Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Does This Ever Happen To You?

Okay, we've all heard about traditional "blogstipation." You feel some sort of obligation to blog - maybe you just feel like you've been silent too long, or maybe you're doing that crazy Blog 365 thing where you have to blog every single day - and you can't think of anything interesting to say. Yeah, I've been there, and I'm pretty sure every other blogger has been too.

But what about the days when you genuinely want to blog? There's no obligation - you don't owe anyone anything - just the desire to participate in the great online community of which you happily consider yourself a part. Maybe you just feel like writing and getting feedback on it. Maybe you just feel like feeling a little less isolated for a while. So you sit down at your computer, and...

... Nothin'.

It's so sad, I'm telling you. Anyone else ever been there?


In lieu of a real post, I offer you a brief excerpt from the book I'm working on. Let me say a few things first:

1) I'm nervous about posting very much here because I'm a little paranoid about thievery. Obviously I don't think any of you, my normal readers, would do anything like that, but I worry about random internet prowlers taking my words when I'm planning to seek publication someday. So this will be only a very brief snippet.

2) Because of the brevity, there's pretty much no context. Accept, acknowledge, and enjoy the context-less excerpt for what it is.

3) Thoughts, questions, suggestions - totally welcome. Blind praise - always encouraged!

Here you go:

... [B]ecause of some deep-seated belief that you shouldn’t be angry at your small child, you may be immediately swamped with guilt. Some of the thoughts that may be going through your head include:

- “He didn’t mean it.”
- “He’s just tired / cranky / hungry.”

- “He’s just a child.”

- “I’m supposed to love him no matter what.”

Well guess what? Not one of those means that you can’t or shouldn’t feel angry. While he may or may not have meant to make you feel angry or hurt, he did mean to [do what he did]. Being tired, cranky, hungry, or in any other way uncomfortable does not excuse destructive behavior, even if it does sometimes make it more tempting. The fact that Jimmy is a child also does not excuse his behavior, though he may require more explanation as to why that is true. And that last statement – that you are “supposed to love him no matter what” – is just silly, because when in your life has being angry at someone made it impossible for you to love him or her? Boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, parents, siblings – we get angry at all of these people through the course of our lives. So why do we block our anger when it’s directed at our own children?

If you’ll recall, the definition of emotions clearly states that they are not experienced through conscious efforts, so trying to stop the anger goes against your natural reaction. Instead, why not let yourself experience the anger and find an appropriate way to respond? By doing so, you are helping teach your child how to experience and respond to his own emotions.

It's a work in progress, obviously, but I'm happy with where it's going so far.

(Photo Credit)


ANA said...

I understand about blog blocks. There are so may days when I am just craving to write, and there are random atoms bouncing off the walls of my head, but I sit on the computer, and Blank. I don't know how to start, what to write, how to construct. I feel so helpless. and frustrated. Yes frustrated is the word.

And you know what, you can totally twist your article (don't sue me, I'm just suggesting) and fit it in the blog-context. Experience the emotion and respond to it. Don't over think it.

Even though I am childless, I totally get the article. Needless to add, it is great.

Kennethwongsf said...

Sorry to hear you're suffering from blogger's block. The good news is, it doesn't last. Eventually, the elusive muses will take hold of you, and once more your fingers will have a hard time catching up with your racing thoughts.

On your excerpt, I like the sensibility of the narrator. It's a good blend of sympathy and common sense--one that I feel I can trust.

I'd say, keep up the straight talk.

Guilty Secret said...

Very good. One suggestion: change the bit where you suggest one of the things the parent might have been thinking is "just silly."

I mean, it is kind of silly, but it's understandable, and the way it's worded at the moment seems a teeny bit critical.

I like it though. You sound confident, which is very important.

Still Jill B said...

What about the blocks where you read something, you nod your head, but you can't come up with something to say in response?

Hanlie said...

There are days when I'm hardpressed to find anything interesting to say, even in comments. Obviously today is not one of them! My wit is rapier sharp and spot-on!

I love the excerpt! I'd buy your book for sure!

Anonymous said...

Nice! There's nothing wrong with a little blogstipation every once in a while as long as you give us more excerpts!

Scott Booker said...

I used to blog on Yahoo 360...and I ended up getting addicted to it. Blog Block never seemed to be an issue for me...but I got burnt out. I think that one should blog only when they want to or feel the need to.

As for the excerpt...loved it. This is the first time I have read your blog and I will be coming back for more.

I also understand about the thievery. I like to post my poems on my blog page...but have had other people steal them as their own. In your case it is different...I would probably worry a little more....but with me...I figure now if they want to steal it...they must think its good. But my poems aren't something that I would be making money on anyway.

Anonymous said...

For me personally, it's not about trying not to feel the anger. It's about trying to control the anger and not drop kick the kid who just did something that they know is wrong.

I realize it's part of being a parent, part of parenting, that you have to guide your kids. However sometimes it's hard to do that when they really piss you off.

Being angry, that's fine. Finding a way to not react in angry manner while angry at them is the challenge.

Trina said...

Oh do I understand. So often I feel called to write, and yet am completely without interesting things to say. I am in one of those places right now. I honestly think it makes me appreciate the free flow of words when they do come though. How sweet those posts feel when I click "publish". Just a quick question about your book... fiction or non-fiction? Of what I just read however, I love the tone and confidence :)

Lara said...

guilty - thank you for the suggestion. you're probably right about changing that wording. :)

kaiser - guess what the next three chapters are about!!! :-P

trina - non-fiction parenting book. :)

Ali said...

how come your blog-blocked non-posts are way better than my real ones?? :)

ALRO said...

We all go through 'writers block'..
I've been trying to write a novel for nearly 6 months. I get on a roll for about a week - and then get stumped..
While doing that, my blog-writing usually suffers ..
So i know exactly how you feel.

I like the entry from your book.. so far so good - keep it up.

Amanda said...

Yes. Many times. Lousy. You'll be back, and stellar, I have no doubt.

Peter said...

Blog block has been hitting me a LOT lately.