I know I haven’t posted for almost a week, but here’s the thing. My greatest fear has been realized. You will recall in my second post I posited that blogging about being shallow might make me less shallow. I have to be honest, the only reason I got into this blogging thing was because of the enormous potential blogs have to generate wealth. I did my research, I know there are financially successful blogs out there. I mean if “Stuff White People Like” can make money surely a blog about being and becoming shallow can’t be far behind. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want a “Shallow and Proud” t-shirt to wear at their next school reunion or better yet, a “Shallow Be My Name” mug to display prominently on their desk at work? But now that seemingly flippant, off-the-cuff question, created for the primary purpose of literary symmetry, has come back to bite me pretty hard. It would appear that this blog has elicited in me a response that most other things in my life have failed to do and I have become obsessed. If I actually believed it could happen I might say I am having an out of body experience.
I first noticed that things might be going sideways when I found myself incessantly hitting the refresh button to see how many hits I had. The robust tracking that WordPress provides is both a blessing and a curse. At about the same time my followers grew to eight, far exceeding my wildest dreams not to mention RC’s predictions which had seemed like a pipedream to me at the time. So what if RC is my brother who writes an awesomely funny blog on another network which I don’t think I can mention here, and I follow him. Who cares that another is a colleague of mine who, at my suggestion, decided that being a follower was easier than typing in the URL. The three followers who work for me really do have a choice, and our HR person may or may not be following for the sole purpose of compiling evidence for my next performance review. And I am sure that other bloggers have even more than two friends committed to following if for no other reason than to show their support. The very fact that there are eight has made me a believer that one day someone I don’t know will become a follower too.
Next I started telling everyone about the blog, sharing the URL at meetings encouraging my faculty colleagues to visit if only because it is “an interesting link with a rather well developed instructional component”, masterfully slipping it into conversations with people I only very occasionally run into at the grocery store (the tomatoes are lovely and on sale and did you know I am writing a blog now?) and even getting friends and family to share it with their friends and family on facebook. Apparently while in some kind of euphoric state resulting from yet another comment made in response to a posting, I even promised to buy my Mother a computer just to increase my readership.
All of this has led me to spending an inordinate amount of time sitting in my favourite chair writing, rewriting, editing, re-editing and generally musing about what to write next. I even pre-write, and for those of you who don’t have the same formal English credentials as I, that’s when you run out of the bathroom, jot down an idea in its most primitive form returning later to flesh it out and give it the attention it deserves. But while I can define this process it still seems odd to me. In university I didn’t even know what a first draft was! I hardly recognize myself anymore. This is not what I do! At least it wasn’t what I did, but now apparently it is. For those who have taken the time not only to read but to comment and engage in the more personal back and forth banter with the author exploiting the interactive nature of what would otherwise be a rather one dimensional medium and for those whose comments are still swirling in their minds not yet ready to be openly expressed, I will continue to write.
Yes I am afraid that writing about being shallow has in fact become an obsession, worse perhaps, a passion, and damn it! it hasn’t made me one red cent yet.