Life Rants

#Goals

I’ve been blogging here for over 4 years now.  And while it’s been so worth it in terms of meeting my blogging partner and internet love of my life, A Voluptuous Mind, I haven’t become a social media influencer, the voice of a generation, or even the kind of blogger who every now and then gets free samples of all-natural snacks to review.

According to a widget on my blog’s side bar, I have 172 followers, a number I don’t understand (but choose not to question).  What I do know is this number in no way accurately reflects the number of people who regularly read this blog, which is approximately 3% of that number (looking at you, whoever is Googling “hillbilly woman murderer from the 1800’s” and “does the cat die in hush”).

I can’t say I’m sad about the lack of a following most of the time, since any large group on the internet seems to be composed of about 30% (or more) trolls and/or Russian bots.  But I do at times aim to write and post more on this blog than I do, and I wonder if that lack of followers holds me back in spite of myself.  One of the first questions people usually ask about my blog is how many readers it has.

Tim Wu has written this wonderful article, “In Praise of Mediocrity,” that asserts the way we talk about hobbies has gotten absolutely out of control.  It’s not enough to dabble in sketching; you must illustrate and animate a 12-minute short film to prove you have a true passion for your hobby.  And it’s out of the question you keep at something even when all evidence suggests you may not have any talent for it whatsoever.

I keep meaning to write more, but I worry what I write will be garbage.  I have been telling myself to do more sketching or actually focus on a fucking practical hobby like knitting or give sailing a go since I’m surrounded by water now.

And admittedly, I’ve had a lot going on lately and am trying to be patient with myself.  But I also want to avoid falling into a routine before I’ve had the opportunity to try different things and absorb new experiences.

Wu writes “to permit yourself to do only that which you are good at is to be trapped in a cage whose bars are not steel but self-judgment.”

There are a lot of chances I haven’t taken because I was too busy feeling like shit about myself or worried that others would see too clearly what a talentless hack I was.  But goddamnit, I want to learn to sail.

Photo by chuttersnap

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books

Summer ’16 Book List

Since I’ll be hiding from the sun all summer anyway, and inspired by my incredibly cool, ambitious blog wife Christa, I’m posting my summer reading list.  Most of these are Humble Bundle impulse buys (once you start visiting Humble Bundle, it’s a downward spiral), book sale purchases that have been sitting too long accumulating dust, and SearchOhio/OhioLINK requests that I can’t (and won’t) stop placing.

I’m cheating a little (a lot) since (a) I’ve already started chipping away at the books on this list, and (b) 8 of these titles are graphic novels.  My more significant goal is to finish reading a book a week during the summer AND actually write a damn book review for each of the books I’ll be reading.

Without further ado, here’s my book list for the summer (quite a lot of fantasy on it…something has to distract me from Democalypse 2016, no?):

  1. Queen of the Tearling (Erika Johansen)
  2. Invasion of the Tearling (Erika Johansen)
  3. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (N.K. Jemisin)
  4. The Broken Kingdoms (N.K. Jemisin)
  5. The Kingdom of Gods (N.K. Jemisin)
  6. Brighton Rock (Graham Greene)
  7. Crow Road (Iain Banks)
  8. The Mirror Thief (Martin Seay)
  9. The Lock Artist (Steve Hamilton)
  10. Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist (Sunil Yapa)
  11. The Passage (Justin Cronin)
  12. Barren Cove (Ariel S. Winter)
  13. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (Sydney Padua)
  14. Two Brothers (Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon)
  15. Soldier’s Heart (Carol Tyler)
  16. Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine (Kelley Sue DeConnick)
  17. Monstress (Marjorie Liu)
  18. The Infinite Loop (Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier)
  19. Julio’s Day (Gilbert Hernandez)
  20. Heart of Thomas (Moto Hagio)

Btw, you can see Christa’s list here and check out book reviews on her blog!

Happy reading!

P.S.  Image via Unsplash.