Several people have asked me why I post so rarely.
"It takes a long time to write an entry," I told Wolf-pack Travis.
"How long?" he asked.
"Eight to ten hours, at least."
"Why so much?"
"Well, I do several drafts. Plus, of course, I have to leave time for the self-doubt."
"Oh, thank god it isn't easy for you," said Wolf-pack Travis. "Because I'd have to hate you if it were."
Nope, Internet, no need to hate me. It's not easy. The writing isn't easy. Having time to write on top of my full-time job isn't easy. Having time to deal with all my bad dates isn't easy. And the months and years and minutes and days of not being on awesome dates when I want to be on awesome dates is, honestly, discouraging.
I have a hard time writing when I feel discouraged.
Recently I've been wanting to write, but then I get distracted by worrying that the post won't end up the way I want and I end up on the couch with my cuddly blanket watching TiVo'd episodes of shows that I'd always assumed only losers watched. At some point this afternoon I decided that I was going to break my blog-silence and post something, anything, rather than see another show about people solving crimes/mending broken hearts/talking to ghosts/eating things really fast. I had resolve! I had drive! I had…to procrastinate by taking a walk first. For my health! It's a good idea to exercise! I'll exercise and be all hot and then men will want to date me!
As you can tell, when I try to convince myself of something, I use a lot of exclamation points. I'm very hard to convince, and the enthusiasm seems to help.
In all seriousness, walking helps me calm myself down. No distractions; I can think; moving seems to burn off my nervous energy. I laced up and headed out the door with plans to walk a few miles and work out my post in my head. About a quarter of a mile away from my house, however, my deep thoughts were interrupted by three guys in a blue Subaru Forrester who shouted at me as their car drove past.
It scared the bejeebus out of me. I hate being yelled at, and I'm very easily startled, especially when I'm all in my head (which is most of the time). Being yelled at makes me feel really icky. Being yelled at by strangers makes me feel…rejected, ugly, left-out, lonely. Mocked.
"Jen, you are too sensitive," you are now saying to me, Internet. "It was surely a coincidence that they happened to yell random gibberish out the window exactly as they drove past you. Besides, who actually yells out of cars at girls? No one does this! This went out of fashion in the 70s or some other equally far-away time. Get over yourself."
Well, Internet, I'd be glad to get over myself. In fact, I had put the annoyance of the drive-by mocking out of my mind until the same car drove by again heading in the other direction, AND DID IT AGAIN.
Instead of walking my intended route, I detoured to the nearest grocery store and bought some overpriced dessert, then walked home quickly before my dear friends in the blue Subaru Forrester could make another lap.
Of course, I didn't have time to figure out what I wanted to write because I was instead vacillating between feeling hurt and angry. Here's what I'd wanted to do, I'd wanted to take this anecdote and make it funny:
"After leaving the matchmaking service, I went online the next day and picked a couple of dating sites to join. There are a million of them, but rather than overplan and spend a week researching them, I decided to plunge directly into the ocean of men waiting to meet me. I created my profiles, posted them, and started searching for men right away. There were tons of interesting guys, and I was really excited about meeting them, so I wrote brief messages to a dozen of them. 'Hi, Guy, my name is Jen. Your profile caught my eye. Read my profile and let me know if you want to meet for coffee." So much potential! So efficient!
But no one wrote back."
And that's why it takes me so long to write a post. I've got to factor in time for all the self-doubt.