No, it wasn't that I realized how many paragraphs I start with "So," and quit doing it. I know how many paragraphs I start with "So," I just choose not to care.
The funny thing is that people started reading this silly blog I started just for fun to connect with other writers and catalogue my journey to...uh...wherever it is I'm going? At first it was just a few, and we'd have whole conversations in the comments, and it was great. Then more people found it, but it still wasn't a big deal. I'd do things like post passages from WIPs, and draw cartoons of my internal organs (complete with frowny faces!), and let Laptop take over and yell at people.
Last night I found myself in a very strange position, though. I was trying to decide what to blog about this morning and realized I was thinking, "What do they want to read?" Which made me realize I had shifted from writing this blog for myself (because it was ALL ABOUT ME! ME, ME, ME!) to worrying about what people thought when they read it.
It was kind of inevitable, especially when my mom told me about the conversations she overheard standing in line at the signing, with people comparing how long they'd been reading the blog and reminiscing about favorite posts--complete with wondering why I don't do [insert their favorite feature] as often anymore. And then there are the times someone points out whole discussions on other blogs or websites about my blog, and me, and my methods, and how it's a great marketing tool, so on and so forth.
Suddenly when I sit down to fill this box with nonsense the room feels very, VERY crowded. "So-and-so from Utah wants more Laptop posts. Maybe I'm not as funny as I used to be. But a lot of people who have never seen my blog before are going to be coming from the website, so I shouldn't have it be too inside-jokey or they'll feel left out and not come back. And why does Random House keep visiting? Did I mention one of their books, or do they have an irrational fondness for parenthetical statements? And people are going to come to my blog now and study it and try to figure out how the crap I have so many incredibly awesome readers and why on earth anyone likes me. And I can't write anything negative or mention [insert craptastic thing happening in my life here] or complain because I'm where so many people wish they could be, and I don't ever want to appear ungrateful. But I also can't whitewash my life, because even when you get a dream book deal and are published stuff still sucks and writing is always hard and my kids still don't sleep and there's never enough time and why the crap can't I get pregnant anymore? I mean, I don't want to be one of those SPARKLES SPARKLES MY LIFE IS AWESOME AND YOURS KINDA SUCKS bloggers because let's face it, I clean up way too much puke for that to ever be true. But I haven't been very funny lately. What happened to my funny? Come back to me, funny! I love you! Coooooooooome baaaaaaaaaaaaack!"
Then I give up and go to bed.
The point of this is that sometimes in writing (and, obviously, in blogging) we can become overwhelmed by audience. That's when I have to sit back and say to myself: Self, quit talking to yourself. You look like a lunatic.
And after that's been established, I think to myself: Self, your blog is not a marketing tool. It never has been. If it helps people find your books, fantastic! But your blog is to entertain yourself and keep yourself from doing things like making a lot of weird references to yourself as "self" and "yourself," because let's face it, even though you're thinking now instead of saying it out loud, you are still bordering on lunatic territory. And if other people are entertained, too, well that's fabulous!
So, I'm gonna keep starting out way too many paragraphs with so, and having fun, and if I want to draw diagrams of my internal organs with frownie faces, well, so be it. The day I start thinking of this blog as just a tool is the day I'll stop writing it.
Please bless that day comes soon.
Shut it, Laptop.