It seems like everywhere in the blogosphere I am reading blogs about other people not understanding their blogging. I must say I feel in that boat many a day too and I got to thinking the other night why we as bloggers are so passionate about what we do. We don’t get paid. We are by no means Dooces or Perezes. For those of us who do put ads on our page I hear the majority of the consensus is that it doesn’t bring in a lot of money.
So, why then? Why do we comment, set up subscriptions, create blogrolls, join communities to network, and all around spend so much dang time with this stuff? For the people we live with, socialize with, and are in relationships in real life with who don’t get it, it can be a source of frustration and contention. Why so much time is put into it. Why you choose to air your personal thoughts and feelings to the whole world with little to no knowledge of who is stalking or reading you every single day. Some would say we are egotistical and looking for attention. Some would argue that it is our need to feel validated and heard when it comes to our opinions and our convictions. I would say that those all could be true, but in the past few days I have really started to think about all of this and why it is such a driving force for so many of us.
And I have found the answer for myself. It is all about the people. Simple really. Not complex, not selfish. Curiousness or noseiness? Perhaps. But all in all I think that the draw of book deals, published articles, and revenue from ads is really not the heart of most bloggers.
It is about the relationships you build, the people you meet, and the friends who become important to you. Case in point, yesterday I was furiously typing away on my Gmail. I had two laptops open and working. One with personal business, the other with work business. Trying to keep up at both ends seemed pointless. It was around lunch and I had not yet had breakfast and lunch was looking more like it would happen around suppertime. I was having a long, hard, bad day. Deadlines were looming. Deals were falling through. People who needed to answer emails were not. My final week of school was demanding my attention. Personal complexities seemed to abound. Then I got a IM from a friend. A bloggy friend who I have never met in real life, but she is someone who I feel I have known for a very long time. I can tell you the day we meet in 20sb, the way we became friends, and we know more about each other than most of our bloggy friends do. She asked how my day was. I honestly told her. Now, I am not usually one to be honest about my feelings with anyone. I am an internalizer. I work through things on my own and when I have worked through those issues then I tend to come out of my cave. It is a very Mars-like male quality I possess.
I told her I was sorry and that I had not even realized or admitted those issues to even myself. She knew I was needing to vent. She told me to let it all out. And boy did I. She listened (read what I typed) and she offered great feedback. She was my therapist for the day, my ear, my outlet. And I apparently needed it pretty badly. It really surprised me that I could be as honest with her as I could about some things that were bothering me. It was like having a great conversation with a very old friend. The exchange was quick and to the point. She was amazing. I was shocked that I could be so forthright with her. But I trust her. I know that sounds weird, but the bonds you create with people who share your like interests create an amazing sense of community and connection. Reading about each other day in and day out, sharing each others joys and frustrations, and acknowledging each others accomplishments and defeats is an amazing journey.
And that people, is why we blog. Not for fame or recognition. Not for a hobby or an opportunity. But for the people who come back each and every day who take some kind of interest in your life and what you have to say. That is a very powerful thing. I am amazed every single day that people are interested in little old me. I am not very interesting. I am not very opinionated. I can, at times, be very downright boring. It amazes me that people find so many things about my life so interesting. But that is the way of the blog.
Most of the people who read my humble words I will never know them, but I feel so connected with them like they are a part of my life. When they hurt I worry about them. When they reach a goal I am excited for them. And they all do the same for me.
So, I am sorry if you don’t get it. I hate that you don’t understand. But it is who we are and what we do. I have met some of the most amazing people through blogging. People who inspire me to be a better person, fulfill my dreams, and analyze myself. And I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for sharing this experience with me. Thank you all for being such an important part of my life.
Tags: Blogging, Guest bloggers
Ed. Note: Today is another one of my favorite bloggers, Chickbug! We became blogging friends through our fabulous web designer Jess at Delicious Design Studio, when she did both of our blog designs! Chickbug is a great blogger who lives in NY and lives to tell us about it! Serving jury duty with Mark Consuelos certainly counts as exciting in my book! Go read all about her and her many other stories!
