the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: diary

One Week — April 8-15, 2012

If this is your first time reading this post, start at the bottom and go up. It is in reverse chronological order just to make you work harder.

Sunday 4/12/12 – night:

The end of project.   It was too emotionally demanding, and not much said.     But I liked experimenting.   Good to fail.

Saturday 4/11/12 – morning:

I can’t wait for this experiment to end, although I will miss it on monday. Final question to myself about online life – is this all for writing or friendship?

Thursday 4/11/12 – morning:

My online experience has helped me become a better person. More human. Less superficial. I have become more in touch with my emotions. I feel love and affection more strongly. I allow myself to express sadness and yearning. I even have a nostalgic for my frequent conversations with my penis in 2005-2007. What is more authentic than a man’s relationship with his own cock?! I realize we live in a very politically correct media world, but I have enjoyed looking within without my reason controlling the ship. That said, I’m not sure all this focus on emotion and feeling and sexual yearning has done much for my writing. Writing requires logic and the artistry of specific word choice. Letting it all hang out, this post for instance, is not writing. It is verbal blah. It might be good for me to express myself this way, it only makes me lazier and farther from my goals. Maybe that is why people are abandoning their personal blogs. There are no goals. The smarter ones are focusing more on writing, using their personal as art. The goal is art. The goal is not expression of emotion. No one cares about you. They care about a well constructed sentence or clever metaphor. When people say they “love you” online, they mean they love your vocabulary and adjectives, or way you present ideas in an informational or humorous manner. How you feel is irrelevant. I was a more focused and competent writer before I started blogging, and started to focus too much on myself.

Wednesday 4/11/12 – afternoon:

There is a thread forming in this post, at least in my own mind, which makes this ongoing blogpost a worthwhile experiment. Even though I haven’t consciously been trying to connect each entry, and writing them stream of consciousness, without editing, at theme has developed, one about me discovering the “me” in relation to others.

My divorce with Sophia has been super-slow because I am having a difficult time transforming into a “me” after so many years as a “we.” Even now, I worry as much about how she is dealing with all of this, doing this that only add to my discomfort, as if I need to always put her first.

My mass unfollowing on Twitter is about the same theme — me vs. you. I like following people online and caring about your lives, but at what point is the whole project one of distraction and procrastination. How many real friends have I gotten out of all this? I certainly haven’t chosen people based on networking or career. Where is the “me” in all this? What is my plan?

Some of the most beloved people online interact with zero “non-superstars” and are still loved, mostly because their work speaks for itself. Why do I feel that if I quit social media, and didn’t say hello to you every day, you would forget my name by Friday? I think I know the answer. I don’t think my work would stand up on its own. That once I just go back to writing, no one would care. But does it matter? What do I even need you for? Shouldn’t this be about “me?”

Even the Instagram sale to Facebook was transformed into a me vs. you theme. The big sale made me feel like a cog in the wheel. I know it is silly, but I was beginning to think of myself as a cool iphonographer. But now I see the truth. I am a widget in a box. The box sells for a billion dollars. The widgets are interchangeable. We are just data. The more widgets in the box, the more money for the makers of the box. We willingly enter these boxes so we can connect, almost as if we too afraid to connect with each other outside of the box. Instagram is not about “me,” or photography, but the box.

I used to be such an advocate for community online. But maybe this was all a facade. Sure, community is important. But it dangerous to lose “me.”

Are these posts getting to be too much of a downer? Maybe I should stop and go back to regular posts. Or maybe I should just write my romantic comedy script and forget about this space for a while. What’s the point? I am so envious of those who make good money on the blogs, not because I want that type of blog, but because the money gives them a reason to continue. I find myself going to BlogHer just to hug people, not to network. I need to start to network more than socialize.

I need to put up advertising. And only use social media sparingly. Write more on this blog. But good stuff. So, it will enhance my brand.

My blogging friend Bon suggested I write more about screenwriting and “Hollywood” because it would be interesting to her, and it would also help me create a niche. Perhaps it would also make me focus on career stuff in my writing, rather than being so navel-gazing. I saw Sweetney writing about something similar today.

I actually have some skills in writing, editing, story development, filmmaking, theater — stuff I never write about because I was under the illusion that a personal blog was supposed to be about the emotional life. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Mocha Momma writes opinion pieces on race all the time. PhD in Parenting is all about issues related to mothers. But they are still considered “personal blogs.” My favorite blogs are about the personal — the home, the heart, the soul — but too much of thinking about yourself can also drown you in a deep ocean of your own making.

Jeez, I am going to read this back later and be utterly embarrassed. But it will probably give you a glimpse of what is on my mind when I sit down for twenty minutes and just write. Nothing about the news. Or earthquakes. Or the election. But about… I don’t know. Nothing.

