All creative and professional writers and it doesn’t matter the level or quality of their work have something called a “Slush Pile”. In case, you don’t know, the slush pile whether physical printouts or electronic files on our computers are where the shit goes. They are the septic tanks for our ultra-creative minds. These range from ideas for stories that don’t pan out, too short stories to nearly complete or even complete manuscripts of novels (the last one seems like a complete waste of time to me). For whatever reason they didn’t work out or just don’t for the time being. Sometimes they never work out all, sometimes the shit really is shit and no matter how much we tinker with it or re-write them the results are the same. I remember reading once that one of Stephen Kings more famous books came from the depths of his own slush pile so sometimes you really can make some good from the bad.
Bloggers are no different I suspect. Most novelists I know are also bloggers since its part of our online writing image and social media kits. My slush pile for blogging is quite large and much larger than it is for my novels and short stories. There are an awful lot of bloggers out there who are not novelists or creative writers and there are many that have very successful blogs and make a good living off them. People talk badly about bloggers but there are many who are well respected and they really are an important part of new media and journalism. The reason bloggers and blogs are popular is because we talk about the things that the normal media does not. We talk about specific things that people are looking to learn about and share opinions which are not usually controlled by the media elite.
Back to slush piles, though.
I was looking through what passes for mine and I have 88 written blog posts that are slush. I know this because when I saved the file the last time I added the word CRAP to the file name. So for example, Why online dating doesn’t work CRAP or 5 things I like about Grand Rapids Michigan CRAP or, so you wanna be a rap god CRAP. Why 88 you might be asking. I would say roughly 40% or so of my published and unpublished blog posts tend to be reactionary. Sometimes I write in response to a situation I was in or witnessed. I write some in reaction to a movie or TV show and some in reaction to a news show I saw or news article I read. Some are just a paragraph or two and some are 2,500-word pieces of what I considered pure art at the time of writing them. But in the end, I never posted them. Why?
Well, like I said sometimes they are reactionary. I wrote them while reacting to something and sometimes after a few days or weeks go by I realize there is no need to post them. What can I say, even while writing my emotions get the best of me? Some perhaps don’t really serve a purpose anymore or the situation and interest have passed. More often than not I realize they don’t do anything positive for my blog Journeys and Life when it comes to keeping readers attention even for people who like reading the rants. Some could negatively affect books sales which also is something I think about.
Sure if you take the time to go through the archives on my blog you will find some rants, poorly written posts and things that really have no place or are just uninteresting. Often these were done when my blog was called something else and intended to be more of a personal rage outlet than an extension of my life as a writer. I know I should go through and delete some of them but when you have written as many posts as I have (around 650) that’s a whole lot of time and effort. It’s like going through your pictures on Facebook. Any suggestions from fellow bloggers on what to do in this situation would be appreciated.
Occasionally I get accused by some who are weak in the mind of saying too much, being too honest and too direct, insulting and maybe even mean. After taking a peek at these unpublished posts it proves the exact opposite. That I do in fact have a filter. I just have to give that filter time to work which is a problem in the blogging world since expediency is important. Being quick when writing about a topic can make your post, thoughts and ideas new and fresh while being slow about it makes you a ‘Johnny come lately’ and no one cares if they ever do at all. I realized that some of these CRAP files were just me venting, getting out frustrations in words which is what all writers and many normal people do and does serve a cathartic purpose. People journal for this same reason.
Maybe I should call it
So I ask my fellow bloggers what’s in your blogging CRAP pile. What topics have you written about that have never made it to the computer or tablet screen?