the mutation of embarrassment, art & random thoughts of the morning.

i was reading an interview that neil did with new york magazine (it’s really good, and extensive…you can read it HERE) and i came across this….
“I’m fascinated watching the fact that I have a fiancée whose public and private boundaries are absolutely different to mine. If she was completely out of the public eye and did not blog, she would have one kind of privacy. As it is, she now tends to be much more private about stuff that she would have been much more public about. You know, the Amanda Palmer of before she and I were a couple not only thought nothing of, but positively delighted in doing a giant horror story of the day her sponge had to be extracted. You know, she’s in the emergency room going into toxic shock with the nurse having to get out the sponge — and I don’t think she’d do that now. And she wouldn’t do that now because at that point, her boyfriend then was absolutely anonymous and it had no knock-on effect for anybody except her. If she was going through that now, she probably wouldn’t do it. I say that. Well, I suspect that … So you are forever negotiating, on the web, public and private, in a way that you genuinely weren’t even five years ago, even ten years ago.”
and it made me stop and wonder if it was true. and i’ve been wondering about the blog in general.
the blog doesn’t so much evolve – which seems to imply some kind of improvement or forward direction from stooped ape to jet-pack wielding superhero – as mutate…sometimes i think the heyday of my blogging is behind me, and sometimes i think i’ve yet to fully grasp its true artistic power…and if i would only discipline myself to do something different, something better, discovering the absolutely balanced chemical mix of personal to promotional, and not blog too seldom or too often and and and…i’d….and then i realize that this way of thinking is completely out to lunch.
this is what bothers me about blogging, and it’s an interesting reflection on the rest of my life.
i don’t want this blog to have to BE anything.
this blog is a diary….and it’s also a conversation. i need it that way, that’s why i read and answer the comments. and it’s also a store, and for all intents and purposes lately, it’s a record-store newsletter, and a tour date updater, and a filter for other people’s art, work and thoughts. it’s…what it is. i am terrified to define it, for fear that it will become something i need to serve.
do i listen when people tell me that they’ve tuned out because i’ve promoted too much STUFF on my blog and not done enough warm-and-fuzzy-philopsophical rambling? sure.
but i usually don’t do anything about it. i figure it’ll all work out in the wash, and that if i happen to post three blogs in a row with tour dates, records for sale, and video clips of random shiznit, that my readership will simply have patience that This is What’s Going on Right Now, and appreciate it for what it is…or tune out. tuning out is fine, too.
i’d rather people tune out and leave the room than become a slave to some format.
i open books nowadays with titles like “HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL-NETWORKING MUSICIAN IN UNDER TWO WEEKS!!!” as if having a life that held together artistically online was on par with flattening your abs or getting a bikini-perfect bottom in time for That Upcoming Reunion. it sort of sickens me to leaf through these books and see things like “HOT TIP!! keep your twitter feed personal, but don’t reveal TOO much, some things are not appropriate! HOT TIP!! make sure you balance out your blogs with information about your upcoming tour dates, but throw in something personal, like a picture of yourself and your band!!”
it sickens me because, of course, these things are all true at some level. but i never want to feel that anything i’ve done intuitively can be hammered down to a set of rules or a science any more than people want to be told that their marriage has a very statistical lasting probability of 78%.
what does this have to do with the private vs. public question? a lot, i think. i think neil’s right on some counts. maybe i’ve mellowed in the over-sharing department.
but i’ve noticed that a lot of my personal bursts of despair, joy, complaint, and signature amanda-palmer too-much-information dispatch find their way onto twitter, which is strangely mutating my old blogging habits.
i think it’s possible that if i were to find myself trying to extract a menstrual sponge nowadays, i might simply take the time to tweet on the walk over to the emergency room, ”heading 2 hospital to extract menstrual sponge which has been hiding 4 longer than is healthy” and watch with unmitigated joy while thousands of people react in various shades of horror, delight, and (most importantly, i find) commiseration. my favorite part of so-called over-sharing is cracking other people open. but twitter is even more ephemeral than blogging. it reflects in small doses, it doesn’t ramble. this rambles. rambling gives way to more information.
i enjoy, no doubt, breaking down the online walls of what is acceptable to chat about in the public forum and simply SAY THINGS – things that you discuss amongst your close friends, but don’t usually share at the workplace, or the community lunch table – but why? people always ask me this.
i think because – in addition to making me feel less alone – it changes the rules, or the non-rules, of the world a little bit. a tiny little bit. but a tiny little bit is fine.
i noticed this backstage at cabaret the other day….
i was combatting a urinary tract infection. a nasty discomfort that had persisted throughout the day and left me feeling tired and terrified that it was going to ruin my week…so i was draining gallon-bottles of water laced with cranberry juice and taking cranberry pills and cranberry everything and would have glady mainlined pure cranberry extract had someone come along with the works and a tourniquet. when anybody asked me how i was that night upon arrival for our collective show-putting-on, i told them with a smile: “i’m shit! i have a urinary tract infection!”
this was, perhaps, more information than anybody necessarily wanted. but they’d asked. eh? eh. but here’s the thing:
one of the actresses had a worse problem, an actual medical scare…something possibly really wrong. she opened up about it and told people what was going on.
i don’t know if my TMI-chatting paved any sort of path or if she, like me, is simply the sort who will share uber-personal feminine information with a bunch of men and women in a crowded dressing room where we all run around seeing each other’s junk on a nightly basis, but it still made me think.
if my blog, my twitter feed, or any one of my songs has de-embarrased anybody by even a few percentage points, i think i can die happy.
neil and i actually had this talk a few days ago. he’s british so he’s inherently embarrassed.
we have the cunninghams, my edinburgh folks, in town with us and they got into a discussion about What They Do As British People when they’re watching television and they sense that some character on the screen is about
to be caught in an embarrassing situation. they get up, make tea, or go to the bathroom.
i find this remarkable. and how it is that neil gaiman manages to hang out with me without having to make non-stop shuttling Trips to the Loo may wind up being a life-long anthropological research experiment. he claims he’s only seen me genuinely embarrassed once: the time we were together in a walgreen’s and i yelled across an aisle to a walgreen’s staff member that i was looking for “lubricant and tampons” and “were they in the same aisle?” (or something equally cringe-worthy) and then turned to neil, quite proud of myself, until he informed me: “you’re blushing”. i think he was overjoyed. score one for the british.
what was the point here?
i may not have one. it doesn’t matter. i think the point was: there is no point to this blog. score again. i get to sit down and ramble with no goal.
and reading neil’s article probably infected me with a subconscious urge to write one that included menstrual sponges, tampons and lubricant.
maybe this, for food for thought:
there was a point when i realized that i was putting a certain kind of mental and artistic energy into my blog and that energy was specifically not going into lyrics.
images would come that would have once belonged to songs, and instead i was creating blogs.
i think the same is now true of twitter.
images, symbols, aches and pains…they fit into twitter in tailored 140-character chunks, the same way you can try to cram the infamous “3 minutes of truth” onto a 45.
those characters are shouted into a standing crowd of real people, where an answer awaits.
i’ve never believed songwriters who’ve said they’re making music/writing music/singing songs for themselves.
i think the odds are one in about a thousand that a songwriter can find fulfillment playing a song to four blank walls.
it’s the romantic myth of the artist….the idea that something cosmic & mysterious drives you to create, and if your creations happen to land on an appreciative audience, it’s wonderful luck.
i’ve always created with an audience in my imagination. i didn’t Find Them until i was 25, but i was writing for Them from the time i was 12.
maybe i’m just a certain kind of artist, a certain brand of hungry narcissist, a social hole more than a poet. but i think it’s more likely that the songwriters who claim that they simply must write or perish, and the idea of someone hearing their work is secondary….are just lying.
for this reason, things like blogging, twittering, talking over coffee and sharing life stories…these things are infinitely more attractive to me than making music, which is – simply put – harder.
is it embarrassing to transmute energy from music into twittering? shall we make a pie-graph of how many deep and profound things i necessarily have to create through the medium of song and performance to feed my ability to twitter and blog to a group of people that will still view me as an artist and not simply a hungry celebrity, reaching into the protective arms of an enabling public?
so, when faced with the choice to twitter a brilliant lyric or make my way to the piano and start a song….what shall we do?
i’m really curious to see if other artists and writers have felt a direct drain from the ability to get instant metaphor recognition through the many channels of the internet.
speak…comment here. or here. or here. or even here. (oh, and yes, here too)
love from pamplona,
AFP.
 
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  • Man With Hat

    Thing 1: You are already famous, famous for being who you choose to be at any given moment. Your bloggings and your twitterings are successful because that’s a natural extension of that well-reasoned fame.

    Thing 2: Evolution only implies improvement if you look at it from a qualitative point of view. Fitness does not imply good quality, like people seem to think. It only implies success. Which you’ve got in spades.

  • http://amharte.com a.m.harte

    “What They Do As British People when they’re watching television and they sense that some character on the screen is about to be caught in an embarrassing situation. they get up, make tea, or go to the bathroom.”Oh, dear. I have become British. I always do this.

    Also, blogging/tweeting is my favourite way to spend time. So much easier than actually trying to write a story, and the reactions are so much more instant and rewarding.

    • Letty McHugh

      I am British and I never do this, in fact I rarely get embarrassed, perhaps we have been involved in some kind of cosmic cross atlantic mix up ?

      • http://amharte.com a.m.harte

        :-O Damn, that’s where I get it from! I can’t even watch Peep Show because I feel bad for the characters and spend most of the time hiding.

        (Living in London for 5+ years has absolutely no bearing, obviously.)

        • Letty

          I feel we must have bumped in to each other by mistake in London, and it was then that the swap took place. Do you by any chance also have that stiff upper lip I hear so much about, ’cause I’m not even sure what that is let alone if I have one 0.0

          • http://amharte.com a.m.harte

            I think you must’ve given that to someone else. Just poked my mouth and my lips feel pretty malleable ;-)

    • http://twitter.com/Rozillla Rozillla

      I giggled at that part! When something is embarrassing in a movie I usually let out a yelp and go “oh no, no no no” or repeatedly go “omg..” my friends think it’s hilarious but sheesh! They sure know how to be ridiculous to characters in movies/television.

  • Spookygirl

    I love how open and brutally honest you are. More people need to just cut through the shit and spit it out.

  • The_Pip

    If you did not promote yourself, then you’d have nothing to promote and you’d be boring. No one wants to read the blog of a boring person. (I know, no one reads my blog, any of them, I’m boring, it’s ok.)

    You and I are of similar age, and I am assuming you enjoyed Sonic Youth. They changed music, because they effectively and creatively marketed themselves. Marketing is just like sex, it’s only gross if old white guys are involved.

    This your blog, so get to do whatever the fuck you want to do. Either I like and will read, or I won’t like it and won’t read. If readers matter, you’ll change it up a bit, if not, you’ll write what you feel like.

    I blog because there is something wrong with me, and I need to get this crap out of my system. Others may enjoy my completely un-romanticized madness, they may not. I do care, but I’m not doing anything about it. I’d like readers, but that’s not my goal. It would be nice to make money off it and quit my crappy job, maybe I’ll figure that one out.

    Point is, this is your space, your words, your rules. Like everything in life, you have to answer to yourself first. (I’m married, I answer to my wife first, but she’s awesome so it’s good deal for me.)

    I supposed then I am also an attention whore or a narcissist, just a really really bad one.

    As for mis-directing energies, maybe, but I’ve never made music. I think as long as you keep plotting and planning and thinking about your music, then you’ll find the balance.

  • Darby42

    doesn’t bother me a bit- it is what it is. you are humorously open about…pretty much everything… and it’s part of what makes you interesting. i think of it as stream-of-consciousness, or as no filters. but there are certain things you don’t talk about, and that’s ok too

  • Kendra

    I love the menstrual sponge thing because I am the sort of person who will walk into a room and announce how emptying my Divacup looked like a slaughtered a lamb.

    • http://twitter.com/becaolivetree Beca Oliveira

      Vivid mental image FTW

  • http://twitter.com/stallionbreaker Anna J

    Your tendency to the potential overshare definitely cracked me open so I could begin to ooze into the land of de-embarrassed open discussion. I’m happy about that.

    • CeciTart

      I’m happy about that too. :-)

      • http://twitter.com/stallionbreaker Anna J

        :)

  • Elizabeth

    I think my favorite part of this post is: “if my blog, my twitter feed, or any one of my songs has de-embarrased anybody by even a few percentage points, i think i can die happy.”

    WORD! I think it does help people feel less ashamed and God knows there is WAY too much shame in this world for anybody’s good! It’s especially powerful for people to see the confusions/embarassments/struggles of someone in the spotlight, someone they look up to and respect, because then they can remember that we are all human and we are all going through the same shit.

    I respect your “over-sharing,” so please continue!

    • Leanne

      Definitely agree with this… I’ve recently started being a lot more open with my friends and a lot less embarrassed about people seeing photos of me in my underwear (for an art project, I promise) and I think it’s largely due to referring to Amanda as an example… I’m not as full-on with my sharing, or my semi-naked photos, but I’d say she’s successfully de-embarrassed me rather a lot.

  • Lisa_hillmer

    To prevent UTIs, always pee after sex. Trust me.

    • Laa

      I remember Amanda posting this same advice when she had her infection… And it’s a good job she did, because I before then I didn’t realise how important it was!
      It’s also created a bizarre situation whereby I always, without fail, think of Amanda Palmer in my post-coital state…

      • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

        i ALWAYS try. but i am sometimes inherently romantic and not practical sometimes after sex – and fall dead asleep. bad amanda.

        • Lisa

          Perhaps you could enlist Neil’s help. When I learned about how to prevent UTIs, I repeated it to my boyfriend at the time. Thereafter, he made sure I drank plenty of water before/during sex and nudged me off to the bathroom before I fell asleep. His gentle reminder of why it’s a good idea was enough to overcome my lassitude and strong preference for warm snuggling.

        • http://twitter.com/UncannyJay Jason

          Bad Amanda.
          Good Neil.

          It’s a dichotomy.

        • http://twitter.com/becaolivetree Beca Oliveira

          This is why I started to keep a box of baby wipes next to the bed. A quick clean-up with a clean wipee, even without the post-coital-pee, does wonders!

          (used to get UTIs all the time back in high school, before I figured this out)

        • peterpan

          sure, there’s nothing to be embarrassed of, when straightforward and sincere .. but, technically speaking, the diary is an alchemic instrument of your soul and this is, in general, the reason of it’s necessary secrecy ..so, no matter how close to the substance of your body or soul this blog, or that (whatever web2.3.4.0..) might be.., it is not a diary and i know you know that..for a diary is about things that touch you inside, and because a diary is meant to be opened and explored by one person at a time..under the same veil of secrecy as when it was written , even when it’s printed in thousand copies.. you don’t comment a diary or a poem, when they are inspired.. just open and reflect the beauty of the inner truth, if any.. it is the same thing when eating the daily bread: it’s chewing, swallowing and assimilating..(and then precipitating the dump, in closed, again.. not from modesty or hypocrisy but just because some things are no use sharing…and i’m not talking about sponge YOUR sponge here:)
          a blog is more about the surface of things, like blowing soap bubbles and playing mind games in hollow-graphic rooms.. (or like chewing chewed bubble gum, for little perverts are we, indeeed!) and is nothing wrong with that either, if we know it clearly and name it the right name..

          all i was trying to say is that i know you’re not embarrassed about what you don’t have to be embarrassed .. smart girl amanda, in these crazy and waay too interesting nowadays ..that i won’t mind reading (or not) whatever you’ll share with the blogosphere, if it’ll be uplifting enough (or not). that i don’t mind about your sponge as it doesn’t touch me inside..and that i know you’ll know when to stop… God Bless you, amanda!
          if this reply seams too prolix and boring, please pardon me, but i wrote it just because you asked for it. so,

          keep the eyes on the road,
          fuck me,
          and Thanks, amanda!

          • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

            amazingly put, and true, and thank you

        • Me

          As it happens, there was an article about UTIs on Jezebel recently. At least one of the commenters recomended D-Mannose. She apparently takes it before sex and the morning after and never had proplems since. Just thought I’ throw that out there since it was something I’d never heard of before and as someone who is prone to UTIs found the info helpful.

          D-Mannose: http://health.learninginfo.org/natural-remedy-urinary-tract-infections.htm
          Jezebel: http://jezebel.com/5647280/why-didnt-we-learn-about-utis-in-sex-ed

        • abcreations

          I find that if i am feeling even slightly horny and my man is in the house then I drink as much water as I can get into myself, so no matter how tired I am afterwards I just don’t have a choice but wrench myself out of bed and do the right thing. Actually now that I think about it I have been doing this for so many years that I just automatically get thirsty if I’m in the mood.

        • Sillyfangirl

          My husband always brings me a warm wet towel with a corner soapy, cause I am too lazy to get up and wash/pee after. Neil, are you listening? Haven’t had a uti in years. Though, in all seriousness, you might have your blood sugar/insulin levels checked. I also haven’t had a UTI since I was diagnosed diabetic and got my blood sugar under control.

    • mmmaijina

      agree

    • http://www.hackcraft.net/ Jon Hanna

      The ease of doing that depends on what knots you use (since things that could be deemed over-sharing is the theme).

  • Bess

    This summer, instead of being embarassed, I was able to completely forget about my hairy armpits and shrug my shoulders at people who commented on them because what they thought just didn’t matter any more. That’s your doing, Amanda, so you can die happy. But not for a very, very, very, very long time, please.

    • http://twitter.com/Russty Russty

      Bess you rock! I know how hard it can be to be free to not worry about that stuff. I’m glad you’ve found that comfort place within yourself. It’s so freeing! I haven’t shaved my armpits or legs in 20 years now and I can’t tell you how many people think it’s so bizarre. I just shrug and tell them it’s what’s right for me and my body. :)

      • Veronica

        For fuck’s sake, I have to bring myself to do that some day. I PROMISE!!!

    • starsdied

      SAME! I spent all summer unshaven, it was great for me. And I got laid weekly for. three. months. HA.

  • http://twitter.com/Sekhmara Sekhmara

    Rude of some people to expect you to perform like a trained monkey creating works that will make them personally happy.

    Everything evolves or it stagnates and dies, so do what makes you happy and fulfills your creative needs, and if people can’t love you for just who you are… fuck ‘em.

  • Wordmule

    I love this. I’m tired of having to have a point, or a direction, or….yeah…I like to ramble. : ) I like it when you ramble because it makes me read something more than one or two paragraphs long. I find myself growing impatient when I see a lot of text, and I tend to scan or pass over things for something more sound-byte-ish. Which I hate. I hate that I do that, as an avid reader I miss being able to sit down and read a book without wondering where the next good stopping point is. So, when I come across your blogs and you’re “rambling,” it helps me. It helps me be a better person, at least in my own eyes. haha

    As far as TMI, there’s no such thing in my book. We’re all human, and we all have to deal with those situations. Of course, I and my friends are known to clear entire sections of restaurants with out blatant talks about bodily functions, diseases, and sex, so I might be a bit slanted in my opinions. : ) I’m also not in the public light in any big way.

    And, promotion is part of the beast. I’ve done enough organizing and performances to find myself wondering, “Do I only show up to events or post online or send emails to my friends when I have a big event coming up?” Sometimes the answer was yes, so I find a mix better. It’s necessary to let people know what’s going on if you want to continue doing what you’re doing. It’s also fun and necessary to communicate with the people interested in what you’re doing. Kudos to you for doing both.

    Hey, look, you’ve cracked me open. Awesome. haha I’ve been cracked open by way worse. ; )

  • http://skepchick.org/blog carr2d2

    i think the multi-streamed, fractured nature of the internet serves both to distract from and to add to creative pursuits. yes, at times, a well-crafted tweet may satisfy the urge to create that once might have become a song or a piece of art, but there are other times when ideas from disparate corners of the internet come together, placed adjacent in the mind in a way that may not have been possible before the existence of our current state of information technology and social networking. from these moments sprout new ideas and inspirations.

  • http://twitter.com/ashleysamonster Ashley Sequeira

    ” i think it’s possible that if i were to find myself trying to extract a menstrual sponge nowadays, i might simply take the time to tweet on the walk over to the emergency room, ”heading 2 hospital to extract menstrual sponge which has been hiding 4 longer than is healthy”

    that was awesome. i think whatever feels natural to you, you should just do. regardless of whether you are “famous” or not. i personally love your blogs and i think it is entirely understandable to throw in some promotion / dates here and there. it’s not like you’re like “HEY HEY HEY, COME BUY TICKETS AND RADIOHEAD. GIMME YOUR MONEY. ALL OF IT” every single day… or at all, really. you have as much a right to blog about whatever the hell you want to as much as any other person does. my blog’s an effing mess and no one even reads it. but i don’t care – i like it – this blog is yours, it is not mine or “Man With Hat” who i see in the comments below, but YOURS- so you should do whatever you want with it.

    and i’d be perfectly content reading about your vaginal sponge extraction, without judging neil for it. if anything, i’d think “damn, he’s really lucky to be marrying this lady”

    i luhhhhh you
    xoxo Ashley

    soooo intense

  • JenDepo182

    This was a great blog. I have to be honest, I dont know a lot of your music, I only really know a few of your songs. But I am a huge fan of you as a person. I just love how open you are with your fans, and with your life in general. Ive been following you on twitter for about two years now, trying to catch a glimpse of you whenever you are in Cambridge (I am also in Boston), and just love reading your blogs and tweets. Some of your thoughts are as if I am reading inside my own brain. The way you invite your fans into your life via blogs, tweets, and even live video from your apartment, is so unique among other musicians, and entertainers.
    Please keep doing what you’re doing, and dont ever feel like you are over-sharing, because you never know who else in the world might think the exact same as you!

  • John M Coons

    RE: Your twitter and blog- both remind me daily that a life as creative and unique as yours is here for me at any time if I just grab it. Especially now that I live in Boston, hah.