You know what. I think I am going to continue to just spit all this stuff out, and use this week to expurge it all, and then next week start fresh. Like Citizen of the Month 2.0. And try to limit some of this lame, angsty stuff. And try to write with confidence. Like I believe in myself and my words. That’s not going to be easy. But I think I can do it.

I think I also miss New York. I felt more rooted there.

Wednesday 4/11/12 – morning:

Why does everyone respond more positively towards me the more I seem confident about matters? Readers like my posts better. Well-established writers follow me on Twitter. Women have orgasms. It leads me to believe that my natural disposition is ineffective, even wrong. What is everyone so confident about? The sky could fall at any moment!

Tuesday 4/10/12 – night:

Why is it so easy for me to write dozens of quips and updates on Facebook and Twitter every day, but painful for me to do the same here on this space? It’s as if I treat social media as a playground and my blog post as a sacred church with commandments from God that need to be followed:

1) Thou shall be interesting.
2) Thou shall be honest.
3) Thou shall dig deep to uncover some spiritual truth.

Why am I choosing to torment myself? The tortured artist shtick is so old. I’m not talented enough as a writer to express what is inside. I don’t have the language.

I envy the writers who live in nature, who can look at the sky and the trees and find insights into their own lives. Or discover metaphors in God’s creation.

You can’t see the stars in Los Angeles. There is the ocean here, of course, the vast Pacific Ocean. It just doesn’t speak to me. I am a Pisces who doesn’t like to swim.

Why don’t I just write something funny? I’m good at that. I Just don’t feel funny.

Tuesday 4/10/12 – morning:

I’m never quite show how I am perceived by others, which is probably not the best method of branding myself. I consider myself a positive person, but I suppose I don’t always show that side. Perhaps I am misinterpreting the idea behind personal blogging. I never kept a diary, but I assume it is all about writing down your deep, dark secrets. You don’t promote yourself to yourself.

When I write on this space, I focus on something that went wrong, and then convey it in a serious or humorous way, just like I would a short story or screenplay. Who is the main character and what kind of rocks can I throw at him? It doesn’t interest me to focus only on what goes right, because what is the point?

I sometimes wonder what is in the minds of those who only write about the joys in their lives. What is their motivation for writing? People also say they want to “help” others, wouldn’t it be better to go feed the homeless if you really wanted to help humanity? I’ve always felt that sharing your humanity, good and bad, helps others more than presenting a glossy version.

I would hate to think that people actually enjoy producing envy in others. When I first started blogging, I thought it was cool that I could make others envious, especially when I went to a conference. Look at me, I am FRIENDS with those you admire! But then it just seemed rather silly. No one writes a blog post just because they shared some fish tacos with their cousin Billy from Bakersfield. Our mentions of each other (and the photos from conferences) were moving away from reality and into PR, like those photos from the red carpet at the Oscars. For all I know, only six people go to BlogHer, Blissdom, and SWSX, because I only see the same faces on my Twitter stream several times a year? Doesn’t anyone every take a photo with someone else?

That said, we all make friends online, and we like to show off our friends. And how can you NOT be a little jealous that I had dinner with Jenn Mattern from Breed Em’ And Weep last week (even if she was with her new beau, Ed. Sigh.)

Talking about beautiful, smart women — here is a photo of Suzanne from Twenty Four at Heart, with her camera, of course.

Always with a camera. She got picked to go on an exclusive behind the scenes photography shoot at Knotts Berry Farm, along with a few other big names in Orange County/Los Angeles. It was an impressive gig. I begged her to take me along as her “assistant.” I carried her bag, poured her coffee, and said “Yes, Ma’am” a lot, like I was working for Annie Lebovitz. My secret plan was to take my own photos for Instagram with my iphone. I don’t want to sound cocky, but I think one or two of my shots came out better than got with her fancy camera.

On the other hand, Suzanne actually knows what she is doing. Oh, and yeah, Suzanne, I apologize for forgetting to re-follow you on Twitter until this morning! Whoops.

To top off my week of socializing, I met Danielle and her friends in a hip bar in Culver City, where we drank mojitos and kvetched about relationships and marriage. I do have photos but it was so dark in this bar that you can barely make anything out other than our drunk zombie eyes.

Monday 4/9/12 – night:

It is 1AM. Keeping what I am thinking about to myself.

Monday 4/9/12 – afternoon:

Started following back everyone on Twitter. And I am realizing something. Part of the reason for unfollowing everyone on Twitter in the first place was that I wanted to start cutting myself off from the mommyblogging community. But as I start following again, I see that most everyone I know online IS a mommyblogger, so my new list is looking almost identical to my last list. If we are friends and I haven’t followed you back, please just tell me.

