Okay, I have to admit something. A few years ago, in addition to swearing that I would never tweet or even try to understand why twitter is necessary, I also publicly expressed my disdain for blogging. I remember the moment very clearly, because I was having dinner with friends in Chicago, and it was the day the entire financial system collapsed. Between drinking our sorrows away (more them, than me, since they all work in finance) and eating, we tried to keep the subject matter light. I remember fighting about Sarah Palin (one of the group was, lets just say, a little more conservative than me), and in a struggle to find common ground, we both started to diss blogging as a haven for the self-indulgent, self-involved and self-promotional.
Chomp, chomp, chomp. That’s the sound of me eating my words.
So why have I become such a blogging machine? There are a couple of reasons. First, after multiple health issues, medical tests, chiropractor visits, acupuncture treatments, and herbal tinctures and teas, I figured out that I was gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant and soy intolerant. What could that possibly have to do with blogging? Well, when you can’t eat half the foods that you have spent the majority of your life eating, and you love to eat, cook and bake, life can get pretty depressing. Fortunately, there are millions of other people in the world who have the same problem, and guess what-- they are blogging. They are blogging about how to make chocolate chip cookies with almond flour, and ice cream with avocados, and where to get the cheapest gluten-free pasta. And a year later, I still look at those blogs everyday and can make some pretty amazing gluten free, lactose free, soy free meals and desserts.
Second, by blogging about this process, I basically have a blueprint for the next time I do this. And I have a blueprint to share with all you aspiring writers, composers, producers, etc. One of the things I had to do as part of my graduate thesis at NYU’s Gallatin School, which I cursed at the time, was write an “Artistic Aims” essay to go along with my Performance Thesis. This meant I had to document the process as I was going through it and expound on the artistic choices I was making, the challenges and obstacles I was facing, and the personal lessons I was learning as an artist along the way. Again, I cursed it at the time, but I can’t tell you how useful it was in helping me to start this endeavor.
Finally, this blog has become an integral part of Helen. The fact that I am blogging is evidence of my convictions. For someone who is as private a person as I am, the fact that I have completely pushed myself well beyond my comfort zone to publicly share all the ups and downs of this process is a testament to how much I believe in this “product.” Friends used to always tell me that I should have gone into sales, because if I believed in a brand of cereal, a song on the radio or a new flavor of gum, my enthusiasm was irrepressible and pretty soon they were wishing they had bought that flavor or brand or were listening to that song. That’s how I feel about Helen and I can’t help but broadcast it to the world (wide web).
And you know what? I can’t give up or throw in the towel, even if I want to now, because I’m not alone in this endeavor anymore. I have a slew of subscribers and a wide community of supporters who are tuning in every few days to see how things are progressing. While some people might see this as pressure, I happen to find it energizing. It feeds my enthusiasm and gives me the push I need to carry on.
So, I take it back. Blogging is fun, useful and even therapeutic. And if it is a little self-indulgent now and then, so what? It definitely has made the world a more interesting place.
Now it’s time to figure out how to tweet.