  • Lisa

    I am the very same way, Amanda. I say what I am going through without a thought as to how the other person (or persons) might react. I would have announced my UTI in the very same fashion. I am a musician as well (piano as well) and I often find myself onstage discussing things that people would normally not tell a close friend, let alone a room full of strangers who have been dropping jagar bombs all night. I do like to take my thoughts directly to an audience because I also like sharing stories, thoughts, moments, quirks, whatever, with many different people. I also write songs with an audience in mind. I want people to hear me. I think most people want to be heard. And, I feel most people have the very same thoughts that I spew out on stage but they choose not to share them or would be too embarrassed to say. However, with that said, I have had many friends and associates, inform me that I had made them so comfortable by discussing…oh, let’s say….the ramifications (pun intended) of anal sex, that they then were able to talk about the lover they had that really got off on pulling their pubic hair. I tell everyone about yeast infections, UTI’s, bowel movements (which I find utterly annoying and time consuming ha!) and various other topics that are normally not mentioned in open conversations. And I am glad I am like this. I am thrilled I am wired to say as I feel and share what is common among so many humans. By the way, I also dated an English man and lived in Manchester for a bit with him and it was hilarious to see the core differences in our “what is ok to share and what is not”. He still makes a point to point out that I am “atrociously American and an absolute delight,” even if I have the ability to send him to the loo several time in one day ;) I am now married to a lovely Southern California man who oddly enough feels the same way the English man did. ha! :) I DO want to tweet it, write it, sing it, speak it and I am pretty sure that girls like us………well, it comes down to circuitry and we are made this way. THANK FUCKING ZEUS! (also, next time you have the UTI…head to CVS, Wal-greens, whatever and get a urinary analgesic, like AZO-Dine or whatever they have…it numbs the whole area and turns your pee bright orange and it is not a cure at all but it gets you through performing with little pain. I get UTI’s all the time (mostly from sex) and so I am pretty much a professional in the subject. ;) Hope you are feeling better. x

  • kylecassidy

    Evolution or mutation — my blog started with the abstract purpose of staying in touch with a few friends who had moved away and then one day I looked and there were thousands of people reading it, which surprised me and I realized I was not longer writing for six friends who lived in the Far Away and that changed things. And every thing I write about now either brings people or chases them off and I sometimes watch the numbers and make a note that X seems to repulse and Y seems to attract and I keep it in mind though primarily now the blog is more of a letter to myself, 30 years from now — but I’m very aware people are reading it, and I like that people like it. And a lot of times I find I’m up at night realizing that I need to feed the beast when I should be working. When it purrs, the beast is Very Nice.

    • CeciTart

      I have noticed that you do that. I think it might be good to know what Y is to attract people, but from what you have shared that I have noticed, X is so random and inconsequential. If people aren’t sticking around after they have met/followed/looked at your stuff, then they don’t get it and IMO not worth it.

      ~Cecily

    • http://twitter.com/becaolivetree Beca Oliveira

      I’ve noticed you tend to be more… purposeful in your posts in the last several months. Encouraging of purpose, I should say.

      It’s different, but I dig it. :)

  • Kstromberger

    Another non-cerebral, non-blogging-as-a-concept comment: I also get UTIs all the time. Go for grapefruit seed extract in the water. Bitter as fuck, but highly effective.

  • Tots

    I love You!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bewitched/102397518512 virtual~mary

    i agree, and for me too, making music is much harder. also, absolutely there is creative energy drain upon letting out one’s “images, symbols, aches and pains.” so it becomes a conscious choice to chose which medium(s) (or it’s unconscious and just spills out and to hell with it).

  • http://twitter.com/KeiKunGuitar Peter Bergstrom

    You make my philosopher come out, and i enjoy thinking about things without answers because they can have many answers and till be right, or wrong, it doesn’t really matter. I find myself, in everyday, rarely speaking about the social aspects of life. Regular things like “hi, how are you?” they just seem to bore me and while it’s a window into a conversation, that conversation usually goes no where. Now if someone opens a piece, much like you have here, with many questions about life, what does it all mean, what’s right/wrong with me, should i. And if that question is without an answer, i find myself, right here, thinking about it. Some might say i over think things, over analyze, which may be true in some cases, but i like thinking, it doesn’t take much energy to think. It hurts at times, it’s liberating at others, and it’s profound on occasion. So i thank you for the opportunity to think, and I’ll tune out if I’ve nothing to say, unless of course i have something to say about nothing (of which i have plenty, but that’s for another time… perhaps).

    If i am to give ONE piece of advice, a HOT TIP of sorts. These blogs are all YOUR’S, and the people who read these, and tune it, or out, or in again, all do so because we enjoy it, we love that you’re in touch with us. And you need not find a cause for these blogs, they don’t need a higher message, they don’t need rules and boundaries. They need but one things, and one thing only, that you stay you, whether you change how you are, or not, just be you because that’s the person we all love you for.

  • http://twitter.com/alwayscoffee Ali

    I love your blog for the sheer fact that it may, at any given time, contain anything. I like the fact that it’s just 100% you, and it’s not some preformatted, pre-fab construction of a Blog. It’s a spin of the wheel. Sure, you might be a little more conscious of what you choose — but not entirely. It’s not like you’re suddenly not you, and writing about Sputnik or the restorative properties of smelling salts. Instead, you write about the Dress, the Record, and what’s going on in your life (like Cabaret).
    I don’t see anything wrong with that. I also think that, perhaps, Twitter serves an interesting purpose in your world, because it is immediate. People are more likely to pay attention to a Tweet, because it’s shorter and more accessible. It’s RIGHT NOW. A lot of people read blogs at their leisure, and it requires more time. Twitter is kind of like…texting with the world. You put it out there in the Universe of the Internet, and see what comes back. It’s one of the many reasons I love Twitter. I’ve come across so many amazing people — writers, artists, musicians, and friends. It rocks.

    But now I’m rambling. For me, when I blog, it’s not a set “I must blog this,” because that’s limiting. And it feels too much like work. It’s difficult to be creative, if you’re doing what amounts to an internet homework assignment. For that reason, one day I will write a funny blog about running into an old acquaintance — and the next I’ll post a serious poem. Then I’ll blog about a personal difficulty, or some gripe about writing. Whatever it is, it’s all me. Varied, a little odd.

    I think, sometimes, there’s a fine line between considering your audience and being a slave to it. There’s also something to be said for revelation. We reveal what we what, when we’re okay with it. When the mood strikes us. I guess my point is — the blog is you, an incarnation of you. It doesn’t have to BE anything. It already IS.

    Also, you made me laugh out loud — with the British bit and the embarrassment. That’s too funny. I think that making people un-embarrassed is an awesome thing. Because if I’m around someone who is open, I’m more likely to be open. If I feel comfortable, I’ll let down the walls. I’ll spill things and secrets. And I think you foster that kind of environment by just being who you are.

    Now I’ve rambled quite a bit. I could go on and on, only I’m running on very little sleep. If I keep talking, I know I’ll say something bizarre, if I haven’t already. Thanks for posting this, Amanda.

  • RiverVox

    I think it’s an Ouroboros of creative energy. You feed us, we feed you, you get stronger and spin off more sparks and light, we get stronger and spin right back at you. We also find each other and a community builds. Dare I say a family?

  • Faunalia

    I can’t thank you enough for this blog, today. I had read the NY interview with Neil and it really left me wondering about your view. Twitter, blogs, even songs (and certainly theater productions) are all, in the end, different degrees of ephemeral, but can you really hold up one medium (ex. music) as somehow more valid? especially if your main goal is connection and inspiration?

  • http://twitter.com/MollyHalloran Molly Halloran

    Your tendency to “overshare” has actually given me the inspiration and courage to not undershare anymore! So thanks…for being who you are.

  • hoteldanielle

    I love your oversharing. I think I’ve said this to you at some point before.
    I think that you can connect on a very visceral level to people just through a blog- I mean, look at your fans, your feedback. You are able to evoke certain emotions in people, and whether those are positive or negative emotions, they’re still EMOTIONS. Being able to make people feel is a powerful thing. I’m reminded of the blog that you once wrote about Oasis, when everyone was flipping out because of the video, and how it was all upbeat and shit, and all of the reactions you recieved.
    The thing is, Amanda, it’s important. It’s important to get this shit out there, be it articulate or not. And those moments that are so, so intense and personal? Maybe you want to shout them from the rooftops, maybe you don’t. But either way, they are yours, and no one else’s, so just remember that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bewitched/102397518512 virtual~mary

    p.s. maybe call it creative self censorship, which seems to go against the idea of creative flow, but it doesn’t really. and also, perhaps, it’s about the amount of drain? how much is too much if it’s impeding other priority areas? and that is so highly variable and personal per artist.

  • Celeste

    i love that you ‘over-share,’ not only is it usually highly entertaining..its makes me feel closer to you, and im sure thousands others. you’ve really made a difference in your fans lives because you do take the time to talk with them, commiserate with them, and share even the grimy parts of your life. personally, your blog/tweets/lyrics have let me open up my inner bitch..something i usually hold back. the strength of your opinion is helping some of us find ours.

  • mmmaijina

    hey. this was scary to read that anyone could dislike the way you do things. i think in some way it is an act of heroism to twitter this way [not anybody could] and i`m lovin it. and even if i don`t have this much money to see you in real, i love every photo u put in your blogs. i enjoy them the most. [i know u`re marrying but something makes u more and more beautiful. ] u`re different and it`s a way of one hell good charm. i love when u go straight to the point. i guess lots of folks would need some jar to go and say things u do. i think a girl whose distracted and talking of an urinary infection is even sexier. and i love that we have these blogs were we can say what we think. for instance, i love to learn your lyrics by heart `cause it makes me feel speacial for the momment. and i probably wouldn`t say it at work, but my close friends know it already. i hate all these limitations and preconceptions we all have. i love your blogs- they make my day when if i`m grumbling. your photos are free and full of every day and art- i like them. u r hot. and i love your trout heart replica so much..that piano solo is marvelous. and lots of others..but that`s not the point i`m saying- u`re special, and your blogs are special- they make my day, i bet others who would say “no” are drowning in the poisoned sea of stagnation. and it`s not right. artists should express themselves, and each way they find as goog for them is theirs. YOU ARE ASTONISHING – KEEP TWITTERING.

  • Chris

    Hi!

    First of all, my English sucks so it’s possible that I’ve misunderstood the whole thing, but I suppose your point is ‘Do I have to stop blogging like I’m doing now?’
    No.

    You said that it’s kind of a diary for you. Writing about your problems or other stuff in life in a diary is good for you. It helps me to understand things more than when I don’t write them down though.
    If no one reads them… care!
    And I really love reading them( Although most of the time I’m missing the point completely). They make me want to make more art, they inspire me, they really do!

    So..
    If that wasn’t your point..
    Then Sorry :]

  • http://twitter.com/AHisme Ayala

    It’s funny, but just today we were discussing in my Experimental film class (full of wannabe’s filmmakers, and myself, who is probably the biggest wannabe of them all..) about “sharing too much” when we watched a video art of Pipilotti Rist, where the camera moves from inside her mouth to (almost inside) her anus and again and again and again. We (and I use the term to mainly say other people), said that the video, explicit as it may be, isn’t pornography. It isn’t there to shock you and make you feel things. It’s there to make you embarrassed and out of your comfort zone when you watch it with other people. Honestly, although I didn’t see anything sexual about it (it may do to the fact that I’m naive that way), I feel from what i’ve seen that you are kind of the same way (but I think you do it in more intelligent ways than pipilotti rist does..). Being open, and out there and making people think is important, even when you don’t share the most intimate thing about your life, because not many people in the world are able to be open that way, and not many people have that many people who would listen to them like you do.

  • MarcoLeonelV

    Great read, let’s move on.

  • Elizabeth

    Your thoughts about why people write music are interesting. I’ve always naturally been a creative writer, and when I write, my ultimate goal is to move the reader. I want to illicit a strong emotional response that will stay with someone. Something memorable. Something that really connects with the reader. So I understand your point about people creating for others, not themselves. My motivation for writing is all about my reader.

    But there’s also that satisfaction of writing a sentence you just love and are so proud of. In this way, I can understand why someone might say they write for themselves. Lately I’ve realized I want to start writing music. I’ve written music reviews as a “professional appreciator,” but I know I have the capacity and musical sensibility to write my own music. I just haven’t had the balls or made the consistent commitment to doing it (yet). Part of my motivation to write music is that I’ve written (in my head) the hook of a would-be song, and I get it in my head from time to time, like I do an earworm by one of my favorite artists. I really like the hook, and I definitely get a buzz off the fact that I’m enjoying my own melody that much. I know I would absolutely love writing a great transition or change in a song. Or writing a melody with great replayability. Or singing (’cause voice has always been my main instrument) that one great note in a song. I know that the listener appreciates that too, of course, but there’s also a great personal satisfaction to that. Maybe that’s what people mean when they say they write for themselves–they write for that rush.

    But, ultimately, I agree with you that we can’t just write for ourselves. We write to share. We write to move people. We write to connect.

  • Christina

    I am an artist. I can relate. I spend more time blogging and communicating in-person with friends and cohorts than I do writing. Yes, I have to write songs, there is no remedy for that. But the most important part of being an “artist” is simply not being scared to be the one to say all the things that everyone else is thinking. It’s not being scared to act a little eccentric or dress a little funny, if only in an attempt to shake up the very natural human habit of following and flocking. It’s taking the time to think about our own actions and motives for our own behaviour. It’s constantly questioning and equally evolving. It’s fun. It’s better than doing nothing…or gasp,,, getting a “real” job. Not that there is anything wrong with real jobs…

    Pave that path. Keep inspiring those around you by upsetting their comfort zones enough to make them think…I love it. That’s why people love you. They consider you a friend. I would like to have coffee with you. I know you don’t have time. I can still dream:)

  • Lencil

    I don’t actually leave the room, but I will physically cover my eyes when something embarrassing is about to happen and also generally avoid any such tv show with these situations as their main focus; curb your enthusiasm and seinfeld drove me craaazzyyyy. I am only half-British though, and have never seen my expat mum watch anything except for PBS and Numb3rs.

    It is really tempting to let all creative urges out with immediacy, and I do feel like some of the stuff I create was, at least originally, born because I didn’t have someone to bitch to about it. But for me, a lot of the time having it heard WAS secondary- I had to content myself with letting it out, because I didn’t HAVE the option to share it (pre-Internet, you understand.) and over time, this “content myself” became ingrained, and even though a lot of the time I probably would like an audience, I don’t create for a real one, and actually show less and less stuff to other people as the years pass, mostly creating then discarding.

    Part of that is the Britishness though- the stuff I write is embarrassing, or is at least ABOUT embarrassing stuff, so keeping it to myself/destroying it almost immediately after creating it is partially about avoiding such embarrassment.

  • Frida

    Thanks Amanda, thanks for being who you are..
    You make me smile, everyday.. Even on sad days, when I feel that the whole world is against me.
    You are amazing. I love you, your music, and your blog.

    (I’m just 12 years old, and i’m from norway.. so i’m not that good in english..)

  • DuckyDale

    Id love it if you could maybe wrangle Kevin Smith into a discussion along these lines when you Smod with him. You two are my favorite performers/twitters/”over-sharers” and i’d love to see what kind of discussion you’d have on this subject.

    • http://twitter.com/becaolivetree Beca Oliveira

      Seconded!

  • Heckleton

    blog away, little lady! we’re only here because we’re interested.

  • http://twitter.com/jaqmonstah Jaquayquay

    Turn those would be tweets into works of art, and never stop de-embarrassing the world. Words cannot even begin to express how much you’ve taught me through those things. Much love to you and the cabaret.

  • The Lucky One

    Oh Amanda, you certainly de-embarassed me and, what I find more important, the artist in me. Not that I was very much afraid to put out songs I write or to share ideas I have, but somehow I used to find it not of big interest to other people.

    Some days ago I went to see a local band and met a local artist who is a friend’s friend and we had a little talk about art and I was quite sincere sharing my ideas on being misunderstood/understood, satisfied/dissatisfied and he seemed to be Getting what I was saying (though probably he had a bit too much vodka, but still talking turned out to be relaxing).

    The thing is that 3 years ago (before I started listening to Dresden Dolls and following all your stuff) I wouldn’t even imagine sharing my points of view with the people I see for the first time.

    I always loved it so much that your blogs are so open. I cannot think of any other more or less famous artist who shares so much. But probably you can name one?

  • http://twitter.com/dwaq David

    For what it’s worth, one of the (very many) moments that made me smile at LNFC was when you got up at the keyboard and had to pause to tell us about Evelyn Evelyn performing at Yo Gaba Gaba with Neil Gaiman as your merch guy (and everyone ignoring all of you afterwards in favor of the popsicle stand or whatnot next to you).

    Some people might have come to the show expecting music, but got a glimpse of that wonderful moment too. In my mind, it was perfect. A real life blog moment, if you will.

    Really though, just blog whatever the hell you want, it’s for you as much as it is for us.

    p.s. Bitter Ruin photos – http://starkindler.us/blog/2010/10/late-night-fucking-cabaret-bitter-ruin/
    Jaggery & Army of Broken Toys is next on my to-do list.

  • Clelia

    Whatever the reasons are for your blogging, I love it that I am able to connect with you on a weird pseudo-personal level, and to know what it’s like to have Neil Gaiman as a boyfriend. I also come here because I’ve loved you since middle school, and am now in college and just starting to figure out my own performance impulses and the reasons that I write what I do. I’m beginning to realize that you were probably my earliest influence in not being embarassed, and actually wanting to perform (THANK YOU).

    I think that Internet profiles (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, blogging) are very seductive tools for artists because it is a kind of performance that you’re always tendering, tweaking, and adding to. It lives as an appendage of your daily life, and attempts to elevate everyday life into something worth saving (or at least sharing for a little while). In this way, it is kind-of like readymade art. You can use it to make great things, and you can waste space rambling. I think because you are talented what you post is valuable, but I would advocate for more song-writing and less Twittering. The reaction from people is more immediate with Twitter, but the idea is not in a form that can be sustained.
    XXXO.

  • Fuzzyk2001

    I am constantly having this battle with myself and my own personal journal slash my online journals or blogs or tweets or facebook status…whatever. We spend so much time worrying about whether or not people are interested in what we say, whether or not they can relate to what we say or “am I actually just crazy and now that I’ve posted this so all the public can see, everyone is going to think I’m crazy and then nobody will like me”. If we are worried about what people will say or think, we have no right to even attempt to blog and only give half truths. What we think and what we feel is who we are. Your blog is your blog. Those who actually take the time to read your blog and your twitter actually want to care about you, Amanda Palmer the person, more so than just Amanda Palmer the amazing musician. We want the truth and the full truth about WHO you are. That what you say and what you write and what we all have grown to love and admire so much, isn’t just a bunch of bullshit that you wrote in hopes people will buy your albums. We want to know your heart and soul because there is something in it that touches us all! Sometimes in the same way, sometimes in different ways and not everybody at the same time. It is the blessing and curse of celebrity. But all you can ask of yourself and all we, your fans, should ask of you, is that you do things the way Amanda Palmer would do them. Over share if that is what you feel is right for you at that moment. Don’t share at all if you don’t want to. Who the hell says we have to tell everybody everything? I think all that we should ask of you, is to be honest with yourself and hopefully you can grant us that honesty as well. Thank you for all you do, AFP and please continue to do exactly what your heart tells you.

  • Lana

    I fricking agree completely. I don’t know why we’ve decided to set up these walls between ourselves, it’s fucking ridiculous. I ALWAYS have to check ‘what I’m saying’, because it might gross people out, be inappropriate, etc. It’s retarded. Thankfully, my flatmate has this same concept of not giving a fuck about personal details. If people wanna hear, let them listen. If they don’t, well, vocalizing your inner state of mind is fine.

    As for Neil, you do have that problem of ‘yeah-he’s-famous-don’t-wanna-make-him-look-bad’. But it’s SO STRANGE, because we were discussing Neil Gaiman in my Linguistics class (We studied Coraline. It rocked), and no one was able to say anything about him. Even my lecturer admitted that she wasn’t about to find out that much. I was able to state a few things, but what I did know, I read from your blog. Maybe it’s just a New Zealand thing, living at the back of beyond, but we really don’t know all that much about him. Personally, I really don’t like that. I know the old method of analysing the author to help analyse the book is out of fashion, but it still holds some merit. Why you gotta be a closed book man?

    Oh, that pun was just awful. I’m sorry. And I’ll go and shut up now.

    • RiverVox

      Just wanted you to know that Neil has a tremendous blog that can be found here: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/. He walks the privacy tightrope brilliantly.
      His blog readers know all about the house and the dogs, cats and bees but have no idea where it actually is. Near Minneapolis is all we know.

      I think his take on parent/child relationships is so nuanced and accurate that it could only have come from a parent, but you don’t need to know that he has three children to read (and love!) Coraline.

  • Fuzzyk2001

    I am constantly having this battle with myself and my own personal journal slash my online journals or blogs or tweets or facebook status…whatever. We spend so much time worrying about whether or not people are interested in what we say, whether or not they can relate to what we say or “am I actually just crazy and now that I’ve posted this so all the public can see, everyone is going to think I’m crazy and then nobody will like me”. If we are worried about what people will say or think, we have no right to even attempt to blog and only give half truths. What we think and what we feel is who we are. Your blog is your blog. Those who actually take the time to read your blog and your twitter actually want to care about you, Amanda Palmer the person, more so than just Amanda Palmer the amazing musician. We want the truth and the full truth about WHO you are. That what you say and what you write and what we all have grown to love and admire so much, isn’t just a bunch of bullshit that you wrote in hopes people will buy your albums. We want to know your heart and soul because there is something in it that touches us all! Sometimes in the same way, sometimes in different ways and not everybody at the same time. It is the blessing and curse of celebrity. But all you can ask of yourself and all we, your fans, should ask of you, is that you do things the way Amanda Palmer would do them. Over share if that is what you feel is right for you at that moment. Don’t share at all if you don’t want to. Who the hell says we have to tell everybody everything? I think all that we should ask of you, is to be honest with yourself and hopefully you can grant us that honesty as well. Thank you for all you do, AFP and please continue to do exactly what your heart tells you.

    • Fuzzyk2001

      Oops. Didn’t mean to send that twice…

  • Shakeyourjunk

    I love this blog. I feel it is very important to share your private matters. If I do not announce that I Am going poop , or that I pooped or even simply farted. I feel that people will make fun of me when they find out that I did the unmentionables. But when I announce it to everyone they realize I am comfortable with my body and what it does. Why should we be embarrassed! Our bodies are beautiful. I love to get a good laugh at the wonderful things my body does. Cheers to everyone who still laughs when they fart . :)

  • http://twitter.com/Russty Russty

    I love the way you are. It’s just YOU! It’s the whole AFP package and I think it makes you very authentic and real amongst a lot of artists who filter themselves through media and minions, so you never really know if what they are saying is utter bullshit.

    For many years I hid behind my art, using a name that was pretty untraceable to my real life persona. No one really got to know me or why I did what I did. One day someone at one of my art shows said to me very shocked, “I heard you’re married! I thought you were gay! How long have you been married?!” When I quietly said that I had been married for almost 13 years at that point the look of shock and awe on all the other artists face really got to me. It made me realize how much in a box my life was. I had spent years hiding all the things that make me, well ME. When I started twittering it was the most hard and yet cathartic thing I’ve done.

    One day you twittered something about vagina’s and I answered back honestly and a few minutes later my best friend told me she was so proud of me for talking so openly on twitter with you. It was a light bulb, OH I get this! moment. I finally got that the people who matter already know you and love you, so twitter away! And the people who can’t handle the personal stuff on twitter probably wouldn’t handle it in person anyway and they can move right along with their bad selves and find another playground to play in, cuz mine will be full up with awesome folks.

