Okay, so I’m having some summertime, blogging blues. I don’t know how to get out of this funk. But, I am the proactive type, so I’ve decided to DO something about it. I’ve decided to do something I never do. I’ve decided to mind map.
Mind mapping is a sort of outlining or structuring that I find akin to the psychological Rorschach test. You know, when you see this ink blob, what do you feel? The mind map equivalent might say, “What is your thematic center bubble, now draw out your feelings from there.” Maybe mind mapping isn’t supposed to be about your feelings. Maybe it’s supposed to be about your main points. The problem is, for me, I may start out with main points, but I end up at feelings. Maybe I’m doing it all wrong. Maybe I’ve – quite simply – developed some blogger’s blues.
Here’s a shot of my mind map that I made this morning for this post:
Don’t worry if you can’t read it, I’ll go through each crucial piece, bit by bit.
The first thing you might notice is…
The feckin blog rash bubble: I feel that my blog has a rash, a summertime rash. It’s in trouble, simply because it’s annoying me. I’m not going to quit it. I’m going to ride it out, but I need some ointment. But, what to apply…
Now, I wrote this mind map from right to left.
So, my first thought around the feckin’ blog rash theme was Summer Blues:
My blog (and me) we’ve got the Summer Blues. Most smart people take off for the summer from blogging or they go down to less posts. But, I’ve set a goal for myself and surprisingly, I’m hell bent on reaching it. My goal is 365 consecutive posts with as few “breaks” as possible. I’m at around 150. Now, this nearing mid-way fatigue is interesting. It makes me feel like, “What have you done for me lately, Blog?” It makes me look at my blog and go, “Jesus, we’re going to have to make an appointment to have sex. I’m going to have to work up to it, Blog, because our honeymoon period is over!” Sigh.
The next structure point along the theme is: Where did all the gaybies go? I picture this thought line sung to the tune of Paula Coles’s, “Where have all the cowboys gone?” When I started this blog there was many a post on gaybies, future gaybies, dealing with a gayby, etc. Now, the gaybies have gone and – at the moment – I’m not caring about them. I feel like a mom who has given her child to a neighbor while she drives to the nearest Betty Ford clinic. I’m sure the babies and gaybies will be back, but at the moment, they’re at the bottom of the storage bin, while I down a fifth of tequila.
You should be finishing your book section: The next thought line is entitled, “You should be finishing your book.” It is here that my mind map turns into a stern life coach at the ready with a reprimand. It has nothing to do with the structuring of this piece, but – alas – it got in there somehow anyway. I believe it is there, simply to mock me.
I miss Reading Other Blogs section: I do. I miss reading all of your blogs. So, I’m going to try and do some of that today. However, it will keep me away from finishing my book and every other thing I need to do. But, I need that sustenance, so I’m going to do it.
Cheesy, Oprah-ish, Vaggy, End lines: I do not know if the word vaggy would have two g’s or if it should be spelled, vag-y. Lawd knows wikipedia is not going to be able to tell me, so I’m left to my own devices. I really like some of my posts and I really despise others. For me, that’s part of this process. I write and I hit publish and I try not to beat myself up. This is difficult. Lately, I feel as if I can’t close a piece without an Oprah-ish, Vaggy, ending line. Today’s might be, “Mind map your vision that you see for the world. If the world doesn’t meet up to the standards of your mind map, re-draw using more vibrant colors. You owe it to yourself and the dying baby otter.” You see, not really necessary, but it will be there, anyway with a mention of a sick otter. That should speak to other vages out there, shouldn’t it? Oy.
Stats vs. Follower Drop-off: I do not know how in the feck to get more followers. I literally have no idea at this point. Currently, it’s like weight loss for me. I lose 5 lbs only to have a night of fornicating with a plate of Mexican food and never ending chips and salsa and I gain back 7. But, in follower land, it goes like this: I post something sexuality-neutral and universal in tone and I gain 5 followers. The next day, I post something ultra-gay and I lose 6. I know, I know, they’re not followers I should be wanting anyway, but we all want to build an audience here, so I can’t help but furrow my brow when it happens. My stats have been at a plateau with two exceptions. My 100th post day garnered views well over the 1,000 mark. I can only assume that was because I linked to 100 bloggers and everyone loves to see where their stats come from. So, if you want more views, my advice – write about everybody else. The second high view day was the Gay Pride post – mainly because I have a lot of female readers and that post included a lot of man-ass. So, if you want more views, I recommend – tits and man ass. In other words, if I were to start this blogging thing all over again, I’d start a blog called: A BLOG ALL ABOUT YOU: featuring tits and man ass. Every post would be about 100 different people and I would round it out, visually, with female cleavage shots and muscle men. You can not lose with that formula, I’m telling you.
Blog Expansion: I put a carbon copy of this blog up on tumblr. It is not working. 3 people follow it and I don’t get why tumblr exists at all. But, I feel like there are more readers out there for me and it is simply my job to find them. Are they here, but don’t know about me yet? Are they on youtube? Are they on someone else’s blog? I do not know. Though, I’m pretty sure they’re not on tumblr.
I stole this pen from Staples. The pen that I used to draw the mind map was stolen from Staples. I stole it because I went there to make copies and the counter guy had me waiting a full 15 minutes while he talked to some older lady about banners. I get it, she needed a banner conversation. However, I only needed one feckin’ copy. So, maybe, Copy Guy, CALL ANOTHER FECKIN’ COUNTER PERSON OVER. I did not say any of this. I waited patiently, but I was peeved. So, I stole the pen to restore the natural order of things. It was the only way I could let it go. This has nothing to do with my blog rash mind map, except for the fact that if I had left that corner blank, my map would’ve looked funny. Symmetry is a finer point of mind mapping.
Iron shirts, Water guy, Tax Forms: This is part of my ‘to do’ list for the day. It made its way on to the mind map, probably, because mind maps don’t really work for me. They become, self deprecating, to do lists and seemingly non-linkable concepts that somehow I have linked here.
So, if you’re feeling like me – like your blog has a summertime rash and it’s annoying you…MIND MAP. It’s writerly, quackery at its best. Okay, okay, I know it works for some people. In fact, I know mind mapping could one day save the dying otters that are clinging to the rocks in the marina, while my vag weeps, and Adele sings. A mind map could do all that.
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