They say blogging about blogging is boring and unnecessary. Sorry. I’m breaking that rule. I have a lot to say about blogging, especially during this weekend of BlogHer. Thanks to Tipp (and her hand) for allowing me the space to sort out my feelings.
I have five quick questions for you. Questions I’ve pondered over the last year since I started my own blog.
1- Is blogging selfish?
When I started chickbug I wrote a few posts and then emailed my friends and said “look, I started this blog…you should read it!” I needed an audience and they seemed like the obvious group. But really, how self-centered was I? Maybe they don’t have any interest in reading about my life everyday…they can just pick up the phone and call me. I still feel uncomfortable talking about my blog a lot with my friends. I know they all read it but I feel a little self-conscious about it. And I’m very sensitive to make sure if I have news to share or a funny story, I tell them about it first. Am I the only one who is concerned with this type of stuff?
2- How do you decide which blogs to read?
When I started to branch out to the world of “networking” with other bloggers (20something bloggers, BlogHer) I was so excited to add people to my google reader. But soon this task became overwhelming! 20sb has over 1,000 members! And it became this weird superficial game. Who has a nice profile picture? Who was apart of the same groups I was? I’d click their link to their blog, read an entry…and if it didn’t grab me…off I went to next blog. How horrible is that? How could you ever judge a blog by one entry? I’ve become a little more “savvy” with my blog reading….going through the blog rolls of bloggers I read, clicking on links when someone I haven’t seen leaves an interesting comment. How do you add people to your list?
3- Do you ever get jealous?
When I blog about my inner-most thoughts and get 5 comments…and someone else blogs about their dog and gets 45 comments I stop and thing, what am I missing? First, let me say, I know I’m not suppose to “blog for comments” but sometimes it’s hard not to be jealous of other bloggers who seem to attract such a huge readership. Am I the only one? But, I’m about to contradict myself in question #4.
4- Can you ever have too many readers?
I might be jealous of the blogger who gets 45 comments, but I also think that might be a little overwhelming! Does that mean you read 45 other people’s blogs and comment on them? Do people really read ALL 45 comments? If I see a blog entry has a gazillion responses sometimes I don’t comment myself, because I feel like what I would have said, has already been written. See, clearly I have jealous issues.
5- Blog friends in real life?
If BlogHer was on the east coast I might have considered going, but I would have felt awkward, out of place and a little shy. I love all my blog friends. The little community formed online is pretty amazing. But I don’t know how I would fair in a real-life situation. Maybe these are my insecurities coming out…because in reality, my blog friends know ALL about my life. I just don’t know how I would do in a “meet-up” or attending BlogHer. Have you met a blogging friend in real life?
Guys, I am getting old. I am. Really. I feel so old today. Here are a few reasons why:
- When I woke up this morning, I hear Hubby panicking. “It is 6:20, I am LATE!” (We normally get up between 5-5:30) I respond by throwing back the covers, pouncing out of bed, and rushing to help him get ready. All of a sudden he stops, says, “it is Saturday” and we both head back to the bed like zombies. It is our one day to sleep in and now it is ruined. Work too much?
- I proceed to get on Twitter. I realize most of my friends are just getting to bed and I am getting up. I remember those days. Now I am too old and had to fight to stay awake until 11 last night. I fell asleep watching David Letterman. Not cool.
- Rosy is off gallivanting with B-man in the ATL., EP is off with her boyfriend (which is well-deserved, don’t get me wrong,) I don’t even want to think about the fun that Danielle and Dana are having, SandyMc leads an oh so exciting life of concerts and new towns. I can’t. Too many responsibilities. Boo.
- I seriously eat like a 65 year old man with colon cancer and a cholesterol problem. If it doesn’t have eighty grams of fiber, I am going to sprinkle flaxseed over it. I read Nutrition Labels and worry about my blood sugar and how much red meat and caffeine Hubby consumes in a day. I drink Vitamin Water and Diet Green Tea. I used to live off Ramen Noodles, bagels and cream cheese, and take-out. Now, one too many bowls of queso or an Oreo Blizzard and I go into faux chest pains from the guilt. Like for real. There is something wrong with this picture.
