Last night, I exchanged a couple of emails with my husband. He is in Las Vegas having a very grueling week at the Consumer Electronics Show. Excuse me while I play a sad, sad song on violin for him…. Anyway, I shared some family news with him, and mentioned my blog regarding Andy’s new website. My point to my husband was despite not earning an actual salary for writing, I really enjoy writing and blogging. I wish that I would have recognized this years back and done more writing directly after college, but at the time I suppose I had more living to do (babies to have, children to raise, a husband to properly train…etc.) before I could spend time writing. He in turn said that he could understand why I enjoy it so much. This was a first coming from my “dollars and cents” husband, but it also made me really think about why I love this “job” of mine. Yesterday afternoon on Facebook I had updated my status to say that if this was as good as my “career” ever gets – I’m good right here. This is true.
When I was in college, I wrote on a daily basis. Much of it, if not all of it, was in the form of essays for class. My major was American Studies, which required a lot of reading, critical thinking, and writing. You might think I studied about American history – and while that would partially be true, most of my work was centered around our culture, and what makes the American people tick. Here’s the truth: I decided on that major purely because it was so easy for me! The writing seemed to come easy, and where my classmates would do two and three drafts before writing a final copy – I’d do ONE draft: the final copy, and turn it in for good grade. It never occurred to me to become a writer – I just knew I had to get a real job after college, so I did, and then I became a mom. It wasn’t until I met Amanda and started joking about writing a book (never again will I joke about such things) that I started thinking that maybe I really could write again.
My style here is very, very casual. That’s done on purpose, and it’s ALWAYS a first-draft/final copy thing. I don’t have time for anything else, and I want the blog to seem as though I’m chatting with you as opposed to trying to teach you something or trying to sound smarter than I really am. Hell, most of the time the readers – you guys – are teaching ME. I’m as “real” in...real life as I am here, and yes, I’m every bit as opinionated! I know that there are times that you don’t agree with what I’m saying, and there are times when I know going in that I’m going to get slammed for something I’ve written. Sometimes, I even welcome that. Anyway, when I write the blog, I try to keep in mind that most of you want to read something less formal, that I’m trying to sound like I’m talking to friends, and I hope that comes across.
I can’t explain the gratification I get out of blogging, but I’m going to try, and in doing so, I’m going to share a little story. I know I’ve mentioned that I am a trained musician. I played clarinet from the time I was about 8 until…well, I still play now but I don’t take formal lessons any longer. I always believed that I would go to college, major in music performance, and then join an orchestra. I don’t know what happened when I got to college (I really do know what happened but that’s another blog for another day), but for whatever reason, I changed course. Trouble was, I had no idea what else I was good at or what I enjoyed. I spent a lot of valuable time trying to fit myself – a round peg basically – into square holes. Something was always missing and I struggled at everything. Recently, as in two years ago now, I finished a secondary degree in Gemology of all things. Yes, I’m a scientist now. (I’m laughing as I type that. Scientist my ass…) Even as I studied Gemology, I realized just how ill-fit I am for that sort of thing. I finished the program and did well, but I still don’t feel fulfilled. The part I enjoy most about gemstones is the appraisal process, and that’s because in some really fun cases, I have to actually research where the piece came from (meaning jewelry), and I write. Shortly before I received my diploma, Amanda and I started writing our manuscript, and then I had the brilliant idea to write a daily blog. What in the hell was I thinking??
Originally the plan was to do short blurbs each day. Spend a half hour max on each topic. Uh-huh, sure. It always sounds better on paper (or computer screen) than what it ends up as in daily practice. I’ve been writing for about 45 minutes so far today, and I’m missing out on my only exercise time. AGAIN. I’ve got to get better about that because I really do like getting out, walking/running and listening to my iPod. It clears my head, and as a writer – I need that time. As a mom, my KIDS need me to have that time. I digress. The reality is, once I start writing for this thing, I have a hard time stopping. Sometimes the words come easily and I’m finished before I know it. Other days, I know what I want to say, but I can’t formulate the sentences. Still other days, I know exactly what I want to say, but if I do, I’m going to offend a lot of people. (smile here) Then there are the sheer golden moments, and that’s what I experienced yesterday.
