Saturday, July 26, 2008

Makeover Time

This morning I woke up, looked at myself long and hard in themirror and decided it as time for a makeover. Not for me, but for my blog. I have been tossing around the idea for a few months and even Manuel has been going on about how boring my blog looks. As the first step in any 12 step program is admitting to having a problem, I have decided to leave denial in Egypt and face the facts. But didn't have a clue as to where I should begin. Do I give it some highlights? Perhaps a cut and color? Agnaetha style blue eye shadow here and there? So I added a few things here and there and nobody said anything at all. I didn't even get a simple 'Is that a Twitter feed on your blog or are you just happy to see me?' comment. And so this morning I took the decision that what I need is to toss it all out and start afresh - from a design perspective that is.

Why do I seem to be going through this blogging mid-life crisis that has me wanting to trade in my car for a Ferrari? Well, I hate to admit it, but it is good old fashioned jealousy. I have tried and tried not to succumb to it, I just don’t think jealousy is a good shade on me, but there you have it. I was fine when I wrote my little blog and didn’t read any others except for a couple of close friends *waving at Ulco, Stephen and Ankit* but then one day, in all innocence, I Googled David Sedaris. I thought for sure he would have a blog, but he doesn’t, or at least not that I could find – David, if you are reading this and you have a blog, lemme know… And thanks for signing my book in Amsterdam – and stumbled onto “Citizen of the Month” a blog by Neil which then led me to Sizzle Says and then onto “Loralee’s Looney Tunes” and a bunch of other blogs I enjoy reading.

But then the comparisons start. They consistently get comments number in the upper double digits and at times in the triple digits. I have written over 250 posts and don’t think I have enough comments to use all the fingers on both hands. And then the insecurities start. Are they funnier? Sexier? Wittier? Offering free porn? I wonder what I can do differently, better than before. I get feedback from friends and people that read it ‘I love your blog” or “I was laughing out loud when I read your stories” – Hey, it wasn’t MY idea for me to start blogging - but somehow that doesn’t translate into people leaving comments or having masses of total strangers worshiping and adoring me.

And then I get angry. When Al Gore invented the Internets, it was touted as being the great equalizer. Anyone that could type or learn to type could participate. Race, gender, money, social standings, religious preferences, sexual embarrassments and bad hair didn’t matter. Now I discover there are “Top Bloggers”, “Mommybloggers”, “Dadybloggers”, conventions like Blogher and blogging awards like "Alltop" and I want to be a part of that. Suddenly I feel like I am in school again, being the last person picked for the team – well, not picked really, I was more assigned as I was the last one left. I try to tell myself it all doesn’t really matter, but it does. Shallow? Maybe, but it bothers me. Should it? Probably not. But when have I ever been known to be rational? It is certainly not one of my better fitting, pec-flaunting shirts. And aren’t we writers supposed to be an eccentric and insecure bunch?

I would like to think I write for me, but I don’t, at least not exclusively. I write because I love it, it relaxes me, it is just something I feel I have to do, but I also write because I want people to read it. I don’t want to be the lone blog on the shelf that nobody pays any attention to. When I go into a bookstore, I sometimes by the lonely, dusty book because it makes me sad to see it sitting there on the shelf, a story told yet untold.

So there you have it. Part creative desire, part vanity, part self improvement. Those are the reasons I have decided to makeover this blog, at least from a design perspective and am hoping to launch that with a virtual cocktail party in the coming days. The posts will remain as they always were, but if I can get more people visiting and commenting by offering free porn, then I would be a fool to say no.

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