“We stayed at home to write, to consolidate
our outstretched selves.”
I’m not exactly sure why, but I’ve put off this post for weeks–and I’m glad that the day has grown gloomy so that I can hide while I write.
Loving a blog is like crossing the tracks. (Loving blogging is something else altogether.)
That said, I’ve spent a year at it. An entire year blogging. I began with my namesake blog last spring and to my surprise continued to reproduce blogs–until there were 6 of them begging for attention. (Conversely, I stopped after 2 children and only one pet frog who died years ago.)
“I don’t know how you do it,” tweets author Katrina Kenison, saying that she loves reading ALL my blogs.
For me the question is not how I do it, but WHY I do it (and how can I afford to do it?)
Some of my favorite bloggers–Katrina, Jennifer Louden, Penelope Trunk–already have a name for themselves. Blogging is something they do to keep it out there.
But how about us anonymous bloggers? Someone without a best-selling book (or any book), someone without speaking engagements (unless you count my sister’s wedding), someone without a 6 figure income (speaking of figures, why is it so hard to find a bathing suit?)
That’s what I’m really doing now–shopping for bathing suits. I’m typing a few lines here and there on this post while I wait for the next tankini to load.
Confession~Not only am I an unknown blogger, but I “do it” with…dial up!
There! Crucify me now!! No wonder I’ve been hiding from writing this post. Who in their right mind blogs with dial up!
But I LOVE blogging. I do. I don’t know why. I love it so much that I’ll do it without pay, and without eating, and without taking a shower, and without being able to explain myself to others.
What’s worse is that I know I’m not alone. I know there are countless others out there blogging for the same non-reasons. Just because we love it. (See how many hits you get when you Google, “Confessions of a Blogger.”)
Wow, these bathing suits are taking forever to load…
But now that I’ve spent an entire year at blogging, it’s time.
I know it’s time.
I just don’t know what it’s time for.
And I almost fell off the wagon this spring and took another teaching job because I can’t tolerate the ambiguity.
I’m still at risk. Maybe I need a blogging sponsor.
I do fantasize about being “discovered,” but that didn’t work out too well for Julie who never met Julia and ended up cheating on her husband and writing a second book on butchery.
I plan to stay pleasantly married–with my boys in the rear view mirror–while I prioritize being “me” over being successful.
I don’t want the big career of my dreams where I end up exhausted from book tours and speaking engagements and week-long retreats (though I appreciate the others who went before me to reveal this ruse.) But I do want something bigger. I just don’t know what.
Time to scroll back to the top of this post to see where I was heading.
I know that the other Julia doesn’t recommend the process of returning to the beginning again–but it’s how I write. Every time I hit an intersection, I work my way back from the beginning and attach from there.
What am I attached to as a blogger?
I am attached to the careful reflection of my life, to the connection with a wider audience than my husband at bedtime, and to something more–the ability to see my “worlds” intersect.
Each of my blogs is a mirror of my life’s expression. From parenting to marriage, to loss and spirit, to work and to this life we’re carving in the mountains of Vermont.
Each day I take pleasure in surveying my blogs like a landlord and a mother and a lover–all rolled up into one. I see what needs tending. I find out who is hungry. I look inside to discover what’s wanting to be offered.
I can sense that I’m ready to move further in this direction of self-expression, contribution and return…
Yes, return, that would be very nice. A nice big return!
Of course, every time I get an email from a reader telling me how her life has been shaped by my words, I have no doubt that writing is my calling. It’s the one thing that I can do, day in and day out, without giving up a part of myself.
That’s why I blog. Because in it, I offer my everything.
Kelly Salasin, late spring 2010
Petite, size 8, DD, in rich brown please.
(Note: This post is another prayer bead in my Life Purpose Series, click here to see more.)
7 thoughts on “My Year as a Blogger”
Kelly, I love this post of yours. I STILL don’t know how you do it; I feel very on top of things if I manage one blog post a week. But I do realize that something that I started out of a sense of obligation (“I need to sell some books!”) now feels like more of a meditation practice, something I do in service to myself so that I might, in some small way, better serve others. I highly recommend Karen Maezen Miller’s post about writing: they don’t pay us to write books
You will recognize a kindred spirit.
One thing I have learned, alas, is that I cannot read all the wonderful blogs I love and still manage to have a life. (My husband has put a nix on my bringing the lap top into the bedroom.) I am having to set limits, which feels a bit like being forced to pick and choose among dear friends. So. . .I check in on everyone as often as I can, and comment here and there, and feel grateful, always, to know so many smart women and wonderful writers. . .
Katrina sent me here, to this particular post, and for that I’m thankful. I too reflect on why I blog and find myself with no clear answers.
But what I know for sure is that since I started blogging a year and a half ago, my writing has improved. My documenting meaningful things in our life has improved. I find myself being more observant in life and often thinking, “I should blog about that”. Then when I get to the screen and start telling the story, it gets richer and richer, the more I write.
I know, at the very least, that I have a nice record of our journey. And when life gets crazy, sometimes the first thing you let go is writing it all down. Blogging keeps me writing it all down.
Thanks for the meaningful words. I look forward to digging around more on all your blogs.
Kelly: When I started my blog over 3 years ago, the primary focus was business. Yet, I also knew I wanted an outlet for writing. I am totally hooked! And, always thinking about the next post. Realistically, I have to keep the business side in mind- which keeps the posts fairly neutral. But, I hope my personality still sneaks through 🙂
I hate dial up too! My blog is so complex that I have to take my laptop to Starbucks and upload.
Here is my Armchair BEA post
Wow! That is one beautiful post! I can totally relate to what you mean by wanting something bigger, not an author’s life, but definitely something big, though you don’t know what. I’m in that same phase of trying to discover my inner desires. It can be quite annoying sometimes. But I hope you do find that calling soon. Thanks for putting up this amazing post! I enjoyed reading it!
I blog to quiet the voices in my head. (not real voices, but those little voices like Jiminy Cricket)
I blog to make my mark on the world, even if it is a small mark.
I blog because I need to know that even if I am crazy, I am not the only one.
I blog and read blogs for the adventure, learning, and so I can sound cool while at cocktail parties.
I blog because my dog can’t talk.
I blog because I need to vent.
I blog to live.
I have no definite idea of why I blog, I just do it. Albeit, not via dial-up.
When you figure it out, let me know the answer will ya?
My blog is still pretty new. I am just here at your blog for the first time and it looks great.