    So now I twitter away. I have an incurable auto immune disease that likes to make me it’s bitch often. I spent most of my life hiding it, because I thought people would see me as less of a person some how. But now when shit goes bad I twitter that shit and people all over the world offer up love, hugs, acceptance, and my favorite their energy to help me get through the hard times. How fucking awesome is it that I don’t even have to get out of my pjs and people are loving on me and making my life better?! So heck I’m sure someone thinks hearing about my billionth UTI and kidney infection is TMI. But for that one person theirs 10 who are telling me to hang in there and their with me in spirit sending virtual crandberry by the box full.

    So sweet lady, don’t change. You are exactly who you should be and only you know what the right balance for your life is. But for me I think you’re awesome and you brighten up my days with your life and your work. <3

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      this was beautiful to read….and it’s so true how astounding it is to have a support network at the click of a button, twitter is amazing like that.

      i am writing this from bed.

      • http://twitter.com/Russty Russty

        Sometimes I think the web has brought to much into our lives, that huge world community that we worry about. But then there are moments like this where I’m sitting here thinking of you across the country in bed and I’m on my couch getting ready to head out for the day and it feels just so nice that we’ve been able to share something without having to do much other then offer up a few moments of time and our hearts. *huge hugs* Hope you aren’t working yourself to the bone! <3

  • http://twitter.com/MarkLidstone Mark Lidstone

    When I write, I write for myself. No one else. I check the hits on my writing blog multiple times a day for science. I obsessively read / refresh the comment section so that I can laugh at the people who think I actually care what they think. I keep my webook submissions page open all day because I like the way it looks…If nobody reads my work then who cares right? As long as I read it…right?

    Is anyone reading this comment?

    Not that I care…

    Was just wondering…

    • http://twitter.com/MarkLidstone Mark Lidstone

      I swear I haven’t been refreshing this page to see if anyone has replied to my comment…

      • http://twitter.com/AHisme Ayala

        Me neither. :)

        • http://twitter.com/MarkLidstone Mark Lidstone

          I like your blue.

          • http://twitter.com/AHisme Ayala

            thank you. I have been reading your comments.

          • http://twitter.com/MarkLidstone Mark Lidstone

            And I yours.

    • CeciTart

      I want people to enjoy my work. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy painting, and I adore acting, but it’s all about other people enjoying it too. It makes me sad when no one reads my blog or comments on it. Even if they don’t like it I want to know they felt something from it. I want to interact and make people feel. Some of my art will make them feel sad and make them confront themselves, and some of ti is just happy and joyous and full of life, but if no one ever saw it, that would make me so sad. The creation is fun, I do love that part of the journey, but the sharing! Oh the sharing that’s where it finds life.

  • Cass

    hmmm. interesting. I don’t like to blog, and I don’t have a blog; I’m not interested in publicizing my journal and I have nothing that needs promoting. But I like reading your blog. I don’t know why, but I think its probably because I love the music you’ve made and continue to make, and because you tend towards a rather (as my friend would say) ‘lady journalist’ sensibility, meaning that you write about your business, whether it be menstrual sponges or tour dates. Simply said, you are interested, and your interest interests others. People sense your honest enthusiasm. Maybe enthusiasm can be broken down into its constituent parts and marketed, but we know, I think we know.

  • peajayar

    From a sixty-something writer – a great post, Amanda. It took me six decades to figure some of what you are saying, especially about not boxing yourself in regarding what a blog (or song or novel or short story) IS and just doing it, letting it be what it is.

    I also greatly admire what you say about the ‘real’ work – writing the song, et al, – being the hardest and the most tempting to avoid. Let me tell you the ways I avoid writing …… well, maybe not.

    More power to your thinking mind, AFP.

  • http://www.pandoratopp.com Pandora Topp

    It’s all incubation – even the UTI.

  • Kelly Shea

    I’m quite a few years your senior, so I feel silly asking, but… WTF is a menstrual sponge? Is that just another name for a tampon, or is it something else entirely? I am 41 and not embarrassed to ask! ;)

    BTW, yesyesyes — ALWAYS pee after sex. My husband also considers it his duty to remind me (lest he not ‘get any’ if I’m in recovery – ha!)

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      it’s literally a sea sponge that use instead of a tampon. AU NATURAL TAMPON. you can get one at jadeandpearl.com. some people find it horrifying (you have to extract with your fingers and wash it) but clearly we’ve been finding creative solutions to menstrual flow for CENTURIES. will someone write a book please?

      • http://twitter.com/Rozillla Rozillla

        Whoa this is nifty! Compare to Diva-cup?

        • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

          i tried the diva cup (or a variation on it) and found that it didn’t fit snugly enough to actually WORK. that shit be USELESS if it leaks.

          one disadvantage to the sponge, i’ll warn, is that if it’s full and you LAUGH you might be in trouble. so on heavy-flow days simply make sure you stay away from LOLCAT sites & bill hicks CDS and you’ll be safe.

          • Hedda Gabler

            What do you mean, warn us? Do you shoot the damn thing across the room?

          • Kelly Shea

            Have to let you know that I posted about the menstrual sponge on my facebook page and out of all the many friends who commented, only one of the girls had heard of it — BUT (get this!) ALL THREE GENTLEMEN HAD. One of the guys’ reasoning, “I think it’s because men have more of a tendency to watch what women do than the reverse.” Hm. Interesting.

          • http://twitter.com/Rozillla Rozillla

            I posted it on my FB as well and only my lady friends commented back. So far it’s getting a gold star in unique-ness. Though the best thing on the site is the pStyle, peeing standing up!! For the uber camper.

          • http://twitter.com/Rozillla Rozillla

            Diva cup is a bugger that’s for sure, though it’s a helluva lot better than tampons *shudders* I’m thinking about using the sponge and the cup (plus homemade pads) for the maximum effect. Oh the perks of womanhood.

            LOL, thanks for the heads up. *puts away her DVDS and stays away from her LJ*

      • Celeste

        there is a book, http://www.amazon.ca/Flow-Cultural-Menstruation-Susan-Kim/dp/031237996X/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1287611036&sr=8-5
        another option are Lunapads…cloth pads. been using them for yrs.

  • http://twitter.com/grr_rar R Rabin

    I appreciate your guts out bravery, Amanda. I’m 40 years old now and have always found it personally hard to come by. Your work, and the dawning fundamental realisation that there will be a day where I won’t be here anymore, have genuinely combined to inspire more honesty and bravery in my actions. So cheers and gratitude to you.

  • Xenjn

    From my own experience, I’m not much of a blogger. I don’t update my LJ, sometimes I update my deviantart, but it’s rare, and when I do a flood of truths come out, and I don’t censor myself and afterwords I feel so much closer to the people who do read what I’ve written.

    Hell, I feel closer to MYSELF.

    This is thanks to you, and I love you infinitely for it. I think we’re all a bit choked by the blogging sort of craze, we all sit at the screen and think about what we write without really just writing what we think. Since when are written words something we feel we need to censor to the world? Though you usually seem to just write and let it all out, and it’s fantastic, and it’s real and I love it.

    I do wish, however, that you would instead of writing that lyric on twitter, would sit at your piano and turn it into the song you know is there. 140 characters are fantastically convenient for you, I can tell. However when do you judge what’s crossing a line? I remember how back when you first started twitter, you expressed fears on your blog about squishing your life into 140 characters or less.

    And, (I don’t want to sound mean here, but hey, we’re all being real and honest, right?) I feel like you are. Twitter is a wonderful tool of expressing yourself and letting the world know what you’re doing, but you seem addicted to it, as though now you don’t need anything but 140 characters to define yourself and your life.

    Twitter is great for capturing moments, so why do I feel like it’s capturing your entire life in little snippets? It’s especially hard because it is someone like YOU, Amanda. Because when I think Amanda Palmer, I think beautiful powerful songs, deep revelations and words that have to be heard in their entirety to really love and understand.

    When I think of Amanda Palmer, I don’t think 140 characters or less, I think of something long and flowing, something real and passionate.

    140 characters is not enough to define Amanda Palmer, not enough to express her emotions or anything but her actions.

    But you tweet so much that I fear that 140 characters is what you’ll become. That you’ll favor the convince of expressing a simple action then truly going deeper into it.

    I’m scared you’ll not be able to really put your heart into a new song, I’m scared that you’ll write that lyric on twitter and lose it under the next pile of 20 tweets.

    Most of all I’m scared that you will dislike yourself for it, that you’ll write these blogs and sit in a cafe and wonder if you yourself have locked yourself cage of 140 characters or less.

    My suggestion is to limit your tweets. Right now you write about 20 or more a day. Try to cut the number down, if you have a limit for yourself then you wont just tweet mindlessly, you’ll tweet what really matters to you, and when you come up to that song lyric that you know will move you, maybe you’ll tell yourself “I have 2 tweets left today, should I use them on this? Or should I sit at my piano and write it out.”

    Quite frankly I’d rather be Amanda Palmer blog-less and tweet-less for a week or two if it meant I could experience a new song.

    I can only hope you’ll find your piano more appealing then the shiny cell phone in your hand. I miss your music, I want to hear what you’re feeling now. Get back to the basics. Get back to Amanda Palmer.

    Unplug, lock yourself away, sit at the piano, and feel yourself shine through.

    I think you crave it more then we do.

    I love you,
    I’ll be coming to the show in Dallas, I hope I get to meet you afterwords.

    Love,
    ~Jenn

  • Serena

    I love what you’ve both got written here. I think a lot of people sort of “tone down” how they act or write etc. when they have a partner (not necessarily famous) who might be offended or worried in some way by certain behaviours.
    I tend to think twice now about things I write in my blog because my husband also blogs and also has access to mine. Sometimes he says things that make me realise I should talk about some items *before* I go public and blog.

    Since having a lot of medical issues myself and especially endometriosis, I tend to overshare medial info but have also found that this has often helped others in some way. I’m all for sharing. Also now very curious as to what the hell a menstrual sponge is – or is that another USA English thing we Brits have another name for?!

  • http://littlelioness.net Fiona

    Just be what you are, blog however you do. And love.

    Love.

    Love.

  • AloneOnASeeSaw

    I love your music, but I’ve come to love this blog just as much. You’re an interesting person, and your readers are just as interesting. I’m not someone who reads up on celebrities or cares much about their personal lives. What you choose to share of yourself is something different though, it helps to inspire and empower people. Do whatever you need to do to share that…even promote shamelessly. The older I get the less I’ve come to care about what is appropriate–personally and professionally. As a nurse, I always have to worry about how much I should share of myself. Always having to carefully select my words and keep a distance with people who are very sick and scared. But sometimes I’ll let that little old lady kiss me on the cheek, and tell me they love me. Sometimes I say “You know what? I love you too.” My best days at work are when I break the rules.

  • CeciTart

    *deep breath* I have so much I want to say on the various subjects you talk about, but I typically try to keep my comments poignant and to the point, because I know you are super busy and I don’t want to use too much of your time. I think today though, I am going to comment how I think, which is a little rambley and very similar to your blog.

    First, I am very much like you in the fact that if someone asks me how I am doing, I will tell them just that. I despise when I am in situations that I have to give the generic, “Oh fine, how are you?” reply. It actually causes an uncomfortable feeling inside me when I have to swallow what I want to say and be mundane. I am so sick of having to conform to superficial relationships and standards. I try in certain settings to be what the people around me want me to be, because they have made it clear that who I am makes them uncomfortable. And frankly if someone was doing something that made me uncomfortable and I asked them to stop, I would like them to stop. So I try. But I am a heart on your sleeve, I’m feeling extra cranky, crampy and have a heavy flow, why did you ask how I’m doing if you didn’t actually want to know sort of person. I have a very small circle of friends because most people don’t like my honesty. And when I say honesty, I am NOT one of those assholes that goes around being mean and then saying, “I am just being honest” as an excuse to belittle people. But if you are my friend and you ask me for my opinion on something, you sure as hell better want my opinion and not what you want me to tell you.

    And when I am honest with myself, I am incredibly jealous of you. You get away with it and people love you and boast you for it. Sure I know you get people that criticize you for it also, but you have an army of people that jump up to defend you when that happens. I know, I am one of them.

    As for making a difference, if it’s the small ones that matter to you, you can add me to that list. When I came into know who you were, well it was a really dark time in my life. You gave me hope and joy and happiness and confidence. I haven’t shaved my pits in over a year, and I am comfortable with it. I am able to wear tank tops and other tops which show my pits, and I don’t give a flying rats ass who thinks it’s unappealing. I’m comfortable with it, I like it, and you opened that door for me.

    I wrote you a letter some time ago that I never sent. It was going through the cycle of how you came to be part of my life and the impact that it has had on me. It’s dark and it’s hard and I felt maybe to personal coming from a stranger, but if you would like it, I will send it along.

    Love and thanks,
    ~Cecily

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      always send it along.

      • CeciTart

        Sent. :-)

      • kylecassidy

        ceci’s not a stranger she was in one of my classes (and I slept in her guest bedroom). and she made the tiny little statues of Zoe the cat that she gave to Neil & i.

  • PolitelyOffend

    I definitely take cues from this and other blogs. I put myself out there on my own and got overwhelmingly good feedback. A couple years ago, I would have never been that open. Even in daily life, I’m usually very unashamed. One look at my family and anyone could see where that comes from. They pretty much raised me to have no shame. My dad picked me up at my first school dance on his way back from a Halloween party. He got out of the car and waved me over. Oh, and he was wearing a full cow suit. With udders. I was 10. It was 3 days before Halloween. This did not surprise me, since things like this happen very often. As much as I feign embarressment, I love how shameless we are. We get to laugh more.
    I love how open Amanda is, since it is in a casual or even jokey way. It’s not to be rebellious or anything, it’s just how she is. Her music and attitude helped me be more comfortable with my body and personality. I have had horrible stretchmarks all over my body since I was about 8 or 9 (A medication I had to take made me gain weight extremely fast and after I stopped the meds, I dropped it quickly). The ones on my hips are raised and red, they look like scars. I used to be really embarressed by them, but after I started going to Amanda Palmer concerts an saw fans who were comfortable with their bodies, I stopped caring about it. In fact, I pretty much spent the last week of summer going back and forth from my little town to Cambridge to see a few shows of Cabaret. I went on public transportation wearing tiny dresses, garters, fishnets, etc. I walked through South Station in one of the skimpiest outfits I’ve worn and loved it.
    In short, thanks Amanda. Can’t wait to go to Cabaret again next week and wear fishnets again :)

    • PolitelyOffend

      Also, I have been webcasting/blogging/tweeting about what I do and have noticed a steady decline in my writing. It seems like every day, I plan to just sit and write something (poem/story/whatever) and 95% of the time I end up webcasting or online screwing around. I don’t see the internet as an enemy of art, but it can hijack your brain if you let it. The fact that there are people on the other end willing to read/listen/respond makes it that must more addictive. It’s the instant connection, which is much easier to obtain in a 140 character tweet than in a piece of writing that you labor over for weeks, writing and rewriting, all in the hopes that someone will see themselves in it. Both have their merits, but one is significantly easier than the other.
      The reason why I started posting my writing online was to force myself to write. It worked. I wrote a small part of a story and posted it with “To Be Continued”, after continuing to post new parts, I had a group of readers who would shoot me emails if I went longer than a week without posting. I think as long as you respect your audience (which you clearly do) and use their attention in a way that motivates you to make more for them, a balance can be struck. I imagine this is harder to do with about half a million followers on Twitter along with the responsibilities of your career.

  • abrokengirl

    Don’t look now, but you may have just proved Neil wrong, just a little bit.

    Everybody who is deprived of an audience writes to an imaginary one, even those of us with blogs noone reads. Even those who write in a moleskin stuffed under their mattress.

    Please keep something for the songwriting, because when you record original songs you are absolutely glorious.

  • sandhorse

    I think Twitter is going to be the death of legitimate conversation. I used to think in blog posts because I wrote a lot of blogs, but when I started using Twitter, I started thinking in tweets, and the events of my daily life started to lose dimension. And that is why I deleted Twitter…

    I have wished for many years that I could write music, but I’ve never been able to. Whenever I have a creative urge, my first instinct is to blog about something. I guess that people use their creative energy in whatever way feels most natural to them, and if it means writing a song, that person will write a song. Or it could be painting a picture or making a collage or doing a dance or any of these things, but it is whatever feels most natural, and perhaps that changes over time – maybe your song-writing days are over, or maybe it’s a break, or maybe you are just keenly aware of the difference in your consciousness when you know something needs to be a song and when it needs to be an essay.

    I’m still contemplating all the forms creativity takes, and I’m GLAD that you’re blogging, even if it’s at the expense of a song, because it’s providing another prospective. And if you want to blog tour dates, fucking do it! Because you can.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      i hear you on the twitter front, but i wonder where the pros and cons stack up.
      i, too, found myself thinking in blogs, and now i find myself thinking in tweets, but this is probably more a question for our house philosophers. does it matter how things are communicated?

      does being forced to condense maybe open something else up that’s just as vital?

      • Snorri Kristjansson

        Long-time reader, first time poster.
        Artists worth their salt have always sought out constraints – painting only in tones of blue, sticking to a scale, making songs from only three chords, writing stories with three people stuck in a room. Or a dinosaur, applied to all art forms. I reckon Twitter is just another set of constraints. Artists of all persuasions might play with it as long as the constraints are something fun to bump against. Then we’ll probably leave it and go play with the Next Shiny Thing when we’re bored and/or in some kind of comfort zone.

        • sandhorse

          Unfortunately, most people in the world who use Twitter don’t use it as artists, and it may be their only form of communication – and only to say “coffee at starbucks with the girls” or something along those lines – but think of all of the… realness you could ascribe to that situation if you had room to describe it! Or, as an artist, I can see how your challenge would be to convey something about it in that little space. It’s just that most people nowadays will settle for facts rather than feelings (in my opinion at least – but who knows!!)

          • sandhorse

            Sorry to ramble – Joanna Newsom has some great quote somewhere about using certain words to get a feeling across quickly versus attempting to convey, and while I suppose both forms are equal, the THIRD form – the general-public-twitter-form – is to simply pass along facts, and facts run a risk of losing a human element. There are Twitter feeds that I can’t even make heads or tails of because of all the @person #randomtag stuff – may be I am just old-fashioned…

      • Ashley C

        I’ve come to see Twitter as a challenge to post a concise, grammatically correct sentiment in 140 characters. Mostly, I succeed.

  • Blahblahblah42670

    This is something i often think about as well, and the fact that I’m thinking about it so much stresses how critical the public eye still is, weather or not one wants their art to be about that.
    I like to think I make art stemming from an “original idea”…but then again it’s probably not very original considering I’m subconsciously more or less being inspired by me myself being the spectator at some point.
    That right there proves to me that we as humans, making art is a means of feeding off each other…This is perhaps why i love artist communities….and even when i subsequently get tired of being around people, I still find my mind wandering off to certain personal or impersonal connections I’ve had.
    It’s really all about that in the end, I feel. Of course there’s a great deal of self reflection as well..and perhaps, self reflecting is the same as communicating and interacting with others.
    I definitely often times think about how great it would be for my art work to one day move someone more than it’s moved me, differently, the same way…either way I’m happy. Is that narcissism, hardly.
    Or maybe it is but that word certainly shouldn’t have such a negative stigma as it does. Like the word, Exhibitionist. What’s that all about?
    However, I some times also feel “art” becomes too much about the exterior that it becomes so hard to hit the interior of a person. That’s why i too will often times choose talking over a cup of tea, long night philosophical or mundane talks and/or especially experiencing art together. Because that is the essence of art…it’s the practice/experience, not so much the solid end result. Exchanging whatever and feeling some comfort or clarity in the end. That’s an artistic practice in itself to me. One certainly needs the other, but in the end, i feel one is more attainable than the other.
    Like the physical piece is somewhat more attainable and the direct communication with a person is a bit more ephemeral and unattainable….and like many, i fancy transcending through something unattainable.

  • Chandra

    Amanda I love that I have you! Your amazing! I look forward to all the music that you will make and everything you do! Don’t ever go away! Your a breath of fresh air and my favorite musician
    Muah, Chandra

  • michael zulli

    Amanda, we’ve never met properly, but Neil is one of if not my oldest and dearest friends. He loves you , and so, I also love you. That’s just the way I live my life. Believe me, I get it. Where does one draw the line? Well as an expert on “lines” of a sort, it is absolutely true that no art can be made in utter isolation nor should it be, if it is, it’s just wanking off to pictures of yourself. I’ve known people like that. I can’t speak for any one else, but the work I do while intensely personal,( as all art should be, otherwise it’s simply propaganda.) the single
    overwhelming urge to spend endless hours over drawing boards and canvas’s until you are practically crippled is not for my sake, but rather the very real and intense need to connect with the world on a very intimate level. Neil does it, you do it I do it and to what end? Dunno. There is no manual for it. We all fly by the seat of the pants and hope we can land without to much damage to do it again tomorrow.
    As far as I can see, you are doing just fine. The questions are as natural as breathing. Without them how the fuck can we actually get anywhere? If they were all lain out and quantified there would be no reason to do this thing we call “art”. It’s always the questions, the process, and not the end result that matters.
    You do art until you bleed or you give up because you just ain’t got the nerve.
    Thank you for everything. It’s worth it. Day by day.
    Zulli.
    iridescent idiot.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      ….aghh! neil has told me all about you, and your work is amazing. i hope we get to actually meet someday.

      you know, sometimes i think the constant repeating of this question (i feel like i’ve been throwing into the atmosphere endlessly for years) is as important as a daily WHY ARE WE HERE to keep constant perspective that the answer is completely elusive…and it’s the collective asking that helps us live and create, not any kind of answer.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PQXKKJSIO5WZ2A7RXIQMWRUEFM James Earthenware

    Personally, I like listening to songs more than reading blogs. It’s a lot quicker and you can’t dance around or sing along to blogs.

    From your perspective, the blogs and twitter at least provide instant feedback which makes the sharing of ideas more reciprocal.

    Perhaps you are right that no artist writes for “themselves” but since 99% of artists / bloggers are completely unknown they are in effect writing for themselves regardless. Kind of a ckicken or egg situation I guess.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      a HAAAA if you’ve never danced to a blog, you’ve not seen this one yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dxDREaCyjE

      • http://writingonachalkboard.wordpress.com/ Jalen

        But it’s a song!! maybe do this more often! Songblogs. Slogs. best of both worlds, instant gratification plus you can dance to it.

        • http://www.myspace.com/delinquentfigment Figment

          “Slogs”. I love it.

      • http://twitter.com/Rozillla Rozillla

        Though it probably isn’t new news, you are officially adorable! Please create more awesome diddies.

