Sunday, November 13, 2011

Going to The Show

In baseball, when a player gets called up to the major leagues it's called "Going to The Show".

Tucked away in a dust-covered cardboard box in our storage room there is a little book called A Murder Mystery. Its dust jacket, a hilariously hideous scrap of 1960's-era flowered wallpaper in magnificent orange, yellow, and pea green; the title written by hand in carefully printed permanent black ink; the pages filled with that same careful penciled printing only a third-grader, quite proud of her penmanship award, could letter.

I have no recollection of the story itself but I can see it as plain as if it were lying on my desk next to me. It was my very first published work written for the Young Author's contest of 1980.

I've told the story of how I began to write and subsequently developed as a writer before - for the kick off of NaBloPoMo 2010 as a matter of fact. If you'd like, Lovely Reader, to go read the post I Write, Therefore I Am I will wait for you right here. I mention it because it is relevant but I don't want to be redundant.

Much of yesterday was spent gorging myself on the words of other people. I've added so many new blogs to my reader in the last 12 days I suspect it will, from time to time, be a challenge to keep up with all that they (you) are producing. The rest of my day, with the exception of the respite Acr0nym gave me when he arrived and took me to dinner, was spent writing and updating a few pages on my blog.

I stalled out on the "Favorites" page.

The other night, when I wrote A Cautionary Blogging Tale, I knew I was writing something particularly good. In fact, I begged Lex to read the post just after I'd published it because I wanted confirmation that the tingling in my thumbs I get when I've done well was for real.

Going back through old posts yesterday then, I was painfully aware of just how not-quite-up-to-par they were. At times, it was humiliating, but most often it was humbling to re-read and know others had read it too...and kept coming back to read more *laugh*.

Yet, there was gladness too. A particularly well-written turn of phrase would catch my eye and my heart would skip knowing I'd written it. There were even entire posts of which I felt I could be decidedly proud. Are they favorites though? Hell, I don't know. It's becoming harder and harder to pick favorites when they all feel like children I should have spent more time nurturing.

It's also daunting. I've posted nearly daily for over two years on this blog. I'm closer to 1,000 posts than I am 500. That's alotta words to wade through to find my diamonds in the rough. However, if I start from the very beginning, what I see is raw talent and a strong, relatable voice that really just needed practice.

A lot of practice.

[Ira] Glass, 50, said he still hears a few "vestigial" complaints about his voice, particularly from older listeners, like the woman who recently urged him to drop the "rapid-fire and not clearly enunciated" delivery.

The host suggests his reedy vocals have "a punk rock aesthetic," though he hesitates to put any label on it. His voice, it turns out, fits nicely with the devaluation of the God-like media voice and embraces the everyday voice of blogs, social media . . . life.

"I think for people who have heard the show, maybe they felt they could have a show too, even if they had a voice like mine," Glass said. "I think that sort of opened up a door. . . . I feel like we won that fight." -
from an article by James Rainey in The Los Angeles Times

One does not just open her mouth one day and have a flight of arias come bursting forth. Realistically, she may never star in a Broadway musical or win a Grammy award either.

But...she can hope not to sound like Joe Cocker very often. And she can know, even if and when she does sound like a toad on toast, with practice, she can have her own moderately successful show too.

It may not be The Show but it CAN be a damn good show.

With practice.

Note: Dammit! When did I become a blogger who blogs about blogging?!


Michael said...

I thought this was an interesting post, almost reading like a revelation, and I'm curious where you're going to go now. Are you going to move away from blogging to something else and/or put yourself on a deadline as Ira Glass suggested?

P.S. I think Joe Cocker has a good voice :)

Livvy U. said...

Hello, I just wanted to come over again and say thank you for your fantastically encouraging words yesterday, they helped enormously! One of the best things about NaBloPoMo is definitely finding new blogs... Good to meet you. Livvy

Just Jane said...

Michael: I sincerely doubt I'd move out of the blogging world any time soon. I love it way too much lol. I also don't do particularly well with deadlines. But I do want to see myself branching out into other venues. This terrifies me but this week has also shown me that I can do it and people will probably read if I do. Plus, I also think Joe Cocker is awesome...but he's also had a lot of practice to sound as awful as he does hee hee.

Livvy: You are, once again, Lovely Livvy. Your writing is just that good and I'm glad I could offer you the encouragement you needed to continue.

Lucy said...

I can't go back and read my old posts because I want to fix them immediately. The funny thing is I do take my time when I write it the first time and try pretty hard to catch the mistakes but an editor would be great lol!
I have to admit it is weird about blogging, some bloggers I love for their writing, they definitely make very little mistakes and they are good storytellers and then there are other bloggers I like that probably could use a little polish but they are so honest in their blogging that you don't mind the mistakes. Does that make sense?
Oh, and my reader is huge too! I read a lot of blogs and don't comment all the time and I try to comment here and there on blogs and then I have my favorites! I like bloggers that acknowledge comments either by commenting on my blog, even if it is a few days later or an email, once again even if it is a few days later but once a blogger continually ignores me and I see they are cliquish I must admit I abandon them, no matter how good they are! You don't have to read me all the time but a little connection from time to time is nice. I have a blogger that I love and we connect every so often and I read her regularly!!

alienbody said...

"what I see is raw talent and a strong, relatable voice that really just needed practice."

Cut that out, paste it on your forehead (in a font that you can read, like, backwards/forwards in the mirror) and recite it over and over to store it up for a stormy day when Doubt decides to move in. Not that it will happen, but just in case. Raw Talent indeed...very nicely done (says the admiring audience from your more than moderately successful show). Blog On!

alienbody said...

And...I had to share the video on Fbook. WE all know my addiction.