So, it’s been nearly a year since I’ve come back to this blog, after a long time spent trying to figure out how to … well, get to it. Sometimes you go so long without writing anything of personal substance that the idea of returning is, more or less, fraught with low-level panic and the pervasive fear of mediocrity.
As someone who is 24 is perhaps wont to do, I’ve spent these long months making new friends and trying to ascertain where my life is headed, and if the person I’m shaping up to be is a person I want to become. This is not a new thing. This year has been weirdly instrumental in terms of grown-up direction — as in, it’s certainly resulted in more bulletpoints to add to a thankfully more-or-less linear resumé, the importance of which cannot be discounted as I enter the job search for the 3rd time. I won’t even go into the complaints about looking for gainful employment as they are not a new thing, either; it’s all sort of the same grousing on different levels of intensity.
I may have finally hit the point of social media saturation, an incredible thing. It pretty much starts and ends with Pinterest. I’ve been a member for a long time, but on a sick day a couple of weeks ago tried to figure out why everyone has been freaking out about it lately.
My friend David and I have come to the conclusion that Pinterest is, in essence, the less hipster version of Svpply, a site which I still think is great — even if my activity has sort of petered out, given I’ve been doing more measurable, deliverable work at work this year. In any event, as I continue to try to work out Pinterest/why I should care about it/what makes it any more nuanced or interesting of a platform than anything else, I am kind of astounded by how much more immediately popular my items are on Pinterest than on Tumblr. I can’t really figure out why, except for the obvious fact that there are a lot of bored twentysomething white women out there who cannot get enough of macaron pictures or Sophia Loren “moodboards.” Another story for another time, maybe.
The issue of copyright infringement on Pinterest is an interesting one; I wonder if all of this hubbub is not just because a lot of Pinterest users aren’t careful about sourcing/crediting their images. Like, if you’re using a site like Svpply in the manner for which it’s intended — sort of an aggregate marketplace that allows you to categorize items in a way that codifies your interests, in a blabbery way of putting it — you shouldn’t be in too much trouble with the law on that end. If you’re “pinning” or posting something from Etsy, the nature of the platform (in this case, Svpply/Pinterest) is to link it back to the marketplace/seller, which creates a much more effective way to do e-commerce (IMO of course, and not knowing a whole lot about e-commerce, generally speaking). Tumblr is in the same way: If you’re allowing users just to post tilt-shift pictures of a sunset with a empty quote about ~sadness~ without any sort of image crediting, or a picture of a Modcloth dress with no link back to the original page, then of course there’s going to be issues of intellectual property/copyright infringement as applicable. This is kind of a meandering rant, and eventually I’ll do a better job.
The point to all this is, I really do need to get back on the blogging bicycle, and get over my fear of the “sophomore slump” when it comes to this one. I fear Tumblr has made me complacent and obsessed with short-form. And, I work too much and too hard at my real job, and I’ve got to chill out on that.
Words to stand by:
“When I was writing The Keep, my writing was so terrible. It was God-awful. My working title for that first draft was, A Short Bad Novel. I thought: ‘How can I disappoint?’ So, just write and be happy that you did it. You stuck to the routine. You’re kind of holding the place so that you’re present for when something good is ready to come.”
Creative Things I’ve been reading (and liking, but probably not Pinning):
- This fantastic interview with Jennifer Egan.
- How to write a “Lives” essay for the NYT.
- Contrary to everything I’d like to believe about myself, I’m likely a work-introvert.
- “‘But,’ I added, making exaggerated eye contact, ‘appreciating art doesn’t mean you can send effective emails. I can write. I can make your job easier for you.’ This is the best thing to say in an interview if you are young and unqualified to do anything other than maintain a personal blog.”