  • http://twitter.com/Fallen_Woman Flor

    I don’t know, AFP. I’ve modulated how I blog and how I think about blogging pretty considerably since I started in late 2001. But I write in my blog differently from how I write in my hard journal – the one I don’t share – because people are going to see it. Even though I’ve always pretended someone would eventually see my diary/journal/random notebook comments, it’s always been a vague spector someone(s) who I wish existed…. That is, I wish the people who I would have liked to have shown old journal entries to would meet the figments in my head instead of being their own stubborn, beautiful, destructive and wonderful selves. But since they don’t, I don’t show my private stuff.

    But it’s just a personality thing, I guess. Watching you over the past two years I’ve been stunned and amazed at how open you are. Keep that in mind. Some people are shocked by how open you are – try see me how I see me and you’ll understand I would be horrified to share every embarassing detail. And frankly sex and genitals aren’t that horrifying to me. I’ve blogged on a filter to my female friends when my period was more than a week late. I’m sure it was TMI, I didn’t check if they wanted to know about it, but I didn’t want to put it out there for the guys to know until I feel less utterly freaked out.

    And that’s what I find I want to keep private from everyone except my closest friends. It’s the state of distemper and upset, when something is cooking and mixed up deep inside but I don’t know how it’s going to work out yet. I don’t post on my LJ about random sexual exploits because I don’t want to put that in the minds of people who would rather not know. (There is lots I would rather not know about my friends, actually there are things I’d rather not know about you, AFP!) But when it comes to the state of my heart in the middle of turmoil? Uh-uh. Fuck no. There’s iron bars, landmines, barbed wire and a moat keeping people out. That’s where I’m truly naked and vulnerable and except for the precious few I can trust when I’m wounded, no one gets to see that.

    the thing is. Being an artist, being a writer, a stage director… The truth about those times wants to get out. I know there is something there when I’m writing or going into a scene and I’m trying to softpedal things so I don’t have to admit something painful. I cannot be direct. I won’t be direct. I will not write a scene that lays bare what’s going on with me. No motherfucking way. But I’ll invent a metaphor. I’ll tell you about betrayal in the demon who steals the angel’s heart. I’ll tell you about a crush in a murder story. I don’t think blogging got that out of me.

    (Also I’m learning the simple truth that I just don’t need to post or Tweet every little thought. It used to be my outlet for responses to things people say and do but now those people might keep up with my Twitter or facebook or whatever. I’ve been accused enough of not caring if I hurt other’s feelings. That’s just not true. And even if no one ends up knowing the lengths I go to to spare the feelings of others, I’m going to go to them.)

    • Flor

      Forgot to note: When I intentionally make art my first audience person to please is me. Which sounds like wanking, but if what I create doesn’t make me want to get up and dance or shout or throw things or cry then I haven’t done the minimum work yet. Secondary audience are those figments in my head.

      Also – hey! you’re on LJ too!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/delinquentfigment Figment

    * “A SOCIAL HOLE MORE THAN A POET” <—– This line might make me become a plagiarist.
    I would also like to say, I know More about YOUR vagina than any other 'celebrity'. HorrahH! -score.

    *To express. To Not express. In which form shall I express myself? Fuck man. If I thought about this I might just watch porno, Instead of expressing. The point of it all (no pun intended) would be the Act itself I would imagine. – An artist acting NOT FOR SELF, NOT FOR OTHERS, but for Muse. that intangible Something. The Moment.
    To take something out of the air & twist it 'till you spin it off your fingertips & use your Lips to blow it Out there for someone else to take and possibly do the same. to come to them later in a dream. … a muse? -Yes, question mark.
    JUMP AROUND.
    I am the same. expressing myself to people openly & vividly, possibly creating uncomfortable situations that automatically make people feel comfortable, because somehow- it was my "embarrassment" so, I should Blush. -Nah. Fuck It. I'm having a great time.
    JUMP.
    I have many of my Random artistic internet Outbursts copied down. Maybe for future use, Maybe to remember random awesomeness. Does it matter? The first time I lost a Notebook I realized that we lose shit. Important shit. Art included. I don't think it bothered my muse, by just putting it out there I was doing her Justice. My moment Obtained. All I can say is Balance. If you get caught up in one moment for too long (twitter, song writing, theatre)- You could possibly miss the next one. Contentment Moves. Like the ocean, and like the fans. Use the mediums to your advantage whatever way you can.
    JUMP.
    I personally am glad to know that I can find most of your art on your blogs. I can find a place to purchase it EASILY. Tickets too. I am able to see pictures of what Amanda Fucking Palmer's life is like. What did Amanda eat for lunch? Who cares, we know it Rocked.
    I can see the Awesome Webcast I missed due to an awesome Comedy show. THANK YOU for that specifically.
    What? Recording Radiohead Ukulele with a hord of flesh eating Zombies and Werewolves? Pic. on Twitter?!?! -gotta go. this is gunna be frickin' sweet…….
    JUMP AROUND.

  • Miss B

    I don’t really agree that artists are lying if they claim to not need an audience or any recognition. I Write Things. I do it in a semi-public way, on the internet, but I do not write to be read. I do not have comments on my Internet Place. I almost never leave comments elsewhere that could link back to my Internet Place. It makes me, truth be told, extremely uncomfortable knowing that people read the things I write (and there are a fair number of people who do; some of them send me random email sometimes). Why do I write in a semi-public way, like talking out loud to myself on the street, and not just in a notebook that I can hide under my bed? Because the possibility of being overheard keeps me more honest than I might otherwise be, I suspect. Because, once it’s out there, I’m less likely to toss it away immediately afterward. (Though, to be fair, I rarely go back and read anything again, after the fact.) I write when I have to skim the top few layers of mess and noise out of my head, and I honestly don’t give a damn if anyone reads it (in fact, I’m much happier pretending that nobody does). I would never attach my actual name to anything online, because I value anonymity and privacy too much. So, maybe _most_ people who Make Things or Do Things want to be recognized and applauded or talked about or what-have-you…but definitely not all of them do.

  • http://twitter.com/kjerstioghvalen liti kjersti

    i’m the same way with my own, teeny tiny blog. i become overwhelmed when i try to define it, and i struggle with that every day, because it’s really hard to maintain the feeling of the blog as something “whole” when you can’t put a label on it. i try, though.your posts are always a joy to read. earlier today i mailed my dad your oasis video and the long rant you wrote about it some time ago. i often re-read your posts just to remind myself that people who think and consider and accept and try still exist. ps: another thing, i’m a lot more naked when i’m alone, than i used to be. i think that might be partly your doing, too.

  • http://twitter.com/kjerstioghvalen liti kjersti

    i’m another one of those completely-unshaven-for-a-long-time- people. i won’t say that i owe it all to you, because i’m the one that made that decision and i’m the one who dared, but i wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for you. i’ve never been a “have-to-shave-everything”-person at all, but i’ve been sensitive about my armpit and pubic hair, so it was kind of a big step. kind of. and now, i’ve sort of come to a point where i want to shave again, but for me, more than anyone else. this is good. i think it’s good.dunno why i’m saying this. just. in light of your blog entry, i thought i’d share, and tell you about ways you’ve inspired me.and i’m the same way with my own, teeny tiny blog. i become overwhelmed when i try to define it, and i struggle with that every day, because it’s really hard to maintain the feeling of the blog as something “whole” when you can’t put a label on it. i try, though.your posts are always a joy to read. earlier today i mailed my dad your oasis video and the long rant you wrote about it some time ago. i often re-read your posts just to remind myself that people who think and consider and accept and try still exist. ps: another thing, i’m a lot more naked when i’m alone, than i used to be. i think that might be partly your doing, too.

  • Rachael

    I far prefer your blog to your Twitter–I far prefer blogging to Twittering in general anyway– but I do read both and enjoy it all. Be what you want to be, say what you want to say. I have the patience for This Is What’s Going On Right Now.

  • Randomgit

    Now I understand why you weren’t going to blog your last Australian tour. You were pouring it all into an album you sly dog.

    All is forgiven.

  • Nick

    The thing that makes your blog inteesting is its randomness and variety, so don’t worry about making it anything in particular its fine how it is.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ANF7LNEJI5SK6R36WJ4TANONDM Eyes Only

    D-Mannose. Works like a charm for UTIs. =D

  • http://twitter.com/Rozillla Rozillla

    I think you’re brilliant! You would fit so well in the SCA! (It amazes me that sometimes we are still such a low key group.) Renny’s and Scadians alike, we’re very family oriented and really are a share all kind of family. It’s great, I would never look back and feel bad about leaving the prude-ish world that my own life had started becoming.
    Though, I have always been the TMI-friend and never was a TMI-person to anyone aside from them.. I like to keep myself to specific people, and still do.. but I’m a lot more open about random shit these days because simply, why do people care? If I’ve said something that was somewhat disturbing, I’m more amused that I have then disturbed people than not.. not to say I’m always trying to get a rise out of people.but it is fun once in awhile. :-)
    Seriously though, keep your double rainbow flying! xoxox – Random Twitter Friend #23847509

  • http://twitter.com/purplesmudge Jenna

    Your fearlessness in putting a public face on being you inspired me to carry on with a dream because, well, we’re not getting any younger, any richer or any better looking just waiting for life to occur. I have dreamed about being an editor of the book-variety since I was younger. The Amanda Fucking Palmer all-out honesty about living the dream in whatever version that day brings struck me and guess what? I’m an editor now. Sure, I don’t get to quit my day job yet…but there’s always that yet. I credit you with that a little bit. I read your blog and your twitter, not only because I like your music but because I like who you portray yourself to be as a person, every minute of every day. Drunk on wine or love or Cabaret, you are what you are and that, like being green, is a fine thing to be.Because what’s worse than putting yourself out there? Not. So, yeah, with all of the other zillions of fans and adorers who tell you that you are making/have made a difference, add my voice to that chorus. I AM A FREAKING EDITOR! Owing no small part to wielding my proverbial red pen with unadulterated joy and, what’s more, *confidence* thanks to you. I may not be perfect, but at least I am not perfect with reckless abandon.

  • curiouscat

    actually i was thinking about two years ago reading your blogs, hey i love these but isn’t it a shame this thought or idea or story didn’t make it into a song instead. then twitter came along and it got fragmented into snippets. yeah, it’s quicker and easier but now it just flitters away. twitter i just skim, nothing really sticks anymore. it’s ok for a lot of stuff but sometimes there’s a gem there and if that would have turned into a song… a song people listen to over and over again.

  • The Jen

    “but i think it’s more likely that the songwriters who claim that they simply must write or perish, and the idea of someone hearing their work is secondary….are just lying.”

    I don’t know about that. I took some time to mull this idea over and, for me personally, writing for myself really *is* top priority. I have tons and tons of songs/poems/stories that will never see the light of day, but they were central in providing a release for whatever crap I was going through at the time; basically, if I didn’t write these things, I probably really would have died. More than anything, writing is a way for me to get everything out of my system, to express whatever emotions I’m experiencing that I might not feel like sharing with anyone else just then. That’s not to say that everything I write is intended for my eyes only – I mean, who doesn’t want their work known on some level? But I can say with full confidence that my primary reason for recording/writing/creating is to make myself happy, and if other people like it and get something out of it, great! That’s really just icing on the cake.

    I like that you mentioned this, though. It really made me sit down and seriously consider my own motivations. I think everyone needs to give themselves that sort of reality check now and then.

    And while we’re on the topic of writing and openness, I love how much listening to your music inspires my own writing. I was thinking the other day of why exactly it is that I can connect to your music so much, and I came to the conclusion that it feels so open and full of raw emotion, and I love that. I think it’s great that you can be so open about things that others would shy away from. I really admire that, and I get a lot out of reading your blogs and listening to your songs (it’s helping a LOT with my social anxiety).

    Keep it up, Amanda. You are awesome!

  • Lisa

    I have some thoughts about artists, their audience, communication, and technology. It’s a complex issue, and I don’t have any intent of saying what you should or shouldn’t do with your blog. But maybe I can give you some ideas that could help clarify why blogs are so… squishy.

    Bit of background: I have a day job that involves a lot of writing, and I occasionally write fiction in my spare time. I’m also a musician– in an entirely different set of musical circles than you, though, so my experience with performance and audiences might not align perfectly with yours.

    Most of the fiction I write is never intended to be shared with an audience– I write this stuff for myself, and that’s not a lie. I’m quite certain of this because I spend a lot of time writing *for* an audience, and I know the difference.

    When I write for an audience, I want to move them. I want to build in their imagination a replica of a particular emotional space. I do that by inhabiting that emotional space and making it as transparent, permeable, and accessible as possible. That means I have to be authentic. I also have to figure out a way to communicate effectively with my audience so they can find their way into the space and feel welcome (although not necessarily comfortable).

    There are so many pitfalls in that kind of communication. Maybe a word I choose has a difference nuance to other people. Maybe I use an image that is inherently negative to me, but for some people it’s the opposite. Maybe I don’t bother filling in the gap from A to B because it seems self evident. Maybe I over-intellectualize and put so much effort into the communication side that I’ve killed the authenticity. It’s a lot of work.

    I don’t put that work in when I write for myself. I do it to “de-clutter” my head and/or to put my thoughts into words so I can clarify and explore them. When I do either of those things, I’m not worried about communicating with anyone but myself. All of the pitfalls disappear: I know what I mean when I use a particular word, I know what assumptions I’m starting with, I know how to get from A to B, I know what the authentic emotion is because I’m the one feeling it. This kind of art is hugely valuable to me; it’s part of how I push myself to grow as a person and expand my ideas and emotions. Eventually, perhaps, some of those new ideas and emotions end up in my art that *is* meant to be shared. But the initial creative moment that inspired it isn’t meant for public consumption. It wouldn’t be able to serve its purpose if it were because I’d be hung up on all the communication aspects. I see no reason why someone couldn’t choose to live only in an audience-free creative space.

    (I’ve explained this difference between art-for-myself and art-for-an-audience as it relates to writing. In my experience, there’s a similar divide in the ways I perform music. But it’s easier to use writing as an example because I’m using writing to communicate this. Its manifestation in music is a lot more ephemeral and requires non-comment-box-compatible things to explain it, like gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, and music.)

    I’ve seen art that made no effort to communicate on the grounds that “pure art” doesn’t need to consider the audience. It’s generally left me cold, feeling more like an intellectual commentary about art rather than like art itself. In the cases where it did strike a chord, I’ve had the impression that it was mostly by accident: It happened to invoke an image that already had meaning for me.

    Your thoughts about your own blog (and other online outputs) remind me that we’re in an odd place and time when it comes to communication with audiences. The immediacy of blogging/twitter/chat makes it so much easier to put content directly from our heads into a public area. If we haven’t shaped what’s in our heads for the audience, it’s easy for it to be as cold and meaningless as “pure art.” It’s so fresh and unprocessed that it can look like nothing more than mind-barf.

    But that fresh unprocessed quality gives this medium an immediacy and messiness that feels a lot like a genuine face-to-face conversation. The good: Your audience feels that you’re connecting with them, which lays the groundwork for communication through your music (it’s like you’re creating a shared vocabulary). The bad: There are a lot of things about face-to-face communication that do not apply to online communication, and I don’t think any of us really get that yet (for example, the distance and anonymity allows us to be more confrontational than we would otherwise be and to ignore the hurt feelings we cause more easily). So we have to walk the line: Spontaneous communication increases the sense of intimacy with our audience, but it’s also when we’re most likely to say something either incomprehensible or insulting.

    And so we come to the question of over sharing. I agree with you and others who have said that we need to reduce the amount of shame in the world. That’s important, and it strikes me as particularly powerful to see a woman challenging that because shame is one of the most common weapons used to confine women to narrow roles. (See also Democratic Congressional candidate Krystal Ball’s insightful response to her political opponent’s strategy of using “scandalous” photos of her to undermine her campaign.)

    But then again, there’s the question of building common ground with your audience. Offending them isn’t going to help, and over sharing can offend people. When I consider over sharing (which I do occasionally), I try to consider what sensibilities I’m likely to offend. Telling someone that I feel strongly that all women should have free access to birth control and abortion? Sure. Expressing the first string of insults that come to mind when I find out someone is pro-forced-pregnancy? Nope. One offends a point of view, the other offends a person. I probably also would avoid saying something that I intend as a witty two-sentence reduction of a complex social issue. If it’s an important issue, a glib comment is likely to come across as trivializing to the very people I’d want to support.

    tl;dr — Art needs effective communication between artist and audience to make an emotional impact. The recent evolutions of technology are pushing us to communicate quickly rather than thoughtfully, which presents new challenges to the artist/audience relationship.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      you brought up something that might be worth writing about in blog #2….the ramifications of being an over-sharer (or a sharer, or perhaps simply a human being) and finding the fine line between self-expression and offensiveness/tastelessness. i’ve spent my life trying to navigate that one, and your comment about offending a point of view versus a person is interesting. many people will take almost anything personally, and it’s not your line to draw.

      • Lisa II

        (I just noticed there are two of us posting as “Lisa,” so I added a number to differentiate. So here I am as “Lisa II,” the same Lisa as at the top of this thread of the comments.)

        “many people will take almost anything personally, and it’s not your line to draw.”

        Yes, we shouldn’t try to define anyone else’s limits. Even the biggest, vaguest Big Issues– the ones we tend to talk about in generalities– impact people’s lives in profound ways: The political is personal, and the personal is political. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to say, “If something affects me personally, then it’s personal.”

        And isn’t part of the point of all this nifty interactive communications technology to form a personal relationship with your audience? Doesn’t that make everything you say personal? So I’m not sure it’s fair to use the wording “take something personally”– It *is* personal, and intentionally, wonderfully, terrifyingly so.

        The way to find balance between self-expression vs. offensiveness/tastelessness is really simple: Remember that your point of view is necessarily limited to your experiences, and that other people have different experiences. The hard part is putting that into practice. How can anyone take 6 billion difference experiences into account? It’s not possible, and at some point, we’ll blow it– we’ll offend someone we didn’t want to offend.

        We could just avoid the difficulty altogether and stick to “safe” subject matter. But the Big Issues are thorny and complex and far-reaching and emotional, and for a lot of us, that’s exactly what inspires us to do arty things. We need to make an effort not to get so embroiled in the bigness of the Big Issues that we forget the real, personal experiences of real people. I think the only way to do that is to seek out voices you haven’t heard before and listen to them.

        But Amanda, you have another challenge. Because you’re an artist with a sizable audience, your voice is a *lot* louder than most others. You have the mic and the giant tower of speakers (literally when you’re on stage, metaphorically when you’re online). Even a thousand voices speaking together couldn’t be heard over you.

        Being heard by a lot of people– having a loud voice– falls into the arena of “privilege” (as the word is used in a social justice context). It’s not inherently bad; it’s just a statement of relative access to power. But it’s important to be aware that your words are often heard when other people’s aren’t. And if those other people are important to you, listen to them and offer them the mic so they can speak for themselves, if they wish. Try to get your audience to listen to them, too.

        And the more I think about privilege, the more I think I have to critique my point that you commented on re: offending a point of view rather than a person. That was a pretty disingenuous thing for me to say. I *do* say things that I know will offend some *people*– because I’m attacking points of view that they hold dearly. I see a distinction, but does it just boil down to “it’s okay to offend someone as long as I disagree with them?”

        I don’t think so. Basically, it comes down to power structures. If the offense I cause hurts someone in way that digs at the wounds they’ve suffered from being at the bottom of the power hierarchy, then I’ve done them a wrong. I’ve just repeated the party line of the status quo and so reinforced it. But if I hurt someone by pointing out that they’re at the top of the hierarchy and that they’re making the people under them break and bleed, I see that as an effort to make a space– however small– where it isn’t acceptable for anyone to be complacent and unquestioning about the power they wield.

    • Faunalia

      “I probably also would avoid saying something that I intend as a witty two-sentence reduction of a complex social issue. If it’s an important issue, a glib comment is likely to come across as trivializing to the very people I’d want to support.”

      I think that is a really important point!

      • Lisa II

        It’s one of the reasons I don’t care for Twitter. I’m not sure anything worth saying can be reduced to that size and still maintain its meaning.

  • http://twitter.com/becaolivetree Beca Oliveira

    My best friend once described me to someone as, “you know that thing inside you that produces shame? Beca’s is busted.”

    I prefer to think that I strangled the bitch. Shame hinders Truth, and I think Truth is wildly preferable.

    I also prefer your blog to be just as it is: what’s going on in Amanda-land, whatever that may be.

    Keep on keeping on, sister. Namaste!

  • http://shaunaspace.tumblr.com/ ShaunaTheGrinch

    Oh i’m British and inherently embarrassed also. Hahaha! You have helped me become less embarrassed tons Amanda! Thank you!

    When I met you briefly after your gig in Manchester I said to you “I love reading your blog, please keep doing what you do”, same applies now, it doesn’t matter how your blog changes or doesn’t, just do whatever you want to do. I love your honesty and open-ness, I wish I could be more that way, I am slowly opening up, thanks to you. It’s so liberating to be that way as i’ve found this year. Reading your blog and tweets makes me feel connected and makes me realise i’m not alone, I love you Amanda.

  • insignifikunt

    When I started blogging I thought in blog posts, then I stopped blogging and stopped thinking in blog posts. When I started tweeting I thought in twitter updates/facebook status updates and sometimes if something really funny or weird happens I still think of updating my status about it, but I don’t think in status updates anymore. It was just kind of a novelty thing that wore off.

    Maybe that’s similar to you in that you wrote songs before to get it all out, then you blogged in addition to that because it was the perfect medium to have people actually respond in a way you could fully get hold of, not just from facial expressions during a show, or the 5 second conversation you could fit in when you signed something for them. Now twitter is you favoured medium because it’s instant. You can tweet 5 words and have 500 tweeted back at you. It makes sense and I don’t really think it needs to be analysed. I guess what I am saying is maybe your blog itself hasn’t “evolved”, but you have with the creation of these different mediums to reach audiences.

    I never have an issue with a blog being predominantly about tour dates or selling a record. Sometimes I welcome them if I get a notification that you have blogged and I don’t have the time to dedicate to reading something like this one.

    The thing that attracted me to your music, and then following your career, was how honest you are and I do notice that sometimes you don’t seem to share as much but initially I just figured nothing like a menstrual sponge being stuck in your bits had happened lately. Not that it’s honesty about that sort of stuff that kept me coming back, it amuses me and I am in total awe of your ability to say it because I don’t even shit in public bathrooms let alone discussing things like that (and yes I did cringe when I wrote that because it makes me totally uncomfortable discussing myself but I am completely ok with other people talking about their shit (literally and figuratively). It is your honesty about your career, your thoughts, why you do things the way you do them etc… If you are censoring yourself now I totally respect that because there is someone else involved in your life that could bare negative consequences, that is why when someone asked you on the shadowbox some time ago if you would have an abortion now I thought it was an incredibly inappropriate question to ask considering Neil is very much a part of that question.

