Monday, March 1, 2010

A Thought Provoking Post of Staggering Insight

So I'm reading this book. And I'm not loving it. I'm almost done, but am still toying with the idea of abandonment. I started working out my 'Goodreads' review:

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is neither. Perhaps it's my age, but I just don't find anything entertaining about listening to a twenty-something expound upon the virtues and vices of the lint in his own bellybutton ad infinitum. While I do understand that the title is meant to be tongue in cheek, the whole work felt - to me - completely self-indulgent and


And then I stopped. And I deleted my review. Because it occurred to me that that's exactly what I do on my blog. Holy shit, I'm doing it RIGHT NOW!!! How could I condemn him for doing EXACTLY what I do? As a matter of fact - if I had found this author on a blog rather than at Barnes & Noble, I would probably adore him. He's a good writer. I like his style. It's - it's very similar to MY style - what's not to like? (See? I can be tongue in cheek, too. It's not so hard.) He's self-deprecating and low-key funny and he sometimes takes a meta approach. I should be singing his praises instead of deriding him for his indulgences.

So why am I not?

I wonder if it's because I DID find his heartbreaking work at Barnes & Noble instead of online - complete with a badge proclaiming it to be a Pulitzer Prize Finalist and a #1 National Bestseller? Surely the good folks at Pulitzer know a little more about genius - staggering or otherwise - than I do. Someone read his writing and said, 'We'd like to publish this.' And then other someones read it and said, 'We'd like to honor this.' And then lots of someones bought it and - whether they liked it or not - they made it into a bestseller. How does this HAPPEN?!? Is it because he doesn't overcapitalize or triple punctuate?!? It IS, isn't it?!?

I had the same reaction at the end of Julie and Julia. Tom looked at me and said, "That was cute," and I just shook my head - how did that HAPPEN? How did her blog turn into a book deal? How did her blog even become so successful? She didn't spend hours every day promoting it or visiting other blogs begging for hits or joining blogging communities [or, I suppose, to be fair, if she DID we didn't SEE it... (Crap. An ellipsis and double parenthesis. No wonder I can't catch my break... Shit. Another ellipsis. Somebody stop me... I am dot dot dotting my way right out of being discovered...)]

Jealousy ain't pretty, is it?

I'm going to finish reading my book. I'll try looking at the rest of it without my Emerald City Glasses, even though it is the month for the wearin' o' the green. Wearin' green and being green are two very different things. And we all know which one isn't easy.


23 comments:

Housewife Savant said...

Are you saying you don't look good in green?
That's what you're saying, isn't it?
I would HATE reading someone who wrote like me; how annoying I am.
I've had enough of me for sure.

MiMi said...

I'm with Kel. I'm irritating myself half the time.
Seriously, e-mail me...I wanna know what this book is.
Also, I just did the...TWICE! Crap.

Lynn said...

You are just so damn funny. When you get published I'll read your book. Meanwhile I'll just read your blog.

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Ha! Sometimes I can't stand my own words. It would be hard to read a whole book by me or someone like me. But you - you I could buy, with your crazy ass punctuation and all!!&%$(_)

Still, an interesting question about blogging turning into something publishable. It has happened for some people but it's not the norm. My husband just told me over the weekend that I'm wasting my talent on my blog, that I should probably be doing something else. And yeah, sobering as that is, he's probably right! Maybe that will be an upcoming monthly challenge for me. To write something else besides my own life and thoughts. Maybe I should've done that NANO thing.

Aw screw it all, just pass me an Irish beer and let's wear green together!

Sandy said...

I realized long ago that just because someone says something, a book, a movie, etc., is great doesn't mean I'll think it is. And I'm not afraid to say so.

And if using an ellipsis ever becomes a crime, I'm in deep shit......

Pam said...

I read this book years ago and HATED it. I, too, couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about. I might not have even finished it. And this was pre-blogs. Blog posts do not a book make. I don't care what anyone says. Even Pulitzer.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

I bought this book when it came out because of all the reviews and never finished it. Oh...and I'm a bit ellipsis fan...

Gibby said...

Hahahahahaha!!! I read this book, too, and I thought it was just OK. But you are so right, bloggers are just like this guy! Well, some of us. Oh Tammy, you are so insightful. A genius, really. It's staggering sometimes.

carma said...

Exactly!! Like the Julia and Julia blogger spent hours on her blog leaving comments to drum up some traffic - riiiiiggghhhhhtttt if that was the case she'd be like the rest of us barely making it out of the house let alone having time to solicit a movie deal.

blueviolet said...

While I haven't heard of that book, I have heard many people say that same thing about Julie and Julia. For the record, I've been reading your writing for a while now and you have a gift. Your day is coming.

Badass Geek said...

Belly button isn't interesting?

Well, that scraps my post for tomorrow.

Eva Gallant said...

If you're looking for your next book to read, check out my blog today for my review of the book I just read.

Brandy said...

I understand what you are saying and have found myself asking why them. And then I read a book that was word for word a written version of someone's blog and thought why any of us?

I blame the paper for making us look lame. When we write on the computer the screen illuminates our words, which is like so much better duh!

I...btw...really like the dots...

MaryRC said...

That particular book is on my reading list. I've picked it up and put it back frequently. Perhaps ill pick it up again.. Than put it back ... Dot dot dot

Vixen/Apron Frenzy said...

You are Purlizter material, trust me!

K said...

That book is on my "To Read List" - I think I'll just skip it and read your blog instead.

(I meant that as a compliment, but I'm not sure it came out that way.)

Joanna Jenkins said...

You crack me up! I love your blog and your writing so let me know when your book gets published and I'll come to your book signing :-)

The Julie/Julia blog-- I read her blog before I even knew what a blog was. It was fabulous! Then I read her book and thought it was horrible and she was not particularly likeable. Then I saw the movie and her character was so watered down and syrupy sweet that I really didn't like her.

So stick to who you are Tammy and keep writing. We love you just the way you are.
xo

JennyMac said...

I read Eggers book too and didnt really care for it. I read Julie and Julia and LOVED the book. Her personality really came through in the writing which is not at all her character portrayal in the film. BTW, I also recently finished Julie Powells 2nd book, Cleaving. Just ok.

and I will definitely buy any book you write.

Tater Tot Mom said...

If my over punctuation is holding me back, I'm in deep...I mean if you can use one ! then !!!!!! is even better right??

Traci said...

Well, the fact that you don't have a publishing deal in your back pocket is absolute proof that the world is not fair and those people don't know what they're doing. Okay. You're rolling your eyes, aren't you? well, stop. You think I'm kidding, right? Nope. You have been one of my favorite blogs since I started reading blogs and I am just glad that we are moving into spring so I may "see" you more often. So take off the green glasses and borrow some rose from me because you are fantabulous (of the staggering sort!)!

餐廳 said...

blog is great~~祝你人氣高高~ ........................................

Tsquared417 said...

This is so true and so funny!

Unknown Mami said...

When I read blog posts, they are relatively short. I don't know that I would want to sit down and read a book that was written like a blog.

You are a brilliant writer and I would buy your book and like it even if it was at Barnes and Noble.