Friday, April 23, 2010

I Was Ally Sheedy in 'The Breakfast Club'

Nancy @ Soliloquy recently wrote a post called What Makes a Post "Legitimately Good"?. Please read it, it's a 'legitimately good' post :)

It totally took me back to high school art class. I like to consider myself an artist. Drawing is my forte, but I'm also a decent painter, sculptor, etc. (Do you hear that? That's the sound of me tooting my own horn.)

I loved art class. I couldn't believe they were actually giving me grades for something that I loved to do! It was like getting paid to sleep or paid to eat.

I'd work really hard on something, and really enjoy what I was working on. But when I turned it in to be graded, my mark would always be 95%.

95%?? What the hell else could I have done for the other 5%? It sure wasn't showing some skin, because I had a suspicion that my teacher was gay.

I'd look over at my friend Clara's art, and of course she received 100% on everything. She deserved it. Her art always looked like a professional's. Mine didn't even compare, even though it was good. So why would my art be only 5% less than hers? Why even have grades on it at all?? Not to mention that my art teacher always smelled of alcohol when he walked past. Maybe he just wasn't seeing my assignment as clearly as he should??

That's all hogwash, isn't it?

I said this in Nancy's comment section, but I'd like to say it again here.

Posts are like art. Posts ARE art. Anything you can put creativity into is art. And art isn't good or bad, it just IS. It's the culmination of what someone puts into it, and everyone's different. And it's funny, because when I read certain people's posts, I feel like I get a glance into who they are as people. Which is so cool! My judgements might be wrong, but they're fun to make anyway (and they're always positive, don't worry ;) )

Some people like to post very informative, very factual posts about plants. I like to imagine their closets are organized by colour and texture, and that their can labels in the pantry all face outwards like in a grocery store.

Some people post a plant picture with a one-line quote. I like to imagine that they were the ones who loved writing those interpretive papers in high school English class.

Some people ask a question at the end of every post. I imagine what they were like as children, always asking Mum 'Why?'

Some people tie all their garden posts to sex and football. I imagine that they're crazy hooligans that have nothing better to do than plant a few seeds in between pints.(I could be talking about myself or Idiot Gardener here, take your pick!)

Some people limit the use of photos in their posts. I imagine them as very confident people. It's hard to write a post about gardening without using pictures, and still hold the reader's interest.

Like right now. I feel kind of insecure and worried that no one will have read my post to this point. I tend to lean on pictures and humour to keep reader's interest. And I don't really consciously TRY to do this, that's just my style. I like to have a picture to illustrate the weird ideas that come out of my head...

What do I do in real life when I'm telling a story? There are no pictures or Youtube videos to emphasize my plot!

I'm the type of person who has to do all the voices and accents when I tell a story. If I have to get up and act my story out, I do it. I like to do impressions. I will look as silly as possible and not care, if it's true to the story. My personal 'meaning of life' is to make others laugh. I may not always succeed, but when I do, it's better than any drug on the planet. That's why I've never done drugs. Laughing so hard that I cry is way better than heroin. The only way laughter will put you on the street is when you're rolling around trying to breathe between guffaws.

Telling a story is art. Whether the post is filled pictures, quotes, facts, silliness or sadness. Whether you took 3 days to write it, or wrote it in 5 minutes before having to rush off to work or to your kid's soccer game.

But tell my competetive side that! Tell my inner, high school art student that! When she gets only one Pick on a post that meant a lot to her, she feels like she got a 95% on it.

Human beings are weird, aren't they? :P

I don't know what the answer really should be in regards to Blotanical's 'Pick' system. I've always been a fence sitter. Able to argue both sides of a thing. I don't like the idea of "Rating" a post with stars, that's for sure. Then I'd REALLY feel like I was in art class or being picked for a team in gym class ( I was always picked first by the way, thank goodness for some small miracles). But I like Picks in that they get my posts noticed, when they might otherwise get lost in the flurry of flower ferocity.

Thanks to Nancy, for taking me back to high school for an hour of my day :) I'm 11 years removed now, so that's quite a feat! :D

Ok, I can't resist.


nancybond said...

Bravo for writing such a heartfelt post! I'm glad you took that walk down Memory Lane...11 years removed. Holy cow. Wait until you're 36 years removed! Ouch.

I do like your style. :-)

pamsenglishgarden said...

Well, I read all of this post, Kyna, and there wasn't even one picture of a plant. ! But I know what you mean... I think. I like blotanical because it provides the audience I crave when I blog. Why do I need an audience? I guess I never grew up.

Laurrie said...

I read all the way to the end of your thoughtful post even though there were NO PICTURES. None. But you captured my attention with a timely discussion of blogging as art. I like that. Thanks for saying what I have been thinking about picks. I rate this post "wonderful", can we pick that?