    Now in terms of your question about what should you do – blog, tweet or write a song when you feel the need to share… I am always going to say write the song because music is everything to me, (other peoples, I am not an artist) so I want to hear it and feel it and all that jazz, which I don’t feel about a tweet or a blog (ok I lie there have been plenty of tweets/blogs that have but it’s not like you could travel the world and just read out your tweets on stage… Or could you? :p) but sometimes a thought may only get as far as 140 characters.

    Maybe the trick is to tweet it if it needs to be tweeted but refer back to it when you are at the piano because it could still become a song. I definitely want you to remain an artist of the musical variety and tweet on the side. I love reading your tweets and I only joined twitter because you kept talking about it, but I absolutely love your music and if twitter was shut down tomorrow, I’d live and be over it in a week, where as if you stopped making music… That would leave a far larger hole in my life and all of those of your fans.

    Maybe you should write a book but I get the impression your thoughts are far to rapid for that sort of commitment.

  • itrademyoldshoesfornewfeet

    Amanda, I hope you stay the same.

  • insignifikunt

    John Mayer is a total douche but I found this interesting…

    http://justjared.buzznet.com/2010/10/04/john-mayer-quit-twitter-explanation/

    • http://twitter.com/grr_rar R Rabin

      I beg to differ with Mr.Mayer- twitter has become a digest of interesting, artistic, intelligent people and links to fascinating information and art that I think certainly will stand the test of time which has actually broadened my intake of such material. Ultimately twitter is what you make of it. If he needs to stop being a Twit it’s no big, but I don’t think something that applies to him extrapolates to others.

  • http://twitter.com/Chelseyblair Chelsey Blair

    Art, in my opinion, says things about being human, in a way that opens other human eyes to what is uniquely us, what we talk about and what we don’t. As someone whose body is continually betraying me in ways that another person’s body wouldn’t, I deal with hiding these things and shame that I know I shouldn’t deal with. It’s not my fault, after all, it is merely what my body does.

    So in my art things are more open. The world and the characters I create potentially carve a niche to bring more openness in the world. Do I set out to do this? Maybe. Maybe not. But it’s there. It’s there so that eventually people will stop being embarrassed, and I won’t be expected to feel shame about whatever weird thing my body is doing. I’m working on not feeling it anyway, but it’s slow going.

  • Sorayathegreat

    The way I see it, if you randomly declare next week as “Naked Mole rat Week” and did nothing but post pictures of naked mole rats, just for the hell of it, an insane number of people would dig it. In fact, you’d probably gain more followers.
    One of the things I love about your social networks are what you give. You throw your random thoughts and insights and updates and interesting stories and personal details out there, and it actually makes a difference, in both a good and bad way depending on who reads it.
    Honestly, I’m often inspired by you. I never say that. I never GET to say that. I think if I were to ever meet any of my heroes, I’d go mute, I would be too intimidated to say anything in case I said something completely fucking stupid.
    I feel like that wouldn’t happen with you.
    And I love you for it.
    I love that you’re just you, doing your thing. I love that your thing isn’t my thing, but I love it anyway.
    I love that I got out of bed to comment on this blog post, something I would NEVER do, and that I’m probably incoherent and that no one will likely read this.
    So, fuck yeah, keep doing what you’re doing. Which is to say, keep living and taking shit as it comes.
    And if next week is Naked Mole Rat Week, then fuck yeah to that, too.

    I’ve never really stopped and thought about what other people thought of me. I was never worried about sticking out. But lately, I’ve been censoring myself a lot because I’m worried I might offend people. I don’t really have the energy to just be my fucking self and to stick up for the shit I do and say, so it’s easiest to blend a bit.
    That just sucks.
    So really, I just want to say thanks. Because I needed to hear this, and I think I needed to get up and comment on this making little or no sense.

    <3

  • Letty

    I’d like to say I love your blog, I’ve been reading it it for just about four years now and i think there have only been a handful of posts that didn’t interest me. I like it when you promote stuff, if something new is going in on I like to know about it and if I already know about it, say from the mailer, I just don’t read that particular blog. I was 15 when I first started listing to your music (around the time of Yes, Virginia…) and you have undoubtedly affected my life in positive ways. Reading your blog helped me gain the confidence to be who I am, feminism and the cure are just 2 of the things I discovered via you. I applied to study creative arts at uni in a crazy moment of inspiration after reading a post on here, (best thing I’ve ever done, 2 years in and I’ve never been happier) but most importantly when I was 15 and in a really bad place reading your blog made me feel that bit less alone.

    I think blogging and twittering and so forth is amazing. it’s like throwing a pebble in to a pond, it’s just a small action but make big ripples. one tweet can effect alot of people and if you are using that to send art and love into the world you could quite easily be changing someone’s life in a positive way with out even meaning to, or just brightening there day just a little bit. I don’t think that can ever be a bad thing.
    I think we are so lucky with social media, sooner or later there’ll be as many rules and social conventions as there is in the real world. but they aren’t here yet so we get to do things that you wont be able to for that much longer.

    Also, re the creation for yourself v creation for the audience thing I personally find the two very difficult to separate. if you left me alone on a dessert island I would still create because it’s something I need to do, but
    having fulfilled the urge to create It would be replaced by am urge to share my creation with the world. I think as artists we are driven my a desire to express something that we don’t quite understand, we are making sense of our feelings, but we are making sense of them so we can communicate them to others.

    anyway, sorry for the long rambley comment, hopefully it make some kind of sense. :)

  • cateflamingo

    you could just go back and sing some of your tweets. (or, we could.)

    i sometimes get out my ukulele and sing other people’s message board posts at a board i am on, when the mood strikes, and upload videos of this. i call it (perhaps ungrammatically) boardaeoke. why not tweetaeoke?

    • http://twitter.com/becaolivetree Beca Oliveira

      I propose this become a Thing. Sing an AFP tweet, and share!

      I’d do it, and man, I SUCK at singing, bu I’d post that shit in heartbeat.

  • http://pigsandbishops.wordpress.com/ Pigs & Bishops

    There’s power in talking about those things considered TMI – which are usually ‘abject’ things that affect women, including menstruation, yeast infections, UTIs, miscarriages/abortions. The really important stuff that society makes us hold inside and be ashamed of, when really it’s just everyday life.

    There was an embarrassed silence at dinner the other night when a friend mentioned her menstrual cup, then I mentioned mine was the best thing I’d ever bought, and slowly the embarrassment turned to somewhat-awkward interest. And this was a group of women! It disturbs me that this continues while the commentariat declares feminism to be outdated and irrelevant.

    Speak up, and don’t stop speaking up. Privacy should always be respected, but shame and embarrassment are not.

  • chris kyriakos

    I know exactly how you feel! I feel like I used to be so creative, I used to have all these ideas and all this talent…. Though I’m young (17 here) I feel like all of the sudden my creativity has just been stolen or something. And lately I have thought that the internet and how plugged in I am has a lot to do with that. What’s more fun: writing a silly facebook status and getting tons of comments or sitting down at the piano to write a song? The internet is just too convenient and sometimes I feel like it’s not fair to my generation…. I think I just need to find a new way to use the internet to my advantage artistically, maybe. Urgh. I feel like I haven’t had a creative thought in years. I used to be able to write. I used to be able to draw. I play piano but it feels all the same.

    I play a keyboard and I get sick of it. I’m so surrounded by technology, the one thing I want to be real is my music, you know?

    I think I just need to be stranded on an island.

    xox- Chris Con

  • Stav

    [I posted this as an LJ comment, then realize it’s probably better here, sorry for the duplicate…]

    You definitely touched on a lot of subject and it’s hard to give a short comment…
    First, you might not have a point with this, but you’ve definitely hit a few spots with me. I am, both a an artist and as a blogger, one of those people who don’t censor much. I might be giving people an over-dose of TMI, but you know what, as artists if we wanna create good stuff we have to be able to put real, raw emotions out there – with is already a bit too much for some people. It might be embarrassing to them, it might make them uncomfortable, it might make them think outside the box – and I believe that’s every artist “debt” to the people who follow them. Writing, blogging included, is similar in that sense -good writing will be revealing and will touch those who read it in some way.
    That being said, it’s your blog, and you owe nothing to no one but yourself. you wanna publish tour dates, you wanna promote you music – heck, do it, why give a flying fuck if some people tune out? They might tune back in, and you’ll always have others that won’t tune out, and hell – I think the amazing thing about the music/art you create is that it draws the type of people who can truly take it all in – your music, your rambling, your TMI, your promotions, anything at all. They trust you that much, and will follow you anywhere you’d like to take them. Your kind of art is unique, and so are the people who love it.

    Thank you for sharing you intimate thoughts. I very much enjoy them, and they make my grey cells work a little extra :)

    • PolitelyOffend

      STAV! (sorry, just wanted to acknowledge your existence. It’s Sam from cabaret btw)

  • Twitchchris

    I get separate forms of satisfaction from blogging, songwriting, and poetry/fiction. I’m compelled to do all of them, just for different reasons at different times.

  • J.L. Duncan

    Speaking as a wanna-be artist, it seems that there is a necessary degree of self-promotion that we have to incorporate into most aspects of our social life – getting the word out, as it were. So, no problems with “promoting stuff”, at least with me. Enjoy Pamplona, chase some bulls for me.
    -John L Duncan
    (shameless self-promotion: wildroseforge.etsy.com ;)).

  • Bill

    Hey wait, I write songs and then play them to the four walls and have done so for years. Not opposed to sharing them but proof that I am not lying to anyone is that I haven’t made any effort to share them. The motivation is in the creation. Whether people hear them is not so important.

  • Jack drezden

    And this ms. palmer is why i admire u so much.. and i find u so awesome, inspiring and amazing.. thank u for being u, thank u for questioning, provoking thought and reaction, and being unique, thank u for ur music, ur blogs, posts and tweets that continue to help me personally through the day.. Thank u for ur wit, charm, passion and energy… :) namaste my friend

  • http://twitter.com/Ludovicaa Lou

    I like you

  • Zombina

    Amanda, I just want to say that you simply are amazing. I have never seen anyone who can use the words “tampon” and “lubricant” in the same sentence. Hell, and you made it funny. Score one for you. Score one too for your British boyfriend who noticed you blushing…but you, you ultimately get the score. (: Kudos to you. Keep on writing. It makes me and I’m sure many others smile as well.

  • Tracie

    It is interesting that you posted this blog today because I just had a conversation with a friend about the “sponge” blog. We had a 3 hour car ride together. She likes rap music… so I felt this was a great opportunity to play some of your music. After I played some WKAP for her (which she enjoyed), she asked why I love you so much. I told her you were different. Not only your music, but YOU. Different from any other artist because you tell us things and make it more personable. You tell us things like ER sponge visit. Maybe that was a bit of an over share, but it was a good read. Over share or not, privacy or not, it doesn’t matter to me. I will read your twitter feed and blogs because they are interesting to me either way. AND for the record, I like the blogs that give info about tours, records, ect. These give me an opportunity to re-tweet and email to friends that may not know about you. Anyway… moral of the story is… I have loved you and always will. Rock n’ Roll!

  • http://twitter.com/polkadotfaerie Dezarey Estala Lowe

    And this is why i like Miz. Palmer: “and reading neil’s article probably infected me with a subconscious urge to write one that included menstrual sponges, tampons and lubricant.”

  • http://twitter.com/iamed2 Eric Davies

    I am of the mind that those who cry TMI are possessed of some fear or embarrasment of perfectly common/normal/reasonable human conditions and habits. And I think this is a bad thing. I think the more open and receptive we are as individuals, the better equipped we are to deal with and talk about these things as a society, which hopefully brings us tolerance, acceptance, and an open forum. Sort of a macrocosm of what you want your TMI to inspire. Never too much information (quality-wise).

    Also, as to those who write for themselves, who supposedly don’t exist……Salinger. That is all.

    • http://twitter.com/alwayscoffee Ali

      I would completely endorse the Salinger idea — if he hadn’t published a book. Catcher in the Rye is out in the public view. If he wasn’t writing to be read, at some point, the manuscript for that novel would probably be in a box somewhere. I’m not sure anyone really knows what happened to Salinger. Perhaps he just feared he couldn’t match the fame of CitR.

      Personally, I think there’s a balance between writing for oneself and writing for others. I don’t think art exists in a vacuum. It needs an audience to breathe. (Forgive my terrible analogy. It’s been a long day.) Otherwise, we’d all just keep paper diaries, or burn whatever we’ve scribbled down. There’s the argument that we’re our own audience. That’s probably valid. But I think without someone else there, we’re just shouting into the void. It’s always more reassuring to have someone say, “I loved this,” or “I got this,” or “I don’t agree with you at all” — because then, what you’ve said/written/performed has a life, an echo. It is something.

  • Kris

    I can honestly say that I don’t think they’re lying. From personal experience I can say this. I would say, rather, that not everything I write is merely for myself. But art is a selfish thing. And this is not something to be ashamed of. But you have to agree that there are certain things you compromise when you pander to the fickle and capricious wants and changing fashion-fetish-obssessions of the audience. I think if you never “made it” and you didn’t really like what you were doing you’d have to find something else to do. And how would this be doing music a service? The goal there was simply to “make it”. Or – you could remain satisfied that music moves through you and that you continue to be able to experience it manifest. Now – I believe that music so wants to exist that it creates people to make it and people to listen to it. Part of the musical experience is having people listen to what you do and having that experience with an audience. That still doesn’t mean that you can’t be making the music for yourself. If you yourself have the work ethic and the honesty to give that audience all the energy you’ve got it still doesn’t mean that you’ve made the music for the audience. I believe that music is there to affect us on many different levels. I think that you, Amanda Palmer, me, and the audience are all human beings (as much as some might argue otherwise) and that what affects me is bound to affect other human beings simply because we share nearly identical nervous systems. At certain points in a really good show there are flashes where there IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND THE AUDIENCE. You can then communicate on a very deep level, not necessarily through words or sound, but a kind of holism. At this point making music for yourself is affecting everybody. So I don’t think that people who say that they make music for themselves are considering only playing music to four blank walls and an otherwise empty room. If something is “pure” (and it’s difficult to define what I mean by that because some areas of purity are actually a detriment) and well meant then it will gain an audience of appreciators. And to make music for yourself in this way I believe is a more authentic form of living a musical life, because the worlds inside you confront your unique perspective which the exterior world is filtered through and is infinite, while pandering to the passing trend of the group can end up treading over the same old ground over and over. THIS IS NOT SOME KIND OF IMMUTABLE THING. Obviously negative critique hurts and I think that whomever says it doesn’t and that people “just don’t care” – THEY are the ones lying. It can be a human need to want to be liked and to be dictated to by the roar of the crowd, I just don’t think it’s as honest as making a piece of music because YOU like it and standing by it instead of abandoning it to the demands or expectations of tradition.

  • tor

    twitter is the daily check in, the grab and go, instant gratification and feedback. it is a time and energy drain, like any pursuit. although mentally stimulating, it is rarely deep.

    blogs are free range. a conversation, either personal or casual depending on mood and mode, allowing creativity and expression in various media.

    but the song… with any luck the song is pillow talk, the place you spill your emotions and creative juices. here you can touch a person without ever having seen them.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      is it me being infantile that wants to think that some twitter feeds are deeper than some songs….?

      let’s compare, for instance, saul williams twitter-feed to taylor swifts songs. which will win in the emotional fight? and for whom?

      • Faunalia

        songs probably win – even Taylor swift songs. they do tend to last a little longer, but I think more importantly music does say things that can’t otherwise be communicated with words alone.

        • http://www.myspace.com/delinquentfigment Figment

          to be honest, I listened to my very first Taylor Swift song on Youtube to reply to this, then I listened to a few more to have a slight grasp on this situation. I can see where the appeal comes from, though I don’t personally like country twang. That aside, she appears to be a colour copy of another country artist I heard years ago, and She was a copy of another. The reason Amanda Palmer’s music strikes so deeply is her innate ability to express raw emotion in a way that other artists would normally paint into a Big-Blue-Circle. I personally don’t like the Big-Blue-Circle art. It’s cheap & empty to me. That being said, please check out Saul Williams & his twitter. ;]

      • tor

        lol. yup, i would have to agree. but i suppose i was thinking of music that i would want to listen to, and not … well, that other stuff.

        i have seen cheap twitter feeds. i have seen worthless blogs. what we have here is a quality issue. how to make what we do create something of interest, easy for our audience to identify with, to touch, to consume, yet not so banal that there is no reaction or empathy. if we can do it in less than 140 characters, it becomes art.

      • http://www.myspace.com/delinquentfigment Figment

        score for Saul beheading Taylor in the first round with Flawless Victory. Win for the Masses.

        seems like a repeated question. What makes art art, and what makes art worth while?

  • Wojo4hitz

    For what it’s worth, I got into your music BECAUSE of your Twitter feed. A friend actually created my twitter feed for me (long story), and added you as one of the people I was following. I didn’t know much about you (other than a lot of my friends liked you), but your tweets were so funny and creative and insightful that I started to think, “You know what? Her twitter posts are so intriguing that I bet this chick writes some pretty awesome songs. I should check them out.” And so I did. And so they were. And so I am still here. :)

    Perhaps, though one thing may detract from another, it may also add to it in ways you never anticipated.

    Jaime :)

  • http://wolven.livejournal.com Wolven

    134 comments at time of posting. This will be lost in the tumult. Nonetheless we press on.

    I’m thinking about blogging, this week (http://wolven.livejournal.com/1802995.html). I’m thinking about what it means to me, and what I can do with it, and so on.

    I’m thinking about communication and sharing, and, before I read this, I was about to make a post on my LJ about what it means to have awkward moments, about how they can be points of growth and change and personal development.

    I was going to talk about weirdness, and TMI, and how I relish the situations that so many others find so very awkward.

    So. Thank you?

  • Berthablue

    Thank you for sharing everything with everyone! I came home and tweeted today about possibly having a UTI, and got LOTS of great medical advice and support and felt totally at home… and THEN I read this blog entry :) You’ve totally carved out a place for the used-to-be-private parts of my life, and I LOVE IT!

    Also, I just almost died laughing reading the sponge blog.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      every time i see “sponge blog”, i imagine my own cartoon called “sponge blog square pants”. you don’t want to see what i’m seeing in my head, and for once, i’ll spare you the details.

  • turtle

    Why does the song have to be different from the tweet/blog? Can’t you tweet/blog something, go “hey that’s a song” and then use it as such? Twitter is so ephemeral, couldn’t it be a source of, rather than a drain on, lyrics?

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      yes.

  • http://www.csdaley.com csdaley

    The blog is what the blog is. I read it because it is you. Whatever you choose to share is fine by me. I blog everyday and am often told I have no focus. As if focus will somehow bring me more readers. If something in politics makes me angry I write about it. If my kittens are sick I write about it.

    It is what I like about your blog. You never know what you are going to get nor do I want to. Predictable bores me.

  • http://twitter.com/ummm_Stacy Stacy

    I had a similar experience at Walgreens, only I was by myself and I was buying Rubber Gloves and Vaseline. strangest look I have ever gotten from a store clerk.

  • Widgett

    Two things spring to mind. One, I’m reminded of when I recorded my video about spending thirteen years with a diagnosis of Hep C hanging over my head that turned out to be wrong. I found working in technical support for two decades that there are very seldom New Problems. I think I honestly encountered two brand New Problems over my career there. Everything else someone else somewhere had experienced before–and in a lot of cases, had a solution.

    Now with the Internet, we can all see that it’s not just technical problems that are not new. There’s very little that’s New. We are all sharing a common set of experiences and can draw strength from the fact that we’re not alone in whatever it is that we’re dealing with. If one person can deal with X–whatever X is, whether it’s ER trip by way of sponge or suddenly finding out one’s liver is actually pretty spiffy–then a second person can deal with X. And so forth.

    The thing this Not-Newness is teaching me is that I am in the same boat as The Artists and Creative Types Who Are Way More Successful Than I Am At Present. All the ones I speak from and hear from are trying to figure it out just like I am. With varying results. Just like me. So this blog and others like it: are tremendously empowering. So evolve whichever damn direction you please. It is helping someone, somewhere.

    As an aside, shortly after I posted my video…one person my wife worked with said she had had the same misdiagnosis. Same thing with another Constant Reader of the site.

    No New Problems. However, with some collective skull sweat, we can achieve New Solutions.

  • mmmaijina

    till this morning your statement about mainlining “pure cranberry extract had someone come along with the works and a tourniquet makes” me smile.
    fuck, u inspire me. and i`m still smiling. eh.

  • LBudrich

    You have helped me to become brave and fearless. Please keep doing what you’re doing.

  • pottimist

    The way you’re doing this makes you more human than some distant celebrity, so there is love & hate in this relationship sometimes like in any, which adds a bit of magic. You’re almost like a friend and sometimes friends argue and it doesn’t mean the friendship ends & it doesn’t mean we agree on everything. It is nice to know you’re just human like us & you make good music nonetheless.

    I wonder where these ‘social networking experts’ are coming from – some distant galaxy where they’ve had this stuff for ages?

  • http://twitter.com/filmutopia filmutopia

    I am a digital media hobo. I struggle to make movies and I blog. Some weeks it feels like my blog is my real work as an artist and my work as a screenwriter and media hobo, is just fodder for the blog. That somewhere along the way, my life got turned inside out and my existence as an online entity became more real than me. Like the movie Tron, but without the groovy costumes.

    Some weeks I struggle against that, some weeks I don’t. What I do know is that my relationship with my audience as a blogger is very real. Ever since the integration of twitter to the blogosphere, I have found I can have knowledge of and relationships with the people who read what I write. And, because they tend to be writers, movie makers and media hobos as well, we have become a little community. I get an incredible satisfaction from knowing that I am what they read as they eat breakfast on a Sunday. (I publish a new blog piece every Sunday morning, without fail).

    Like you, I sometimes wonder whether the blog is stealing time and energy that could be going into the “real” work. Like you I sometimes worry that I am going to turn into one of those dreadful people who blog as part of a cynical marketing strategy. That somewhere along the way, I will stop being authentic for the sake of building an audience. Of course, then I remember that the sort of people who cynically use their online existence only to whore themselves out, don’t every worry their weaselly little minds about being authentic and I relax.

    Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog and about blogging. I’m not sure my blog is a diary anymore. It sort of transformed into the place where I think out loud, about what it means to be a media hobo in the middle of this mind blowing digital revolution. Then I think about how easy it is to add audio to my blog and how easy it is to add photographs and how easy it is to add video and I realise that I have only just started to scratch the surface of what a blog can be used for.

    I suspect that at some point in the next couple of years, I’ll realise that rather than being a distraction from my work as an artist, that all the time my blog was my primary work as an artist. What will I be then, other than poor, I wonder?

