In the Event Someone Reading This Knows Me IRL: …Hi?

Today’s post is brought to you by the illogical fear of a girl whose got a public blog.

(I will never get tired of that lede. Or misusing the word lede. Never.)


Fun fact: For as many blogs as I’ve neglected, I have never shared them with anyone who knows me in real life. In fact, that’s always been a point of paranoia–which I counteracted by removing my identity as much as possible. There was a moment back in high school when someone came scarily close to discovering my blog. My response? Frantically log on a school computer and make my blog private.

Now see, that move actually made sense. I was smack dab in the middle of my teenage angst–all I wrote about was my unrequited love, terrible teachers, and every embarrassing topic I possibly could. Want a crash course in oversharing? Visit my terribly named blog.

Except don’t, because it’ll hurt your sensibilities.

But this blog? This blog has posts that I’ve given thought to–ideas that I stand by. Inconsistent posting schedule aside, I have nothing to be ashamed of. And yet the very idea of discovery still unnerves me. (Which, of course, is why my domain is the same as my social media accounts. What? I never said I was smart…)

It’s an interesting phenomenon to want your words made public and still refrain from sharing them with a captive audience. Yet, there is a chance, no matter how seemingly insignificant, that someone I know is reading this. The oddest thought, of course, being that it’s a mere acquaintance.

So I’ve decided to take this as a long winded opportunity to properly welcome anyone who actually knows me. Hi there–welcome to my blog.

You’ll notice that I don’t write with regularity–indeed even missing the entirety of November. That is not on purpose. The lack of a set and proper subject matter, though, that is on purpose. I’d like to think that with this upcoming year, my blog will gain structure, but it probably won’t. It will, however remain an evolving soapbox (said with a drop of sarcasm, I promise) and stay true to its word. Loose with Keys will always be recklessly verbose and mildly self-indulgent. It will always capture the ramblings and occasionally nuanced thoughts of a work-in-progress.

It is my integrity manifested.

It is a place where I say pretentious things like “integrity manifested” without considering how idiotic they sound.

If you are reading this and know me, know this: what you have before you is a catalog to my mind. Even your 15 seconds of feigned interest are enough for me. If you are reading this and know me, know this: the moment you mention any of this–deer in headlights.

Back to my regular posts then.


My Obligatory NaNoWriMo Post

Being a pantser is a polite way of saying that I’m too lazy to plan.

It’s true–I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I’ll be writing in a genre I’ve never done before (satire) about a concept I haven’t flushed out (overnight retail workers) in 30 days (wee!).

End of blog post.


No? Suit yourself. (Lame sense of humor? Check.)

Now perhaps it seems rather silly that a blogger who fails to consistently, well, blog should choose to participate in such a time-consuming challenge. It is. Ridiculously so.

But I am a ridiculous girl.

Truthfully though, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten excited about a project. Personal reasons blah blah blah, you know the drill. Still, when I give it some serious thought, it’s actually the worst thing to do in a time of crisis–to stop writing. Even if it means writing a terrible novel about a potentially boring idea.

Now as I mentioned above, I’m pantsing this, so no outline here. I have a general concept and a few characters which is all the brain power I’m willing to put into my preparation. The one thing that I am doing differently this year is that I’m going to attempt and become more socially involved. This means attending some virtual write-ins, posting in the forums, and potentially making a few writing buddies. This also means that I’m going to twist my new friend’s arm into doing this with me.

And then twisting his arm into letting me read his work. Because what are friends for if not to bully you into handing over what you’ve written?

It’s going to be a good month guys. I can feel it.



Blogging: Why Am I So Terrible At It?

Real talk: it’s a little difficult for me not to keep gushing about who I’m crushing… on. (Ew, no I’ll stop–promise.) Of course there’s no rule that says I can’t do that–no rule apart from common sense, anyway.

Oh, and then there’s my pride.

I’ve kept up some form of a blog since I was 13–whether it was an exhibition of teenage angst or actual effort. That’s a decade’s worth of sporadic blogging and would you believe that in that time, I’ve never wondered why?  Blogging was always a given–something I had to do. Love of writing + thoughts = blog. Seems simple enough.

Lately though, it’s been a struggle. A struggle to find real motivation in maintaining this blog and the problem isn’t that I’m running out of content. No, it’s that more goes into blogging than just doing a stream of consciousness and hitting “Publish”. Which I knew, of course I knew, but haven’t bothered to do.

A blog isn’t a blog without images, and aside from my header, I haven’t got any. Publicizing…? Is that when a blog is made public…? SEO optimization might as well be in a foreign language. (That’s not Spanish. Because I speak Spanish…)

Can I just hire someone to do all that stuff for me? And by hire, I of course mean offer zero financial compensation. No? Figures.

In truth, I initially did plan to take all of those aspects of blogging seriously. However, when starting over, I made the executive decision to put all that on the back-burner while I found my legs. Now, I fear, the time has come what with the end of August and all.

