being for a bit of honey?

Well, he has an audience, for one thing. And doing stupid things like that will gain him more. Swelling up like a blowfish makes for great tv, folks. But this whole episode has me wondering about why I do what I do. I mean, come on--how many blog posts have I written about my writing obsession thus far--me, an unpublished writer? And why do I continue to blog day after day for what is, in the grand scheme of things, a handful of followers (read the next part where I explain how awesome you are)?

I suppose, in a way, writers are driven in much the same way that Bear is compelled to perform amazing feats of stupidosity. And the fact is, I love and treasure every one of my followers--you rock (like, bigger than Bono) with the time and energy you've devoted to reading my lit'l old blog (seriously, overwhelming generosity people--I so ♥ you). It's a bit of an addiction, really, to put out words and have others absorb them, maybe even comment on them. This blog is like a taste of what it might be to actually get paid to publish. I don't know--maybe I'm the only one who checks back day after day, hoping for a posted comment. I can't even imagine what I'll be like when I actually publish novels. I'll be a wreck waiting on reviews and sales numbers.

Is it a vanity thing? Maybe. But I think there's more to it than that. I wrote silently for years, never showing my work, never discussing it. And yet now that I begin to put myself out there, I long for a sense of validation, as if it might actually give value to the years I've committed to my quiet words. Just like Bear, perhaps, I'm trying to legitimize what might otherwise be a pointless obsession. I don't want my writing to fall silently in the forest. Of course writing has value all on it's own--it's what I taught my students who would ask, "who cares about audience? No one will read this except you."

Who cares, indeed?

So...why do you blog? Why do you write? What drives you to keep going? For my part, I'm insanely grateful for other bloggers like Shannon, and Eisely, and Laurel, and for all of my followers who offer me that bit of honey to offset the face full of bloat.

Now, check out these super blogs who are more than deserving of the Scribbler Award and their own bit of honey:

1. Karen Hooper (she has one already, but she's totally worth mentioning anyway)
2. Don of warm fuzzy freudian slippers
3. Alexandra Shostak
4. Sara Fraser
5. Harley May
6. Tamara Heiner

These are all blogs worthy of a position on your blog roll. So please be sure to stop by and check out their brilliance. Just beware you don't get blinded by the glare of awesomeness glinting off their shiny words. Support them and give 'em some sugar.


*My apologies to Ninjadillo.

16 comments:

  1. I love the mental space that writing takes me to. I'm driven to improve because I've seen myself improve. I know there are no guarantees in terms of publishing. In this one life that I have, I feel extremely fortunate that I found writing or that writing found me.

    I started my blog to connect with other writers. I'd been pretty isolated the past couple of years. I'd resigned from my teaching job to write fulltime and that's what I did. Finding representation a few months ago, and now, having my novel on submission marked a new chapter in my writing journey. I marked it by starting my blog, coming out of my writer's cave to interact with the world.

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  2. Paul, I love your comment. It's a gift, isn't it? The ability to express your thoughts in story form? And what an amazing thing, the blogosphere is. Between my blog and Twitter, I feel in many ways more a part of a writing community than I ever did as a creative writing major.

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  3. You are too, too kind!

    Aimee Bender, in her story "Call My Name," said it best:

    I want to be violated by insight.

    That's the reaction I want to have when I read and the one I want to give other people when I write.

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  4. It's all about connections for me--either connecting to a part of myself through my fiction, or connecting to other writers and readers through my blog. When I publish anything, even just flash fiction in zines, I get to connect with readers, and get a small connection to the editors who approve of my work enough to appropriate it.

    Eventually, of course, I hope to connect with readers of my novels. That's the ultimate payoff we're all looking for, isn't it?

    Great thoughts for today, Carol. You totally deserve the awards, good lady. :)

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  5. I wrote for many years without being published, but I was trying to break into the business. I kept on writing despite the rejection because I enjoyed it. Now that I've been accepted for publication, I'm ecstatic that I get to share my work with others.

    Congratulations on your award.

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  6. You are such a dear! I heart every inch of you. Thank you, Carol. :)

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  7. You do totally deserve these awards; the blog is fantastic. Now, onto Bear Grylls. I can dig the appeal, but seriously, I'm digging Survivorman's Les Stroud. Sure, he never catches a damn thing in his traps (he can catch a mean grub, though) and granted, it's a tad....boring? But he's on his own. For SEVEN DAYS. With a harmonica. I respect that mental stability.

    Thank you for mention. It's an honor and I appreciate it.

    Peace, Love, and Always Carry A Fire Bundle.

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  8. Awwww thank you!!!! :) :) That makes me so happy! Eee!

    Dude, I freaking love Bear Grylls. Even when his head is swelled up like a watermelon.

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  9. Don, that's awesome..."violated by insight" Speaks volumes...

    Simon, excellent point! It really is about connecting with others. Writing can be so lonely sometimes. I think a blog (and ultimately sharing your sharing) is an excellent way to connect. Thank you, btw, for the lovely compliment.

    Medeia, that's very inspirational! I think you MUST really enjoy it to keep writing. Rejections really stings. I'm so glad you're publishing now!

    Harley, I heart you, too, m'dear. You've very welcome.

    Misadventures, Les is awesome! That guy's a real survivor! And yes, traps are useless, and the whole, gotta go move the camera thing gets tiresome, but man, I keep thinking that guy will get eaten by a bear or something. Thank you for the kind words, too.

    Alexandra, you're welcome! You deserve it! And Bear Grylls is awesome! Did you see the one with Will Ferrell and he ate the twinkie? Hahaha! That was hilarious.

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  10. Ooooo - new blogs to check out - such fun!

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  11. Congrats on the new award!!

    Like you, I enjoy the validation that comes from blogging and having someone actually read and respond to my words! :) I remember how insanely happy I was when I saw that I had a single blog follower. Now I've got 10 and can hardly stand myself. (Yes. I realize I'm a complete dork. I'm okay with that.)

    Also? Blogging provides an outlet for the constant commentary running through my brain. The hubs is great but he can only listen to my pointless ramblings for so long before he starts banging his head against the wall and wondering if he could lug my lifeless (and mercifully quiet) body out to the trunk of his car.

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  12. You're so awesome! thanks for the award!

    I keep writing b/c it feels like it's never done. I can always find ways to make it better.

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  13. Congrats and I love that quote from above! Blogging is just such a great place to let go of your thoughts. We're writers, we need to write everything down and not everyone in our life can listen to the crazy writing thoughts in our head--everyday--but on the blog, we have someone to talk to and someone who understands:)

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  14. Congrats! And thanks for thinking of me. :)
    That bee sting looks painful, but that's how my head felt yesterday. Then I emptied out all the venom and I feel better :)
    Click to read Karen’s Blog

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  15. Jemi, I love it when others post blog links I'm always looking for new ones to explore!

    Rhonda, thank you. I love your reasons for blogging. I think I must be doing that as well. I find that I end up blogging up things that I might normally have discussed with (annoyed) my husband, and now our marriage seems a bit less tense. Hmmm...now there's a thought.

    Tamara, I agree! I think all writers must be somewhere at their cores perfectionists. We're always looking to tweak and improve, never fully satisfied. I've even found myself rediting something I've edited right back to the original. It's a strange sort of labyrinthian circle.

    Frankie, thank you! I agree with you! I long to share share share everything I'm thinking. Not always smart, but there it is.

    Karen, so glad you emptied that venom (love the analogy). I hope you experience at least as much (if not more) honey than bee stings.

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