    Exciting times and thanks for sharing. You made me think and I like to do that.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      i often feel the same way…it was a revelation to realize that blogging could be its own art form.

      the MAIN problem is that the word “blog” just sounds fucking stupid.

      • http://twitter.com/filmutopia filmutopia

        Oh, I hate the word “blog.” Who came up with that as a way of describing online publishing? Blogging always sounds like it is something that should be done in rubber Wellington boots, in a particularly water-logged field, whilst surrounded by cows.

        I often wonder what someone like Proust or Hemmingway would have done with today’s technology. I would have loved to have read Van Gogh’s blog, if he’d written one. I wonder how different his life would have been, if he’d found just a few people who liked his paintings, rather than spending his whole life not knowing what incredible work he was creating.

      • TheEpigrammicPoultry

        When I realised this, it among the most exciting discoveries after brown bread ice-cream.

        I have the exact same problem with the word, especially since mine isn’t a “web log”, so much as “feed of random shit I like to think of as art”. I’d call it “my site” but then I’d feel kind of narcissistic.

  • Moxymegan

    It takes alot to make me uncomfortable and even when I do get shocked, I like it. I love your blog, because you aren’t afraid to talk about life. Life is messy and not always rainbows and butterflies wrapped up in a pretty pink bow. I like real people and you are real.

  • Nicole

    You, Ms. Palmer, are simply wonderful. And know what? If you look at photos of Neil before and after you two met, you can tell whether it’s a “before pic” or an “after pic”. He looks more alive, much happier and younger since he met you. More full of life. So. Just be who you are.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y7OUGCUO2IZQYSGVN3AVIPM6TQ Syn

    your blog is the only one i take the time to read … because it is real and not fluffed up … like loosing your blackberry in the toilet and having a bath with cat hair … you don’t try to make out that you are something you are not you are real and you let it shine… i like that …you really do glow starshine!

  • Fevered Steve

    Being British, I struggle with any information, never mind too much. And promotion. It’s all so unnatural to me.

    A couple of years ago I started producing a little online comic as a kind of antidote to some of the idiocy I had to deal with at work. (http://policy-police.blogspot.com) A small band of colleagues actually liked it, so I carried on. I certainly couldn’t have done it without them. I’d have stopped at episode 2. Or earlier.

    So. Nearly 2 years and 25 episodes later I’m still doing it, it’s got a home outside the organisation and occasionally other people check it out. It’s still small, but that’s ok. Every month one or two of my suporters email me to say thanks. That sustains me.

    I blog about it. I set myself the artificial target of at least 3 posts per month (that’s one comic plus two others). I do that because I’m British and my natural instinct is to go and make tea instead. Doing this now is also really, really hard. Here I am giving out a small bit of information and it’s kind of promotion too. But its pushing against the boundaries of my British uptightness so I’m forcing myself to do it.

    So, thanks, Amanda. You show me what it could be like. And you know, it’s good. It’ll take me some time, but you’re a star to guide me.

  • http://goreylibrarian.blogspot.com Jill Erickson

    Wow! As you say, you were an artist before there was an audience, and you will be an artist if there is no audience. Making your daily life available to an audience is part of this strange new world we live in. I personally love when you tweet about doing laundry, and yet I find this more shocking than anything else. Amanda Palmer shouldn’t have to do laundry(!!!) I say to myself, she is an incredible artist! Isn’t it time she was given a McArthur Foundation Grant? The fortitude with which you keep up the blog at all, given everything else you do, is amazing. Keep up the good fight, and say hello to the geraniums for me at Pamplona

  • http://twitter.com/amanda_flintoff Amanda Tyler

    UTIs are expected when our Urethra is so close to our Vagina and Anus. Can’t be avoided. Just becuase men think they’re so good becuase they can have sex without things slipping into their other holes…!

    Modesty is overrated. If everyone was more open about how we felt (emotionally and physically) about things, then the world would probably be a much happier place.

    I haven’t shaved my legs for AGES – and am not a hippy or related stereotype – and still get laid too. I am 5’11″…my legs are long…it takes ages to shave them…I am pregnant…I can’t reach them.

    Write whatever you like, Amanda. As below has said – your space! Also good to know I am not the only one with a menstral sponge horror story.

  • wanna-be-musician

    I like your honesty. I like the fact, that you’re a human and an artist, not an artist and a human – if I understood properly. And I like the courage to be who you want to be… I think it’s the essence of Amanda Fucking Palmer for me. Yay, it always makes me more energized and inspirated. :)

  • Raliel

    personally, I find that I do art because i find it impossible not to…..it is an integral part of who i am (weather it is good or bad art is another question) but I do not do art for myself….rather I do it for pretty much anyone willing to respond to it…it is a way of communicating, reaching out and connecting with humanity in a way i find almost impossible in any other way…I have recently found myself in a rather drastic situation of being unemployed and utterly destitute and i have spoken to approximately 5 human beings face to face in 3 months…I have attempted to sell art, but i am terrible at it….it is not what I do it for. my entire social life now revolves around the odd post here and a trickle of twitter conversations….
    not sure where this is going, but thank you Amanda for being an inspiration and a focus of likeminded individuals…. without this I would probably have been tempted to do something really stupid….thoughts that i have not had for years

    • Faunalia

      I hope you don’t give up – and keep trying. it is a difficult age that expects every artist to be a business person – but skills CAN be learned. oh, and fight the isolation every way you can – much of what AFP reminds me of is the need to be open, to connect. any way you can.

  • http://matthewebel.com/ Matthew Ebel

    Your interaction with your fans is what’s saving the music industry.

    Let me back up a step, that statement seemed a bit vaunted without explanation.

    I believe, as you’ve noticed, that the music industry (actually the little round disc industry) is dying because they’ve made music into a commodity. It’s a background to a commercial or a thing to be downloaded or Exhibit B in a case against a laser printer at MIT.

    In short, the big players have separated the music from the human beings that make it. This used to be to their advantage; if you’re a fan of the music (instead of the artist) and they own the recording, then you’ll still be their customer even if the artist leaves the label. Unfortunately, it has decreased the perceived value of music to the point where EMI is leaking money faster than BofA.

    Artists like you and I, however, have shaped our entire business models around the humanity of the art. By reconnecting the fans with the person making the art, you raise its perceived value. You make people cherish the artist as much as the single or video. In order to do that, though, you have to be human. You have to be personal, but not TMI. You have to show that you’re outside your own comfort zone because you trust your fans not to take advantage of that.

    Your interaction with your fans is what’s saving the music industry.

    Pax,
    Matthew

  • Xjaeva

    I work a shortish skirt with hairy legs. Only because I forgot to shave but I wasn’t horrified. I didn’t care. AND my professor complimented me. score for me. (although he’s gay and I suspect he wanted to say I looked FAB UUU LOUS..HA)
    I tend to twitter my thoughts instead of crafting poetry or word crafting into stories. But I like twitter because it allows for the conveyance of small or big things in the same chunk of space. And that’s cool.

  • Muertecaramelo

    About oversharing and being in the bussiness. I’m on the publishing industry and as you might , Amanda, have heard (well, you have Neil) we are in the middle of a revolution about where the hell a book is going, If ever, to end.
    Now nobody cares about the quality of the art itself, it’s about money. Money because we need to sell and right now. Money that can (and must) get a product as many viral exposure as possible. Money in blogs, in twitter, in oversharing to make a buzz about a book… Oversharing to make a book die or survive.
    Here, as a creator, you must and encouraged to overshare, you are expected to be great with media, you must be a celebrity so my mkt team might lend you 5 minutes of their time.

    I got very strange looks when, at lunch last week, I said that there was a great book oportunity in the Chilean trapped miners issue. I said something like “let’s prepare a book called “The diet of the 33, 33 ways to get slim and fit into a capsule””.
    Im feel uneasy, I think somebody is really considering the idea…

    I thank you (and jeebus) a lot for this blog posts and your views about that sane medium point where we can be creative humans, be sucessful and still, have respect of your peers because your work is great and are backed up for true emotions and feelings. Not buzz, not web 2010. Just a person, not a character.

    Has anyone proposed you to write a book (about anything) yet?

  • Christopher

    I used to censor myself a lot. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and my views were (and I suppose, still are) rather radical for the area. It wasn’t until I found the burner community in PA/Baltimore that I felt like I could truly be myself and say what’s on my mind without first having to filter it into socially acceptable forms. Then I went for years in a kind of duel-life, where I simply hid myself from most people, then went to burner events and let loose. Within the last couple years I have finally begun overcoming my stage fright and performance anxiety and realized how much I genuinely enjoy performing for people.

    For shy people, like myself, I think it’s important to find that group or community that can inspire that level of comfort. I probably would never have opened up if I hadn’t found the burners. I’d still be lonely and self-isolated, writing terrible and bizarre poems and bad fantasy.

    Your story and way of life is very inspirational to me. I don’t follow as closely as others, but it still sits in the background, giving me gentle pushes to do what I want to do, instead of just doing what I have to do.

  • http://transmit.typepad.com/leslie/ Leslie

    It’s not blogging. It’s writing. You are a writer. Your writing is far more like poetry and music than some people’s, but it’s still writing.

    Also – I find so many of these questions interesting to the world of “Mommy Blogging”. Motherhood is an area filled with oversharing and women who have made careers out of talking about their lives online. They struggle with sharing personal details of their lives (especially when they are attacked for parenting choices), using promtion/give-aways to get paid, authentic voices, talking about husbands/children/family, ETC. It’s neat to see you talk about things that are specific to your life, music, performance and see parallels to a completely different world, parenting.

    If you and Neil ever had kiddos, you would see this blog mutate (evolve?) again into over-sharing about poop, sick kids and how to discipline a mini-amanda who just wants to be herself and not live by anyone else’s rules.

  • Hig1278

    as long as you have an audience you must be doing something right

    also, other singers/performers seem to be scared of letting their fans know too much, making people feel connected = appeal, its the reason why peeps buy more than just your records.

  • tarable23

    When I turn on my puter in the mornings drinking my morning tea, it’s usually to check my email. When I see there is a new blog from AFP, I get this little flutter of excitement in me. Whether it’s promoting, tour dates, what Neil himself is up to, pictures, where you are in the world, vagina happenings…whatever it may be, I read, and instead of wondering what it would be like to be YOU, you just share yourself with us. I just plain love your blogs. Thank you for inviting me into your world.

  • http://twitter.com/chocl8girl Tricia Smith

    Hmmmm….I feel as though I am perpetually embarrassed. I always say dumb things, or do dumb things, and I allow that to make me feel as though there is something inherently wrong with me, rather than shrugging it off as just how I am.

    But I think that’s the lesson I am struggling to learn, and reading your words is helping me greatly to learn, because you are already there. You don’t get embarrassed because that’s just how you are. You aren’t afraid to be yourself.

    And really, bodily functions and their breakdown aren’t anything to be embarrassed about. You never know when a story about something that happened to you might help someone else out. The things I blog about should probably make me fall into a veritable fit of embarrassment, considering how I feel about most face to face interactions, but they become cathartic when written down on that blank, ephemeral square of white on my monitor. And getting communication about how what I have written has touched someone, or made them laugh, or just helped them look at something differently reminds me that that is part of why I do it. Perhaps it is the same for you.

    And, honestly, when I watch how you interact with Donovan, treating him as truly special, and appreciating him and remembering him, and how that makes him SO happy, I could never wish for you to be different in any way. I wish I had had someone growing up that was as worthy of admiration.

  • Ryan_Anas

    I’m so sorry to hear about your UTI. That must be the worst during a show. I hope the cranberry cleaners do the trick <3 What an incredible blog. Wow! There's so much in here.

    My entire life I had been paralyzed by embarrassment. Evey time I walked into a room I felt that there was something about me that was worthy of ridicule. It was a real problem. Many times I would not go out just because I felt like a fool. I'm sure those feelings came from school times and the joys of being a young person in public shools. Old scars that never really quite closed up. That, on top of the shame that is attached to sex and my body by various other cultural influences. It can be tough to grow up in this world and not get a little gun shy.

    One of the things I love about your songs is their honesty, and the way they own the imperfections and embarrassing happenings all in telling a tale that speaks to a genuine truth. By telling and at times celebrating the flaws and human traits that make a person a three dimensional character, a more refined truth is to be found. They made me feel no longer like I was just sitting white knuckled on the roller coaster with my head between my legs. I was thinking about how good it would be to let go.

    When I found your blog online, it helped me to let go even more. Here was this amazingly talented, intelligent, beautiful woman who genuinely wanted to make a real connection with her fans and share her view through the lens. Your honesty emboldened me, and soon, not only did I find myself not afraid of what people thought of me, but actually doing quirky things to shake others out of their embarrassment.

    I think in a lot of ways we are all waiting for someone to break the ice and allow us permission to open up who we are to each other without shame. Being able to do this should be a lot easier. Thank you for making it easier for me.

    One of the first blog entries I ever read of yours was talking about how you loved art that was spontaneous and real, in the moment. I think you compared it to a game of desk chair hockey at the time. I know how icky it must feel to see the past six plus years of your devotion to maintaining an online relationship summed up in a bullet-point in a how to book, but what you do is so much more than that. It's a fucking hockey game on office chairs and you invite all of us to play. I hope you always keep your blog fun for you, and I'm sure that the rest will follow. If you happen to be in a five run a week show and rehearsing for an coming tour and planning an Australian tour, and a few album releases, and you only have the time to post a bog with amazing pictures and breaking news on tour dates and extras, I have to say, what is there to complain about. Really though, you give so much, thakyouthankyouthankyou.

    It's an interesting question, whether catching ideas in a net and tweeting them is like damming off some sort of creative flow. Maybe. I think that time unconnected and still is definitely needed to compost and grow ideas. But so is living and experiencing and feeling. I think it all comes down to balance in the end. I'm interested to see what other people thing about this as well. Thank you again for opening up such an interesting conversation. You are always so inspiring
    Love,
    Ry

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      i love you

      • Ryan_Anas

        i love you too

    • http://twitter.com/stallionbreaker Anna J

      You know, Amanda may have cracked me open, but people like you, Ryan, inspire me to keep moving into this land of being who I am without embarrassment. People who live with authenticity fascinate me, and I want to be one of them/you.

  • Brian/Mr.Fox

    The fact that you’re even thoughtfully considering this entire process should be applauded. As new forms of communication rise and fall, you always seem to be mindfully engaged with way they can be used to bring people together. And like anyone thirsty for understanding, you bravely follow the bread crumbs of your intuition. You allow yourself to be the research scientist and the guinea pig. And whatever results come of it, it’s your honesty that inspires.

  • http://twitter.com/dave__mac Dave Mac ^.^

    Or you could just say, you are in Your Time, as in your style, verve, energy, and the expression there of, fits the tools of this time. You are someone who is not out-of-place, now fits you, WELL.
    Enjoy, it shows, pleasantly!
    ^.^

  • Maggie

    I often wonder if some people do not consider people who over-share their emotions or situations to be people who don’t care as much as other people who keep it private.

    Does over-sharing make you care less?

    I over-share and I still care. I may be a little more desensitized to the situation at hand than others but I don’t actually CARE any less.

    Over sharing is a bit like nude art, me thinks

  • http://mataduvor.blogg.se Angelica

    I love your blog, think it’s realy fun to read!
    (lol at the tampongs and neil haha)

  • Kris_is_rad

    WOW. This touched on exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. As a writer, the hardest and loneliest of art forms, I often feel stifled by the amount of social networking I feel obligated to implement my efforts into daily. It gets in the way of actually CREATING my stories, my work! I moved across the country from NYC to San Francisco to get a break to focus, and everyone here wants to connect so deeply that I find myself fiercely pulling away at times just to get a breath, a moment to create. In NY you can walk around for days, weeks, and even months, conquering your space without explanation; no one cares is the crux. In NY you have to push your way into the all of the communities of artists, whereas here in SF, people are beckoning you to connect.
    Its a nice change, but it instills this sense of superficiality. Where is the individual. Where is the inspired art?
    I write because I want to be read. You’re absolutely right in saying that we lie to ourselves if we say otherwise.
    Its finding the balance where the drive to create something that speaks from the deepest part of connectivity, and not just creating to be a part of this blogging, reality show obsessed world, that is the tricky part.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING! Your words inspire, and I couldn’t feel more relieved to be a part of this discussion.

  • marthamay

    What I find interesting is the progression of communication. Before, you either could write a letter, speak in person, or keep some kind of journal. Now, we have so many options. I find blogging and twitter to be useful filters. With so many ways to communicate, you’re constantly receiving information and processing new ideas.

    Blogging is one way to work through these new ideas. “Rambling” is often a great way to determine if the idea is solid enough to be developed further or if it really was only good for that one ramble.

    Twitter is a wonderful way to throw out comments and receive quick, blunt feedback. You can start a discussion with the world, but there can be no rambling. By summarizing the idea into 140 characters or less, you are forced to focus on the key aspects of said idea. And the responses from others can help you further the idea, or scrap it.

    I find sometimes, I just need to talk. Just to say everything that comes in to my mind, rational or not, and have people give me input. Blogging and twitter aid in both. What I’ve always found interesting about just throwing your mental process out there is what people pick up on. Often times people will grab on to something you thought of as just background and make it a key player.

    I don’t think your method, or style, of communication needs to be analyzed any further than it already has. Being PC isn’t particularly fun. Being able to comfortably speak your mind with little concern for what is “appropriate” is something, I think, people need to be able to do. Otherwise, we bottle things up. We worry that we’re bad people for thinking things that are too naughty to say aloud. We feel like we’re the only ones thinking these things, as we must be, if no one says them. Amanda, you say all of these things, and more. I am positive you are helping people overcome unnecessary social standards and feel content in themselves. And what is more important than feeling, at the very least, content?

    Best wishes,
    Martha

  • Kris_is_rad

    Also, share what you like. I know that I am not here just to see you write honest, raw things about your life. I read and attend your shows, buy your music, because you inspire me to be a better person above all. A better artist, because I know to create from the deeper, honest part of us is the best and only way. But there are no rules here. Share as you like.

    Balance. Every day, finding it anew is the biggest challenge in life I think. Its such a comfort to know we’re all in it together. Searching.

    Thanks again.

  • Zesty.Lo0n

    You’ve been my idol for the past six years, my dear. You’re the reason I bought my first black nontraining bra and tried my damndest to play my keyboard in my skivvies. It’s also quite sick how I can relate to the Jeep song… as I used to have a white volvo and someone who thinks absolutely ill of me is putzing round town in a black jeep cherokee.. and my heart explodes each time I see one in fears that it’s her. and she’s going to GET me. <3

  • Lisa

    The oversharing is one of the things that opened my eyes for you not only as an musician but as an artist. It made you feel real, and like you really change things for people around you. The thing that gave people courage because you always feels like an ordenary person. A real, fucking brilliant, ordenary person.
    If we don´t share how are we to connect? And someone must begin to talk about the things that are tabu, else they will stay tabu and problems will be unsolved.

  • http://twitter.com/aquatius Löwe

    Oh yes, we Brits are constantly embarrassed. It’s a sickness.

  • charleston

    On the “I write for myself and if anyone else likes it, it’s a bonus” – well, I don’t think it’s as straightforward as a lie, but maybe a generalisation. I mean, I’m a show-off, & when I’m onstage, I need to be seen. It’s a great gig if there’s maybe 200 people all loving it. If there’s only 5, that’s not so great. BUT, sometimes, in a rehearsal room, with no one there at all, something happens with the music that is the greatest thing ever. And it doesn’t matter that no one else saw/heard. Admittedly that’s rare, though.

    But with writing, the need to share is, if not irrelevant, certainly a lot less important. When I write, I very often never play anyone the song. Never finish more than a rubbish 4-track sketch of it (with dodgy singing, fudged notes etc). I am totally absorbed by it while I’m doing it, & get obsessed, stuck in the song, won’t listen to anything else for about 24 hours. But then I’m already over it and on to the next thing before I finish it, usually. It’s definitely the process of creating it that’s the thing, for me, rather than creating something to share with others.

    Anyway, there, that’s me.

    I like what you said about there being no point to the blog. Blogs bore me when they follow a format. It’s gotta be free & rambling. Yeah.

  • http://www.foodporn.com Chantrelle

    I get embarrassed…I try not to…I can say I don’t care but I do. I’m not a performer. I’m not British. I also feel like I to have too many thoughts running through my brain sometimes when I’m talking to someone to formulate a coherent sentence….which leads to getting embarrassed. I replay scenes in my head…Like when I saw you and Neil at Google last year. I am usually a bit starstruck for about 5 minutes, then I relax. We only had about 5 minutes! So I left feeling embarrassed that I couldn’t have a normal conversation.

    When I listen to your music though, I tend not to give a crap about what others think. It is an empowering feeling. When I read your blog/tweets, I think “Wow, I’d never tell/show the whole world that but kudos Amanda!”

    I live a little vicariously through you but in doing so, live a little more “real-ly” as well.

