Friday, June 24, 2011


I had this friend in high school who was pretty much the epitome of coolness...  Okay, she was MY opinion of the epitome of coolness.  In the opinions of the others in my class I think probably they would say she was "quiet" or "weird" or "scary".  She often used those terms about herself in a joking way:  "They think because I'm quiet that I must also be scary.  I'm not scary.  I mean, I guess I could be scary, but I'm not.  I just don't talk to people."

She didn't seem to care what anyone else thought.  She wrote a prolific secret journal, she made chain mail, and we made up a newspaper together based on our school paper (Reflections).  We called ours Refractions.  And thought ourselves genius.

She was one of those rare teenagers who could step back and see things for what they were at a young age - most of the rest of us don't see things for what they are until our thirties.  Some of us even later.  I feel many days as though I'm just waking up to the world around me and the way things "really are".  She always just knew.

She is the person who taught me the word "contrived".  She used it a lot.

"Ugh.  That outfit is so contrived."

"Seriously?  This assignment is contrived."

"These rules are contrived."

"You're being contrived."


1. Deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously.
2. Giving a sense of artificiality.

Since her usage of the word was so prolific, I ended up using it as well, probably not always in a correct manner, and it's one of those words that has stuck with me as far as my frequent vocabulary.  It seems to fit so many things in the world around me at so many times...  like... my blogs.

As many of you know, I write this blog as well as a few others.  I try to keep up with them - and by that I mean I try to post regularly because, as any good blogger knows, this is the way you gain loyal readership and how you get people to actually comment on your stuff, and eventually, how you make a living as a blogger.

I've been through all sorts of phases with all of my blogs.

I've wanted to trash them.  I've thrown tyrannical rages about how no one is reading and WHAT IS THE POINT IF NO ONE IS READING!!!!?!!

I've decided that I don't care if anyone ever reads.  I'm just going to bare all and go crazy and say whatever the #@!* I want and who cares what anyone thinks about me?

I've written things soley because they were hot button or hot topic issues.

I've written because it flowed out of me naturally.

I've written because there was something about which I felt passionately.

These last two are the reasons that I started blogging.

I'm a writer, after all, and writers have a need when it comes to writing.  We need to write.  When the need to write happens we have to obey it or our fingers itch.  Our brains twitch.  We get depressed and angry and snap at everyone around us until the thing we need to say comes out in the way we wish to say it.  Right now, I feel as thought I could stay up all night tonight writing and all day tomorrow and perhaps still not be satisfied that I've had enough typing to keep my fingers happy and my brain from racing.

Either way, I've been staying away from blogging because... I don't like to be contrived.

I don't like to post every day just because I want to generate traffic.  I don't like to post about things that really don't mean a whole heck of a lot to me.

I don't like to feel like I need to post more photographs or spend hours on YouTube to find a great clip or search for feminist writing elsewhere or engage with the media more than I'd really like or spend extra time away from my family.

Maybe this means I'm not cut out for blogging.

I don't know - maybe it's just a symptom of my movement as a person toward a more organic life: a life where natural things happen and unnatural things are cited as just that: unnatural, and not necessarily to be desired.

As a reader, I don't like it when a writer writes just to generate traffic.  I can almost always tell when a post is contrived.  It leaves me with an empty feeling.

"Wow, this writer used to be so passionate, what is THIS garbage?"

I don't know.

I guess I just hate being fake.

I've spent too much of my life putting something on and being someone I'm not.

I guess that ^ is an entirely other post that would most definitely NOT be contrived.

This post?  I suppose it falls somewhere in the center of the median.

It's been forever since I wrote a blog here.  Weeks, even.  But I felt like writing something would've been forced.  ONLY writing to keep my readers happy.

Is that contrived?

At my art studio today in talking with one of the other artists we were discussing art from passion vs. art to make a living:

"X thinks that everything should be expensive, everything should be this masterpiece, the thing is - I'm trying to make a living.  I don't have someone supporting me.  It's just me.  If people don't buy my stuff, I don't eat - that's all there is to it."

 I realize that I'm lucky.  My husband has a great job.  I teach classes to pay my rent.

When I think on it, my classes are sort of contrived.

Do I love teaching?  Yes.  I adore teaching.

Would I chose to do it so much?  No, but it's worth it for the space of my own to make my creations.

So...contrived?  Yeah.

Negative and horrible?

Not so much.

And so that brings me back around to my blogs.

I always felt like if writer's weren't opening a vein, weren't causing a shift in the continental divide, then their writing wasn't worthy.  If it didn't come flowing out of me like so much water, if it wasn't something I HAD to write, then it wasn't interesting enough or passionate enough or... whatever.

I suppose with blogging, it can be both.

Sometimes you write to put food on the table.

Sometimes you write because you have to.

And, contrived or not, that's what it means to be a writer.

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