Sunday, January 23, 2011

And So, I Blog

Do you remember the first time you ever heard about a blog?  I do.  I remember thinking it was the DUMBEST thing ever.  This was in the early days of the user friendly internet.  There were some times in the 90s when I didn't think the internet was so easy to use.  About mid 90s, browsers became easier to use and then there were these things called WEBLOGS.  When my friend m-ster, who was such a techy hipster, first told us of his weblog, I was like "Why?  Who wants to know your every move?  Are you so important that we need to read this online journal of yours?"  I thought it was just a me-fest and purely useless.

Fast forward about a decade, and my mother has created a blog.  She uses it to post pictures of quilts, though 50% of the pictures are actually not quilt related at all.  And she puts a few words on it, but not much.  But she started doing this like 5 years ago, or so.  And I still thought blogs were not for me.  Just one more thing to get sucked into, I thought.  Just one more thing to distract me on a computer.  Nope.  Not for me.

I would search for things on google and often get directed to people's blogs and I just didn't like it.  I didn't have the patience to read through posts and comments.  And I still believed blogs were just a colossal waste of time.   A great place for my mother to put her pictures, but still, not for me.

About 2 years ago, I took a tech class for teachers about web 2.0 tools (all the free stuff we can use on the internet and didn't even know we could use!) and we had to create a blog.  I immediately began to see the usefulness of a blog for my classroom because it would become my new website.  I had had a website for a while, but it was cumbersome and I could only access it at home to make changes.  When I learned what a blog could do and how versatile it is, I was hooked.  For school.  Still not for home.

I decided it might be a smart business move to create a website for my lia sophia business.  And thus, this website was born.  But, I'm sad to say, my early days of posting S-U-C-K-E-D.  Or at least, compared to what I have now, it wasn't great.  But, how great can a blog about jewelry be?  I thought I'd create this blog, tell everyone what the monthly special was and then people would just magically find it and comment and I'd be a millionaire.  I had no idea how it all worked.  And I got no action.  With stimulating posts like this, I can't imagine why not!

And then it happened.  My very first blog that I enjoyed reading was Mi Vida Azar.  It was my sister a-ster's fault.  She sent me an email saying I had to go visit this blog.  This post was the one that had me laughing so hard, I might have wretched a little.  I'm laughing even now, and that was a whole year ago.  I kept thinking "wow, I can read all this hysterical writing, for free???"  And I'd go back every day, waiting for more knee slappers.   Go read it, I'll wait. 

Didn't I tell you???  When marybt gets on a roll, she really nails it.  And I loved her header.  And it got me thinking.  I wondered if other funny bloggers were out there.  Just writing about their take on life.  Sharing with us their humor and wit.  So, I looked in her blogroll to see who she liked and that's how I got started reading blogs.  Wow, I just went and looked at her blogroll to see if I could remember who I liked from her list, and found my own.  That's exciting!

So, for a couple of months, I poked around other people's blogrolls to find out who they liked and this led me to some really fantastic blogs.  You can see them all over there, on my blogroll.  I learned that I really like people who are funny on a regular basis.  Not I'm a comedian funny, but here's what I did today, can you believe it funny.

I like funny.   I like to think I am funny sometimes.  People often say "you are so funny" but I never think they mean that I should do stand up.  I think it's more that they don't know what I am, so funny seems to fit because it could be  ha ha funny or hey, does this smell funny to you?  I've always been better writing my thoughts than saying them.  I tend to speak too fast, forget major parts of the story, laugh too hard myself to continue the telling, etc.

So, I started writing to see what would happen.   I left comments on blogs that I liked, and learned that when you do that, people go and check you out too.   Thus the blogging community develops.  I've have some real winners, posts that still make me laugh to read even though I wrote them.  I've had some real duds.  And some posts that I thought sounded fantastic in my mind, but they just didn't come out right.

And I've learned that all of my favorite bloggers have off days.  Or they fall off the map for a while.  I've also learned that a few that I thought were awesome just weren't, so I deleted them from my blogroll to make room for others.  Because a major part of this for me is reading other blogs.  I feel that I must read them whenever they are updated.  Because I want to feel like people are that curious about mine too.

It's amazing to me how many bloggers I read are authors or aspiring to be authors. And this is where it all comes together for me.  I'm one of those many people that always thought I'd be a writer, in addition to my "real" job.  And some days, I still think that someday I will be a writer.  But, for the time being, this is my "book" and these posts are my chapters.

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite favorites and why they inspire me to keep blogging:

Some days I can't wait to see if the  laundress has an update because she writes like I wish I would.   And it might be a little bit that I'm influenced by all the pink on her site...

And then there's the narcissist who says things I'd never dare and cracks me up every time.  Which brings me to another reason I blog.  I say things in ways that out loud, I'd probably never say because they are either words I don't use out loud (boobs, pee, etc) or I can never get the words our fast enough.

Who doesn't love the girl?  She keeps having writing contests and I love that and her Feel Good Friday thing has really made me put things in perspective some weeks.  This brings another point to my blogging.  Sometimes, when I'm ready to kill someone because of their idiocy, I remember that I can go blog about this and it might be funny, and then, I don't kill someone.  Another very big plus.

29andholding has entertained me A LOT since I found her.  She, and all of the women I've mentioned so far, does a great job of mixing her role as a mother/wife/caretaker/employed woman and keeping it all light and entertaining.  I get so tired of those mothers who stop living so they can devote everything to their kids and I find that so unhealthy.  This inspires me to remember that there are normal people out there who still swear, still go on dates with their husbands and still want to leave their children with total strangers some days because they are so embarrassed by their children's behavior.  Not that 29andholding has ever said she would do that, that is my wording, but it's what I think.

Frogs has me cracking up every time I read too.  I spent a long time trying to decide if the frogs in her formula meant baby formula or the formula she had for her life.  She just had a 2nd baby and I enjoyed her commentary throughout her pregnancy.  And that she came back within days of giving birth, instead of locking herself in her bedroom like so many new mothers do.

There are so many more, but those are the people I go look for first.  When they get back to the top of my blogroll, it means they have updated and I just love that.  It's like I'm reading 20 books at once and I get to read a new chapter every time they post.  And, because I'm so thrifty, I also love that these "books" are all free!!  And I can comment and the authors actually respond to me.  Well, most of them, anyway.  Frogs, you never do, but I still read you.

When k-ster gets on my case and says it is so stupid that I am so stalwart in my refusal to use facebook, yet I will spend all this time blogging.  I try to explain that they are not at all the same.

First of all, these people don't know me from Eve.  And I like that.  Isn't it kind of fun to read someone's blog for a while and create the characters in your head?  Some post pictures of everyone in their families, but I also like those who don't because I have a very active imagination.  And if I get sick of them or offended, or just don't like their work anymore, I can just delete them and that's the end.  They don't get that very sad defriending message that you get on facebook.

Second, anyone who comes and reads my blog is there for a reason.  Either they were misdirected by some other site, or they found me somehow and actually like to see what I have to say.  They leave comments if they want, but if they dont' I'll never know if they came or not and what they thought.  I don't have to read on someone else's page that someone came to my site and thinks such and such.

Third, as I mentioned before, many of my fellow blogesses are aspiring writers, all in different places, and I like that.  If someone's blog is full of grammar and spelling errors, I don't bother.  I have no patience for bad writing.  If this were facebook, I'd be forced to read all the crap and then if I defriended, there's that sad message they have to get.  But, I can't ignore things if they are in front of me, therefore, if you bug me, I delete you.

Some bloggers have said that their husbands refer to the rest of us as imaginary friends.  Well, we kind of are.  Like I said, I like to imagine what they  like, what their family and house looks like, I picture where they work etc because of the quality of their writing.  I surround myself with people who I feel are like minded and from whom I can learn.

I've learned what I can do with this blog.  I've learned how to do things within the blog.  I've learned that shampoo is freakishly fantastic at getting out stains and grease.

And I like to think that people who visit my blog have learned from me.  That they look forward to my updates.  That they think I'm entertaining enough to forward me on to someone else. That they say to a friend "hey, I was just reading about that on someone's blog".

And I sure do get a kick out of myself.  I go back and reread sometimes and wonder who really said those words.  Me???  And other times, I groan and can't believe I thought that was so important or so funny at the time.  So, it's like an online journal that anyone and their brother can read.  But it's still kind of anonymous.  And if I don't like your comment, I can delete it.  So there.

So m-ster, I think back to 199-whatever, when I thought you were so self important that you thought people would read your weblog and I laugh because I'm doing the very same thing.  And I actually think you stopped your blogging a long time ago!!

So, that's why I blog.

3 comments:

  1. First of all, your mom has a blog and she's had it over 5 years? Wow! That is so admirable. I love to hear of other generations hopping aboard the technology train and here she did it before any of us!

    And thank you so very much! You are too kind. Your words bolstered me up. So here you are giving me this fantastic shout out and here I am posting about my crippling writer self doubt. Go figure. It will get better, though. On Thursday I'm guest posting over at The Girl's site who is also one of my favorite bloggers and very best friends in the blog universe.

    Here's what got me into blogging. A beautiful girl named Nie Nie of the Nie Nie dialogues. Blogging was rather a foreign concept to me and then I read this article in the NY Times about Nie Nie. She had a very popular blog where she wrote simply about her husband and family and her beautiful decorating skills. Then she and her husband were in a horrific plane crash and the blogging community rallied around them and raised over a million dollars for their medical needs. I was intrigued and the minute I opened her blog, I fell in love. It took me 2 days but I read every single post she'd ever written and then I moved on to her sister Courtney's blog called C Jane Enjoy It. Courtney wrote so eloquently about the pain and the hardship they were all enduring, yet she was always this little bubble of joy no matter what was happening. Nie Nie almost died after being burned over most of her body, but she fought to live and now I still read both sisters along with about one hundred million other blogs.

    You are so right, this blogging community is such a unique treasured thing, building friendships from words alone. I hope to stick around here for a long time. Thanks again. Your post was beautiful.

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  2. You hit the nail on the proverbial head.
    Just so you know, I mentioned you this weekend while I was at a Lia Sophia party. I was like, "I know a blogger who sells Lia Sophia, so if I ever buy, I'll be buying through her." And I didn't buy anything.
    See, you are thought of fondly and every time jewellery is mentioned.

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  3. I don't remember how I heard about blogging but somehow I stumbled on Mimi Smartypants and read her for a while over at Diaryland. Oy, Diaryland is like the moon boots of blogging.

    Anyway, I enjoyed her stuff and then created my own blog over at D-land. After a year or so I took the plunge and purchased cardiogirl.net because the punk who owned cardiogirl.com would not give it up. Even though he was just holding it with a static page that said nothing but file not found.

    Now he has a gym and he uses the url and I still hate him for it. But occasionally I get some hits for people looking for his site.

    And yes. I'm still bitter about that.

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