White Noise – Redux


I posted this on my blog in November of 2014.  Considering all that I’m seeing, watching and hearing, I thought it might be worthwhile to dredge it up and post again.  I’ve become sort of…what’s the word, disenchanted? Dismayed? Disillusioned? 

Assume what you will after reading.  You won’t hear a peep about it from me.  🙂

ORIGINAL POST, 2016 updates in italics:

On this blog,when it comes to certain topics, this is what you’ll get:

WHITE NOISE

WHITE NOISE

When I started http://www.donnaeverhart.com back in early 2011, my intention was to focus on what was happening with my writing, with occasional family stuff thrown in, a book review here and there, photographs I’ve taken (strictly amateur), and whatever else I could dredge up I thought interesting.  I knew there would be certain topics I would steer clear of, and to this day, I’ve held true to that conviction.  (2016 update – yep, still the same!)

Topics I am determined not to post about are my religious, political, or ripped from the headlines viewpoints.  And that’s because everywhere I turn, from the TV, to radio, to Facebook, to other blogs, and who knows where else, that’s what I already get.  What do I have to add to the fray?  Nothing that hasn’t already been said.

Anyone can do what they want with their social media.  I don’t care.  It’s their space, their time, just as this space is mine.  Sure, I’ve waded into debates on other sites here and there a few times.  With the last one, I decided never again.  (2016 update – I’ve forgotten about this. Must’ve been real important.)   To the best of my ability, I’ve chosen to ignore being drawn into what can only become an inflammatory conversation.  The few comments  I did make on other blogs never made me feel better, and I knew I wasn’t going to sway any opinions no matter how many facts I lobbed over the internet fence.  It is/was, in my opinion, time wasted.  Besides, too much can be lost in this sort of online dialogue.  Sometimes the hot button topics are just too sensitive and difficult to parse into words that will go out to be consumed without that personal touch of voice modulation (are they yelling?), gestures, (slamming a hand down?) and eye contact, (or not) and a myriad of other human interactions. 

There are some who are very good at sharing their opinions with the right sense of diplomacy, yet no matter how eloquent they may be, somebody’s gonna get pissed.  Somebody’s gonna disagree.  It’s a no win situation.  Call me chicken.  Call me weak.  Hey, maybe call me…smart?  I have viewpoints on all of it, but, do you honestly care what I think about religion, politics or the latest news event?  I doubt it – especially if my opinion differs.

My other point is, what does any of that have to do with my writing goals and journey?  Not a thing.  In my opinion, it would be a turn off if you came  to read about the usual stuff I’m blathering on about, and got blasted with my personal opinions.  It’s not relevant to this writerly space which I consider almost sacred.

In that regard, here will always be like white noise, because there are already more than enough sideline analysts and commentators out there.

Aren’t you glad? 

Here.  Here’s some cloud pictures to look at.  I do a lot of sky gazing.  Every time I look at clouds, that Joni Mitchell song comes to mind, but this stanza where she replaces “clouds” with “life” seems appropriate.

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all.”

~Joni Mitchell~

 

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22 Comments

You are a smart woman, Donna. I, on the other hand, …. (insert laugh track)

I think it’s different if you write fiction vs. nonfiction. I write strictly nonfiction, and I’m not sure there’s any way to write nonfiction that’s neutral — where would the conflict be? I look at my blog as a small training ground, kind of like taking short training runs when you’re getting ready for a marathon. If I can’t take the short runs (responses to short essays), I’ll never survive the marathon (the memoir I’m writing).

Last week I was reading a Cheryl Strayed interview and she was talking about the controversy surrounding WILD, and I thought: there’s a controversy?? Apparently there are entire websites and groups holding her responsible for every person who gets stranded on the Pacific Crest Trail (she wrote about going out there for 90+ days, unprepared), among other things. Who knew.

And I don’t think your blog is white noise at all. I don’t always comment, but I do read (usually several posts at once!) and find them informative and interesting.

Liked by 1 person

    Teri, are you the one ticking up my stats? 😉

    In all seriousness, you know that writer’s remorse Averil mentioned regarding my comment from her PEER post? Well, that was me after I put this out. Not b/c I didn’t like it – or stand by it, but b/c I should have clarified between fiction/non-fiction writing. Big difference. You, as the non-fiction writer must write about the difficult topics, family and otherwise. And lately, your writing has been amazing!

