Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Blogging Meme

Dear Lunanik has tagged me for this meme. She likes me, she really likes me!

How long have you been blogging?

My first post on this blog was September 12, 2007. I admit to a few other false starts at blogging, but this one has stuck. I was just reading this article about Mommy Bloggers, where the author half-jokingly referred to it as a form of narcissism, and maybe so, but for me, it's more about attempting to make connections. We may be born and die alone, but in between, I believe we spend the majority of the time attempting to form human bonds.

What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors?

I was spending a lot of time on an online community for moms, but I found that, even in my long posts, I still had so much more to say. Then, I started reading other bloggers, and had even more to say. I had that, "hey, if they can do it, so can I!" feeling, and thus another mommy blogger was born! But I still feel I have a unique slant, particularly as a single mother. The first blogs I began to read on a regular basis were Because I Said So (found from the now-famous E-Bay posting), and then Mommy Needs Coffee. They still remain inspirations, and favorites. Mentors? Well, they don't even know I exist, but they still inspire.

Are you trying to make money or just doing it for fun?

Unfortunately, I know myself well enough to know that I can't be motivated by money. I love the line from Sunday in the Park with George (by Stephen Sondheim): "It's not so much do what you like as it is that you like what you do." That's how I get up every morning to go to work. I've thought about trying to write for money a few times, but frankly, I don't think I'm good enough. At the same time, I've never been one to shy away from expressing myself, so blogging makes perfect sense for me. Enough people (which, by my standards, doesn't have to be a very high number) have told me that they enjoy reading my blog to inspire me to keep doing this, and yes, I am having fun.

What three things do you love about being online?

1) The people. I'm with Lunanik on this one 100%. I had never quite bought into the idea of real friendships being able to come to fruition on the internet alone, but my own experiences have turned me into a believer. I have always enjoyed learning more about human nature, and being able to explore humanity through technology is a fascinating and exciting opportunity that I get to endeavor in every day in the comfort of my own home. Having kids limits my opportunities to get out there IRL so I'm grateful for this substitute that does allow for real human expression and exchange.

2) The freedom to engage or not, and to edit oneself. Granted, there are times we all hit the "send," "post," "reply" button a little too soon, but overall, I enjoy having the chance to read it over, correct those mistakes I catch, and completely form my thoughts (again, most of the time - not all) before actually saying it. I know we all have those times when you think to yourself later, after an argument or something, "I should have said THIS!" Being in a comfort zone allows me the opportunity to actually say it.

At the same time, I can also write the most nasty, hateful things...and then delete, delete, delete before it actually goes out there in the world. It's a wonderful way to get all of that out of my system without going so far as to express them to the other person, and regretting it later! Of course, sometimes I still hit that post/send button, but there's actually a lot of self-editing going on!!

And, believe it or not, there are times when I don't post. There are things I don't ever say that I'm thinking. Or I save it for a private conversation or email instead of expressing it to the whole world (or online community). I'm not caught off guard. I have time to process.

3) The chance to learn from others. I really do love going out there and seeing what other people have to say. I love the opportunity to try and understand another point of view.

But it goes beyond just political differences, and the like. Sometimes, I just need to get outside of my head, and my own IRL world. I have learned so much from other moms all over the internet that I wouldn't even know where to begin! I have had fascinating online discussions about everything from potty training to MySpace to this year's presidential candidates...I look forward to my time online every day to see what more there is to learn.

What three things do you struggle with online?

1) I agree with Lunanik on the first as well: time management. There was one particular night, after spending time in a new online community, where I was up until after 1 a.m. because I still had to do dishes, make school lunches, etc.! I have gotten better at it, but it takes a lot of self-control.

2) Putting up with terrible grammar. I actually read yesterday that Heath Ledger had "past" on. I'm no English expert, but come on, people!!

3) Am I giving up or letting go? And understanding the difference. Sometimes, there can't be a meeting of the minds. This happens IRL as well, of course, but it's a little harder for me to gauge where the line is online than off without the benefit of being able to look into someone's eyes and being able to tell whether you need to back off or just push a tiny bit further. I don't believe that words are only 7% of communication, but they are far from 100%.

I'm not going to tag anyone - use as you like!

1 comment:

LunaNik said...

Great job! I really love your #2 reason to what do you love about being online. "the freedom to edit oneself" That is so true. If only I edited myself a bit more!