Over the next couple of days, there’ll be minor tweaks here and my overall online presence. There’ll be more of a rhyme and reason to my posting schedule and the posts themselves won’t be a wall of rambles. And from thereon in, my blog will no longer be a perpetual middle child.

Project Get-with-the-Times-Grandma is afoot.


I don’t get round-up posts.

Oh look, an edgy post!

“Edgy” but genuine, I assure you.

If you’ve never checked out a lifestyle blog in your life, let me explain. A round-up post (dear god, I hope that’s what they’re called) is when a blogger selects things from their social media to share as a blog post. The most common incarnations are Instagram photos and Pinterest pins. Sometimes they’re a monthly feature–sometimes a little more frequent than can be justified…

Either way, it is a compilation of media that has already seen the light of day. Which is where my confusion sets in. To me, they scream “I had nothing else to write about, but I needed something.” In other words, it’s filler.

These days there’s something of a pressure to update with regularity. That’s what this medium thrives on, constant updates because otherwise you become irrelevant.And sure, there are some Youtubers who only update once a week (if that), but that feels different. Perhaps I’m getting into my own head, but they seem to have more leeway. A lot goes into making videos, whereas–in my case–all I really do is write.

I get that. You want to write something, and you’re blocked, but you need to post something. In those instances, I must admit that I have nothing in the way of comfort. Writing/blogging/whatever is difficult, not because the act itself is complicated. Rather, because it’s difficult to see things through. Still, those posts don’t even consist of actual writing. You are just regurgitating material that people who follow you have already seen.

“But Wendy, this way it reaches people who don’t check out our Instagram feeds. People who don’t follow our Pinterest boards. It’s advertisement for our other platforms.”

The thing is, it’s irritating to visit a site and find that today’s new post is filled with photos of a blogger I only casually follow. (Hence why they’re not in my Feedly.) I feel grumpy, but if I wanted to see your photos, I’d check out your Instagram. You’ve already got your social media links right at the top of your blog. I couldn’t miss them even if I wanted to.

Quite frankly, I’m not one to follow a stranger’s feed because that doesn’t do much for me. I don’t personally know you, and seeing pictures of your cat won’t change anything–won’t make me feel anything. The exception is for feeds with a distinct purpose other than “capturing my life”. The ones that track a person’s fitness journey or have nothing but pictures of pets.

If I read your blog, it’s because something about your words is speaking to me. Maybe I’ll check out your social media, and maybe I won’t. But I’ll still read your posts because I see something worth reading.

Until you force me to look at the cute home office pictures you pinned a month ago.

The Book Envy is Too Real

Twilight was monumental to me.

It was the first time I ever thought, “I could write something better than this.”

A few days ago at work I saw, not one, but two upcoming books written by popular YouTubers. (Both were released Tuesday.) Two more to add to the growing pile of books written by YouTubers–some of whom have more than one under their belt.

With the exception of a select few, they’re all memoirs. And if I knew that’s what it takes to get published these days, I would have started some half-hearted channel years ago.

But let’s dial back the bitter for a second.

Now from a business standpoint, it makes sense to try to reach the younger audience. With other mediums delivering instant gratification (like video games, TV shows, and yes, even YouTube videos) it takes a lot to get the young people buying books. But if you give a book deal to someone who’s got influence over millions of teens…

It’s safe to say that none of these books will have critical longevity; they’re pet projects churned out for the fans. They’ll be on the New York Times top seller list for a week or two before dropping off because there isn’t much substance there. Unlike, say, a current best seller like The Girl on the Train,  who’s been on the list for 66 weeks–over a year.

But none of this is new. Before it was YouTubers, it was (and still is) celebrities. Publishing houses have always sought out the popular in order to turn a profit. Business is business, after all.

The first time I saw a book by a popular YouTuber, I thought, “Well, it was only a matter of time. But good for him.” Then the onslaught came, and the frustration started setting in. Often times you’ll hear, “At least it gets the kids reading.” As if the quality of what they read doesn’t matter, because of course it does. Some of these books are utterly ridiculous. There is literally a book that has nothing but nonsense. And while they might be entertaining to look at, that hardly constitutes reading.

Still, that’s a separate discussion for another day.

Publishing houses will always go for these sure things, regardless of quality. The best a person can do for their sanity is acknowledge that this isn’t a new trend. And that furthermore, this is a practice that will persevere–and years from now, we may get book after book from a new social media network.

Above anything though, there should be a love for the craft. We should write because there is no alternative. Anything other than personal satisfaction is a bonus, not a right. So while it may seem like an insult to see these books published year after year, we shouldn’t take it that way. We should acknowledge that it took work for those YouTubers to cultivate their audience. And if they want to write a book,then so be it.

Ultimately, we live in a world where both Fifty Shades of Grey and Gone with the Wind can coexist.