Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blog, Interrupted

So, two months and 25 blogs later, I would say I have established myself as a consistent blogger. Fairly reliable. Showing up nearly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (albeit loosey goosey with the hour of day). I may be voicing my opinion (on all things frivolous); issuing a challenge (yes, I WILL have "after" pictures for the Project 12-in-12 challenge on Friday's blog); or sharing a sappy, sentimental story (a study is currently being commissioned to see if said stories correspond with monthly female hormonal happenings). My personal favorites are usually the anecdotal accounts of my everyday life. Those are the ones people seem to relate to on a deeper level. And by deeper, I mean they feel my pain. Whether it's dog dying, hamster buying, or bats flying, we've all "been there, done that, bought the t-shirt."

On Monday, I returned after a week and a half hiatus with an excused absence slip. The slip said something like, "Big Daddy is home, and when Big Daddy is home Big Daddy demands my attention and Big Daddy deserves my attention." It could have also read, "Damn! After eleven baseball/lacrosse games, eight Zumba classes, three track meets, two girls' night's out, two parties to attend, one sacrament to celebrate and entertaining out-of-town guests (yes, all within ten days) - Mama is just too tired to type!

All of this is true, but there are a couple of other reasons why Aleighopolis was under quarantine...

First, I give you blogger's remorse. Why am I spending my days writing fluff for no apparent reason other than entertainment (most, of which, is mine)? I touched on this Monday, and many of you came to the defense of blogging, and eloquently commented on the needs of us to do so. Blog. And comment. We just do. Okay...good enough for me.

Secondly, truth be told, I became frozen stiff in cyberpeer pressure. Short story long, one of my blogging buddies is a real-life buddy who happened to have a real-life career as a writer in a real-life newspaper. Think Marley & Me with no dog. Well, actually, there IS a dog, but he wasn't the constant focus. I digress. She has been blogging for awhile, and has come into contact with many fellow writers. It's natural that writers would find a home in the blogging world. They trade insights and inspirations all of the time on their posts and comments. They use jargon like WIP's and queries. They hold contests for judging critiques and do guest-blogging at each other's sights and so on and so forth.

What the ?!?

How did little 'ole me with no focus or purpose get mixed up with this astute cluster of scribes?!? Don't get me wrong. These people are FABULOUS and I enjoy them immensely. I "follow" several of them who have caught my fancy. I am giddy with delight when one finds their way to Aleighopolis and takes the time to sign my guest book (leave a comment).

But there's this other thing that austere bloggers do. And here's where the pressure got to me.

They give out awards.

Lots of them.

For best doodle and sweetest remarks and prettiest handwriting and all kinds of things.

They give out awards, and if you receive one, you're expected to pass it along. Like a chain letter. It all seemed very sweet and encouraging in the beginning, but then it took a peculiar turn. It felt a bit gratuitous. And then a little incestuous.

YIKES! Now I've done it! I've offended the cool kids! They'll never let me sit at their lunch table again!!!!! What was I thinking?!?

Lucy, let me 'splain...I get that we're all just sharing the blogger love. Helping to promote each other's sites and their subsequent works in progress. Keeping things real, all the while rosy. Please.
I am a former cheerleader who's favorite tv show is Glee and all kidding aside, I truly love my life. Positivity is a daily goal of mine. A splash of sarcasm and a love of dirty dancing are the only things that keep my skin from glowing like a neon pink sign. Rose-colored glasses? I got your roses.

But the passing around of clip art awards was wearing me down, peeps (may I still call you peeps? do you hate me now? the cheerleader past was the nail in the coffin, am i right?). I am still trying to understand blog etiquette (is that a mushroom cloud above my head where a light bulb should be?) It was feeling like a "you scratch my blog and I'll scratch yours" kind of deal with the followers and following and contests and giveaways and awards and acceptance posts. I blame no one but myself for these overwhelming considerations. Again, it was just that kind of week. General chaos leading, interrupted.

I needed to catch my breath.

I have.

I needed to remember why I bother doing this.

Actually, I still need to FIGURE OUT why I'm doing this.

I think I'm just having a conversation, one-sided as it may be.

I'm hanging with friends and family. And with you. If you're still there. Hello? Are you still there?

I wish I had a WIP.


  1. Wine In Pitcher?

    I hear you. I can tell you why I, sporadic as it is, choose to write ... it is that simple need to connect that drives me. I feel the need to put myself, my drama, my life out there because even if they don't actually comment, I know there are others who feel the same angst, embarrassing joy, love of memories (of a movie, a song, Scooby, Thundercats), long lists, and, at times, loneliness that I do. If one person can read about my warped life and laugh or feel connected in some way, then, hey, I've managed to brighten someone's day.

    [That all sounds so much better than "I'm a narcissist." Bahahahaha!]

  2. You write on your blog because you are witty and clever with words, in my opinion!! You must get some sense of satisfaction from blogging or you simply wouldn't do it. Am I right? Keep blogging until it stops being fun and rewarding :)

    I hear you about the blog awards. I got three in a row and they involved a fair amount of "work" in addition to my actual blog writing.

  3. Ha! That's Work In Progress, but Wine in Pitcher sounds good, too! Our lives may not look alot alike, Justa, but I love reading your drama. Our sense of humor binds us. As does our narcissism. Ba!

    And Wally, you're so sweet to encourage my writing. Yes, you're right! I truly enjoy this world of blog. This post got too long to include my jealousy of you real writers and how funny I feel being included in your little sorority games. Thank you for seeing that this post meant no disrespect. Enough about me - get back to work on your YA queries!

  4. I'm with you on the awards thing. I remember when Julie the Wife gave me my first award, and I was truly honored. I actually thought it was a rare gift. Ha, ha. Seven awards later, I'm over it. Not unappreciative, just wish I could blog about things other than accepting awards.

    Re: your questions about why you blog...I was told, before I started blogging, that you need to be clear about your purpose before you begin. I was. I wanted my blog to be an outlet for people to become familiar with my voice so they'd eventually be interested in buying my books. Not sure if I've sold any books yet, but 3 people have "said" they were buying them, so who knows.

    Anyway, don't mean to ramble, but I'm glad you're here ;-)

  5. I think you blog because you are a burgeoning writer ... there is a book, play, sitcom, song, waiting for you to birth. So go get busy Aleighopolis!

  6. Awards? I must find out all about it so I can incorporate them into my blogging project with next year's AVID Seniors. OH and what the heck is going on here? I'm following you but you aren't following me? Is that proper blogging etiquette?? ;)

  7. Jodi, you are so right, on both accounts! One, I've corrected the "following" faux pas. And secondly, thanks to all of my lamenting last week, a good friend suggested a fabulous book idea for me. There! I said it! Can I possibly become a real writer?!? It's out there! Can't take it back!