Life for Me Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair: Blogging Ain’t Easy
Langston Hughes wrote, “Let, me tell ya, chile, life for me ain’t been no crystal stair,” and I wholeheartedly agree. Life for me as a weekly blogger has been “no crystal stair.” It’s had tacks in it (i.e. People who call you a feminist bitch or dyke bitch because you see the intersectionality of Precious’ mother’s story, Mary). It’s had board torn apart (i.e. Pressure to produce another blog that receives 200 Facebook Likes). It’s had places with no carpet, bare (i.e. Work on a blog for an entire week only to find that someone else has written the same thing [but better] and because the reading public has a short attention span you write another blog).
And, just in case you missed it, yes, I used fragments of Langston Hughes’ Mother to Son to convey the unadulterated weight and heaviness of publicly writing your opinions (i.e. blogging) about life weekly. It ain’t easy. And, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart especially when people “expect,” that every time you write something it is deep and riveting. Deep like the rivers in Langton Hughes’ I’ve Known Rivers. However, if the rivers turn out to be splash worthy, but shallow puddles, the reading public calls you names. I know that “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt me,” but, on a day when your car is malfunctioning, your boss is acting like a donkey’s rear end, and your grandmother is obsessed with you marrying the new preacher man cause she don’t want ordinary grandbabies, she wants “sanctified” and “Jesus-filled” grandbabies, you do not need to check your email to find some irate comment about your blog calling you “every name under the sun.”
I tell ya sometimes I am threw with blogging because it is, fundamentally, a non-stop pressure generating exercise. Pressure in the present . . . “I don’t like your interpretation of the Bed Intruder Song” . . . pressure in the future . . . “So, you want to be the first African-American woman President of the US, but when you were in your twenties you wrote a blog about how the US political system is corrupt”. . . non-stop pressure. Blogging ain’t easy or for the faint of heart because you are literally exposing yourself to any and everyone for decades to come.
Then do not be an obsessive blogger like me to the point that you cannot go to your waiting lover in bed because you must find the right phrase to convey your mal-content for President’s Obama’s Race to the Top school reform or find the right word to describe the horse dug move of Essence to hire a white woman who you teasingly think about portraying in the blog as Ms. Scarlet O’Hare mistress to all the colored women at Essence, but then you realize the historical fallacy of such a characterization even though you thought it was a good comparison two in the morning.
And, sometimes as a blogger you realize that you have spent the last two months writing about very important topics like rape in Haiti and the Gulf Oil Spill, but they have all been emotionally and politically heavy so you decide to switch it up and lighten the load by writing something not so heavy. However, your readers don’t press the Facebook like Button when you write something that is different from your normal type of writing especially when they have termed you in their minds as the serious black feminist thinker even though that image is one of many identities you hold. I’ll be honest sometimes I don’t want to be so deep.
Well, don’t get me wrong, I really like blogging. I like the tug and pull of public discourse. I like linking to well written and critical blogs. I like inciting discussions. It’s just sometimes I think to myself, “Why am I doing this?” and “Who am I to do this?” And, honestly, sometimes, I am just tired of writing and cannot conjure up one deep and riveting thought. Sometimes, I just want to say that the story about Montana Fishburne is sad and not contextualize why it’s sad. Sometimes, I want to say that Tea Party Members are racist ass motherfuckers and not have to contextualize the comment.
But, do you really want to know what burns my butter? It is when readers expect for you to take seriously every concern and gripe they have with your blog. They expect for you to respond immediately as if you do not have a life and responsibilities. They wait and write responses that are longer then you’re your original blog piece. Then if by chance you’re unable to respond to their comments they happily post, “Your silence is your agreement with my point.” And all I want to say to that is, “Number one if I wanted to I could delete your little funky comment, but because I believe in free speech I let it stand. Furthermore, the world does not revolve around your comment . . . I have bills, papers, other important obligations. Now what.”
Yep, blogging ain’t easy especially when write a blog about blogging you have hit a low uninspiring point.