My Blog Turns Three

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It was balmy on that late March evening in 2007. 

A friend had called to ask how my most recent bout with unemployment was faring. I groused and whined and bemoaned my situation and wondered who I’d pissed off in a previous life to have been dealt such a horrific hand.    She suggested I start a blog.

I beg your pardon? 

A blog, she repeated.  

What in the hell is a blog?

An on-line journal of sorts.  Others can read it.  Come on, it’ll be a great way to channel your creativity and keep your name out there.

Out where?

In the blogosphere.

The blogosphere???   What the hells is that?   It sounds like it could be the surname of an ex-Illinois governor impeached for abuse of power.

I tried it and within days, I got hooked.  I don’t know why blogging can be so addictive.   I think I got into blogging for the same reasons I got into broadcasting, but not everything I write is a masterpiece. I have plenty of people who think I’m an idiot; an asshole and a rank amateur as a writer.

That bothered me ast one time, but I stopped allowing it to be a drain.  It’s way too much work to think yourself that special or to think the loudmouth stranger who deigned to tell me such a thing, had an opinion that was worth a damn.

Perhaps, but I’d like to think that I’ve evolved quite a bit since March 31, 2007.  Three years later, I’m wiser, less vulnerable and far less concerned with all the things that initially got me into blogging.  I no longer care about hits and views.  It’s no longer about being named Blogging Queen or being incredibly popular.   I DON’T care to meet other bloggers, as some do and I try never to refer to myself one. 

I’m a writer, dammit Spock.   Ive tried very hard not to get sucked into that blogging culture where everyone calls everyone else by their blogging name, which for some reason, really bothers me.

I love writing, but there’s actually a lot about the art of blogging itself that kind of galls me.  As a result, I’ve thought about calling it quits when my blog reaches a million hits. I decided that when I turned 50.  Well, that was a year ago.   A hell of a lot has happened since then.  I’ve not shared most of it.  That means it was sensitive subject matter for me.  It’s been the kind of things I had to work out privately;  in my head  as opposed to here, in a very public setting for all of mankind to read, assuming, of course, that all of mankind reads my blog. 

Which it doesn’t.

So, there you have it:  my blog is three years old. 

 I don’t know what the future holds.  I’m not particularly happy in my new job.  I’ve been rather closed mouth about things.  It’s not that the job is all that bad, it’s just that I can’t function in the general population.   I’m recidivist– only truly happy and content and feel safe in prison.   And by prison, I mean broadcasting.  

I’ve fought the admission that I miss the industry.   I suppose admitting it means I’ve not evolved.  Everyone tells me there’s life after TV and radio.   Then, why do I miss it?   I’ve tried to convince myself and anyone that would listen that I wanted out; that I was eager to live life without a mike in my face or a Program Director on my ass.  The reality is that I know nothing else.  

Therefore, I”m in a state of flux, which I think is somewhere near Nebraska.   I don’t know what the future holds.   Will this blog live to see age four???    Who knows and really, who cares.   Life will go on if I pull the plug or if you decide to never return.

But I suppose in some ways, if I’m the entertainer I’d like to believe I am,  if you make the effort to make my writing regular aappointment reading, fine.  Even though I don’t make a dime on it, I must–as that miscreant Dr. Phil would say–get something out of it. Theres’ reward in there somewhere.  I’m just not recognizing it outright…

Or maybe I am and just too embarrassed to admit that I’m that emotionally needy.

Well, be that as it may.  The real issue du jour is my blog and for the third year in a row, I thank you, my readers;  regular or irregular, incontinent or not.  You have given me a reason for writing.   I’ve given myself permission to write, too.  

Sp, thanks for finding me funny or so journalistically intriguing or so utterly ridiculous that you keep coming back for more.   

I will, to the best of my ability,  keep you coming back for whatever reason that compels you to do so.

Happy birthday, Blog.

I pray that at the ripe old age of three, you’ll get to work for once and start making your old lady some money..

 /’

4 comments

  1. Gee Laurie, if you quit blogging I’ll have to make that trip up to Houston just to slap your fanny… 🙂

    Just kidding, I’m so old you could blow me over with a sneeze and besides, I’ve been enjoying my subscription to LK whether you’re 3, or 33, or 333!