- The highlight of my weekend so far is buying fish. Yes, people, fish. I know, I am a party animal.
- As I sit here in my bed at 8 am on Saturday morning, and yes, I have already been up over an hour, I realize I am officially – gasp– and adult. I am not sure how I feel about this.
- Some days I miss college. I said some days. I miss the dorm when my girlfriends were just a door or two down. I miss my Jen Bran. I miss the ability to stay up all night, and have “suite night” with my four roommates. I miss getting ready for dates without my Hubby asking me what he should wear, and being picked up to go out, and eating out without Hubby reminding me how much money we spend on eating out, and shopping for clothes and shoes and purses and not silverware, and vacuum filters, and dog medicine. I miss house-sitting for people in their fabulous houses with their pools and their game rooms and their horses. I miss having friends over when I house-sat. I miss getting paid to be with my friends, and eating other people’s food, and watching movies in their media centers.
- I miss not having to worry about how many years my roof will last and paying property taxes. I miss the carefree days of rent, an on-call maintenance man, and a pool and an on-site gym. I miss not thinking about investments and 401Ks and 403Bs and hiring an “investment person.” See, I don’t even know what to call the guy! I need to check that out before we talk in person so I don’t sound like an idiot. I don’t want to think about “rolling funds over” or whatever that means. I don’t want to worry about Bulls or Bears or any other animals besides my own.
- I don’t want to worry about markets, or stocks, or IRAs, MMAs and/or CDs. I would rather play scrabble. That sound like more fun with letters.
- Hubby keeps talking about his Ten Year HS Reunion that is coming up. Mine is next year. Wow.
- Also, people ALL around me are having babies. Everyone. Well, almost everyone. My Brother (Whoa!), friends from college (a few of whom are having twins- WHAT?), and an old friend of mine, Tiffany, just had a baby with Down Syndrome. Guys, this blows my mind. Not only is she now a Mom, she is a mom of a child with serious special needs. And she is my age. I can’t fathom.
- I find myself already saying, “Yeah, that was back when I was _______.” Fill in the blank. A teacher, a therapist, an administrator. Seriously, how old am I ? How many careers can I have?
- I miss carefree weekends with nowhere to be, no expectations to live up to, and no responsibilities. Sigh.
Tags: Blogging, Books, Duke, Lists
I am feeling very accomplished today. It is only 2:30 and so far I have:
peeled myself out of bed for an 8Am class when it was storming outside. For this I should get a huge reward!
Attended said class and stayed awake, big bonus!
Vacummed my entire house
Taken Lily to the vet to help her bum situation- don’t ask!
Done 4 loads of laundry
Transcribed six reports
Attended a visitation at a funeral home to be there for a friend who just lost her dad(Love you K!)
Caught up on my Google reader for the past two days
Cleaned my kitchen
Sorted my recycling
Checked in with my Mom
Now on to the fun things! For the rest of the day all I will do is:
Watch La Vie En Rose
Watch the Duke Basketball Tourney game with Hubby – Duke attire required
Cuddle up and listen to it storm
Take a nap
Attempt to read some of The History of Love. I am having a very hard time with this book. I just don’t get it. If I am missing some grand piece of information, which I feel I am, please enlighten me!
Take a long bath, open up my blinds and watch it rain. Can you tell I love the rain when I can be home to listen to it hit my roof?
Go to Publix for some yummy food shopping and some Sushi.
Tags: 20 somethings, Blogging
I was even chosen (WHAT?!) to be included in the carnival for “A Piece of My Mind” I wrote back in February. It was a shocker to be included. You can find it under my Choice Posts page.
I am honored to even be on the same page as these two women and the other great bloggers that the 20SB carnival represents. If you are a blogger and a twenty-something come and join us!