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

You didn't need any pictures for this post, you described how you felt perfectly. I also completely agree with you on this topic.
How can I rate someone's opinion or something that they are excited about?
I like that a pick shows you visited someone, I don't always have time to comment, but at least they know I read their post.
Great post!

Kyna said...

Nancy: Thank you! It won't be too long before I am 36 years removed. Time seems to move faster all the time. Just yesterday I was in high school, and today the 'kids' at Barnes & Noble where I work are teasing me about being old. :P

Pam: You're right, we shouldn't need audiences. That's what 'they' always say. But I want an audience too! Or I'd be writing this in my own private journal where no one could see. That's why I feel so conflicted about 'Picks' LOL

Laurrie: You can rate it 'Wonderful' if you like, because that makes me happy lol. I used to have this t-shirt that my Mum bought me that had a flowered couch with an abstract painting above it. It said 'Real Art Won't Match Your Sofa'. LOVED that shirt.

Catherine: You're right, I didn't think about that! I do sometimes Pick when I don't have time to leave thoughtful comments. Doesn't mean I didn't like the post, just means I'm busy and I'm hoping people will at least see I read the post lol.

At work I got the green light from my district manager to put in a special feature that I wasn't allowed to do before. I told one of my music sellers about it, and he's especially passionate about the genre. I came in this morning, and he was walking around with a clipboard full of notes, working really hard at making it happen. i didn't even ask him to do it, I was so impressed. Another music seller would have complained about all the extra work it would be to make this new feature happen lol. It's all in the eye of the beholder. :D

Heather said...

I liked your post, Kyna and agree! I'm the type that could easily post a bunch pictures in a snap but when it comes to writing, a post can take me FOREVER it seems. Like this comment for example sounds cheezy... I should stop writing.

Kyna said...

But that's my point! Nothing sounds cheesy if you mean what you're writing and you're being yourself. Not to say you're cheesy ;) Everyone has their own style! Thanks for reading :D

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I read all your post too...sans pictures. That's the problem with grading and ranking. They're subjective. I agree with Catherine, the method we have now at Blotanical works. I don't really understand why some are sure it doesn't. If I commented on every blog I read, well...I'd never get in the garden! Sometimes, depending on my caffeinated state, I just can't come up with anything original to say. If I pick a post though, I read it. My calling card of sorts. Oh, and as for informative posts. I am guilty of getting a little detailed on some of my posts...but I promise, my pantry, and my closets are FAR from organized! If I don't write things down somewhere though, I forget them...the details are as much for me as anyone else :P

Kyna said...

CVF: I'm sorry, I hope you don't think I meant the things I said about how I imagine people were in a bad way at all. I know I'm probably wrong about people. That's why I didn't mention names, I wasn't really talking about any one person (except IG, because not too many people talk about sex and football and gardening at once, I know he can take it;) )

I'm just a people watcher, and when I don't know anything about people personally, I imagine things up about them for fun. At least this is a place you can tell me I'm dead wrong and I won't take it badly! I don't get offended by much.

My point was saying that even informative posts are art, because they came out of your head, and you have a passion and a purpose for your ideas and the story you want to tell with them. :) The rest of my imaginings, all in fun!

Rainforest Gardener said...

Of course we read the whole thing! We've seen enough from you to know its worthwhile since you have a great point of view and sense of humor. Some people are talented enough to not rely on lots of photos, colored text and questions to keep the reader going.
I know that I'm guilty of the informative approach myself, but only because I started my blog with that goal in mind: to show people how to push their zone through my trial and error.
From one artist to another, post definitely are to be seen as works of art... I give your post a 100!
BTW, I think that blotanical wants people to rate posts because too many people treat it like a contest instead of reading all the posts and commenting. Someone could "pick" this post right now without even reading it, which cheats the reader as well as the writer. Keep up the good work!

Meredith said...

Kyna, that was a nicely written, serious post -- and it still had some laughs, which is what I've come to expect of your posts. :)

I don't have a problem with the idea of a ratings system, especially as there are some posts I've read that were deserving of some applause, and not just a pick. And I don't think that all blogs are being written with an artistic purpose underlying them, or that their authors will feel it's their art/heart/soul being judged if someone rates them average. I sort of don't get why it's such a big deal.

Maybe I'm just a heartless adult. ;)

Crafty Gardener said...

Interesting read, and I did read all of it and I'm one that loves to see photos in posts. I'm also one that frequently asked a question at the end of my post as I love to read the answers that other bloggers leave.

We are all individuals and our tastes are different, thank goodness for that else all the blogs would be the same.

I'm not in favour of the picks system as it will be in the future and I've always been one to say we could do away with it totally.