    Let’s be truthful. Fiction writers have it made. We can take any situation, make a story out of it, spout off in the dialogue and blame the outcome of lame actions on our characters. Or vent our real feelings and say,”it’s just part of the story. That’s not me.”

    But you. You have to open up each and every little fiber of your belief system and tell it like it is. No. Matter. What. For that, I salute you.

    Btw – when does the article come out about Lucy? Must read it, and hope not to cry.

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      Back in the beginning of blogging times, I posted a comment at Averil’s and freaked completely out. So much so that I emailed her (I did not know her at all) and asked if she would delete it. It’s so strange, even now, to feel all that exposure.

      I was recently talking with another writer/friend about the levels of exposure in nonfiction. No one essay, nor even a whole nonfiction book, is the whole of who someone is, and she was saying that that nonfiction writers she knows have had to figure out, over time, just how much of their real selves they can put out into the world, and then survive the after-effects. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately.

      The Lucy story will be out at the end of this month, both in print and online. It’s funny, the Tahoma Lit Review also has an option for writers to read their work aloud and upload the file to their website. I love this! And yet, I can’t do it. For the dozens of times I’ve rewritten and read the Lucy piece out loud, I can’t get through those last 2 pages without crying. Still. So make sure you have your box of tissues handy.

      Liked by 1 person

      Poor Averil! We do tend to spout off on her blog (least I certainly have!!!) and then creep over to her privately…, pssst? Um, that comment, that was my…before coffee self. (sheepish grin plastered on face)

      If there’s any way at all that you could do it! Wouldn’t it be awesome??? But I so get it. The dog stories get me – every single one of them. I’m still not over Bella and Kiwi and that was two years ago. I still haven’t read THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN – because it’s a dog story, even though I’ve been told it’s got a good ending. I cried like a baby in THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE. I’m not sure I’ll ever be over losing the girls, all the while thinking “why didn’t I see it?”

      At any rate, I AM still looking forward to reading your essay, and thank you for the heads up. Tissues galore. I got it.

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My brain turns off when too much of that stuff assaults me. I’m often shocked at what some of my friends put up on facebook…makes me wonder if they’ve skipped their meds for a couple of days!
I like happy stuff. My journal and my novels are for the things I need to be crazy about

Liked by 1 person

    Same here – or – I get so rankled, my blood pressure shoots up and I don’t even have high bp.

    “Happy, happy, happy” is one of the best over quoted lines of all time – of course I had to have a t-shirt with it. 🙂 And wear it often.

    Love that your journal/novels are your sounding board. I don’t journal. Maybe I should.

    Liked by 1 person

      Oh, and the FB stuff. Truth! I actually got on my daughter for some of the stuff she posted. I said do you REALLY need to share that? Sheesh.

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      Highly recommend it (says the writer primarily fixated on family “doings” and idiosyncrasies). Yep, write away in those journels and then burn ’em or publish them swearing they’re all fictional (no one would fess up to it anyway 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

I think I fully understand what you’re saying in this post. And while I think every blogger is fully entitled to use their blog however they wish, I think they’re also entitled NOT to use it however they wish as well.

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    Yep, that’s the point. I’ve never stated what I won’t post about and maybe people sort of figured that out – more than likely they never gave it a thought. I decided to make it clear after going out to a few blogs yesterday where many posted about Ferguson. One post I could understand – the person is from that area and knows it well…while a couple of the others were just stating their opinion. I will admit those posts made my stomach churn, so I decided to reveal my “gray screen of opinion,” in this little space I call my own.

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This kinda sorta continues the discussion from Janet’s blog. If yours is a political blog with the intention of reaching those whose main interest is politics, then clearly you’re going to jump all over the hot-button political issues. That’s not my blog, nor is it my audience. I will venture into religious discussion on my blog because that’s part of my blog’s purpose–to talk theology (not to vent, though), among other things. But I don’t expect my audience to be religious hot-heads, so I don’t write for those people.

