I heard Austin is a really great town

This is advice I've received lately about the blog (sorry, didn't mean for this to be, as Alex puts it, "artsy-confusing, totally incoherent." The first 3 comments were posted prior to this clarification).

1. Post at least once a day.
2. Don't post random thoughts or rough drafts of stuff. Work on each piece until it's a finished essay. Only post every once in a while.
3. Don't talk anymore about sensory integration disorder.
4. Pick a centralized theme and stick to it (motherhood, memoir, music, running, NYC stuff).
5. Read more.
6. Twitter out when you have a new post.
7. Do more to promote it.
8. Don't make yourself sound like an as*hole or a bad mother.
9. Try to get one main point across in every entry (the same point each time, a la Free-Range Kids).
10. Shorter posts.
11. Longer posts.
12. Answer the comments. [Thank you for that! You're completely right. Will try to be better about it.]
13. Alex is not always the zen master you portray him to be.
14. Add more day-to-day narrative.
15. Take out the day-to-day updates and keep it more abstract.
16. Don't give people too much info about yourself -- they'll use it against you.
17. Invite discussion.
18. What actually happened with your job? band? Joe from Bayonne? Sky?
19. Can't tell when you are kidding or serious.
20. Don't listen to what others tell you to do. (Is this a logical fallacy or liar's paradox kind of thing along the lines of: "This statement is false"?)
21. Keep all lists in multiples of 10.
22. Do more newsy-up-to-the-minute blog posts with links to other sites, twitter comments, updates, etc.
23. Add more pictures.
24. The pictures are distracting.
25. Branch out.
26. Narrow the focus.
27. Don't use my real name.
28. Don't be too honest.
29. Move to Texas.


  1. #20--> Why is that important? :-)

    I've heard that too (Austin).

  2. You make me miss blogging! #2 is my #1 priority if I make a return to it, followed by #4. (I don't count the gardening blog; I'm so not inspired to write at length about vegetables.)

  3. lol - you forgot "you can't please everyone, so please yourself"

    there are some great blogging tips here:

  4. Knew what you meant. Who on earth said Move to Texas?


  5. R--

    I can relate to the multiplicity of advices here...and the subsuquent jangle in one's mind...it can be a confusing tilt-w-whirl to figure out one's angle, one's joy, when entering the public "eye" with so many immediate contact venues/channels for others to respond back through... glad you are writing, hope you simply follow your bliss with it, and along the way connect to some like minded, inspiring others...

  6. Funny, I was thinking about a third of these in my head (won't tell you which ones), but thought it would be too rude to say anything. I'm amazed others actually had the audacity to say something! How outrageous!

  7. By the way, #13 reaks of envy!It's not even an advice. I'll destroy that person!!!!

  8. I'll make it my life mission to find out who said that and ruin their career. ;)

  9. Hilarious! Really gets across the point that it's ridiculous to listen to everyone's advice. I love your lists. BTW, just wanted to let you know there are two #13s!

  10. Last time I heard people discussing the wisdom of a move to Texas was in a diner in Tulsa.

  11. If the goal of making these suggestions is to help me reach my goal, (whatever readers imagine that to be), then they're not rude, are they? I'd think most people would guess I'd like to broaden my audience, and these are the ways they think that could happen. (I was happy to see readers in Slovakia, South Korea, Nicaragua...a thought followed immediately by L's voice saying, "Why is that important?") And yet, I appreciate Eli's comment, b/c somehow it can feel rude, as all constructive criticism can. "This story would be better if..." "This painting would have more of an impact if..." Sometimes I ask myself *why* certain comments rub me the wrong way occasionally, if they're only trying to be helpful, and I guess there's a certain self-righteous tone that can go with it -- THIS IS THE ONLY WAY. I KNOW BEST. But for the most part I've found all of the above helpful - either in giving me an idea for improvement, or making me feel more resolute about the way I've chosen to do something. Although it's true, grouping them all together I was trying to make the point identified by Hein, Rhonda, Tania above (others too, in different ways) -- that the advice contradicts itself, for everyone who says, "You should only write poems, never prose" there is someone else who says "You should only write prose, never poems". It was Linda G's comment on Facebook that woke me up to the important lesson in all this (and yes "the lesson in all this" is an incredibly hokey thing to say): that there *is* something wrong with the fact that I hear the few suggestions for improvement I've received as loud, loud clatter "jangling in my mind" that blocks other stuff out, so much of which has been so positive, more praise than I rightly deserve.

  12. Hein - thanks for the fix on #13. I added in one more at 22 that has also been tossed around. Texas is really its own story. Part of a whole pattern of mine of not only being too affected by people's advice, but in a perverse way encouraging them to give it.

  13. I would like more back story when you refer to things, but I enjoy some of the randomness. As you titled this the Last American Childhood, I assume you are trying to connect everything either to your youth or raising your son, kind of a parallal universe thing. Love to hear more detail about raising a child in NYC.

  14. Ok, fess up!! I've been up all night long trying to figure out who said #13!!!

  15. Post a photo of Alex. I'll be able to tell by looking at him.


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