I love Blotanical for meeting new bloggers, all with different opinions, different styles of blogging, and different ways of expressing things. If only it would stay that way ... but it seems to be becoming a very competitive place with the rating of picks. Oh well, I won't be picking any more.

Dirt Digger said...

Love your style of writing! Did you ever pour Coke on your Cap'n Crunch a la Sheedy in Breakfast Club?

debsgarden said...

Kyna, I read all of your post, and I also read all the comments to this point. Definitely worth the time. Now, I have a confession. I love football ( but not so much the booze!) and I am very competitive. I like to win! But I did not join blotanical to play a game or compete with other gardeners. I don't want to judge another person's posts! One thing I have learned is to appreciate gardeners of all sorts with many different gardening and blogging styles. This is what makes blotanical special. The good thing about picks is that it has sometimes led me to a great blog I may have missed otherwise. I'm afraid a lot of folks will skip the picks entirely now or even drop away from blotanical. That will be sad!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Kyna girl I am late trying to get to you .. go figure I am in garden mania mode with a tiny dusting of bad typing while cramming a thousand thoughts into a few lines then ripping off to another blog .. you get the picture of me laughing like an insane idiot ? LOL
YES YES YES you have said it so well .. I wrote my post early morning and I'm sure I could have emphasized my points more strongly but I was so mad about the whole thing I held back a bit to keep from exploding ? a bit messy on my husband's computer .. better on my lap top ? ;-)
Glad you added your support girl ! every bit COUNTS for a stress free goal and if not .. away I sail ! LOL or "snowshoe" ? haha

Kyna said...

RG: Thanks for your kind comment :D Being informative is nothing to be guilty about, I wish I was more that way. I love learning facts about things, I'm just bad at providing them. Maybe it's a lack of confidence on my own part in my gardening abilities. :P

Meredith: You're right, I don't think that everyone goes out of their way to create a work of art when they write a post, but that's what it is. Look at the painting world...some artists throw a splatter of paint on a canvas, and it could sell for *Dr. Evil voice* One MEElion dollars. Is that art? The art world thinks it is. Usually it depends on who the artist is.
Sometimes I see a correlation with the garden blogging world. Certain bloggers are well-known, that means they're going to get a lot of readers, a lot of comments, and a lot of picks.
They should change that famous, four-letter word bumper sticker to 'Art Happens'

Crafty: Thanks for your input :) I think I just try to ignore the competition, and do my thing. When I first started, I felt myself getting that way. I'd feel sad if I wasn't in the top 30 most visited blogs. Now I don't even think I'm in the top 300 LOL. I had a busy week in real life, and now I'm in garden-blog oblivion. I have to remind myself that I'm just happy to have a few readers who enjoy what I write, and forget about becoming one of those 'famous' garden bloggers that I was reffering to above. And I'm not knocking the well-known ones, I believe they've earned it. I just don't seem to have the time or the 'x-factor' to earn it :)

Dirt Digger: Thanks for the compliment! :) No, I used to drink a lot of Coke, but I was also weird about food. I could never mix Coke and Cap'N Crunch O_O. My brother Kurt always says that I should buy myself an Army mess plate w/ dividers, because I hate when my food touches LOL.

Deb: You're right, I hope people don't drop away from Blotanical myself. I use Blogger, and I've found that the 'Follow' button has helped me out when Blotanical's been down. But so many people don't use Blogger (like you, I think?) and I would have a hard time remembering to visit all of my favourite blogs in an easy fashion. Or to leave someone a message without having to comment on a particular post. If picks were just left the way they are, I wouldn't have a problem. If someone wants to take the time to pick their hearts out, I don't mind. I just would feel sad if there was a rating system, and someone gave me a 2-star or something. I take stupid things like that to heart, I'm such a perfectionist :P If someone just thinks my post is crap and chooses to pass it by, my ego would much prefer that.

Joy: Well, that's the good thing about writing, it's cathartic and makes us all feel better :) There are days that I consider starting a blog just for all my daily rants LOL. I don't know if anyone would read it, and I have a hard enough time keeping up with this one, that I don't do it ;) Glad to see you stop by! :D

Rosie leavesnbloom said...

Hi Kyna I read the whole thing and didn't need a picture to help me along. I do love pics in my blog posts as I love photography and I do ask the odd question as I love the interaction - I'm hoping for lots of interaction in my next blog post soon to be published!

I rarely visit the page on Blotanical that shows who's blogs are the most popular - it must be months since I ventured there - I'm in the dark in that respect. I'm not even interested in that side of Blotanical - but its a great place to meet fellow bloggers and thats primarily why I am there.

I never even realised about the picks at first when I joined Blotanical - I don't like the new system but am willing to give it a go - but I don't think I will ever award anyone 1 heart!

