When I was in high school, one of the ways the Student Council raised money was by selling carnations. You could buy a badly dyed flower for a dollar and send it to another student, either signed or anonymously. At the end of the day you’d be sitting in history class and somewhere between the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the start of World War I, the student assigned to distribute said tokens of affection would come crashing in with a plastic bucket full of carnations, read the little notes attached, and dole them out.
My best friend in high school got a lot of flowers. She was short and cute and had big boobs. I was not short, not cute and had no boobs. I got a flower or two throughout the years, but nothing like the bouquets she used to walk down the hall with. Of course I wanted more flowers, it’s hard not too. No matter how punk rock your attitude toward acceptance is when you’re 14 or 15, the truth is, you’re still 14 or 15. Even goths want a little love….
Blogging is a bit like sitting in history class and waiting to see if the guy with the plastic bucket full of cheap carnations looks up and makes eye contact with you. As much as you tell yourself that it doesn’t matter if you get a flower (and it doesn’t), it’s always nice to be surprised by one. In blogging, you put yourself out there by pushing that little blue publish button and cross you fingers that your post will get noticed, liked, commented upon, or in the land of the blogging site I use, “Freshly Pressed”**.
I’m still new enough to this world that I haven’t quite figured out the point on the graph where X intersects Y. The posts I do about writing or about blogging usually get the most nods from fellow bloggers. The ones I do about parenting and living abroad get lots of shares and passed around, which I cherish. The more personal ones fall kind of in between. I’ve yet to do a post which seems to appeal to both other bloggers and people who have chosen to follow, to find that all important intersection of x and y.
The only reason it is important is because I’m lazy. Not lazy in a my house is wreck and my kids are covered in snot way, but lazy in an I harbor a secret desire for someone to come along and do all the work for me way. Much like I used to fantasize about Simon Le Bon picking me out of a teenage line-up and whisking me to Duran Duran heaven, I now fantasize about someone stumbling across my blog, reading a few posts and getting in touch with me saying, “Hey, this is great stuff. You just sit back and we’re going to put it all together in a book for you and publish it and make you money. And then we’re going to give you an idea for a novel and when you finish that, we’re going to publish that too.” It’s like being a girl and waiting for your prince to swoop in and rescue you from your hateful parents that won’t let you drive 2 hours to see a Duran Duran concert. Kate Middleton aside, it doesn’t happen very often. It doesn’t stop me from wanting it though.
In most respects blogging is an exercise for me. It’s got me writing again. It’s holding me accountable for quality and quantity. It’s pushed me a little beyond my comfort zone in the sense that it is non-fiction, but I have found that surprisingly easy and enjoyable. But the more I do it, the more I enjoy it. And the more I enjoy it, the more I want from it.
I admit it. I want the carnations.
**Freshly Pressed is a group of blog posts on WordPress that are chosen by the all important powers that be as recent posts that stand out. It generally increases your blog traffic, your followers, comments et al. And you get to put a groovy blue badge on your site announcing it as one of the chosen few. I shouldn’t want it, but I do. I want it bad. I want it almost as much as I wanted those cheap, dyed carnations in high school. But not quite.