Yesterdays blog was a little different. I don’t typically do interviews on the blog because I didn’t study journalism, I don’t know how to properly ask “smart” questions, and above all else – I’m not pushy. I had to incorporate what Kitty was trying to convey into my normal blog format, and so it was a little challenging, but I enjoyed the writing! I can promise Duran Duran that this is one fan who will never bug them for an interview. I just glean the information I need for a blog from wherever I can, try to blend into the background, and go away quietly without causing an uproar. Daily Duranie doesn’t do gossip, we don’t do tell-alls, and we don’t write love notes to the band. Well, not every day, anyway. The whole reason why this isn’t a news blog is because I simply cannot do news. I’m not sure about Amanda, but I’m guessing she doesn’t either. Besides, you all have Salvo (Durannasty) and Kitty (Gimme A Wristband) for that – they do a great job, much better than I would ever hope to accomplish, and I know my rightful place in the Duranie world. The funny thing is that when we started the blog, I don’t think either Amanda nor I really knew where we fit in! The only thing we knew was that we were studying fandom for the book. We like the idea of trying to understand why we fans behave the way we do. Why are we still fans after 30 years? Why do we compete against one another? Those are the questions we focus on for our manuscript. We just started blogging as a way to learn how to interact with the fan base beyond friendship, and figured we’d find eventually find where we fit in.
What I decided with my blogging was to just be myself. I stumbled around for a bit, but eventually realized that what I wanted most was to bring fans together. There is so much in our community that is divisive, whether it’s due to fighting for show tickets, fighting for attention, fighting to prove we’re the number one fan…arguing over whether or not there should be a paid fan club, then of course BEING in that fan club…it’s all overwhelmingly negative at times until there’s a moment or cause that brings us together, and those moments are remarkably few and far in between. Blogging is a funny thing because each day, I feel as though I put a little bit of myself out there for people to read and know. It’s bizarre because I never know how something is going to be taken, and I never know what will genuinely strike a chord with someone. I just write whatever I’m feeling at the time and hope for the best….which brings me to the blog from yesterday.
Amanda and I both get notes and emails at times saying how someone really loved what we wrote, or that we “get it”. I think we do get it purely because we’re fans just like anyone else. Those notes are what keep us going, and to this day when someone thanks us, I feel like I should ask them if they know I’m just a mom. I’m nobody special! The key is, and I’m obviously speaking for both Amanda and I when I say this “We love what we do.” I don’t know who said this – but at one point or another in my life I’ve heard people say that if you’re doing something you really enjoy, it never feels like work; and if you’re doing something that you really are passionate about, typically you’re very good at it; and finally, if you’re doing something you really love, a monetary salary doesn’t even begin to outdo how you already feel about your work on a personal level. I never understood ANY of that before now. I figured only people like Oprah knew what all of that nonsense was about. Work was work.
Yesterday’s blog was really my love for writing coming through, combined with a sheer passion for music. I have loved Duran Duran, and every member of Duran Duran, since I was 10 years old. I’m 41 now. That’s a long time – and as I gleefully tell my husband at times, “I’ve loved Duran Duran longer than I’ve loved you!” (Yes, I have bitch tendencies at times. Don’t we all?) I love that he’s told the record labels and managers to basically kiss his ass and he’s going to do it his way, as it should be done. What I love more than even that though, is blogging and sharing those thoughts with all of you, because you get it.
The best part of the writing yesterday came when I’d realized I’d been working for a few hours and yet none of it felt like work. It was fun! I felt good about what I’d written, and that the points I was trying to get across came through well. Then of course Andy himself mentioned it on Twitter, and for me – that was a big bonus, of course. Andy was one of my childhood heroes, I continue to have great respect for him, and I really do believe that website is the beginning of something great. A revolution, I hope.
So why do I blog? I love it. I may never earn a real paycheck, and I may never get the front row seats, meet the band, have my “Kodak” moment with any of them, but this blog brings fans together. I see that, I see where it has its place in the fan community, and I know that when I write, people enjoy reading. That’s enough for me. I’m good right here.