I can't get to comment on all the blogs I read and sometimes I've nothing further to add to the conversation - I'm a quiet type of gall at the best of times - but I'll give them a pick to let them know that I've been around.

Meredith said...

Hi, Kyna, just stopping in again to let you know I've given you the Honest Scrap award over at my blog and can't wait to find out ten new things about you. ;)

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Excellent post Kyna, I agree with you completely. I have mixed feelings about 'picks', but am not sitting on the fence about the new rating system. 'Legitimately good' is, subjective, offensive & unnecessary. I blog for fun, and mostly for myself. My garden isn't spectacular, I don't have wonderful photography skills, nor do I have a background in writing. I'm happy if my words & pictures are pleasing to a few people, and I enjoy reading & writing comments. It is enough for me, I do not want to be rated.

Jim Groble said...

Hi Kyna, What a wonderful post. A persons blog is a reflection of themselves.Every post is a new creation. Some stories don't need pics. Some only need pics. I often sit back and think how I would like to write as good as this or that blogger, but I shouldn't. My posts tend to be pic heavy because I want the pics to tell the story. Pat says that she hears my voice in my writting. That, I think is all any blogger needs to hope for.
I read your blog and and hear you and enjoy them for that. My mind is not so good with canadian accents, but I have a ton of relatives from Minnesota. jim

Msrobin said...

I had to comment on Nancy's post too, because the pick system makes me also feel like I am in high school vying for popularity! Some of my personal favorite posts only got a few picks, then I didn't know what to think. So I stopped worrying about, and I just blog for my own enjoyment. I'd much rather get nice comments. My crabapple trees will have tiny apples that even the birds barely eat!

Shyrlene said...

Kyna - it's always a treat to visit your blog; your train of thought is always fresh and humorous - and your use of all "tools": words, your digital pictures or internet pix/videos appeal to all types of garden bloggers (evident by all the comments!).

Great post - honest comments: all good! :) --Shyrlene

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

With regards to the picking system… It is a tough one and personally I wouldn’t miss it if it wasn’t there, however at the same time I use it to show I have visited the blog and enjoyed the photos or content without perhaps the time to make comments. I don’t pick every single post I look at, some for various reasons – usually that something has offended me about the blog, it may just be a small thing, or a big one such as; I really dislike blogs that have adverts all over them, I don’t feel a blog is the place to try to earn money – so this usually turns me away.

(unless the blog is for a company, then obviously adverts are expected)

Sadly popularity is hard work, some people just seem to ‘have it’, but the rest of us have to work very hard at getting our blogs noticed – I know I do. I have no idea why it bothers me, perhaps it’s that competitive side coming out once again!
This is the very reason I never went into freelance illustration as I had trained at University to do – I am not one for tooting my own horn nor pestering agencies to get me work!!!

The Idiot Gardener said...

Sex + football = gardening!

I like that; I might paint it on the side of my wheelbarrow, alongside the "My Other Slug is a Snail" bumper sticker.

I'll tell you something else: Clara was blowing the teacher!

Marguerite said...

Wow, did we have the same art teacher? This is a fantastic post, thanks for writing it. I'm just starting out blogging and worry a lot whether I use enough pictures because I tend to rattle on. I wonder sometimes if people still read. Soliloquy's post really hit home - you can only judge for yourself. Let others do what makes them happy. Marguerite

Ellada said...

This is my first time to your blog. Write what you did, do not need any image, it comes in our heads as we read your article.
So just one word. Bravo.

wannabegardener said...

Kyna, like the others who have commented here before me - I read your post entirely too - even though there were no pictures! I agree completely with you that laughter is the best medicine, cure-all for all problems - more so if the joke is on us! I enjoyed reading your post!

Deborah said...

Hi. I'm glad I stumbled in. I normally have a short attention span, and require eye-candy to hold my attention, but your post really captivated me. Maybe because there was a lot of me in there. Same, but different. Except for the part of being picked first in gym class. I was picked almost-last for that--not because they didn't like me, but because I was tiny and and non-athletic. But Nancy's post made me think about high school too (and even junior high).

Jess said...

Kyna - your posts have a voice that is very you. If we took 20 posts on blotanical took out the author and the pictures I'd still know it was you. I am more of a word reader than a picture looker anyway, but I like all different kinds of posts and yes, my favorites, the ones I read nearly every week, tend to be the ones where I feel like I get to know the authors.

gippslandgardener said...

Hi Kyna, I almost missed this wonderful heartfelt post because your blog is still dropping off my faves list :( I swear I'm going to have to go and find something to nail it down with! I read every word because it was engaging and rung true. I'm not keen on ratings myself - I'd much rather make a comment to say why a post has really moved me than press a button that gives a judgement with no context.