the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Character and Self Doubt

I’ve having difficulty writing on my blog lately. I write posts and then scrap them. Too somber. Too sad. Too depressing. Too kvetchy.

Today, I thought I would shake things up by returning to the past. I would write a funny, sexually-oriented post, something I might have written in 2007. In the scenario, my blog character would bed six women at once. I prepared for the post by plotting out his lovemaking technique on a blueprint, setting the positioning mathematically — one woman riding him, one on his face, one women at each of his sides, his fingers inside them, and two women on each of Neilochka’s big toes.

Just as the women were getting hot and heavy, my blog character pulled away.

“I’m sorry,” he said, tears building in his eyes. “I can’t go on.”

The women were in shock, knowing Neilochka’s Don Juan reputation.

“It’s not you, it’s me.” he added. “I’m just not into fucking six women at the same time tonight.”

Now, it is a sad when a man performs poorly in bed in the “real world.” It is downright tragic when a “blog character” walks away from six babes wanting his body more than a pint of the best frozen yogurt.

But it isn’t 2007 anymore. Back then, my blog character was proud and cocky. He bragged about his blog being the greatest in the universe. He stood on top of the Empire State Building and hung a banner for all to see, “Citizen of the Month: Fuck Yeah!”

Life has knocked out this blog character, right on the mat, TKO-ed. Now he hobbles, half the man he used to be. In 2007, all six women in his bed would have had the orgasm of their lives. Now they all go to Yogurtland, noshing on the butter pecan frozen yogurt as a conciliation prize, leaving Neilochka alone, sulking, naked, vulnerable, his head in his hands, slouched over at the edge of his bed.

I’m ashamed of my blog character, this “Neilochka.” He is stuck in a rut. How long can he hang on to Sophia’s apron string, waffling between decisions, ping-ponging back and forth from LA and NY. And now this FIL subplot — how depressing! If my blog was a book, and I was the editor, I would tell the writer to cut out the last six chapters.

“You need to get this story moving. Throw in a new twist. This character is turning into a loser. He can’t even fuck six imaginary hotties? Who’s gonna read this book?”

It’s hard to write when you are ashamed of your blog character. I read your blogs, and you have created such excellent blog characters. So much movement and character change. Your blog characters have married, had children, changed jobs, overcome great odds!

My blog character, once a leader amongst men, has become static and unmoving, like a log in a old forest. He does not DESERVE to be the star of his own blog.

Neilochka was once a source of pride. Now he is a badge of shame.

I need to work on this character to make him relevant again to modern audiences.


  1. Twenty Four At Heart

    This is SUCH a Neil post. Those poor women on your big toes … almost satisfied by a toe, but not quite.

  2. andrea

    For me, the struggles and the day-to-day? That’s what makes good reading. It’s real. We’re not all constantly in motion, constantly improving…these stagnant periods? They’re what we look back five years from now and say, “Wow, look how far I’ve come. Look what I did, even after spending six months on my sofa, scarfing down Ben and Jerry’s, curled up with my Snuggie and a trash romance, convinced that I was going nowhere.”
    It’s what makes us stronger. And you, my friend, are basically awesome, and have so much to say, and so much to do, and eventually, when things seem to take on forward motion again, I look forward to reading about it. Just as much as I love reading about it all now. <3

  3. brandon

    i’m sorry, but my 2007 blog character just reminded me that he was the greatest male blogger in the universe. you must be thinking about 2008.

  4. Haley-O (Cheaty)

    First of all, you’re fabulous. Second of all, you’re incredibly hard on yourself. I personally find this Neilochka fascinating (also the one on twitter!). And I’m not saying this to make you feel better. It’s truth, Neil. You should be very proud. Also, I think you and your story are totally relevant to modern audiences, and, most importantly, relatable.

  5. mernitman

    He’s just having the usual problems with his second act.

  6. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    Those last six chapters? They’ve GOT to go. I demand a rewrite–and that you trim your nails. ; )

  7. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    You get more comments in six minutes than I get in six days. And you think your blog character is bad. Pfffft.

  8. sweetsalty kate

    All you need to do is figure out how to make butter pecan frozen yogurt into a sex act.

  9. slouchy

    what v-grrrl said.

    in her first comment.

  10. Juli Ryan

    Having a long-time blog character like Neilochka must be like writing on the 516th season of “The Simpsons”. Where do you go from here?

    P.S. You’re not quitting, are you?

    P.P.S. It’s a relief to find out I’m not the only one who says, “Trim your nails.”

  11. ingrid

    What they said. . .

    Plus life truly and genuinely sucks sometimes. I think a blog (a good one) is a demanding thing. The good thing is that readers who know you, at some point, just want to hear from you because they like you. You. You. (got that?)


  12. headbang8

    Dissociation. A psychological term. Look it up.