Anyway, my point? …. I did have one… oh, that’s right. I’m with you on the white noise when the topic isn’t one that I feel is appropriate for my blog and its audience–even if it’s something that gets my blood boiling. I think that takes more discipline and, dare I say, bravery, than using your blog as a soapbox for everything that ticks you off.

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    I thought the same thing as I wrote it (more clarification on what this space is/isn’t)

    Colin – you nailed it. Many other writers just like me have used their spot in cyberspace to express their opinions about headlines, or whatever – even though it doesn’t have a thing to do with their art. I simply chose not to do that, partly because I recollect (all the way back to 2011) the fear of knowing everything on the net stays on the net – forever.

    Thank you for saying it’s brave instead of – well, all those other words Mr. iPants pointed out.

    I believe that biting one’s tongue is more difficult than dealing with the outcome of spouting off.

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I’m so confused.
Carolynn said, “Let’s talk about sex.”
Then you said, “It’s hard…”
But then you said you wouldn’t talk about sex, but it seemed to me…

Hmmm.
Maybe the problem is that I was already confused before i got to the comments.
See, I’m reading the post, and playing along.
I yell at you — “Chicken! Weak! Fence straddler!”
Then you say you’re not those things. Oh, Donna — why did you insist on being called those things then? You’re as bad as that girl in 50 Sprays of Haze. Seriously, if she didn’t want her bits flayed with an electrified yak-tail wrapped in glittery tinsel and dipped in radioactive sheepdip, why did she smile in the poor man’s general direction in the first place?

However, while we obviously disagree on the truly important things, your white noise is appreciated.

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    Ha, “hard” that was my first thought too. Does God know how funny you are, because if he does he may call on you to do a little standup.

    Liked by 2 people

    If I get your drift here, you’re saying that by pointing out what I’m not, makes me just that?

    Okay. I’ll jump in on this one.

    If I discussed the latest incendiary topics, I would spend the next several days defending myself from those who think differently. I’ve seen this happen to others who decided to drag their toe across the sand and dare anyone to step over it. The flood gates opened, and that person got what they asked for. I choose not to ask for it. It’s exhausting. It’s not the point of this blog, blah, blah, regurgitating all the words above – EXCEPT “chicken, weak, fence straddler.”

    🙂

    Maybe we do disagree on important things, (not sure how you came to that conclusion), but you’re humor will always win the day – and that’s one opinion I think everyone would agree on!

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      Ummm, what? I didn’t even get my own drift.
      No, sorry, I wasn’t saying you were anything at all by pointing this out. I was just joking around, because, well, you did use the word “hard” straight after saying… Okay, let’s not go there again.

      Actually, I’m not even sure why I said we disagree on the important things. How can we disagree, when we don’t know the other’s opinion on important things. Whatever they are. Thing is, I often make no sense, and may be on drugs. Hey, that’s IT! I AM on drugs. Don’t listen to me. These pain meds are crazy. Which implies that I’m not, and the pain meds should get the blame for my actions, which is…
      Enough rambling. Let’s agree neither to agree or disagree on important things. A wonderful White Noise Zone.

      Liked by 1 person

      THIS is why you’re published. You totally crack me up. Thanks for the laugh early this morning b/c I may have to send for your drugs later to recover from today.

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Thank you! I agree! I do end up reviewing Christian books and quotes on my blog, but I’m never all up in people’s faces about it. I too count my blog as my safe zone from all of that stuff!

Liked by 1 person

    And you know what else? I feel empowered by this. I will hold my opinions to myself – and even if asked – I would have to say, “what does it matter, really?”

    Yes. Safe zone. My choice of word is, haven. (which coincidentally is a working title I plan to use in the future.) See how I turned even this answer to writing? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      As I get older I am learning to keep my mouth shut…Ah…most of the time. Today it was hard but like you said there’s a time and place and our blogs are not it. So how about we talk about sex. That’s a safe subject 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Ha! It’s hard definitely, but what the hell. Like you said the other day, life’s too short and we got too much to do.

      You’re cuuurrraaazzzzy. You can’t get me to talk about that either. Well. Unless we want to rip apart Fifty Shades all over again. 🙂 Hey, the sex was probably good, I guess, but the writing? Meh.

      Damn. How many books did it sell? I’m still flummoxed ’bout that!

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