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    You are too kind, as always GM.

    I don’t know what I’ll do. Sometimes blogging is a pain; a fantastic drain on my psyche. Other times, it’s wonderfully cathartic. As a blogger yourself, you know these truths to be self evident.

    Where have I read that before???

    While my schedule as of late doesn’t allow daily blog posts, I’ll get a few in when I can; where I can.

    You be well and thanks for your support over the years.

    Best,
    LK

  2. I love writing, but there’s actually a lot about the art of blogging itself that kind of galls me.

    :sigh:
    There’s a woman (’bout your age, too, which makes her ’bout my age) who writes articles plus opinion pieces for a conservative Conn newspaper – won awards and all that – who has bemoaned blogs a handful of times in her columns. It’s too bad, because she entirely misses the point that bloggers do exactly what she does: provide pithy, witty, informative, or entertaining articles. Oh, except that 99.9% of bloggers do it for free.

    Whenever I see professional or semi-professional writers complaining about bloggers, my first thought is that it’s the concern that someone else is encroaching on their turf.

    Too often it’s not done as well or as consistently, but in the hundreds of thousands of “web logs” available, you’ll find many writers who are as (if not more) competent, entertaining, informative, and witty as the pros.

    I’m a writer, dammit Spock. Ive tried very hard not to get sucked into that blogging culture where everyone calls everyone else by their blogging name, which for some reason, really bothers me.

    Know what, Laur? A lot of bloggers consider themselves to writers, too.

    And yeah, the blogging nyms become a bit too cutesy, but that’s because so many people really *don’t* want the recognition spilling over into their real life. I blame the CB culture of the 70s, which made so many people think up wacky names, which then spilled over into the early internet chat boards. It’s difficult to have a serious conversation with people who calls themselves “sxystud69” or “hotgrrl4u”.

    But let’s not forget that blogging is a form of social networking; it’s not the wham-bam MySpace networking, but a more evolved sort in which you read a blog over a period of time and learn about the person behind it. Personally, I consider myself fortunate to have “met” so many different people from so many backgrounds over the last five years that I’ve been writing.

    And yes, I said “writing” because that’s what I do. Just like you do.

    So, Happy Blogiversary, Laur. Here’s wishing for three times three more.

    .

    [long, exasperated sigh]

    I can’t say that a lot of bloggers call themselves writers. If they do, great…good for them, but I’m not familiar with enough of them personally to know for a fact if they do or not. If I wrote those comments or if you intrepeted them to be a blanket statement, then let’s correct that.

    It wasn’t.

    I can only comment on my blog, my tastes and those very few blogs with which I’m familiar, which sadly has been on a very steady decline in recent months. Why? I’m bored with the whole blog thing and yes, often I include my own in the mix. I’ve read a lot of shlock–some of it my own and it’s all yaswn inducing.

    That’s bad enough but then throw in all the damned cutesy blog names which make me wretch and then for people to refer to them as such??? And it’s often people who should know better.

    For example, a blog is called “Wheat On A Sunny Day’. Some will refer to that blogger as “Wheat”, as in “Hey, our blogging pal, Wheat wrote a great post on nanotechnology today“. I don’t know why, but seeing that; hearing that on podcasts on which I’ve guested, makes my skin crawl.

    As for why they’re used, well, I suppose I understand the use of psuedonyms or a nom d’ plum, but I can’t help but feel there’s something disengenuous about that.

    I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy for using my real name, but as a personal preference, I’d much rather be me and fight my battles and conversely, revel in my spoils under my true identity.

    If we write under a guise because we don’t want to be outed, then why bother “blogging’ in the first place?? If I don’t want somebody knowing something uber personal about me or someone in my realm, I sure as hell wouldn’t put it out there on a blog, for God’s sake.

    And lastly Tom, as a sporadically professional writer, I assure you—I DO NOT feel a the threat of encroachment–not at all. But I’ll take that one step further by saying when I encounter bloggers who feel the need to accuse a professional writer of being even marginally threatened by their existence, I see them as a victim as well.

    More often than not; there’s a tinge of jealousy that’s motivates those comments.

