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Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I've been wanting to change my blog layout but I haven't decided on a template. My artist side wants something bold and dark, but my practical side knows better. Simple might be boring, but it is easier to read.

And let's face it, if you visit a blog, you are only going to be impressed by the graphics the first time and then you'll ignore them. So maybe I'll stay the course unless I find an easy to read template with a little oomph for my vanity.


My mother has been visiting and I have been overly distracted. The woman can wear out a saint. But I think she's had a good time despite her eccentric daughter.

I know she didn't believe me when I told her we lived in the wilderness, but I think she believes me now. She worries that I am too isolated, but that's only because she thrives on lots and lots of people. Something I try to avoid.

All this musing has got me to thinking about the writing community as a whole and where I fit into this picture.

Coming from an art background I was used to pecking orders and faux hierarchies, those little make believe groups that insulate you from all the artists that haven't reached (in your opinion) your level of expertise. But the writing community seems even more cliquish than the art community. There are multiple skill levels, multiple acceptable genres (and that changes depending on who you talk to), and untold numbers of peer groups within peer groups.

I'm sure each of us can point fingers at one group or another for playing the elitist. This was fine when I was twenty and green as grass, but today it feels silly and pretentious. And the blunt truth is, I don't want to play that game.

So I find myself at a crossroads of sorts.

We writers are a tender bunch, always worried about what everyone else says about us. But I think from now on, I'll worry less about which people I should be schmoozing with, and more about giving the reader what he really, really wants--a good read.

Mom would like that.

Copyright © 2009 Maria Zannini --


Suzanne McLeod said...

Maria: If you're looking for a new blog template, it might be worth checking these out - they're free,[they just want you to keep their link, which sits unobtrusively at the bottom of the page, and even better they can be easily customised.
S. xx

Kaz Augustin said...

As often seems to happen between us, M, you put down something I've been mulling over recently. And, with all the groups, and layers, and hierarchies, it's just too tiring to keep up with it all. Plus, with a critical change in the Dreaded Day Job, I just don't have the time.

The change is forcing me to concentrate on the absolute essentials, which is -- and always has been -- the writing. Agree 100%. Great blog.

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Suzanne! I will check it out.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi K!
My new mantra is: Simplify and enjoy.

catie said...

Luckily my mom is empathetic to my "introvertedness" so even if we're not on the same page regarding our (respective) attitudes towards other people, we're at least in the same chapter. :) Although I think both of us would go a little nuts dealing in your wilderness. We like our privacy, but also enjoy being no more than five - ten minutes away from something that passes for a bustling township. :D

I'm totally with ya regarding the pettiness of hierarchies, competitiveness, genres that are "respectable," those that aren't, and the literary "in crowd"--they can have it. My duties are to the stories, characters, readers, and myself (in that order).

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: I'm totally with ya regarding the pettiness of hierarchies,

hmm...maybe we should start the:
Anti Status Quo League.

I like that. *g*