This week's interview is with Jim,
who writes the blog Suldog.
Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?
Insatiable ego. I’ve always had a very high opinion of myself, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, so I figured everybody in the world would love reading whatever I typed.
Amazingly enough, while making statements such as the above, I’ve received very little in the way of flames. The folks who comment over at my place are almost uniformly kind and complimentary. That’s very nice of them, but, if they had any brains at all, they would have figured out that I’d have dried up and blown away upon receiving even one or two nasties. They could have done the populace at large a huge favor by manning up and throwing out a few insults.
If they had done so, I would have gone to bother someone else with my next hare-brained scheme; perhaps starting my own church or acting in pornos. As it stands now, my ego has been blown up to such mammoth proportions, there’s little likelihood I’ll stop writing. That’s too bad for the world, but I’m OK with it.
What’s the story behind your blog name?
I wish there was one."Suldog" is just a nickname I picked up years ago. My last name is Sullivan. Well, almost everybody at this one place where I worked ended up being called something-dog - Charlie-dog, Dave-dog, Fitz-dog, whatever. I’m not sure how it started, but it did, and since I was already nicknamed Sully, I became Suldog. For whatever reason, it seemed to fit me more than most, and it’s followed me around ever since. Exciting, eh?
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
Seriously? The people you meet (not that you truly "meet" too many of them, but you know what I mean.)
I’ve developed many fine virtual friendships, and had the pleasure of physically getting together with a couple of the nicer folks. There are so many interesting life stories out there in the blogging universe!
(Really, I think that everybody has an interesting life story, but some just know how to put their story into words in more entertaining ways.)
The anonymity of blogging helps some folks, of course, but I’m one of those bloggers who doesn’t give a damn if everybody knows my real name or where I live. When I write, I assume that at least one person in my audience will have done the same stupid thing I’m willing to reveal that day. From the comments I’ve received, that appears to be the case. And it also appears that those people are exceedingly glad to find out that they’re not the only ones, so I guess I’m performing a public service of sorts when I admit to past indiscretions.
Anyway, my life is an open book. I figure that if someone really wants to dig up some dirt on me, they can. Therefore, I’m happy to save them the trouble. I figure if I write about it first, nobody can ever accuse me of hypocrisy. If you criticize me about any of it, though, I’ll jump on you with both feet. Everybody has things they’ve done that fall short of perfection and I’ll carve you a new one if you seriously think you can get away with being holier-than-thou in my presence.
I don’t know if that answered the question or was just a long-winded self-serving rant, but it’ll have to do.
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
Post naked photos of yourself, if you’re a woman! If you’re the shy type, and aren’t sure about this advice, feel free to send the photos to me first for an unbiased editorial critique.
Aside from that? Be yourself, whatever that may be. If you have odd quirks, bring ‘em out into the open. If you have a style with which an English professor might find fault, don’t let it keep you awake at night. It’s your blog, not the professor’s. So long as you make yourself clearly understood, it’s all good.
(Despite the above advice, though, I’d suggest that you learn to spell. Style is one thing, ignorance another. You’ll lose many readers if you don’t know how to spell the second word in this sentence.)
Above all, have fun. There are very few folks getting rich from this. I’m certainly not one of them, so if you send me ten dollars – and, perhaps, those naked photos - I’ll be glad to give you more advice.
What is the most significant blog post you’ve ever read?
It was by Magazine Man. I’ve got his link on my sidebar listed under the heading "The Best Writer On The Internet", and I’ve never been given reason to back down from that statement. He’s brilliant. There are some truly good writers out there – you among them, of course – but I have yet to read anything by him that wasn’t utterly captivating.
Anyway, his parents died in a highway accident a bit over a year ago. They were on their way to visit he and his family at the time. He had written about them both, at length, previous to the accident, showing them to be interesting and lovable people, with faults in their pasts, to be sure, but that just made them more endearing in the present. I (and his other readers) felt a relationship to these good people, via his marvelous writing, so when he posted concerning their tragic deaths, it just sucked the breath right out of me. My stomach churned almost as much as it had upon hearing of the death of some of my own loved ones. That’s how good his writing is.
(To clarify: That single post, about them dying, wasn’t his greatest piece, but as a hideous denouement to all that had preceded it, it was as powerful an emotional response as has ever been dragged out of me by a blog.)
What is the most significant blog post you’ve ever written?
A Day (Five Of Them, Actually – All Saturdays) In The Life, which is basically my life story, condensed. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, so if your readers go to my place, read it, and aren’t impressed? They may as well leave, since it isn’t likely they’ll find anything better if they stay.
Thanks for the opportunity to display my arrogant, ignorant, bloviating self, David. If you enjoyed reading this half as much as I did writing it, then you’re 50 per cent as happy as I was.
Today's Sunday Roast with Jim, aka Suldog, is the 69th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.