  • http://gabrielgrub.blogspot.com/ June_Miller

    I’m glad that you share as much as you do. I’m glad you’re as open as you are. I’m glad you promote yourself how you do. I’m thankful for all of it, possibly for selfish reasons. Whenever I feel embarrassed, whenever I wonder if I’m being too damn weird, whenever shame somehow rears its ugly head, I think of you. And I think ‘But Amanda Palmer would do this. Amanda Fucking Palmer would approve of this. That’s something she’d do, and it works for her. So why not you (me)?’I’m not Amanda Fucking Palmer, and I don’t know her as personally as I’d like to, but I can guarantee you DO only reach out to a very specific part of the population. Not everyone feels this way–these ways. Not everyone doesn’t mind speaking so frankly and has interests in things that are otherwise off-colored. Whatever you’re doing, it works. You’ve met like-minded people through promoting yourself however you could and making it out relatively unscathed. I don’t know if I’m going to start stripping anytime soon to make ends meet, but I still feel you have brass balls for doing so either way.I divide my e-life into subsections. I guess it’s because I’m part machine. Facebook works as my main promotional thing. It’s where I post what events I’ll be attending as a DJ or otherwise, as well as find out about other events that not only put me out there but also opens me up to more, creatively. Admittedly, it’s also an emotional mouthpiece. I mix in promotional things with what I’m not saying to my crush, like all other peers my age. So, I guess Facebook is a way of promoting me as a person. Some could call that shallow, nowadays. Some also don’t realize how frustrating it is to try and speak with me in person. I’m pretty quiet, I get shy. This somehow makes it easier. ‘Oh, you like Daria and Laura from Dr. Katz. No wonder you’re so bitchy. You’re also a cartoon.’If you’re clever enough, you can find my blog for lyrics and poetry which are sadly not being worked or extended upon right now. There isn’t much to comment on there; I know they should be worked on, but it’s not happening right now. I need someone else to help me fill in that gap, creatively. I have images, but no one to help bring them out with me. No one to share with, quite yet.But if you’re ESPECIALLY clever you can find my Deadjournal through that site (and this’n). And that’s where I vent. I’ve made a policy to make that journal totally unabashedly open. I’ve had it for about 9 years now, and I’m doing it as my own version of archiving. It’s sort of in the same vein as ‘Well, when I’m rich and famous people can look back at this and laugh,’ except with updated technology instead of photo albums. Very few people read that, and with good reason: the only ones who do now are people who have known me for years, and know what’s been up. If you don’t know me, you even have the option of reading about what shit I was going through in high school. Have fun, I’m sure you won’t find much! Well, other than a very morose young girl who was in dire need of a hug and a kiss from a pretty girl. The openness of that particular journal (I refuse to call it a blog!) has been threatened on a number of occasions. A number of times, it was past nemeses being clever enough to find it (unfortunately) and, while not commenting on it directly, would speak of certain things written in it to me in public, trying to make my privacy feel threatened. Whenever they would do that, I would call them out on it to their face and they would back off. When I worked for that insane warehouse, I couldn’t write about the homophobia or sexual harassment in there for fear of one of my higher-ups stumbling on it and trying to pull some shit. I also realized there was probably some privacy violation on my account if, in fact, they were really spying on me, and made mention of it but decided to not ream on them until I stopped working there officially.When you look at it, though, there isn’t anything too dramatic in there. Sometimes I have cool outings. Often, I ramble. I have it up, though, just as you have this up. If you had a blog when you were in your early 20s, would you want us to be reading it to see how our lives compare? Y’know, I admire people like you and Nick Cave and Morrissey, but I always tried to do research on you all before you became those names. THEM. What did Nick Cave do for monetary things when he was still a lad in Australia? How’d he get from there to England/Germany? I read about Morrissey, and…what, he worked for the English mail service and then was on unemployment and lived with his mum until he and Marr met and…magic! You worked in an ice cream store for a bit. Basically, I guess if these famous people had blogs before they really made their names, they’d be just as boring as mine or anyone else’s right now. It all just comes down to your connections and your promoting, which brings us back around to Facebook/Twitter/MADNESS!!…I recently had a terrible DJ gig. Only my second official one, and it was filled with every technological failure a DJ never wants to experience, let alone during a set. Bad romantical things, as well as money things (!!!) also fucked up my groove for the evening. I never felt embarrassment like it before. People could see me, but they couldn’t see me. The music would’ve been fine, it was just TECHNOLOGY FAILING. I couldn’t listen to music the next day and it freaked me the right fuck out. Not a day in my life has gone by when I wasn’t compelled to listen to music somehow. Everything in my life, every impact, good and bad, has had music in it somewhere. Something bad happens, something good happens, I put something on to suit my mood. PLAYING it, for fuck’s sake. That day, however, music was numb to me. Even commercial jingles, they didn’t register as annoying or silly; no toe-tapping. It was when this truly dawned on me that I had a panic attack.I’ve calmed down. I can listen to music again, thank god. In that moment, it felt like there was nothing. Everything was empty and alone, and it was scary. I’m working on my anxiety. I’m doing breathing techniques to calm me down better. But I’m never going to let it get to that point again. If anything, that drives me to want to do better and to prove myself more as a performer, a DJ, whatever. Sometimes, we have to be beaten down by our muses in order to understand them fully.

    • Veronica

      I love that conclusion :) I can definitely relate to that.

      • http://gabrielgrub.blogspot.com/ June_Miller

        I’m glad to know you understand. :)

  • http://twitter.com/shadogryphon Stephen Yturralde

    I think your blog should mutate as you decide to allow it. As for the dillution? disintegrating? delaying? properties of twitter and/or blogging, I can readily agree that it can make creation a bit harder. The original idea can be easily captured without allowing time for a proper gestation? and then lead to the creation of lesser? less organized? concept execution. Thats what re-do’s are for. To date, this blog and your twitter, have only ever entertained and inspired me. They’ve also helped me connect to other people that feel similarly about your? Art. All in all, a valuable resource for resetting my brain during, or after, a long work day. Thank You!

  • Linda

    Dear Amanda,

    In short: I love your blogs. I love your music. I love that I’m going to see you on your last night at cabaret. Please don’t stop!
    Love,
    Linda

  • Facepalm

    so what if it goes to a blog or twitter you have more talent in your fingernail clippings than most people. Do what makes you feel good and happy and fuck worrying about it. You are just becoming more of an artistic force. Maybe this time in your life is for writing, the music will surely follow! Or not. Embrace the changes. Someone like you has enough creativity and smarts to branch out into different mediums.

  • http://turil.wordpress.com/ Turil

    In one sense, you are definitely creating your art “for yourself”… to be UNDERSTOOD! Art, even the “lesser” forms such as blogs, is a way of expressing your ideas, feelings, and memories that are too big for your own body, too important to keep inside, and need to get out. So yes, in a sense you’re creating this art and telling these stories for you, in the same way that you exhale, sweat, and pee for you to relieve yourself of things you simply have more than enough of. And also, you are indeed creating this art for us, because when we share stories with others, we grow into slightly larger beings, with not just our own experiences inside us, but the experiences of others. And that’s how we become more, as human beings. Your stories, especially the possibly embarrassing ones, and the ones that don’t often get shared, help us become more than what we were. And that’s absolutely as it should be! Everything you do is both for you and for us…

  • http://twitter.com/midnight_faerie Bethy

    I just have to toss my story in amongst all the other lovely responses.

    I used to be this shy, very introverted girl. Growing up broke and fat will do that to you.
    I was timid, very reserved, blushed over the mere mention of anything personal, and my girlfriends at the time used to talk about things that I had no knowledge of. Like sex.
    I’d turn bright red and giggle like..well, for lack of a better term,a schoolgirl.

    And then my mother died.
    I was 19 and scared. I didn’t know what the hell to do.

    And my entire perspective changed after that. I decided to stop being so reserved and shy and try to live a little. So I started being honest. Bluntly honest. And then I got a bit bolder and started, on occasion, to be the loud girl that asked the questions everyone else was far too embarrassed to even admit to thinking about.

    I do have a habit of sharing far too much information sometimes. But that’s part of what makes me who I am. My boyfriend, who happens to be British finds it endearing. (He’s actually even worse than I am, very blunt and swears like a drunken sailor. But hearing him say fuck is just adorable. It sounds proper. I know, I’m weird) Even when I’m talking about what I like to call the Tampon Firing Incident. Hilarious story, really.

    Amanda, I love who you are. I love the fact that you’ve shared things with us via your journal (hate the word blog, it sounds like some terribly muddy place in the middle of a horribly dark forest)twitter, and the webcasts. It shows how human you are. Most people look up to musicians and artists and forget sometimes that they’re people, with embarrassing stories and quirks. Because they don’t share those things with their fans. We all feel like we know you in a way. And it’s rather comforting.
    And we love you for who you are. So very much.

    I am so glad that I randomly stumbled across you. And my life has become better for it.

    Love,
    Beth

  • armyoflarry

    Oh shit. You opened the worm hole for me on this one.
    This part: “i’ve never believed songwriters who’ve said they’re making music/writing music/singing songs for themselves.
    i think the odds are one in about a thousand that a songwriter can find fulfillment playing a song to four blank walls.”

    It depends on the songwriter and what the aim of the songs they write. I think good artistic songs SOMETIMES come from considering what pleases the self. If you can edit out the part of your head that says “what will others think of this” as you are creating, the song will start to direct you to a place that is rewarding. Yet even the most eccentric of song creation wants an audience of some sort. Creating for yourself does not = playing to 4 walls. It is a bogus equation, more than “write for myself” is a bogus statement.

    Then you have people trying to write pop songs. All they think about is “what will please others?” It is still an art, but a very different mindset. I think SOMETIMES considering what pleases other can lead to great music.

    To me the perfect music comes from the imperfect balancing act between populist and selfish exploration. The work of Peter Gabriel, The Beatles ect. comes to mind.

  • http://www.abbytravis.com Abby Travis

    “HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL-NETWORKING MUSICIAN IN UNDER TWO WEEKS!!!” as if having a life that held together artistically online was on par with flattening your abs or getting a bikini-perfect bottom in time for That Upcoming Reunion”.– Hilarious!!!

    Amanda- I just want you to know that I follow your work not only because I like it but also because you are an inspiration to me in terms of managing your own career and communicating with your fans. I’m blown away by your work ethic! I also kinda ripped off your myspace page layout for my own. Anyways consider yourself a teacher as well as an artist:)

    Abby Travis

  • Cynthia von Buhler

    I enjoyed peeing in my mermaid bathtub while chatting with you at my party. I couldn’t hold it and I couldn’t take off my mermaid tail. I’m thrilled that I can say anything I want at any time. Not everybody has that freedom. Speaking about things like leaving a tampon in too long, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, etc… helps relieve the stress we have about these problems. If we extroverts show that it is okay to talk about these things inhibited people might open up, feel better and live longer lives. Viva la Palmer!

  • Malubvargas

    I never ever leave comments, but I’ll wrtite this cause I read some pretty fucked up stuff.

    Yes, your main product is Amanda Palmer. No big deal with that. Everybody’s gotta eat. And yes, you keep the blog pretty intimate cause the line you draw about private and public is sort of blurred sometimes. Which is also ok, for there is the benefit some on line intimacy brings, which is finding identification and some confort in knowing there are actual non judgmental people out there, especially for those who are surrounded by very srtict rules in their private and public lives. And there are tones of individuals in that situation, even if just in a given moment of life. If people identified with your freedom for being without pondering every step, good for them. Good for you.

    You do a good job Amanda, and it’s been very interesting and fun to find out about your existence and music. And about all the – rather brutal – criticism you receive for just being who you are, well, I believe it takes an Amanda Fucking Palmer to hold a Neil Gaiman, if you know what I mean. Wish you all the best.

  • http://getopenid.com/rsmit212 Rob

    When I was in college (1986-1993) I used to hang out with the free spirits on campus. Having been a reject in high school, (fat, geeky, socially inept, much like I am still) I gravitated naturally to the fringes of the white bread state university I attended. Artists, musicians, punks imported from NY… All of them were accepting of who I was with no requirement but that I be accepting of who they were. Honesty, true brutal TMI type honesty was the way we communicated. As long as we were honest with each other, nothing else truly meant a thing. Yes, we argued, sometimes vehemently, sometimes with actual violence, but we never turned our backs on each other when one was in need. Like brothers and sisters, we might have beat each other up, but no one else was allowed to hurt one of our own.We lived, loved and lusted together. Over my time there, the members of the group of friends changed, but not the nature of the group. Some left because the honesty was too much, some to graduation, some to failing out. But they all touched my heart and taught me something, whether about myself or about the world. The most important thing they taught me was this: Strive to dream, but deal with reality.And that’s what your blog and twitter feeds remind me of with every click of your send buttons. You remind me to be true to that honesty, that honoring of everyone as the wonderful individual they are. Your pure delight in presenting Tristan and his friends to us via streaming video, the business of advertising your career to your fans, your fan-girling over other artists… It’s all you and your invite us all to share in that. Everyone will take away what they choose to from this. Like my friends in college, people will leave, more will come and life will go on. They will find their own lessons in the interaction and learn something. Even if the lesson is that they aren’t the person they thought they were.Your communication streams to us will evolve as technology changes. A blog doesn’t need to be anything to succeed, except honest. Twitter need not consume your artistry, but may help refine what you keep for your art. There doesn’t need to be a “path” for the feeds to take.I love you for who you are and for reminding me to be who I am instead of turning into what others wish me to be. And yeah, some things may be TMI for me, and I may not always agree with you, but your honesty in those moments are what keep me here.Rob – aka rsmit212 on twitter

  • Lenore

    Well, I’ve read a lot of the comments, and wanted to join them so here it is. I am the total opposite of who you are, and it makes me happy to know that my opposite exist. I usually scare the shit out of most person I meet, and no, it’s not because I want it, it’s because of how I look and the way I am. I have the proportions of a fucking amazon, and I’m shy, so I don’t really talk. It looks like it’s intimidating a lot. Go figure. But I like to read you and your TMI blogs because it makes me grow inside, and I can face the world with a new perception on most things. Combining this to my perceptions on things makes me think the world may be a more accessible place to be than I used to think.

    Also, you already said that sometimes, when you were a street performer, you could see that some people had make eye contact with you, and that you were probably the only person who did it in a long time, it’s still true, but in another way with your tweeter and blog. And a big part of it is the fact that I can feel like I’m some sort of a friend (even if we never met, or talk, or anything, and it will never happen) it’s because of your way of being yourself and going on with your over the top TMI.
    thank you

    • AdsfgsdG

      I need people like you in my life.

  • oneiricackle

    Twitter is suited to spontaneity but a blog is probably better for putting all that spontaneity into context. Twitter is more like the kinds of things you say in conversation but blogs are like night-time reflection. There is room for both but it just depends on what angle you’re going for. I like the blogs because thought process is more interesting to me than guessing what the twitter pieces mean but twitter snippets can be intriguing because they can fit into my own processing of information and sense of development of information.

    In life I don’t really feel like I know someone until his or her thought processes manifest beyond my own sparse speculation but people in general do seem to like to form their own ideas about what the actions of others mean before they approach a more complete picture. When I try to do that it just drives me crazy because my mind starts to generate too many possibilities. Similarly, constant processing for blogging can be a strain because it is generally necessary for the conscientious writer to achieve uniformity in their treatment of ideas/values and this isn’t always possible and can lead to extra brainwork to cancel out the sense of self-contradiction. Twitter, on the other hand, is quite scattered and lets the reader make his or her own interpretative mistakes. From the point of view of AFP mindfulness, it does seem like twitter is a less crazy-making way to go about sharing yourself.

    As for songs, I really can’t say. When I’m in the zone, songs come about quite impressionistically and gradually sharpen up but it seems likely that different sets of obstacles block creativity for people in different ways. I have preferences for the songs I want to write because I’m interested in society as being both abstractly sparse as well as seemingly tightly bound up and this means that experiences, which are strongly evocative in terms of societal dynamics, tend to inform my writing. These experiences just seem to wait until a poetic analogy hooks them up. Consequently the Internet is my enemy and friend because it distracts me with source material even though I require a certain amount of it to feed the underlying interest in societal dynamics. It’s possible that finding an outlet in twitter is obstructive to song writing in a similar way. In the end it will probably just take a bit of balancing to draw out the songs.

    I think AFP said something herself about the importance of alone-time in developing distinctive impressions but I also experience the inverse of that situation which seems to indicate to me that the internet is a kind of halfway experience of detached involvement. I find that forcing myself to share time with others can motivate me to create when I’d rather just soak up ideas in isolation. I begin to rediscover that songs are actually a better voice than I have socially and say more than I could ever say in person. Ironically I tend to say too much on the Internet but it means less to me than having done so in person where I can see immediately that it meant as much to someone else as myself. Deliberately shifting your approach and letting the subconscious reconnect with the forgotten charms of song seems to be as good a way as any to shake cobwebs from the headcogs.

    Brittish embarrassment: I suppose we have a reputation but it depends on the people you know. Some people over here seem to be beyond experiencing embarrassment but have an unenviable recklessness that messes other people about. It makes you wish that they had some sort of self-awareness. Then there is the almost neurotic embarrassment described by AFP and that is the opposite of that but can also lead to good-intentioned hell trips. I’m quite prone to feeling embarrassed because I think far too much about potential disasters and I always wonder “could others think that of me?” other people might end up embarrassed mostly because they’ve had a sudden realisation that they’ve violated some internal code of consistency. We all have a bit of both. For instance, I have a certain type of consistency within certain types of relationships that is totally distorted when other relationships collide. I tend to act in response to others rather than letting them respond to me which effectively messes up the sense of self that active participation would have developed. As a consequence I’m always awkwardly juggling my glaringly different relationship styles. If I knew as a child what I know now I would have imposed a stronger sense of my preferences on the world around me. Of course this never easy for introverts to do (if you take Eysenck’s theory which seems about right for my situation) because the world is overpowering on the sensory level to the point where retreat is more pleasant than engaging with it.

    I suppose the balance of it all comes down to having enough self awareness to skilfully navigate situations but not so much that you perceive more disasters than can conceivably happen (although disasters are far more complicated if you are if you are many different things to many different people).

    On a related note: this post is kind of embarrassing for its length and that feeling might actually mean something for the long term survival of my netiquette if not for my disaster alarm failure. Oh well, In for a Penny, in for a Pound.

  • Kate

    I am forced to admit here, that I have hardly listened to your music at all. I discovered your Twitter via the obvious route of Neil’s twitter and began reading your blog shortly after. I have continued reading simply due to the fact that I find myself fascinated with the adventures you go on, the lengths to which you go to preserve the authenticity of your art (whatever form it may take), and how even the slightest comment can prompt an entire blog post full of insight (which rarely ends with the post itself). I consider myself a fan of you as a person (though I swear I will one day give the music the time it deserves). I think it takes a special gift to somehow, despite a complete lack of direct interaction due to my own location Far Far Away ™ from most of what you do, make your fans feel that they are, in fact, your friends. No matter what your blog, your twitter, your art actually IS, I think these comments are unqualified indication that you reach out and touch someone every day, which is lovely.

    In the spirit of sharing, the following is a, perhaps longer than is necessary, story to hopefully embody somehow the meaning this blog (and its peripherals) has had for me.

    As an avid gamer and general worshipper of all the insanity one can find on this World Wide Web, I spend a large portion of my life socializing in a digital manner, be that on Twitter, Steam, World of Warcraft, Facebook, forums … I could probably go on endlessly. The commonly seen On-The-Interwebs Kate is thoroughly unembarrassed. She will share anything if asked — and occasionally unsolicited — sometimes to the extreme discomfort (or as often, amusement) of audiences. She will post pictures of herself having just woke up with crazy hair and no make-up. She will speak her mind even if it results in trolling. She will sometimes troll back.

    Real-Life Kate tends to obsess over what she wears, her makeup, her hair color, her awkward combination southern-midwestern accent, her tendency to use large words when they aren’t necessary, her speed talking when she gets excited about things, her habit of overanalyzing even the simplest problem. Real-Life Kate is socially awkward, doesn’t make friends easily, has been in law school for almost a whole semester and still doesn’t know the names of any of her classmates, and suffered a UTI for two weeks before having the balls to call her gynecologist to ask what was amiss with her nether regions.

    Gradually, over time, Real-Life Kate has started to assimilate On-The-Interwebs Kate. She has started to strive to act a bit more about her online counter-part in attempts to find her own adventures to go on. She has started talking to the other students in the hall and drinking more wine, and showing up at gaming meet-ups despite the fact that other people will see her with her nerd showing. This is certainly no dramatic transformation, nor has Real-Life Kate ceased to be socially awkward, self-conscious, and generally embarrassed about many things, but every time I read this blog I find something else I really shouldn’t be embarrassed about and it does wonders to facilitate the continued bringing together of my two lives in hopes of finding that balance many of your readers have discussed. Keep writing. Keep tweeting. Keep making art, in whatever form you damn well feel like. You’re never going to make everyone happy and it’s not your job anyway. Hopefully enough of us will keep telling you how happy you make us to make it all worthwhile.

  • Arcanes

    This entry is the core of the relation I have with Amanda’s music. This entry definitely questions the authenticity of you, Amanda.

    I knew the Dresden Dolls, but when they stopped doing shows I slowly stopped listening to them. Few years later, someone told me that the Dresden Dolls’ singer, a woman named Amanda Palmer, had made a solo album. I listened to it. I loved it.
    I was at the beginning of a long relationship with a girlfriend, and as I listened to WKAP, she listened to the album too. Even if I love the music of the album, the topic of some songs was an arrow straight to my heart and my girlfriend’s one. Her (rich) family was opposed to our relation and she was totally helpless about that, forced to obey to everything (later, her parents told her to break up, she did it – welcome to my world!). So they were rich people, with all the network and the good behaviors that come with it, but if you knew them better you’d see that they were, in fact, horrible people. Hell, I think you already made the link with Runs In My Family (“me and my family/we’re wonderful folks, but don’t get too close to me/’cause you might knock me up”, etc.). Still nowadays, I can’t listen to this song. I’m not going to give a list of Amanda’s songs that touched my heart, but I’m sure that for everyone there was at least one WKAP song that was a straight arrow to the heart. So, where was I? Ah, right. So WKAP was, like, the cement of my relationship with my girlfriend. Had I some kind of substitute relation with Amanda Palmer at the same time? Hey, maybe.

    The point of the last paragraph was to say that, I felt (and I still feel) close to Amanda, even if I never came to one of her show or if she absolutely doesn’t know that I exist (How could she?) ; but I only felt close to her because her songs, and all her behavior, was AUTHENTIC. Her songs were about things that directly touched me, the backstage videos of her on youtube are so cool that you can’t avoid to think “If only I was there!”. You can’t have the same relationship with other artists like Radiohead, that had very emotional songs (Exit Music, Paranoid Android, …) but on really global topics. Same about their backstage videos. When they are cool, it seems artificial, like, “let’s do something cool”. Backstage videos of Amanda absolutely don’t look artificial, because she ain’t doing “cool things”, she does usual backstage stuff, but with her authenticity that makes the instant quite magical BECAUSE she seems to be an ordinary person (She dares to talk to everyone, for example). What I mean is that even if her songs are about deep topics, her behavior remains pure – pure because it hasn’t changed due to fame.

    The blog is a tool that makes you closer to the persons that listen to you, and that just want to learn a bit more about you. It is a tool that says “I’m a normal person, I have doubts, I sometimes suffer, I enjoy some things”. In other terms, your authenticity. I doubt Trent Reznor or Thom Yorke ever posted a blog entry that ended with “I wrote that in my bed” :D

    In other words, you’re approachable. And I love you for this, Amanda, for being what you want to be, and for saying what you want to say to us.

    Love,
    Arcane (Sorry, I’m not a native english speaker. It took much time for me to write this, and I hope it’s still understandable.)

  • Riva

    I’m in a class right now called therapeutic writing. One of its premises seems to be that there are certain kinds of writing all authors do that are personal and private, that we write different kinds of things for ourselves than we do for the world. Honestly, that just isn’t something I do.

    Even when writing a deeply personal story, a memoir about my abortion, the only way I could write it was by thinking about how others would read it. To write purely for myself isn’t something that appeals to me. And I don’t think that’s a form of narcissism. In fact, it seems to me to be the opposite. Writing for an audience acknowledges that others can understand your thoughts, and even to respond to them.

    All this to say, thank you for exposing the romantic myth of the artist.

  • http://megan-g-love.blogspot.com/ Megan

    UTIs suck. I had one last month. I hope you feel better soon!