  13. Gwen

    Yeah, that Neilochka needs to stop all the whinging and get on with the business of living. Because he came on vacation to Spain with me, in the form of a book character.

    (A.M. Homes: This Book Will Save Your Life, protagonist Richard Novak, setting: LA, excerpt: “Above and below, a chain of houses climbs the canyon wall: a social chain, an economic chain, a food chain. The goal is to be on top, king of the hill รขโ‚ฌโ€ to win. Each person looks down on the next, thinking they somehow have it better, but there is always someone else either pressing up from below or looking down from above. There is no way to win.”)

    And I was all, Neilochka, get out of my book! But there he was, inhabiting every word.

  14. SciFi Dad

    Character? I thought I was reading a PERSONAL blog (about a neurotic guy who has occasional flights of fancy… not FANCY fancy, because, you know… not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not how I roll or anything… and with “the character” banging women with his big toe I don’t think that’s how he rolls either…)

    Ahem. As you were.

  15. Otir

    At least, your character gave some news to his former hotties. That takes cojones.

  16. Finn

    Cut your toenails too. In fact, get pedicure.

    I want real, not a character.

  17. Maggie, dammit

    As I said to you yesterday, my belief is you will find peace when you figure out that you are not a character to be written and manipulated and preordained. You are just you, and you are enough.

    That said, this is one of the neilochkaiest posts I have ever read and, perhaps not coincidentally, one of my favorites.

  18. Heather

    I’m saying ditto to Maggie. Dammit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. BHJ

    My blog character laughs at your blog character and kicks him when he’s down.

  20. dk

    talk about toe-ing the line … Mwa ha ha ha ha.

    damn I love you brother.

  21. sarah

    What Maggie said.

    And I will never look at toes the same way again…

  22. churlita

    I like the every day struggle blogs best anyway.

  23. ozma

    My blog character turned on me as well. I’m sorry, Neil. But at least I know have a better visual image to understand the whole men-with-multiple women thing. I always thought that a few of them would be playing nintendo or making a snack or something.

  24. wn

    ….this Neilochka…I’ve not read about him before…he sounds kinda hot…in a self-aware kind of way…

    ….I hope he comes out to play more often.

    ….and I hope his creator finds what he is looking for because he certainly does have a TON of directions in which he can take the story.

  25. sizzle

    Maybe you just need to become relevant to yourself? You’ve been telling the same story of yourself for some time. Maybe it’s time for the leading man to make some bold changes?

    You know I say this with love, right?

  26. tony

    enjoyed this post. when Forrest Gump was feeling low he started running. think about it.

  27. Rougeneck

    How about getting a puppy? I hear cute and fuzzy animals do wonders for ratings…Also? A puppy is a total-chick magnet.

  28. Jenny

    so, my older and wiser brother told me recently that the quickest way to happy is to quit thinking about what you want. i thought he was an ass. a few months later, i’m starting to get it. without knowing full story – one way of thinking of it might be – instead of thinking about the babe you WANT to fuck, fuck the one you’re with. ?? maybe…maybe not ?? fake it till you make it ??

  29. Karl

    I can relate. The central character on my blog has been all emo and shit for a long time. I prefer the funny, daring guy that used to write my blog.

    A therapist once told me, “When you get tired enough of where you are, you’ll move.” The question is…how tired are you?

  30. Lauren

    Gotta agree with Maggie on this one too.

    And I’d never leave a romp with you for butter pecan fro-yo. Cookies n’ cream however….

  31. mamie

    i’m a little late here but i thought i would tell you that i started reading you as the guy living with his mom in queens and having a wife across the country (which i did not understand at first and was trying to figure out the whole mom/who is this sofia person?). but what i am trying to say is that i also became completely enamoured of your blog and your voice and your story and your writing. it is not so much that you are a character, just that you are living and stumbling and figuring things out. and that is good enough to keep me coming back.

    but uh, the imagery of chicks riding your toes kinda’ makes me want to barf. can’t thank you for that one. everything else has been okay. so i guess i’ll forgive you.

  32. Pearl

    Neil, why don’t you put Neilochka into the Disney vault with some of those classic films? I’m sure that Neilochka and “The Little Mermaid” might have some fun together. In about 20 years, you can take him out of the vault…and make him available to the masses again — for a limited time only!

  33. melanirae

    You’ll always be the talking penis guy to me. No matter what rut Neilochka is stuck in.

  34. Erica M

    What Melanirae said. And:

    The other half of your rut is a direct result of your never visiting my blog anymore.

    Can we use hashtags in blog comments? #justsayin

  35. Lesley

    Totally relevant. And I hate frozen yoghurt.

  36. wendy

    toes..ewh. yogurt…Fuck Yeah!

    Try one woman…maybe a new woman….then go for multiples…

    find your mojo…its in there…

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