Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Therapy is Making Me into a Humorless Twit

I have to keep the eye on the prize, which is to express myself honestly and openly on my blog, have fun, and not take it too seriously.   I need to be grateful for all the cool people who stop by this blog, and treat everyone as worthy individuals with an innate need to express their ideas and personality.   I need to not take people for granted.   I need to comment and read your blogs as consistently as you do mine.   I need to accept the fact that I have lost touch with some bloggers, and it is OK to feel a little sad about it.  I need to be open about all blogging opportunities that I hear about, so they can be available to as many as possible.  I shouldn’t be afraid of thinking of this blog as the best blog in the world simply because I write it, just as your blog should be YOUR best blog in the world, and I should acknowledge that when I come to visit.   I need to respect other writers for the quality of their work and the openness of their spirit, whether they are writing exquisite poetry or stupid gags, both which have an important role to play in society.   I need to remember that a good blog doesn’t necessarily make them a caring person, and that an amazing individual might not be able to put down in words everything that is in his or her heart.  I need to acknowledge that the blogosphere can be as cliquish as high school, and that I should accept it, ignore it, and mock it for comic effect.   I hope that I will be made fun of by others when I am hypocritical.  I need to be wary of marketers or all types, those trying to sell me products and ideas that are more for their benefit than my own, even if there is a short-lived profit for me or my blog.   I should always weigh the benefits to myself with the effects on others.  I need to remember that modern man has ADD, and will constantly be talking about “what’s new” and “what’s hot,” forgetting that telling stories and chatting about nothing has been going on since we lived in caves, way  before the arrival of Twitter and Facebook.   I need to dig deeper than the surface and understand that despite all the talk about “branding” and “linking” and “A-listers,” the blogosphere is mostly about imperfect humans looking for affection, love, and connection in a somewhat lonely and isolating world.


  1. Neilohcka:
    What a wonderful piece – it’s practically a primer on what blogging is/should be all about. I decree that it should be sent out every time someone signs up for site. Let me talk to my people.

    This is a pretty ambitious to-do list, but do-able. When you get weary, come and sit a spell, and have some nice tea and rugelach, and just chat.

  2. Lovely. I am continually amazed that connections formed through words in blogs.
    Thank you for this lovely piece.


  3. you are most fabulous. i hope you know that.

  4. This is the gentlest manifesto I have ever read. Instant required reading for anyone blogging or reading blogs. Thank you for putting this into words, Neil.

  5. I hope all those “fake” marketing bloggers out there read this.

  6. Truth and humor are both okay, and not always mutually exclusive.

    But even when you’re leaning heavily towards earnestness, the “return” key is still your friend.

    As am I 🙂

  7. I kept trying to come up with something witty to express that I really like this post, appreciate the honesty, and that even humorless twits have a place in society. Then everything I wrote came out trite and inane. Oh well.

  8. Neil,

    Love ya! Yours is the 3rd best blog in the world.. (I have 2).

    Must remember: telling stories and chatting about nothing has been going on since we lived in caves.

    Must tell the stories and chat well about nothing…

  9. i haven’t read this much truth in one place in a long time. now the trick is following that wisdom, yanno? i struggle, too.

    anyway, rock on wit yer bad self.

  10. Talking about earnestness, what is with Steve Guttenberg on Dancing with the Stars? If you watch the show, you’ll know what I mean. He has been to therapy — I’m sure.

  11. this really should be required reading when you sign up for a blog. instead of checking off “do you agree to the terms and conditions,” you should have to check off “have you read neil’s post about how to be a better person and blogger?”

  12. I’m curious what inspired this post?

  13. I do find it hard to express myself when I read other blogs and their successes and accomplishments.

    Most of the time I can put on blinders to block it out. Sometimes, I can not.

  14. Non-Highlighted Heather

    March 26, 2008 at 7:24 am

    You could never be a humorless twit. An obsessive compulsive, neurotic, insecure, sexually frustrated, purple robe wearing, Abba loving, anally frugal, Dooce bashing Jew. But never a humorless twit.

    Your blog is one of the few that has steadily kept my attention over the years. I come back because I genuinely like you as a person.

  15. It’s difficult when you are sorting through so much internally to keep up “appearances.” You can be who you are at any moment. You don’t need to put on a show here. My affection for you is not that fickle. 🙂

  16. I always think you are nice to other bloggers. Sure, you could comment a little more often on other blogs, but I don’t hold it against you. You’re a busy person.

  17. Stuff like this keeps me coming back.

  18. That was good to read. And very true.

  19. Neil, at least you are in the “in crowd” clique. 😉 I’m convinced it’s your hat.

    But I like hearing what you have to say – so keep at it.

  20. Oh, and can I have a blog-crush on you back? Is that allowed?

  21. nicely put.

    although I worry a bit about all the “shoulds”… I think you mostly do these things. Are you feeling like you don’t somehow?

  22. Kyra — By “in crowd,” I assume you mean those who blog too much, don’t get out enough, are pale and out of shape, and would rather be getting laid then blogging about it. If that is the criteria — yes, I am a super-blogger.

    Not Fainthearted — I don’t feel that I am as caring a “blogger” as I used to be. One problem: too many people, too many alternative places to go to interact.

  23. “In the name of the father, the son and the holy spicket. AMEN”

    Neil I think more people come here for you than your witty writing. Your writing only shows what a genuine, caring person you already are. Or at least you have me convinced of that.

  24. Excellent. You nailed it. My main rule in this whole blogging endeavour is that I must first love what I do. All else pales.

  25. That is a lot to try to live up to all at once. Maybe you should make a need of the day to go along with your crush of the day.

  26. You Should..take a breath. You are one of the most open minded bloggers I have ever met…well..actually the only one… but still…

    Don’t sweat all this stuff. But I do love that you care. It’s so you!

  27. That last sentence speaks volumes! Would you mind turning down the volume just a touch — I’m suddenly depressed.

  28. My meds make me a humorless twit but I feel better.

  29. “”imperfect humans looking for affection, love, and connection””

    I think that is so very true–flying our freak flags and waving at each other with a knowing grin!

  30. Hump Day Sermons to Self. The premise is so sound. Thanks for sharing your affirmations.

  31. I already very much enjoy your mocking of the blogosphere and its A-listers. Plus, I love you because you are doing the Choose Your Own Blogventure. I can’t wait to read it!

  32. I found this blog early on in the Great Interview Experiment and I’m pretty sure I can say I’ll be coming back for a long, long time. This was a great post, and a great reminder to all bloggers.

    I used to be super worried about getting visitors and comments on my blog, but now I do it for me (mostly). Thanks for reminding me that there are more important things than comments and visitor stats. And also, that I should be better about reading and commenting on other blogs. Just because I read it in a reader doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take the time to click on over and give some comment love!

  33. This is wonderful. Thank you.

  34. Ahh… Neil! This IS a great manifesto.

  35. I wondered why you weren’t sending me flowers any more. Thought it was something I did, like when I put my hand on your leg and made a pass at you.

  36. when i say that therapy is making you a humorous twit, i was worried. this was wonderful, neil. it’s honest and telling — “the blogosphere can be as cliquish as high school, and that I should accept it, ignore it, and mock it for comic effect.” amen to that.

  37. This is perfect, Neil.

  38. I dunno… you make it all sound like such a burden. If I felt like that, I’d lay it down.

  39. Yes. What you said. Right on.

  40. I love your blogging manifesto. It’s got a lot of things in it I’ve been thinking lately.

  41. If you become a humourless twit too, I reserve the right to unsubscribe.

  42. Addressing disconnectedness through blogging, or expelling pain through words. Either way, it works. Keep at it!

  43. It would indeed be very nice to get a return comment. 😉

    I have become slightly humorless of late, but hopefully not to twit-like.

  44. Marie — It’s a deal!

  45. Neil, I’m feeling kind of sad since you stopped poking me…

  46. Well said Neil. It’s sometimes difficult to be a good blogger, reading/commenting on other’s blogs as often as we’d like. Too many good blogs; too little time.

    That being said, yours is one that I DO take the time to read.

  47. you’re going to therapy to become a better blog person? bet you’re hoping brenda is reading this one. awesome.

  48. I love when you write about this kind of stuff, and I say bravo to most of your points. The only one I would urge you to take another look at is “I need to comment and read your blogs as consistently as you do mine.” With all due respect, NO YOU DO NOT! If you WANT to and have the time to do so, then hooray, but I hate to see you putting that burden on yourself or considering yourself less “caring” if you don’t. Especially since you have so many readers—I don’t even think it’s possible! And trust me, with all of the group online experiences you’ve instigated such as the holiday concert, interview project, and so on, you have MORE than proved what a caring blogger you are.

  49. If you try and read everyone’s blogs, you will have no time to eat, sleep or live. Believe me, I’ve been there.

  50. the blogosphere is mostly about imperfect humans looking for affection, love, and connection in a somewhat lonely and isolating world.

    I was looking for hot cybersex with big-titted brunette 30-something woman, but so far all I got was a rock.

  51. I love this post, Neil. It echoes what I’ve been thinking about lately as I tweet and ‘social network’ my way through my work life. But you said it much better than I thought it.

  52. I’m still your favorite though, right?

  53. Thank you for writing this. As one of the imperfect humans looking for love, affection and connection, I often find it all here.

  54. Neil, thank you for mentioning Steve Guttenberg and the most important show on television: Dancing with the Stars. THANK goodness Adam Carolla was not thrown off.
    And, I miss that you never comment on my blog anymore (not that my writing is any good, or that I write very often, but…just sayin)

  55. Cruisin — Are you that big of a Adam Carolla fan? He is a terrible dancer!

  56. I really loved this post.

  57. Just stumbled across you on twitter and came here. Sucked in — adding you to my RSS cos I could spend a day here reading your posts but I have to get focused back on my day job. Dang it.

  58. Here I am, counting the ways that I love you. I love that coming here feels like an interaction with you. Every time. I love seeing your comments elsewhere, but I’m never like, “Where the frack is Neil’s comment?” when I don’t. I love the mocking for comic affect, the e-mails from mom and the connections I’ve made through this blog. In other words, I already love you. Now go love yourself.

  59. Hey, you had me at the Easter Parade bonnets! Don’t beat yourself up–that’s why God created co-workers and neighbors. Let them keep their jobs, there’s a recession coming.
    You’re a funny,funny guy. Keep it rolling.

  60. I absolutely loved this post Neil.

  61. Ye gods, Neil. You have written the Desdirata of blogging.

  62. Thank you. This helps me as I get back into the swing of blogging.

  63. That is, the Desiderata of blogging, not the ‘desdirata’.

  64. Neil, this is a wonderful post. Thank you – it was just what I needed today.

  65. I really do adore you, Neil. This was perfect. Thank you.

  66. Palinode — Ha Ha, normally I fix typos, but I’m going to keep yours up, just cause I like to see brainy people stumble. I’m not THAT nice.

  67. Just one amazing creed to write by!

  68. Hi, I’ve just stumbled across your blog and have enjoyed reading. This most recent post was particularly heartwarming. Thanks! 🙂

  69. Bravo! That deserves a poke.

  70. I need to do all these things, too, and remember to visit you as I once did. It occurs to me that I need a footrub as well.

    What are you doing later? Say, around 5?

  71. Agreed—being psychologically minded can sometimes be a major buzzkill. That being said, it often makes life a lot more interesting. I’ve just found your blog and am just eating up some of the content. So, thanks…

  72. Amen brother!

    Ooo, that was weird…

    Fantastic post, Neil. Massive Thumbs Up.

  73. this is brilliant. brilliant neil.

  74. Gee Neil, you’re the Jerry McGuire of blogging. And might I add, you had me at “humorless twit”.
    Of course I love Adam Carolla. He and Jimmy Kimmel are the two funniest guys around.

  75. My comment is more of a question … I hope you don’t mind.

    I know you see a therapist named Brenda. You are a man seeing a female therapist.

    Here’s my question: Do you think you would talk with her differently if she were a he?

    This is a valid question for me because I’ve talked to male therapists before and always found myself trying to please him, be the prized client.

    Now I find myself in a situation where I need a therapist to hash things out and I’ve decided that I’m going female because I don’t think I’ll hold back as much as I did with a male therapist.

    Also, I won’t waste as much time with the fantasizing of my male therapist wanting me to have his children.

    So, what do YOU think? I’ve been reading you for oh, maybe a couple of years, 18 months minimum, and I trust you enough to give me an honest answer.

    Thanks in advance. If you prefer not to answer this post, no problem. I won’t take it personally because you don’t have a clue who I am anyways. And, now to think about it, neither do I.

  76. I think this post is brilliant… and you wrote it at a time when I really needed to read it. As someone who is still so new to blogging, I’m always grateful for any readers, comments, etc… but ultimately I’m here because I get something from it whether it’s my own version of therapy or release. Thanks for a great post!

  77. Isn’t it funny, how you blog, make blogger friends and then you miss a couple posts, start feeling guilt, feel even worse about showing up after being gone so long, so it totally dies off. You really captured something here.

    On another note, are you going to Tequila Con this year? I sort of invited myself to this years and saw you on the list.

  78. An excellent post. But didn’t anyone ever teach you about paragraph breaks?

  79. Mattie — we can email about this. I have thought about this issue. I’m not with a male therapist so I really can’t answer you. I have a feeling it might be a very different dynamic. Sometimes I wonder if the impact would be stronger if it was male to male. I sometimes feel too comfortable with Brenda.

    Black Belt Mama — I went to Tequilacon in Portland last year and it was a blast. I’d like to come this year, but I’m not sure yet if I can get away. You should definitely go. The same for anyone who lives around the Philadelphia area — the locale this year. You can invite yourself. Go to Jenny at Run Jen Run to read more about it.

    Miriam — It’s conserving energy by not making paragraph breaks. Part of being Green.

  80. Dude, you’ve just written the “Desiderata” of the blogosphere.

  81. you are a good boy.

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