26 March 2007

Oh My God. I'm A Fucking Trained Lab Rat.

So a few minutes ago, in my procrastination to finish my paper for class tomorrow, I was reading an article Viviane had posted concerning the blogger Kathy Sierra who had received alarming death threats. Now, this post isn't about that. Death threats, horrible, yes. Poor woman. There are a lot of fuckers out there. I've gotten my own malicious comments (though no death threats thank God), so I know.

But I went on to check out her blog, since I'd never heard of her before, when I happened upon a post of hers equating the addictiveness of Twitter to the addictiveness to Slot Machines, based on the intermittent variable reward system. Basic idea is you know you're going to get a reward for doing something, you just never know when.

So, for example, you check your e-mail every hour, hoping for something, but you don't always have anything new in your inbox. Except for the times you do. Reward.

Kathy writes:

One of Skinner's most important discoveries is that behavior reinforced intermittently (as opposed to consistently) is the most difficult to extinguish. In other words, intermittent rewards beat predictable rewards. It's the basis of most animal training, but applies to humans as well...

Me, I don't use Twitter. Never heard of it until 3 days ago, and not quite sure what the appeal is. I think it's better I don't find out, if Kathy Sierra is saying it's as addictive as slot machines.

Or, in my case, my blog.

And it hit me like a ton of bricks. In the face. In the nose. And we all know how much that smarts.

I'm on this reward system with my blog. I love my blog, but at the same time I hate it. I hate it so much these days. It's so much work, and so much energy, and so much of me, and there is so little reward for me. Except for when there is.

And I keep writing, hoping for comments, feedback, insight, questions, and answers. I'd say about 8 times out of 10 I get zip.

I mean, I just posted a picture of my face, all clear except for some Photoshop effects, and nada.

Admittedly, I'm somewhat surprised when someone leaves a comment on any of my sex stories. I'm floored (and excited as well) when I get multiple comments on a post.

I'm actually really grateful for my regular/semi-regular commenters: Glengarry, Mariel, Lizzie, El Cuervo, Alice.... etc. If it weren't for your guy's faithfulness, I might have given up writing months ago.

And as much as I enjoy writing, I don't write for me. I don't need to write down my sex life for my own benefit. I love sharing it though. I write to share.

But after a year now, I feel so suck, like I haven't progressed. And I want to improve! It's a horrible thought to think I've been writing for a year, and I haven't improved.

I've been considering whether or not I want to continue Designing Intimacy. My 1 year anniversary is coming up, and I have something nice I'm planning for it. But I don't know where else to go with it.

I've thought about giving up blogging all together (hard to fight that addiction though...if I stick it out another month, maybe then I'll get my big break....).

I've thought about abandoning this and starting over. Picking a new pen name. A new identity. Maybe it's me people don't like. But what a disappointment it would be, as a writer, to find people don't like me or my writing after creating a new persona.

But there is the fact I do love my blog. It's everything I want. It's exactly the way I want it. The colors, the layout, the content. And I don't know how to abandon my baby. I always wonder how people can just stop writing; how they can pour themselves out on the internet, then just walk away. Even when I'm busy or away, I still and try to post something. A funny quote, a picture, a short anecdote.

I don't even know what to expect from this post. I don't know if I should expect to see an outpouring from you readers claiming your love for me and my blog and encouraging me to continue or if I'll get dead silence.

So, I'll leave the rest to you....

The comment button's right below.


12 comments:

Callie said...

You are one of 2 blogs I read so if you stopped I'd be down 50% on my blog lit! And besides, you named me so now I feel a kinship to your blog. :)

D'jaevle said...

What else can I say, other than this?

I read you regularly. I enjoy your writing. Should you stop, or move on, I would be rather put out.

Cody said...

We're all lab rats, to some degree.

I think writing's beneficial for its own sake--a cathartic, therapeutic process (to cite just one example of many)--but frankly, I’ve never been all that comfortable with sharing. I write to write, and if people read it, that’s fine. If they don’t, that’s also fine.

The notion of sharing experiences and ideas, however, is kind of a beautiful thing—it’s a transcendence, really, beyond other intercommunal norms— a crazy, ethereal thing that has the power to convey and subsequently engender new or dormant (or whatever) ideas within others…

What I’m saying is, in posting your writing publicly, you are sharing. No, you may not necessarily get the kind of feedback you wish for—but people are reading, people are listening. And that’s, I mean, think about it. That’s pretty powerful, and absolutely awe-inspiring.

Anonymous said...

I read all the time, I'm just quiet. Oh, and I so tried to undo the photoshopping, but didn't get anywere :p .

~L

Anonymous said...

I don't comment much, but I appreciate your blog very much.

Anonymous said...

a) your blog is cute. I like this design, keep it.
b) you are cute. It's easy to tell what you look like. I want to shag the shit out of you.
b) Your blog has far more readers than my blog. :) Please keep writing!

-A Real Esther

El Cuervo said...

There's definitely a lot of people reading you, clearly not a lot leave comments. Just like I said to other people, you should write for you, not for others. This is supposed to be fun even therapeutic, if it has become something that is stressful, it might be a good idea to stop. However, I'm sure a lot of us will be disappointed. As for the pictures? I guess your email isn't working!

Jefferson said...

Don't throw in the towel, lover. You've found a voice here.

Mariel said...

I could pretty much quote what callie said, and that'd be my exact sentiment. Right down to this being 50% of my blog lit. I think you're right about the intermittent reward thing. Maybe it's because we feel as though something we work harder for, or wait longer for, is worth more? If it's becoming more of a chore than a catharsis, then only you can decide whether or not it's still worthwhile. If you did stop writing, though, I know my days would be a little more boring.

Bonnie said...

Avah,

Even if I don't always comment, I too love your blog. Yours is a voice worth hearing. If you want to speak, I want to listen.

Hugs,
Bonnie

Someone's Boy Unit said...

Still reading.

-Josh

FritzVonT said...

I too read your blog on a daily basis. I'd really miss it if it went away.

It's just that I don't have much to say, most times.

So keep writing!