    It’s not easy writing for a living. There’s an amazing amount of subjectivity to the finished product. Editing, rewrites…and an ego can be shredded with a glance of one’s work after an editor has trounced it. Professional writers endure that kind of gut wrenching agita regularly. Bloggers don’t. For most, it’s a whim, albeit a passionate one perhaps, but their daily bread doesn’t depend on their blog posts.

    And furthermore, they write, hit a button and life goes on. Their futures aren’t made or broken with a post.

    No, writing professionally isn’t easy at all.

    If it were, everyone would be doing it.
    .

  3. Laur, I hope you didn’t think I was accusing you of doing all of those things. It just happens that I read that other writer’s column the other day and had to roll my eyes as she bewailed the death of the print media, and partially blamed blogs. She missed the irony that more people are reading than ever, they just aren’t reading newspapers, and more specifically, her.

    And yes, professional writers do have a tough time, and the explosion of good (and free) blogs on various topics makes it even harder. Most bloggers (and I’m talking about the personal sites, not about the news media, etc.) don’t have the same pressure. But then, of course they don’t — it’s their hobby, not their vocation. Deadlines mean little when a PO’d editor is not in your future.

    While I’m sure you do not feel that bloggers encroach upon your turf, the fact remains that it’s often old-school print media writers who have complained the most about the blogs. Amazingly, I’m *still* seeing writers make the same kinds of comments (“who wants to read about what somebody had for breakfast?”) that I read more than 5 years ago. This tells me that some of the writers simply don’t “get” the blogging concept, and in fact, probably are still mourning their old Olympias or Selectrics. I’d guess that *those* are the writers who will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

    .

    No, I felt no accusatory fingers pointed in my direction necessarily. I merely felt the need to convey my thoughts from the opposing viewpoint.

    I agree that there are a lot of old schoolers who don’t understand the blogging concept. I’ll take that even further and wage that some are still having a hard time comprehending computers in general. But the reality is, there aren’t that many of those cats left. They’ve had to change with the times if they wanted to get published and paid. Gone are the days of “mailing it in”.

    Then again, I’m of the mindset that the “blogger” who insists on writing that little Jimmy made his first big boy doo doo in the pottie this morning doesn’t get the true concept of blogging either.

    And that’s why I find myself reading fewer and fewer blogs because fewer and fewer blog are catching and keeping my attention. I don’t have children; I’m not married; I don’t believe in white lace and promises. Technology doesn’t interest me; fashion escapes me and for personal reasons, I don’t want to read about someone’s brave sojourn through the ravages of breast cancer.

    Bloggers who blog blithely about such things bore me. But I’m magnanimous enough to understand that my attempts at humor and sardonics probably incur the same reaction from those who WANT to read about love, les rigeurs de marriage, mommyhood, the latest from some Japanese tech consortium and health issues.

    What’s really at issue here Tom, is writing in general. Blogs are only one avenue in which to convey one’s writing. And perhaps, that’s the problem. Blogging is allowing a lot of writers, erstwhile and otherwise to get their stuff out there. Currently, there’s a huge blogging glut. I see that reparing itself in the years ahead. Blogging can get to the point of extreme tedium. Many will eventually tire and quit blogging, which is something I constantly debate with myself. Professional writers quit all the time, too.

    Sure, there are a handful of writers who probably feel threatened by blogs and there are many professional writers who keep blogs simply because it allows them that journalistic freedom. They can write what they want; when they want without all that editorial tyranny.

    That said, I’d like to think that being a “writer of blogs” and a “writer” who makes money for the written word, I actually understand both sides of the blogger/writer…writer/blogger coin.

    I’ve never conveyed this story, but I suppose now is a good time. It was mid 2008 I think, when I received an email from a very well known, established author. She said she had stumbled upon my blog while researching a book and spent one afternoon reading several of my posts. She said they made her laugh and cry and think. She ended her email by saying that she felt I was extremely gifted and a very talented writer.

    I replied, thanking her for her comments and then asked if she’d give me a few tips as to how one becomes successful in this business.

    Her reponse?

    You become successful by never giving tips to an up and comer who’s probably a better writer than you are.”

    That just might be the perfect summation of our discussion, Tom.

    .

  4. As the mother of two adopted children I do not find the birthday cake image funny in the least.

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