Posts Tagged ‘Ferrett Steinmetz’

When I first started blogging seriously back in 2010, I read so many blogs. I wanted to see what other people were doing, and I wanted to get ideas of what to talk about, and I followed lots of blogs from which I read almost all the entries.

Then at some point I stopped. I can’t remember if it was early this year, or sometime last year, but I do remember I was falling behind and I decided to take a break to catch up with life. And then I found I wasn’t missing most of the blogs I read, so I never came back to my blog reading in the same way.

Nala also doesn't read many blog posts. But she does have incredibly fluffy paws!

Nala also doesn’t read many blog posts. But she does have incredibly fluffy paws!

I still read a few blogs regularly. I read my friend Rahul’s blog because he is always making interesting observations and giving great book recommendations. I read my friend Ferrett’s blog because he is always doing strange things and giving great insight on social interactions. I read Theodora Goss’s blog because I feel like she’s teaching me how to lead a modern fairy tale life. I read Captain Awkward because I went so long wishing for an advice column that actually gave healthy advice and now I have one and it is so interesting and sometimes applicable to my life.  I read Nick Mamatas’s blog because he’s such an iconoclast online and that is fascinating to me. (Also, iconoclast was my new vocabulary word last week! I would probably pronounce it wrong if I tried to say it out loud.) I read Stina Leicht’s Feminist Mondays because she compiles a great list of links and backs them up with relevant commentary.

Other than that, I check in on an economics blog a few times a week, and I click on posts that people share with me on Twitter and Facebook. I’m more likely to click on said links if they’re for essays by Kameron Hurley and Robert Jackson Bennett or if they’re on io9 or if they’re shared by Mary Anne Mohanraj or Juliette Wade, but I end up clicking on all kinds of stuff.

I stopped reading some blogs because they got repetitive. I stopped reading other blogs because it was obvious the blogger was pretty messed up, which was compelling at first but then eventually mostly made me feel tired. I stopped reading most writing advice because most of it I either already knew or had nothing to do with me. I cut back on book blog reading because I’m so far behind on my to-read list (although I am hoping to catch some of the Book Smuggler’s Smugglivus this month because I do love year-end lists and reflections, what Rahul calls wrap-up season).

I still hear writers saying that they should really start their own blogs, but now I tend to respond, “Well, if you think you’ll like it.” Because it’s becoming more and more clear to me that blogs are driven by having a unique voice, just as much good fiction is. But I don’t think having a unique voice for one of those things necessarily means you’ll have it for the other. I mean, there might be some correlation, I don’t know. What I do know is that the short essay, suitable for most blogs, is its own form and as such, requires study and practice. So if you aren’t compelled to write it, I don’t know that there’s a strong argument for doing so anyway.

As we all know, I am compelled to write in this form, and all of this does beg the question of my own blogging. “What if I’m getting boring?” I wailed to my friend this weekend. He obligingly told me I wasn’t getting boring, thus proving his awesome quality of friend supportiveness, but it’s a question that is always in the back of my mind. That being said, none of the blogs I’ve stopped reading seem to be in any jeopardy, so I suppose the answer is that readers cycle in and they cycle out, and that’s as it should be.

I don’t miss the blogs I no longer read, but I do on the whole still enjoy blogs with a strong sense of voice. Perhaps I’ll stumble across some different ones that will enchant me all over again.

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This weekend, one of my closest friends had a heart attack. He spent most of the day Tuesday in surgery. On Wednesday, soon before I sat down to type this, he started breathing on his own again. The surgery went well, I think.

I am so relieved and grateful.

My "pretty princess" nails in support of Ferrett.

My “pretty princess” nails in support of Ferrett.

I originally became friends with Ferrett because of this blog, and in fact, he is the single person who has had the most influence on it. I came up with the idea of the Backbone Project because of his blogging advice, and in characteristic Ferrett fashion, he threw himself behind my idea with enthusiasm and support. And so we became friends.

Over time, we became better friends. And he was the first one who was there when life began to crumble apart. He was the one I could show the cracks and imperfections, the confusion and the doubt. He understood what I was trying to do, and he believed in my ability to do it, even when I couldn’t believe in it myself.

We were talking about what to do when we falter on Tuesday. If you’re lucky enough, having a friend who believes in you with all his heart can be a powerful thing indeed. And Ferrett has one of the biggest and most generous hearts of anyone I’ve met.

He’s also taught me what it means to be a friend. In a healthy, supportive, and non-people pleaser kind of way.

Through these last few days, when I’ve been mentally in a hospital in Cleveland even though I couldn’t be there physically, I’ve been reminded quite strongly of what’s important to me. I’m always big on priorities, of course, but there’s nothing like a life-or-death kind of event to give you a little extra kick and provide some perspective.

I’m in a liminal space right now, and I don’t like it. I mean, it has its advantages and interesting parts, and it is completely necessary, but it’s a hard place for me to stay for an extended period of time. But I realize that even in this space, I can and am focusing on the things that matter to me: the people I care about (and one very adorable little dog); my writing and creative work; maintaining and improving myself (physically, mentally, and emotionally); experiencing joy and wonder in the world around me.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I want. But that is not actually true at all. I know exactly what I want. I just don’t always know the form it will take or the balance it will require.

Ferrett wrote a post for his blog the day before his surgery. He said: “There is a small chance that these will be the last words I ever write on this blog.  And if they are… let them be thanks and love.”

It doesn’t look like those will be his last words on the blog, thank goodness. But if they had been, they would have been very fine last words indeed.

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