“I Blog” Club

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.

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17 thoughts on ““I Blog” Club

  1. Please, please, please – do not stop what you are doing and thinking and feeling. I discovered you today and I need you to continue. I am far older than you and probably worse off but I need you to blog so that I will continue. I promised myself to blog twice a week and when I did I had absolutely no idea what I would write about – none. I just closed my eyes and jumped. You have taken on so much more. I am with you. Please don’t stop. If you can, I can. It is writers like you that give writers such as myself so much hope and, dare I say, aspiration. Thank you for doing it day after day. Keep up the good work. I’m writing one for you tonight.

  2. Please, please, please do not stop. I discovered you today and now you must continue. I write a blog (only twice a week posts, though) and it is bloggers like you that give a blogger like me such hope. If I am able to discover you then maybe someone will discover me and give me insight and hope. You are a writer and you write. I am a writer and I write. Keep up the good work and don’t lose sight of your daily mining of the craft. Thanks for all you do. Chin up! Fingers to the keyboard! Blog on!

  3. I HEAR YOU. I have the same internal battle with myself every second day – “why am I doing this, who wants to hear what I’ve got to say? why do those bloggers get thousands of views writing about complete drivel?” Just like everything else in this new digital world, the blogosphere can be a great way to connect with others, but I think it can be so isolating as well.

  4. Great post. I also find myself wondering sometimes what the point of keeping the blog is in the context of writing. The connection aspect is a big part of what keeps me writing my blog and also what makes me keep reaching out to other bloggers. I just really like reading other people’s stories. I’m accepting that everyone won’t be interested in my story and I won’t be interested in theirs (like the teenage mental illness queen, ugh), and that’s okay. We’re all going through our shit and sharing. I have to remind myself that it’s not a popularity contest, even when it feels like one (which is my own shit because I’m 39, lol).

  5. That’s so wonderful to hear and moving. I can use all the encouragement you throw my way and bow down virtually, grateful. I read younger people’s stories all the time and wish I had sooner and am so glad I’m not alone! Thanks for reading!

  6. Ha ha … big birthday in Paradise coming up for you next year. I’m so glad you commented b/c I actually changed the part about the 17 year old and had a different ending to the post (updated). My husband thought that line was too “blog shaming” and I felt bad. Oh well … glad it will be corrected in perpetuity. I want to come visit you in Belize!

  7. Belize is on our list … also I enjoy ziplining and I heard it’s awesome there. I will let you know when we finally make it. I loved the part about the 17 year old also because that’s more my obnoxious voice but I really would feel bad if they got offended as it is a very tender, sensitive age, which apparently never ends 😉

  8. I feel like writers especially gravitate towards voyeurism because we have a habit of seeing characters everywhere. I mean, they’re people, but when you read a book written by someone else you know that you don’t know everything about the character, the same way that you don’t know everything about a person in real life. There’s always something left out because is not part of the plot or held back because it won’t be important until later. With people that you don’t know that well, that you will never going to know that well, it’s easy to be a voyeur into their lives because they’re just like a character in a book. I think writers especially zero in on other people because we want to know more about them, in the same way that we want to know everything about our own characters in order to write them. We want to know, so that we can go on to write what we know.

    … That’s not quite what you were talking about. I know that. But your posts inspire thoughts. 😊

  9. Thank you for reading and your inspiring thoughts! Oh wait, my thoughts were inspiring? Great – thank you for stretching your brain because of what I said:-) I agree with you completely. We love studying characters and the human condition and mostly saying WTF!

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