Blogging is harder than writing

I’m a little tired of blogging about my activities.

I have many activities left unblogged, like my durian trip, Kuching experiences from half a year ago, a TVC shoot and a restaurant visit.

What to blog about?

Activity blogs are very easy to write because you can post a whole bunch of photos with captions and people seem to be satisfied with that. But doing it that way bores me. I hate writing templates. Like:

Today I went here.

[Picture]

I saw this.

[Picture]

This is me (obligatory camwhore shot) being in this location.

[Picture]

Here are my friends making faces at each other because they are so thrilled to be enjoying this activity.

[Picture]

And here is a paragraph of text describing how I wrestled with an orang utan who had escaped its cage because I had made faces at it, causing it to think that I was a banana. Blah blah blah.

[Picture]

I have this compulsion to make every one of my posts interesting by finding different ways to write them. But, after a while, there are only so many ways you can innovate with a certain kind of posts. Also, it’s very hard to be creative and out-of-the-box every single day.

When I find myself starting to write templates, an aversion to writing will develop and I will get a writer’s block. And that’s when I force myself to do something different.

Which is why I’m kind of just talking rubbish today.

If you’re a long-time reader, you may have noticed that my writing and blogging styles change with time (like how my fashion style changes). It’s a conscious effort to not allow myself to become stale.

Change

Yes, I do differentiate writing from blogging.

Writing is just writing words. It’s the technical skill of linguistics and expression.

Blogging has more to do with layout. It involves more elements. It’s how you clap together a bunch of words and photos to entertain the reader, making sure there’s a right mix of each. And maybe spice things up with videos and other interactivity options.

Layout

That’s what my kind of blogging is about, anyway. And that’s why blogging is so much harder than mere writing, for me. Blogging is writing and more.

Writing is so easy. I just have to tap on the keyboard and the words come out.

Blogging requires a lot more work because there must be photos and videos. The average Internet surfer does not want to see walls of text. If I don’t have photos for a particular entry, I have to draw something. And you can tell that I can’t draw for nuts.

Wall of text

The average Internet surfer also does not want to read graduate theses, so there must be economy of words. Every word in an entry must have a reason for existence, the reason being to offer the reader something, whether it’s information or entertainment.

I have a self-imposed rule: If I don’t enjoy writing it, no one will enjoy reading it. DELETE and start over.

All those wasted words in the virtual bin. I could cry.

But, for me, that’s part and parcel of being a blogger who cares for her readers. At the end of it, my only hope is that my readers care enough back to leave a comment.

A photo of me

I recently gave a friend some homework.

He doesn’t read blogs a lot because he’s always busy doing other stuff. So when I talk to him about blogging trends and terms, he’s like, “What’s that?”

To stop myself from slapping him with the proverbial IRC trout (which, may I remind you people, is actually very passe by this time of the millennium), I gave him homework.

“You must read Sheylara.com every day,” I commanded him.

“Wah, so overbearing,” he said.

“It’s for your education.”

Then he said, “Okay, but must put picture every day. That will help.”

People are so demanding these days lor. You all think pictures grow on trees is it?

But I’m a nice person, so I went to dig up an old photo of me (not very old lah, only about six months old).

It’s not a very good picture, but don’t care lah. A picture’s a picture.

It’s a reason for me to write a blog entry, anyway. I wasn’t planning to today because I’ve been busy all day. But then I realised that if I want people to read my blog every day, I must have a new entry posted up every day, mustn’t I? Oh dear.

I’ll try to do more pictures next week.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll post a photo of a cat, if I can find any cute stray kitties when I’m out.

Which reminds me that I’m late.

Yeurgh!

(Besides posting photos, I’m also very good at making funny noises.)

See you tomorrow!

Too busy to think of title

A few days ago, Princess from the Cowboy Bar said to me, “Can you please quit your temp job?!”

“Why?” I asked.

“Your blogs were better when you weren’t busy!”

Well, I can’t help that. Who’s going to feed me if I quit my day job? And don’t say the Goonfather because it’s almost impossible to feed two people on one salary these days. Not if you want to live pretty comfortably, that is.

Anyway, the reason I took up the temp job was because I forsaw a slow year for acting. So I thought I’d better pad up my bank account while I can, in order that I may sustain a longer period of time without acting income.

But as fate would have it, after more than a month of bumming around at home, the very moment I committed to the temp job, I started getting busy in the acting arena.