In other social media news, there was an announcement today that Facebook bought Instagram, the photo-sharing community that I have loved so much over the last year, more than my own blog. The price tag — one billion dollars. While I should be happy for their success, the news made me feel like a bit of a loser. I wonder if social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are digital Ponzi schemes where we convince each other to join in order that the few make all the money. Sure, we willingly enter and enjoy these outlets, but we are using our creative energies to fill a box, where all of the money goes to the owners of the box? Perhaps this realization could help revitalize our hapless blogs. Why don’t we put our photos up right on our own blogs? Why don’t we write our status updates right here, so we can build our own audiences? Look at this post, for instance. I am using my blog like Facebook, updating it three times a day. At first, I was wary of doing this, feeling like I was using my blog in the “wrong way,” but maybe this will inspire me to spend more time on my own space than giving away my content to others just to be “social.”

As you can tell, I spent my morning thinking about silly internet stuff, rather than dealing with real emotions, which can be good.

Monday 4/9/12 – morning:

I submitted the divorce papers on Passover and the Red Sea opened. I unfollowed everyone on Twitter on Easter and I felt resurrected. I woke up on Monday and felt the urge to write poorly-conceived metaphors for my mental state. But it is 5AM , and I am awake, and feeling a little randy, and that’s good. I feel like writing.

I feel as if I’m in a constant state of yearning for more. Or connection. But it is a passive waiting. And I am patient enough to wait until I’m dead. So the buzz word for the day is action. Which is not easy for someone like me.

Sunday 4/8/12 – night:

Unfollowed everyone on Twitter today. It’s not as dramatic as it sounds. Tomorrow I will start following people again. Why did I do it? Perhaps it’s just a symbolic gesture to reclaim my own space. Social media isn’t doing it for me in the same way anymore, and I wanted to make some changes, or at least re-think what I use it for on a daily basis.

Sunday 4/8/12- morning:

I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate Passover, my favorite holiday. So, I didn’t attend any seders. I ate toast for dinner. Why the “pity me” fest? On Friday, I handed in the final paperwork into the court for the divorce, which is a story in itself. Many of you thought I had did that already, say — a year ago — when I wrote a post about it, but like I said, there is a story there. Sophia and I are involved in the slowest moving divorce in human history. I want to use the word “depressed,” but I don’t want to steal it from those who are truly depressed as a medical condition. I’m basically OK, but I can certainly see what it feels like to want to stay in bed all day. Luckily, I have to go pee, so I am forced to get up.

Sunday 4/8/12 – afternoon:

I’m already feeling embarrassed by this lazy blog post. But since I started it, I’m going to continue, although I feel the need to come up with an intellectual reason for it’s existence, something that will make you go, “Oh, I get it now. How clever!” rather than “That dude is going crazy.” The following is complete bullshit, but since I wrote it out a few minutes ago, I might as well publish it.

“One of the reasons personal blogging is a dying art is because we now expect our writing to have the traditional beginning, middle, and end of a good story. To have a point. An opinion. A punch line if it is a humor piece. None of these literary techniques reflect real life, which is constant flux, funny one moment and sad the next. Most of our lives are the second act. The beginnings and ends of life are mere blips. We are born and we die. Everything else is the middle. We impose beginning and ends to our stories to capture the minds of our readers, but the more we are honest with ourselves, we see that our real lives have one very long middle, which makes it difficult to write about without embellishment. Or just dropping the personal completely to write tales of vampires.”


Some people drink. Others have sex with strangers. My way of dealing with emotional turmoil is to do experiments on my blog. It’s is cheaper and I don’t have to shave.

No one is going to like this post because there will be no beginning and no end. It will just be an ongoing story about the middle that will take a week to finish, a diary of sorts.

I don’t have a clue on how you should read this. Probably you should just wait until next Sunday when I will move on. This is a weird experiment destined for failure, which only makes me love it more.

One Week Journal

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I want to try an experiment.  I’m only going to write one post this week, the one you are reading right now, but I will be updating it each night until next Sunday.  It will be a seven night long post.


I’m attracted to the idea because it is counter-intuitive.  I don’t think this idea will attract readers, and the updates won’t show up in the Google Reader.

“So, what’s the point?”

The idea scares me.  And I like that.  Because I will be writing this for YOU.  And by YOU, I mean ME.

I took this photo in the hospital today.   Sophia’s FIL is still in the hospital.   I spent the day there with Sophia’s mother.  Things became worse because he had a heart attack on Friday night.  This has been a three week ordeal now.    When I first made my plans to come to LA, it was discuss our relationship.   Instead, stress has moved into our home with us, like termites of the soul, eating away at the foundation of everything.

Monday, January 25, 2010

– next –

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial