I’m writing every day. Yay. Good job. Celebrating my little victories, ceremonial pat on the back at 100 days; 265 to go. What’s 28% of anything? I’m a marathon runner on mile 7.4 of 26.2. In the back of my head I’m thinking, OK so I’m gaining some expertise; I’m flexing my muscles daily but where am I getting. If I’m just doing the training every day, does my main event start next year when the project is done? How do I focus on TODAY without the weight of tomorrow, of the finish line, of what’s next? I’m not even halfway done. But the cash register drawer isn’t dinging open despite my headfirst dive into the “Do what you love and the money will follow” philosophy. Isn’t this our current motto-de-jour?
Blogging is about connection. It’s finding others to complete your dysfunctional virtual life.
Yet I have often felt conflicted in an internal blogging versus writing quandary. How do I find my place in the Black Hole of the Blogosphere? There are over 150 million blogs and even though thousands get abandoned within weeks or months, last year there was still an estimated 1.1 million posts PER DAY and the quality of the writing is not what always makes you shine.
“Don’t worry about anyone else,” my husband tells me. “There’s room for everyone.”
When reading others’ online writing, I’m excited to find people I can virtually high-five and think, “Hell yes, this woman knows what she is talking about and I want to meet her in real life.” Other times I stumble on a teenager’s site and she is all like “I am totally the queen of advice because I am 17 and have lived THROUGH IT ALL.”
I’ll sigh at first, thinking, “Am I just the 40-year-old version of her?”. Then I’ll notice the blinking FOLLOW button on the side and see “Join my other 15,000 followers. Sigh. Maybe she does know it all as I sit here still at triple-digit followers.
Why am I so captivated by strangers’ lives? It goes beyond the voyeuristic inclinations. I read strangers posts about their struggles with fertility and about their beautiful, dying wife. I witness fellow parents doing their best and faking it and I find fellow humans wearing their mental illness badges boldly. The blogosphere satisfies our desire to emphasize and commiserate. We want to feel we are not alone; we want someone to validate our feelings and say, “Me too! Me – worse! Me – better! Me, Me, Me.”
We are all on independent journeys, navigating our way through the imaginary space behind the computer. As much as I started this as a solo mission, without the community of bloggers, I am a dancer on a stage with no audience. While blogs may start as a way to vent, to grieve, to cope, to share, ultimately, they are unsuccessful if they do not connect.