Why did I start a blog? All thanks goes to Brandie, author of I Am Mom! Hear Me Roar!
I met Brandie on-line on a message board for mothers of babies due in September 2002. One day last fall, Brandie suggested to the board members that it might be fun to start personal journals and share them with each other.
I thought, yeah, fun, but not for me
! Once long, long ago, I started a diary on OpenDiary.com. I'd only posted a few entries when along came my first reader who commented, "Your diary sure is boring." Or something to that effect.
I quit soon thereafter. Those first entries probably were boring and the fact that someone out there
in the shadows was reading and judging my boring life scared me.
Yet, a few weeks after Brandie's suggestion, I decided to go ahead and start a journal. My first journal was here.
Then, in January, I moved to my present home here at Blogger.com, just in time for all the improvements unveiled by Blogger.
Most of the women from that board who started journals quit soon thereafter. But Brandie and I have continued our grand experiment in blogging, as have a few of my other board friends.
I've always kept a pen and paper journal, ever since I was in second grade. I hardly ever read those spiral notebooks, but I have them neatly stacked in my closet. I'll have plenty of material to laugh and cry over when I am old woman.
During my early twenties, my journals were the support system I longed for in the real world. When I was 22 and a new bride, I moved across the country from Seattle to New Haven, Connecticut, where my husband attended Yale Divinity School. I left my circle of college friends for a job in a law office and oh, the loneliness of being in a new city with a new husband who was stressed out by his rigorous studies! I wrote and wrote and wrote, whined and complained and dreamed of having babies.
Then my husband finished grad school and we moved "home" to Seattle (his homeland is near Houston), just in time for my dad to be diagnosed with terminal cancer and die. My journals from those days are filled with anguish and blotches where tears fell. After he died, my journal entries grew even more morose and dark as we entered the overcast Land of Infertility and then trod the uncertain, windy paths of Adoption Attempts.
My husband could only stand so much of my dismal outlook on life--cruel life, how dare you pick on me! what did I ever do to deserve this
!--and my fertile friends could not understand. So I wrote and wrote and cried and cried some more.
In the middle of all that agony, I thought, You know, this would make a great book. Then infertile women like me wouldn't feel so alone.
I typed it up all nice and pretty and waited until an end to my "story" appeared, wrote up a book proposal and sent it off.
I was rejected repeatedly and I could hear the hoots and howls of the editors all the way back at my childless home. You think infertility is depressing? Try having your book proposal about infertility rejected. That's really
depressing, along the lines of, God hates you and we hated hearing about it. Grow up you big baby!
Obviously, my idea was absolutely right on target, because lo and behold, along comes internet blogs and what do I come across? Amazing infertility blogs and a warm, gentle, understanding circle of supportive infertile women all reading and commenting and blogging and getting through those gloomy days together. My absolute favorite blog about infertility at the moment is by Getupgrrl who authors
a blog which makes me weep and snort with laughter and smile with recognition. What did those dumb editors know anyway? The truth is that people are interested
in reading about other people's lives, in viewing the interior of those lives, the mundane and the absurd and the heart-wrenching minutiae of daily life.
In another decade, I might have been the author of a college blog ("I'm so tired, I'm not sure I can make it through English Lit today and do you think that he
will ask me out and what, oh what will I be when I grow up?") or an infertility blog ("Everyone I know lives in a world of velvet toys and tiny fingers and strained carrots and I have no baby to call my own.").
My blog reflects my thoughts and serves as a record of the monotonous and the silly and the boring, because these small things are the blocks that make up Life. These details add up to everything that matters and one day I will want to remember how Babygirl refused her nap and instead hollered down the stairs, "MOM!" while a man stood on my roof and power-washed it. I write to think, I write to remember, and I write to entertain myself. That other people find my writing entertaining or thought-provoking is a lovely bonus and reading comments is the frosting on my cake. Even those "anonymous" comments by people who do not appreciate my view of Michael Moore's movie.
I have a blog-addiction now. Blogs give me a view into lives that probably would never intersect with my life, whether for geographical, philosophical, or practical reasons. I might never have crossed paths with Suzanne, the witty, warm and funny author of Suburban Lesbian.
I woulnd't think to seek out a blog for "suburban lesbians", but when Suzanne first commented on my blog, I followed the links back to her hang-out and discovered we have a lot in common. For instance, we both value the snooze feature on our alarm clocks.
She's a great writer and I feel lucky to have a glimpse into her life.
One of my closest friends is MaryKay. We met back in 1985 when we worked at Heritage U.S.A., Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's extravaganza. She was a lifeguard and I was a children's ministry intern. And we've been writing letters and email ever since. She started a blog recently called Much Ado About Nothing
. Now, we can keep up with each other even though I'm near Seattle and she's in North Carolina. MaryKay tells funny stories of working in a funeral home and raising her four kids. She's terrific and creative and insightful.
Stacy is one of my board buddies who is a fabulous writer with a wry and humorous viewpoint. She authors Gray Matter
. I can't figure out when she writes because she is the mother of twin 2-year-old boys, a brilliant 9-year-old daughter, attends grad school, works full-time (at nights on the weekends) and is married to a man who travels. She also reads a lot and frankly, she's amazing.
Then there is Jen, author of SissyFit
, a beautifully written, often hilarious account of her life as the mother of three small children and wife of a police officer. And she's tall, really tall, and beautiful, extremely witty and best of all, she sent my gnome-deprived, gnome-obsessed daughter her very own gnome. Jen is a Gnome Benefactor.
I include a few blogs that I randomly found. These girls make me laugh and sometimes make me wish I were young and single and living in Los Angeles or New York City, and sometimes make me thank God I'm not. A Girl Named Bob
belongs to a career-girl in New York City. Wendy, author of Magic Short Bus
, is an animator and good friend of Bob, as in the girl named Bob. Another young, single-with-boyfriend author is Deb of smitten
. She makes finding a mouse in the house (okay, apartment) and frosting cupcakes amusing and even laugh-out-loud funny.
A new member of my blogroll is Michelle, writer of Demented Delusions of a Wannabe Writer.
Take a stroll over there and see why I like her, aside from the fact that she's a good writer. Also, it turns out she's a Pastor's Kid, so we have a little connection there.
is practically in a category by herself. She's on almost more blogrolls than, well, than anyone--go ahead, check the official registers on Blogrolling.com and you'll see I tell no lies. Read her tales of parenting her now-7-month-old baby, Leta, and giggle at her list of reasons she feels guilty
. You can thank me later.
For pure inspiration and a kick in the pants, read my high-school friend, Tory's blog. She's a teacher, so obviously
her site is called MsTeechur: From Flabulous to Fabulous
. She is not only a fantastic teacher, but she also lost over 100 pounds doing Weight Watchers on-line and just recently, she ran a half-marathon and completed her first triathlon. She's remarkable and a cheerful, bring-smiles-to-your-face writer.
So, there you have it. The reasons I blog and the reasons I list the blogs I do.
Now, it's your turn. Why do you blog? How'd you get started? And while you're at it, tell me I'm beautiful and that you definitely think I could win a Pulitzer Prize. Or just send cash. And a tiara.