12 blogging tips you should know

LOL I kid, but thanks for falling right into my obvious clickbait trap. As you've surely noticed by now I have zero tips on blogging and even less of a desire to develop any—all I do is log in, open an empty window, lay down some priceless gems, revise 87 billion times, hit SAVE & PUBLISH, then eat a handful of pistachios and move on with my life. 

Tip #1: There are no tips. Anyone who tries to give you tips on blogging is an asshole whose blog you should never, ever read unless you want to die of sadness and boredom and eye rolling.

HOWEVER: let it not go unremarked, state of the blogwise, that March 2016 is the 12th anniversary of this particular blog (well, A blog. Some blog: "The Lunchtime Chronicles," is what I called it in 2004. It had nothing to do with lunch so I'm not sure what that was about.). I have been putting this shit out there in the universe for 12 whole years, with sporadic breaks during various breakdowns, over a cross-country move, more than one career change, the loss of beloved family members and friends, a non-optional nose job, a few extra pounds, many tears, a lot of shoes, a bum knee, plantar fasciitis, vertigo, a root canal, an audit, a month in Paris, and some hard-won goddamn victories. It occurred to me this week at work that I have a hard time taking credit for things I succeed at. (Perhaps this is a problem you also share? Maybe we've talked about this before?) I will raise my hand without hesitation when it's time to take the blame for anything—including things that are in no way my fault—but when it comes to acknowledging "a victory," I invariably chalk that up to luck. This is a mistake, obviously, and damaging both professionally and, I don't know, psychically, and I'm taking steps to rectify it. Step 1 is saying this blog may not have been and may never be much, but at least I haven't quit. At least once in a while I show up.

ALSO: it's time to make some changes, starting with this bold new Squarespace template, which I find challenging and irritating in equal measure yet somehow adore. Who knows how long it will last. Does it matter? Who cares about this? Me. That's fine. I need to type more and edit less, loosen the reins and let fly, but I also need to stick to my guns. Unless Mrs. Smith complains.

BTW did you see this picture of Michael B. Jordan arriving at the Oscars? 

He makes me so happy. I love that I've been able to watch him grow up, to see what he's grown into, from The Wire to Friday Night Lights to Fruitvale Station to Creed and on and on and on, and get to look forward to all the amazing work yet to come. People like this, who just get better and better at what they do yet still seem fundamentally like the same person (I say "seem" because of course I do not personally know Michael B. Jordan, so this is conjecture) give me faith that the world is not yet ending. More and more lately I need that reminder. (And ditto for this, which I scroll through any time I'm feeling down, as a reminder that the most powerful people can do the most gentle things. See also.)

Tip #2: My only real tip for you is go read that obnoxiously titled book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which I am so sorry to admit actually proved to be true. Her main thesis boils down to that William Morris quote "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful," (& "What is essential is invisible to the eye," c/o The Little Prince) but since I read it in January I've chucked 40% of my old clothes, cleaned out my closet, cleaned out the refrigerator and all of my cabinets, finally bought a new mattress, stopped buying books I'll never read, and started to appreciate the things that I already have. I feel lighter and more focused and all that mumbo-jumbo hocus pocus baloney, which is maybe something you're looking to avoid (some people are! and that's fine) but I find very soothing and necessary at this time in my life, and I think that more often than not, if you're patient, and paying attention, you usually find what you need when you need it.

ANYWAY: here's a really good song! Sing it to yourself later.

ALSO: I received a check for $33.59 today from the state of Illinois, for no apparent reason. You find what you need when you need it. I need $33.59 worth of beer, I guess, although I do hope this unexpected windfall isn't why Illinois is going belly-up.

OH! And god bless Jenny Beavan. 

Over & out...