    If you don’t want to have to worry about getting a sponge stuck in your vagina, or TSS, I use these fabulous things called Insteads (http://www.softcup.com/). They last 12 hours (so you use less than you would tampons). And you can have “non-messy” sex with them in. They’re basically awesome. You can get them at Walgreens…in the tampon and lube aisle.

    And in regards to the rest of the blog, I think whatever our medium (writing, music, blogging, twitter, Facebook, photography, painting., etc…), deep down we all just want to be heard. I think we want to know that someone understands, or can normalize whatever we’re feeling and thinking. No one seems to want to admit they’re weird (which we all are), until someone else does. Your medium of communication doesn’t necessarily matter, it’s how well you do it. You just happen to be great at reaching people through your music and your writing. For instance, you’ve inspired me to learn the ukulele. I hate practicing the piano, and you made the ukulele look like so much fun. I just got one for my birthday from my husband a few weeks ago, and while I don’t have much of a singing voice, I’m having a lot of fun learning to play (and I admit, I pretend one of these days I’ll be playing for an audience, even if it’s just a few friends)!

    Cheers,
    Megan

  • Thad

    I find I’m nearly immune to embarrassment — I post under my real name, knowing fully well that there are photos of me in fishnets and a corset floating around the Internet. And Sonic the Hedgehog fanfiction I wrote when I was 12.

    I’ve no way of knowing whether any of those things have ever actually cost me a job opportunity; I prefer to think that my current crappy job situation is simply a result of the economy. But Neil’s blog post said what I’ve been saying for years: 20 years from now, the people doing the hiring are going to have embarrassing photos of THEMSELVES out on the Internet, and it’s not going to be the issue it is today.

    I did pick up a bit of an Internet stalker once, who kept posting satellite photos of addresses he’d found by Googling my name. They were all years out of date and I just had a good chuckle at his expense, but it DOES give me pause that I might one day piss somebody off who’s competent enough to figure out where I ACTUALLY live.

    Not much, though. I’m not one to restrain myself out of fear.

  • Ted

    Amanda (may I say “Amanda” or would your prefer “Miss Palmer” or “Ms Palmer):

    You are who you are. That is why you have fans. You don’t have to tailor yourself for them. If you stopped writing music and simply blogged about gardening tips you would still do that in Amanda Palmer fashion and it would be endless entertaining or thought provoking or something else. You can’t help it. I’m sure as a living statue you still do it with a certain Amanda Palmer flair.

    Nice blog entry, I would read it even if was laced with tour dates and tee-shirt sales (which by the way I need to get on of those for my 8 year old). So, you are right, it doesn’t really matter.

    As for Neil, I hope you never stop embarassing that Brit. I he fell for you he has it coming to me. May his skin turn to a shade of persistant pink.

    With that said, bye-bye, Amanda, bye-bye

    • ted

      agh, typos. the correct wording for that almost last sentence should be: “if he fell for you he has it coming to him.” yuck. if only we could edit.

  • Theinsects

    Thank you, Amanda. I love reading your blog. It constantly reminds me that there are people in this world that think, a quality I have a hard time finding in most people. And if I may just fanboy out for a second, any offspring that you and Neil might maybe kinda sorta (maybe not) have will be made of uber-win! Loves to you both.

  • Mel Hughes

    i call myself a recovering catholic, in the same way that alcoholics call themselves recovering once they go through the 12 steps etc. i guess embarrassment and shame were my drugs and the church was my supplier. i grew up embarrassed. Adult Mel is no longer embarrassed to that extent, only slightly.

    i guess the worry about your blog having to “be” something i can understand. but we read it, and continue to read it because it’s you, and it’s a way you reach out to us and vice versa. I think if it ever stopped being that is when i’d worry, and when I think many of us worry.

    • Mel Hughes

      i do like as well how the article referred to you as neil’s “real life fiancee”. i didn’t know they came in robot variety.

    • oneiricackle

      I get the recovering catholic thing. My upbringing was a “lite” version of Catholicism but the tag made me notice that other Catholics had stronger convictions and that perhaps my version could be wrong. Consequently I ended up inheriting some of the embarrassment that I was never taught to have just to be on side with caution. Gods are impossible to second guess so you always feel you might be in the wrong in some way.

  • Acacialn

    amanda- i’m 16 and a half now, after years of being a loyal fan. you have paved the way to my feminism, my body confidence, my safety in my own self, and my love of being naked.
    your effect on my life is incredible.
    when you blog about these daily activities and your art and just don’t give a flying fuck, i get inspired to NOT shave my pits in the shower this evening, or tell the guys in my history class to shut the fuck up and stop slut bashing.
    i’m not saying i’ve created all my views because of you, i feel like they come from so many sources, my mother, my town, my spirit– but you have given me the strength to express them.
    thank you.
    don’t ever stop doing whatever you want.

  • LiliJeeves

    You inspire me, and continue to inspire me every day. And whether you’re telling us about your UTI (that sucks, btw) or sharing something sweet about you and neil (just something tiny that shows how in love you are) I will always read it word for word, and love it. I know I’m being a suck-up, but I just wanted to let you know how much I love you. I’m getting my second Amanda Palmer tattoo on tuesday, and I’m proud to tell people who you are and what my tattoos mean. I saw you live at The Zoo in Brisbane, Australia, and cried, I was that happy. Just letting you know. And yet again, I love you. <3

  • Veronica

    God, I tune out just for two days because of work and when I come back I find this supermassive blog with supermassive comments and incredibly interesting thoughts. First of all, I have to say, one of my reasons to be embarrassed and particularly when I write a comment here, is the inability to express myself properly, or at least the way I would like to, since english is not my native language. It’s really frustrating when you don’t know how to put what you think, but whatever. I’ll do my best, and since you’ve answered some of my comments I believe I can write in english without making your eyes bleed.

    Amanda, I’m surprised to read that you feel kind of embarrassed or somehow guilty because the energy or the thoughts you used to use in making music is now basically spent in twitter or in the blog. I honestly think you’re one of the most unstoppable artists, you’re the one who’s always doing something related to art. I mean, how many wonderful things have you done this year?? Evelyn Evelyn, UkuleleHead, Cabaret, now the Dolls reunion… Not many artists prove to have that enthusiasm and fearlessness to do different things… It’s not like you have to be creative ALL THE TIME and only through making new music, you’re not a machine, you’re a person, and if you don’t feel like writing songs right now it’s perfectly OK because you’re doing things you love to do (and wanted to do for a long time) and what matters is what you want to do with your life in the first place. And FUCK, YOUR LIFE IS PURE ART, is pure energy and creativity… you don’t really have to worry about those new ways of taking your inspiration out, because they can be as attractive and enriching to your audience as a song, and sometimes more, I’d say. You can’t imagine how inspiring you are and how much you can help us, your fans, to be fearless and true by simply blogging or twittering about your UTI or your armpit hair being waxed or your “random” thoughts about something… It’s so unique! You’re a celebrity! right? You, among other human beings, should be put under an enormous amount of pressure to fit in some certain standards of image and behaviour, so when you put them aside and you stay true to who you are and share so much with your audience, they feel loved, appreciated, trusted.

    So, PLEASE, Amanda, keep writing about your diseases, your shit-moods or your menstruation sponges, should you feel so inclined…
    It makes me happy and it helps me to keep on sweeping embarrassment about myself away…
    By the way, your fans are a really intelligent bunch. You should be proud like a family mother XD

  • http://www.doorelevenproductions.com d0m

    “i think it’s more likely that the songwriters who claim that they simply must write or perish, and the idea of someone hearing their work is secondary….are just lying.”

    I absolutely agree with you 100%. I’ve had this same discussion before with friends; any artist (be it writer, musician, director, etc.) who says this has to either be lying – or worse, doing a great disservice to their audience. If your job is to create, you SHOULD be thinking about the audience you’re creating for (not to necessarily tailor your art to suit what you “think” they want, but because you YOURSELF are part of an audience for some other creative entity out there). It seems like the cool thing to say, “I don’t care if people hear my music, read my books, listen to my songs, etc… I do it for ME” – but I don’t find that truthful at all and I’m glad you have the guts to come right out and shut it down.

    I’m ALSO glad you are out there sharing your thoughts (without any restraint or worry if it’s TMI) and not nailing your blog down into any type of pre-meditated format.

    I’m REALLY glad that The Dresden Dolls are back in action.

    And I’m MOST glad that I got tix to see you guys in Boston 2 weeks from today.

    Keep rockin’ it Palmer. Stay gold.

    -d0m.

  • stella

    Try d-mannose as an alternative treatment for UTI’s ; I have, and it works! http://www.waterfall-d-mannose.com/
    Totally safe (just a form of sugar, really) and I have treated a couple of infections without antibiotics this way. Love and kisses!

  • webqool

    Thanks Amanda, thanks for being who you are..

    http://500000.tk

  • ohnobody

    hey amanda! thank you for blogging whatever your heart desires <3
    you've been brought up in the comments stream of john roderick's (the long winters) latest column in seattle weekly – re: relationships with fans.
    http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2010/10/superfans_they_love_you_first.php

  • sale replic

    Thanks Amanda, thanks veri good post!
    a lot of information is about clothes http://sale-replic-clothes.com/

  • madove

    For me personally, all this has applied more than tiny change.
    By being so directly and honestly yourself, by acccepting the true consequences of being yourself, and also by publicly making mistakes or being embarrassing, and sharing your feelings and thoughts about it, you create a powerful combination of someone totally wonderful and totally human, which don’t seem to exclude each other.
    Which, for me, has the effect, that all my embarassments, weaknesses, illnesses and stupidities feel less like a thing to hide and to be ashamed of, and less in conflict with my being wonderful as well. Thanks :o)

  • http://vatul.net Maitri

    “i enjoy, no doubt, breaking down the online walls of what is acceptable to chat about in the public forum and simply SAY THINGS – things that you discuss amongst your close friends, but don’t usually share at the workplace, or the community lunch table – but why? people always ask me this.”

    Fuck those people. Keep doing it. A lot of us want to SAY THINGS, cannot and wish we could because living our lives like you do has repercussions in the day job, family and friends. I’m glad you can do it and do not read your blog because of what you’ve edited out. I mean, maybe you have, but what you share with us is a lot more than a lot of us can share, period. I also mean, it’s not a question of living vicariously through you, but just happy that you can and are willing to live your life with joy, a general lack of embarrassment and openness, to the extent that you do.

  • angharady

    I’m not quite sure if it’s possible, but every day I just find reasons to love you more.
    This entry is one of them.
    Do what you will. Just don’t stop. If making music has brought you to a happy tweeting and chatting and being a narcissist, fuck it, who cares. Keep doing it. It makes people like me happy, more than happy, and it saves my life over and over again, as well as brings me closer to people like me. (A side note after a painfully run-on sentence: I have made so many friends from chatting on the webcasts. I love it. It makes me so damn happy.) You are a role model and an inspiration. So keep mutating. Because one of the best parts of Amanda Fucking Palmer is how she is a real human being and is happy to share information and music and love with her fans. She has made me into a way stronger person. (On good days, an Angharad Fucking Hamlin.)

  • larc

    Never stop telling us the things you want to say. It makes everyone feel less alone. There’s a scene in The History Boys where a character says (approximately): some of the best moments in reading are when you read something that you’ve thought or felt before, and it’s as if that person has reached out, and taken your hand. Even if we haven’t felt or thought exactly the same things as you, you show us your host human moments. We’re all human, and you reach out and take our hand. Thank you.

  • Mycakeswillburn

    “i’ve never believed songwriters who’ve said they’re making music/writing music/singing songs for themselves.”

    fuck you.

  • Liz

    Two great articles (yours and Neils), reading along I felt like part of the conversation, hanging out with you guys in my mind. All of this is just an extension of who we are and what we do. Technology has given us youth, and opened more forums for us to speak our, blog, tweet, and webcasts. If you don’t like what you see stop complaining or complain. As a graphic artist I get pleasure in what I do, getting it out there and moving on to the next thing that I’m going to love to do. All of this writing and blogging by people that inspire me, give me creative fuel for the day! Whether it’s a tweet or a NY Times piece, we are alive and well and having fun, most of the time…

  • Jenna

    I just wrote a blog about the impact that you have had in my life. It’s probably not news, but I’d be honored if you took a minute to read it. http://jhuffman.weebly.com

  • Val

    I’ve always inspired to be more open like you. You, dare I say it, have no shame; most people view this as a bad thing. Ever since I’ve began reading your blog years ago, I’ve thought “gee, I wish I could be as open as AFP is”. And sometimes, when I’m in a situation and feel myself clam up, I think that; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Three months ago my mom unexpectedly died out of the blue. And while, yes, it was a traumatic time, and I’m still reeling from it when when I think about it, the strangest thing happened.

    I don’t give a damn anymore. On most things I do, but people’s perspective of me? I don’t care. I say what I want and do what I want now. What’s the point of caring, of being insecure? My mother was healthy, she had no reason to just up and die–it made me realize we’re on someone else’s time here on this earth, and why should I waste what little time I have not being myself and enjoying myself? I literally used to walk with my head down, and now I hold it high, and honestly I’m amazing by how much of the world I’ve missed by scurrying from place to place with my head down.

    There is a point to this, bare with me please, sorry!!! The other day–I work in a sort of shady area in Chicago–I was walking to the train and this woman approached me. There was clearly something wrong; she was either mentally unstable, or high, or drunk, or maybe all three combined. She tried to talk to me, kept asking me “why are you so mean?” when I hadn’t spoken one word to her. She started to follow me. Seeing as I was in a shitty neighborhood, I of course got a little scared, and bee lined for a group of people that had just gotten off the bus. At this point she had become frantic and had started crying.

    I was no longer afraid, but genuinely concerned for this crying woman. And everyone around us didn’t pay any attention. As we walked, I wanted to ask her, “are you alright?” but I was afraid. First of all I was afraid she was going to attack me. but, oddly enough, I was MORE afraid of people’s reactions to my talking to a homeless person–they’d think I was some naive white suburb girl who’s stupid and doesn’t know how the world works. I was afraid of ridicule through their stares of disbelief. But the more she followed me, the more it bothered me how upset she was.

    And I didn’t give a damn. Three months ago I wouldn’t have said anything, I would have ran for the train and not looked back and left that befuddled woman crying by herself. But instead, I looked at her, and asked her if she was alright, if she needed help.

    Sure enough, people reacted just how I thought–they hurried up or slowed down, and those who passed me gave me looks like I had grown a third head. And nothing became of it, the woman repeated her “why are you so mean?” mantra, but honestly, it’s okay. It’s okay because at least I tried. If it weren’t for my mother’s unexpected passing, and if it weren’t for people like you, Amanda, who are brave enough to open themselves up to the world, no matter how “TMI” the subject becomes, I wouldn’t have asked that cracked-out-crazy woman if she was okay. And hey, I found a police officer to boot and let him help her.

    I just think, maybe, if we weren’t so afraid of other’s reactions, maybe the world would be better because we’d help people like that woman I ran into the other day and maybe she wouldn’t be homeless anymore because someone actually gave a damn.

    Keep on over-sharing, twittering, and blogging Amanda, please; you’re helping save the world.

  • Kevin

    “so, when faced with the choice to twitter a brilliant lyric or make my way to the piano and start a song….what shall we do?”

    word.

  • Bjurosko

    I found this blog inspiring and wanted you to know that. You had mentioned that you hope to reach someone and “de-embarrass” them and you have fullfilled that goal with me. You, as a person, inspires me to just be me and not to care what others think. I have always tried to be like that my entire life because I feel like people should not try to conform to what society would expect or want a person to be. It might sound cheesey for me to say this, but you have changed my life. Your music is uplifting and inspiring, it makes me feel like a new peron when I listen to it, and it really touches me like no other music has before. Thank you for being you and sharing with the world.

  • http://lookylookyloo.blogspot.com/ Looky-Looky

    it’s your blog; be who you are and enjoy the ride…

  • http://twitter.com/ShiRaMK Shira Malk

    Last part made me sad. I draw since I have memory, I did my best learning to draw all alone and I was proud, ’til not many months ago where I found that effort does not matter, I tried to draw the best for the little watchers I had, then a guy who draw lolicon/hentai for the most got the same views in 2 days that I got in 3 years, with a poor technique and clonic drawings without anything to say nor anything new to see.
    I got bored as everyone does the same, the people I was following wasn’t interesting anymore, it seemed to me that they were drawing the same over and over again changing one or two things, the more interesting artists where two or three guyg that make comics.
    I find myself in a childish mental-state, deleted my account there on deviant art and stop drawing for anyone.
    A friend who’s always asking me for drawings told me he would never pay for a drawing. If that is so, does that means drawing is worthless, doesn’t deserve any atention? Nor support for the artist to keep drawing? I never asked for money anyways and never sell any of my works, but everything made me think I should quit drawing and do it only for fun, making doodles and little comics.
    Its true, I love people to watch my drawings and usually I draw better if its for another. I hate to be the only one to watch my work. But I also hate feeling that an entire day or two of my life spended on a drawin is undervalued, no one appreaciate it, no one would give me 1€ for it.
    I know a drawing will never make someone cry as a song or a movie would.

    See? I wrote non-sense shit XD I don’t know if anyone will be able to understand what I wrote cause my english’s horrible, but oh well, don’t say I didn’t tried.

    • http://twitter.com/magic_and_lilac Elli Agg

      I happened to read this…so.
      First off, I used to draw A LOT. I’m self-taught, so I lacked the technique, but I was happy because people around me liked it. (And the reason I don’t do more than quick doodles nowadays doesn’t really have to do with my few views&favs on deviantART. It’s part of my focus-on-one-thing-at-a-time thing.) But this is not what I wanted to say.

      NEVER give up drawing because people around you say/make you feel you’re not good enough. There might be ONE person in the universe who’d cry when seeing your stuff, and give 1,000,000€ to buy it. Wouldn’t you like to work for this person? To fight in order to find them? If you think you do, and keep it up, you might find more people on the way caring for your art ;) Or, well, that’s my way of thinking.
      Also, never think about sloppy hentai artists on deviantART; hentai/yaoi sells as hell, no matter how crappy it is. And if it makes people happy, it’s still good to exist, don’t you think?
      You just find what you want to do, and do it. If it’s art, then make art. The world needs art.
      Love.

  • http://twitter.com/magic_and_lilac Elli Agg

    Maybe twitter’s for people like me, who leave their thoughts to pile up and never decide to write the goddamn blog/song… It makes me feel that YES, I completed something today, I wrote about that thing. If a couple of people were interested, it’s a pro.

    Okay, the point is, blogging and tweeting is different to making art; it each serves its purpose. And people being interested in your blogs&tweets AND your music equally, or focusing on your embarrassing stories, or never actually reading them, it’s still cool.
    All these are just parts of you, scattered on the internet, and on various public events, and on your piano and bed. The combination of those is makes you who you are. We start off from somewhere (say, a youtube video), and learn about the seperate pieces as we go, listening to more songs, and reading more about your thoughts, at 5am like i’m doing now; and we find that it’s a wonderful thing to do, and well worth it. And we get to know you better, and love you. Lots. And more each day. x

  • MauraLee

    I can totally understand this on multiple levels. This has actually been a recurring topic with a close friend of mine, as well as my mother. My friend and I were chatting about another friend’s profile picture (which was a bit “inappropriate”, at least for a facebook page that her parents can see), and how getting into bad stuff and posting every bit of your life on facebook v. hiding things from specific people, etc. We both agreed, to a certain point, that if you’re completely open on the internet, you run the risk of upsetting someone, even if you “hide” certain things.

    My mother comes from the days of “pre-internet”. These were the chat rooms before forums truly existed, before social networks, in the days where you didn’t say your real name, birthday, or anything private. Her view, oddly enough, is a bit similar, and she’s been telling me this since I was old enough to scamper around the confines of the internet: “Never post anything you wouldn’t yell on the street”.

    It’s an interesting dynamic, and I can agree on both sides. Sometimes, I feel like I share a bit too much at times, and I’ve broken a bit of rules when it comes to the “Public v. Private” argument, but it all leads back to the same thing: Never Say Anything You Wouldn’t Yell in the Street. I don’t make the point to post passive aggressive statuses about “So and So being Such a Son of a Gun”, nor do I ever plan to. I vent a bit on twitter, but it’s rare and I usually end up getting rid of the post if I feel the need.

    However, it kind of goes hand in hand with real life experiences. Like you, I’ve been involved in the theater, and although each show and its chemistry varies from the one before and the one to follow, there’s always one constant: closing night, we always cry. We stand, we sit, we bow, and we strip with makeup running down our faces, smothering one another against someone’s chest or shoulder, feeling happy, sad, angry, and so many other emotions. It’s strange, really, because we always go out to dinner afterwards and have a great time at the nearby diners or Friendly’s. They’re really bittersweet goodbyes, being we confide in each other and hold one another for anywhere from six to forty hours a week. I remember, years ago, a great man once said to us, during our affirmation, “Look around you; These people, they’re your family.” It was an idea I could relate to, being we always just cried and laughed together, shared secrets, had fights, and always managed to stick together like glue every year.

    Perhaps some places on the internet have the same dynamic: we feel at home, like we can be ourselves behind the masks of our computers or cell phones, and just open up. For a number of years, I felt like I could only express my true self in writing, be in in a story, a poem, or in a forum post. There were others who felt similar, and we bonded. I met some really special people on my online expeditions, some I loved, and some I could have done without. Most of them I loved, to be truthful, and am still friends with to this day. Heck, I fell in love with one of them, all through this code of confidence that we shared, helping one another, like a machine that is made an pieces and left as a whole.

    Sorry for the long post, but I felt that I needed to respond. I find your ideas and openness to be completely compelling and admirable, and perhaps that’s why I’ve fallen in love with your music and blog. It doesn’t matter to me if you read or respond to this, but at least I put my voice out there.

    xo MLB

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HSYW3H4MHP4M6IXTV2TI4R5GRI Melanie

    Ha! I am so glad to see you are writing about this because I feel it is one of the biggest dilemmas artists/writers have to deal with today. I am refreshed to see someone, finally, who is just like, “I don’t give a fuck, I write what I want.” and that’s how it should be, always. I have been blogging online for about 10 years and it’s taken so many forms… sometimes people have tried to make me feel like I was some kind of creep for keeping a blog (and maybe I am????) but writing works for me, blogging works for me, and it’s a great way to connect. I have made so many friends through blogging and it has been great for my writing…

    I have been struggling with this issue for a while in my own way (not dissimilar to some of the posters here) … wondering how much is too much? And why is talking about stuff going on in life so bad anyway? I really appreciate that an artist such as yourself has taken the time to address this totally bizarre 21st century phenomenon … public persona, anonymity, and all that jazz.

    Soooo if you got through that hung over confusion……. thanks :)

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