Fortunately, my temp job is very flexible and I can work any kind of hours as long as I meet project deadlines, so I can schedule my temp job around my acting. The downside is that I’m killing myself in the process and my blog is suffering.

If something has to be sacrificed, it has to be the blog, since blogging doesn’t pay the bills. Not yet, anyway.

But don’t worry. I’m not killing my blog. I’ll kill it only when people get tired of reading junk and start to leave because I haven’t got time to write more quality posts. Haha.

One of the things I’m involved in right now is with NYU Tisch Asia. There’s a new module this semester on directing actors, taught by Hollywood director Rob Schmidt, who has made a few award-winning films.

I attend all the classes (six hours a week) and act for them. That is, the film students get to practise directing real actors. I love the classes! I get to learn so much while being able to play at acting, at the same time.

The campus is damn far, though. It takes me an hour to get there and another hour to get back home.

But it’s all good. No one’s ever died from being busy, so I’m sure I’ll survive.

Will update on other things when I have more time.

I’m a kawaii camwhore… woot! :)

Hey, ultimate coolness! Guess what, my camwhoring works like magic. I’m suddenly getting more hits on my blog and people are blogging about my blog mere hours after I post a blog! Wow.

From Cowboy Caleb’s blog:

Local actress Qiaoyun has got game. Actually she’s got a Nintendo Wii and a PS3 and lurves taking photos of herself with them. [read more…]

CBC is a real life friend (kinda… I’ve met him like a few times and there was this time he made me do a Long Island Tea race with Ruok and I won, but that was probably because I cheated and roped Nanny Wen in to help me). Anyway, it’s great to be made fun of by him because I love his quirky humour and his blog is really popular. I mean it.

Next up…

From koolgeek’s blog:

Singaporean artistes are making use of blogs to gain popularity. Not a bad thing though; but … maybe they should cut down a little on cam whoring and put some brainy stuffs on it… [read more…]

This guy I don’t know at all, but it’s still nice of him to link me and give me some constructive advice.

But I do have a few things to clarify to people who don’t know me, never seen all my TV appearances, and never met me in real life.

Firstly, about “putting brainy stuff” on my blog:

Well, I don’t want to. I was a professional writer and I wrote brainy stuff for a living. I still do write brainy stuff now, but when I do, I am always paid for my effort because it’s my profession. I don’t get paid to write my blog, so I write fun, frivolous stuff in it because I enjoy it.

Secondly, about “cutting the kawaii-pretence and putting on a proper personality (as though you’re not having enough on teevees)”:

It may be very hard for people to believe this, but the kawaii thing IS my real personality. That’s how I am in real life. If people think I’m fake or trying to act cute, too bad. And, as a matter of fact, I don’t have enough of that on TV. I am never kawaii on TV because I am often cast in roles which are totally different from my real personality (which is what being an actress is all about). When I’m off TV, I revert back to myself, the way I feel comfortable being, the way I enjoy being.

Thirdly, about “putting high hopes on my legs”

Actually, I do. I like my legs and they’ve helped me get modelling and acting jobs that pay well, so my bank account is very pleased with them.

Now that that’s out of the way…

I’m not mad at koolgeek, honestly. I’m pleased with his response and I thank him for taking the time to offer his opinion and advice. I totally respect what he says and I think he makes sense.

But there are always two sides to a story and here I have presented my side, so I would call it a truce. :)

And, now, for some brainy stuff.

I have made the observation that the people who openly trash camwhoring/bimbo/pretty bloggers, who criticise them for not writing intellectual stuff, actually do not read intellectual stuff themselves. These are the people who send hate mail to Xiaxue and post hateful comments on Dawn Yang‘s blog.

But you almost never see the same people post comments on actually intellectual blogs. If they prefer to read political blogs or social commentary blogs or blogs that give you the hottest financial investment tips, then why the heck do they not stop reading and commenting on fluff blogs and, instead, go contribute to blogs that talk about really important issues in life?

(And, please, I’m not talking about koolgeek here. koolgeek is cool because he offers constructive criticism. I’m talking about kids who post comments like “bitch, get a life” or “you are so disgusting and shameful” and leave it at that.

These are the same kids who are too stupid to realise that their hateful comments are, in fact, HELPING people like Xiaxue and Dawn Yang earn the big bucks. Their hateful comments are generating hype and publicity for these celebrity bloggers and making them even more successful.

So… I think the joke’s on them.

Okay, and now, please bring on all your hateful comments so I can be as successful and rich as Xiaxue and Dawn Yang. Thanks.