Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Now what?

Now what?

A month ago, I scrounged up a manifesto I had written 5 years ago and posted it as my opening volley to begin a proper blog.  And then…


Those of you who know me (or who are Facebook friends) know I always have something to say about everything.  So one would think blogging would come naturally to me. I imagined I would be as verbose in a blog as I am in real life. Instead, I found myself plagued with a lot of questions.  Eventually, it occurred to me to write them down. The plague seemed to fall into two categories:
What is it about? and Who is it for?

The whole time I was plaguing myself with the variations on those questions, I also found myself looking over my own shoulder observing my day-to-day spinsta© life.  The plague and self observation really only served to leave me tied up in a big mute knot.  (Single knot, of course)

But at least I had written something down.  It was the list of plague questions.  Maybe that was my blog. Maybe I should just post whatever I can manage to write.  Maybe that’s how to start.  Am I starting at the very beginning, a very good place to start? 

When God closes a door, he opens a window on the 27th floor.
Suddenly, I have a vision of bracelets that say WWMvTD? I don’t usually turn to the Sound of Music version of Maria von Trapp for life wisdom.  But starting at the beginning—right where I am— makes some sense to me.  It reminds me of the other quote from that show that often comes to mind.  You know how the Mother Abbess tells Maria that when God closes a door he opens a window?   What Mother Abbess neglects to mention is that the window will be on the 27th floor and you can either stand there or jump.  

As a recovering Catholic and practicing atheist, I have no confidence that a god or any magic will open a window—even on the 27th floor.  But I do believe in pushing, shoving, knocking, jamming and generally doing whatever it takes to scratch out a glimpse of light to show the way out.  Admittedly, once in a while, the smart thing is just to wait and let time wear down the obstacles. But I won’t be making up any WWMAD bracelets any time soon.  My experience has taught me not to give a crap what Mother Abbess would do.

A bracelet I would seriously consider wearing would say WWR&HD? What would Rodgers & Hammerstein do? Or even better, WWSSD?  What would Stephen Sondheim do?  With my extensive knowledge of Rodgers , Hammerstein and Sondheim shows, there is every chance this blog could turn into a running list of song lyrics as they apply to the life of a spinsta©.

For now, though, I am going to list the plague of questions.  My guess is that this will lead to more questions than answers. But it’s as good a place as any to start.

  1. What should it be about?
  2. Should I focus on a specific theme?
  3. Does my life even have a coherent theme?
  4. How much of my own personal life do I want to share with whomever might wander by?
  5. Do I want to censor myself in case my mother or conservative sisters read it?
  6. What if a current or potential employer reads it?
  7. What would make a good blog entry? 
  8. Should I include photographs? 
  9. How much faith do I have in my own writing abilities to just start writing and put it out there?
  10. Who is this blog for?
  11. What makes other blogs compelling enough that complete strangers make a point of reading them?
  12. Do I have anything to say that complete strangers will find compelling, humorous, insightful, interesting, or most importantly, worth taking the time to read?

And here are the answers I have so far:

  1. My idiosyncratic worldview.
  2. There are certain themes I expect will dominate, but maybe once I start writing regularly, I will discover others I didn’t realize were always rumbling under the surface.
  3. Only that it’s my life.  Spinsta©hood does seem to be fairly consistently recurrent.
  4. TBD. It’s not as if I ever intend to run for office.
  5. Ummm No. If I can put it out there for complete (and incomplete) strangers, I can put it out there for my sisters.  They don’t have to like it, but they are required to love me. (Note: I also have a brother, but I am not in the least worried about his reading a blog I write.)
  6. Hopefully it will be just a good writing sample.
  7. The blogs I enjoy are interactive, funny, insightful and make me think about things a little differently. Oh, and they give stuff away to lucky readers. J
  8. If they are worth a thousand words.
  9. Probably more than I should. Hopefully this will help me hone.
  10. I think there need to be more voices of unapologetic singletons out in the culture, so while I expect to be writing about spinsta©life, it’s actually the coupled who are my audience. A spinsta© here and there might be interested to find someone who shares their experience, but couples tend to be oblivious to the reality that not everyone is in a couple.  They certainly can’t imagine what it’s really like to be a spinsta©.  Many fear being alone more than death. So to some degree, this blog is to take the fear out of what is so unknown to so many.
  11. Free stuff. Quotes you can surprise your friends with. A very specific persona from the writer. Saying how you feel and asking for what you want.
  12. People tell me so all the time.  It always surprises me since I live with this particular narrative in my head 24/7 and I am used to it.  Apparently I say stuff that is provocative or funny or entertaining when I don’t mean to.  So I want to see if I can do that when I am trying to.

So there! I have a second blog entry!  I will be curious to see what I come up with for a third. (And when…)


  1. My therapist, ever-patient and tolerant sweet dear that she is, has told me on more than one occasion that I over-intellectualize. This list of questions constitutes what I've come to recognize as that trait. "...don't over-think it...just put it out there." :-)

  2. I like the idea of seeing a list of songs about spinsta©life. Now that I think of it, most songs are about being in love, falling out of love, or wanting to be in love. What are the lyrics that make you think, "I know exactly what they mean," and then you cry a little bit? What is the soundtrack to the spinsta©life?

  3. I think you already got this, AM. From your first entry: "I am here to at least make this invisible life visible."

  4. @Tombstone: I bet there is a distinction between over-intellectualizing and just plain intellectualizing. Over-intellectualizing is a defense mechanism we use to deflect pain or manage fear, IMHO. Regular intellectualizing is just for figuring out what to do next. :)

    @Libby: Two of the Spinsta Greatest Hits are "In My Own Little Corner" and "Stepsisters' Lament" from Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. The R&H canon would also include "Many a New Day" from Oklahoma and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" from South Pacific. What an interesting idea. The Spinsta Hymns. I'll get back to you on that. :)

    @ Stephanie: Thanks! :)