Why Can’t We Be Friends?

coffee-mug1So, I’m sitting at my computer, pretty much not bothering anyone, drinking a cup of coffee, checking my email, clicking in and out of Twitter and assorted blogs, minding my own business when this guy suddenly − totally out of the blue! − accuses me of being a narcissist!

To be fair, he didn’t actually call me a narcissist …
and he didn’t actually call me a narcissist …
and no, he didn’t actually call me a narcissist.

His post was titled The Narcissism of Blogging − can you understand how I would make the connection there? Naturally, I took offense! I mean, really! He doesn’t even know me!

MD

To be completely fair, the blogger’s friend is the one who first levelled the accusation … not at me of course, but at this blogger whose post I happened to be reading. The virtual tussle in which this blogger and his friend engaged confirm what I already knew:  you don’t win friends by calling someone a narcissist.

Complete disclosure:  no, I wasn’t really offended by this blogger’s post. He makes some legitimate points. But it spurred my thinking about my blog, asking the question as to what motivates me − am I feeding some narcissistic drive, anxiously hoping for the Sally Field moment (“You like me! You really like me!”) to validate my existence and my blog’s relevance?

The ridiculous suggestion that bloggers are shameless self-promoters is completely unfounded. (Oh, and just in case you missed it, I posted about narcissism here.)

Don’t get me wrong. Recognition is terrific! Receiving feedback from one’s peers is amazingly gratifying as well!… Yet I’m a person who recognized at a very young age that I am a writer … I am the same person who (if there were no other outlet for my writing) would happily compose nutrition labels for cereal boxes (gratis, if need be) to satisfy my compulsion (addiction?) but … I am the same person who for most of my adult life has pored herself into myriad other endeavors, sighing all the while for that future day when I can actually carve out time from my daily life to write!

Yep, that’s me. Do I sound like an attention junkie?

From the minute I started this blog in July of 2010 (first post here), it was a sometime thing. It wasn’t my Great American Novel − it was a blog, for heaven’s sake, a diversion, and even though I’d get jazzed at the completion of every post, I wasn’t particularly serious about it. Life was happening around me! (As that first post says, I was too busy sorting socks!)

But these are the cold, hard facts of this blog:  from July of 2010 until mid-April of 2013 (some 1,021 days), I managed to produce a paltry 77 posts, roughly two posts a month. (Kind of an ineffectual effort for an attention-hungry egotist, wouldn’t you agree?)

Then last fall, I first became aware of the 31-Day Blogging Challenge sponsored by Lesa Townsend at conversation2sales.com. Thirty-one days. Four and a half weeks.

Keep in mind, I rarely start anything unless I’m pretty confident I can complete it, so I was reasonably tentative. I mean … what if a New York publisher called wanting to see the first three chapters of my unfinished novel (that no one really knows about)? What if a Hollywood producer queried me about that script I’ve mentally “crafted” but have yet to set a single word to paper?

I’d have to send them packing of course … too busy with my 31-day blogging challenge, you see. Wouldn’t want to give up on the challenge halfway through the month, after all! (Thankfully for me, the thirty-one days went by without an interruption from either New York or Hollywood.)

Surprising myself, I managed to post everyday! When I’d made it through October, November seemed less daunting (only 30 days) and since December has an equal number of days to October, that month seemed like a piece of cake. (Okay, maybe not quite. Posting on holidays required some forethought, but the habit is definitely more ingrained now than it was on October 1st.)

As of now, I have 92 days of daily posts under my belt! Three full months without fail. I knew it was possible, but I get bored easily. I suspected boredom might be the thing to do me in.

So, when mindfuldigressions.com (a blog with the subtitle “a little bit of wit, wisdom, and other nonsense”) brashly labelled me a narcissist, I flinched. Reflecting a bit further on the post, I decided he deserved a generous grade of 50/50 … a dollop of wisdom, but a dash on the nonsense.

coffee-mug

As an innocent reader/bystander, it was incumbent for me to show magnanimity and forgive the name-calling. His insult wasn’t directed toward me … except generally. He was making a larger point about bloggers as a group, maybe even all creative types!

I wanted to call Mindful Digressions (MD) a friend, extend the hand of friendship I proffer to other bloggers. We’re sort of an accidental confederation, we followers of Narcissus, right?

Narcissists Unite!

… But then … unbelievably, MD turned a corner in his post, and in doing so, escalated the rhetoric into the stratosphere! He closed The Narcissism of Blogging post with a paragraph so utterly unforgivable, I’m at a loss for words to describe it.

I am simply feeling too verklempt to discuss it now. (More in tomorrow’s post …)

Renée