Are you curious?
I know I am.
I’ve been a crappy blogger lately. Awww, who am I kidding? I’ve been a crappy blogger for months now. I can’t keep up with you all. I can’t keep up with my own writing.
But I’m hanging in there.
And even though I thought I had nothing to say this evening, I decided to peek in on you all. Well, maybe not all of you — I’m one of the lucky ones who has more followers than I deserve. Let’s just say, I began with the intention of peeking in on you all but then I got inspired and it turned into looking in on you some. (Does that even make sense? I didn’t think so.)
I started looking around and reading and musing and even made a few comments. And I discovered something really wonderful.
We’re all still here!
We made it!
We still have blogs and we’re still writing and we’re still reading and conversing.
We’re holding on.
Some by a thread. (Me.) Some with a sturdy grip. (The rest of you.)
But we’re still here.
I’m so impressed. And so happy to know all of you.
Some of you have given up on me. And that’s ok. I probably would have given up on me, too — except I have privy knowledge of the crazy goings-on in my head and if I were you, I wouldn’t want to miss out on the amazing blog posts soon to come. But it’s your choice to bail. That’s what makes this country great. Don’t worry. I don’t hold it against you.
But most of you? You’ve stuck around! To my amazement. You still peek in here from time to time to see how I’m doing. And I’m touched. In awe. And so appreciative.
For that, I applaud you, dear readers. For your perseverance when even I didn’t seem to have any.
Most of all, I applaud YOUR longevity. In a world where blogs last a mere 18 months or less, you and I can proudly say, We Made It!
And let’s give ourselves a round of applause!
“When Toni Morrison said ‘write the book you want to read,’ she didn’t mean everybody.” ~Fran Lebowitz
I’m conflicted, as you can plainly see.
Just as there are better novelists out there, there are better bloggers. Better. Different. Some interesting. Some less so. There is a delightful array of blogs from which to choose. Different strokes for different folks.
But each and every blog contains a little of the same thing. Self-absorption.
“Too many people are writing books.” Why is this? “Because you have been taught to have self-esteem.” ~Fran Lebowitz
We all have something to say. We all say it, here on our blogs. Is it worth saying? That lies, my friend, is in the eye of the beholder.
Frankly, it amazes me sometimes, at the perceived (my perception) popularity of some bloggers. I measure popularity based on the number of comments, or advertised hits on a blog. I’m sure you’ve noticed but some mediocre writing is getting lots of attention.
And then there are the blogs I follow that inspire me. Where the writing is fresh and interesting. If you measured some of their popularity by the same parameters? They land in the uncool category, for sure.
We all possess, at least an inkling, a notion that someone out there, anyone out there, wants to read what we’ve written. Some of us find more readers than others. Some of us need more readers than others (as evidenced by the many contests decorating so many blogs). The trick is finding the balance. We need to find what a healthy, rational psyche can thrive on – a blogging balance that feeds our need to put our thoughts out there and validate our thoughts at the same time. We must avoid the trap that false validation can bring and ground ourselves. Know that you aren’t going to please or entertain or inspire all of the people all of the time. And that’s OK.
The number of followers you have does not assure you a higher seat in Bloggers Heaven.
“Very few people possess true artistic ability. It is therefore both unseemly and unproductive to irritate the situation by making an effort. If you have a burning, restless urge to write or paint, simply eat something sweet and the feeling will pass.”~Fran Lebowitz
As much as her comment gives me a chuckle, deep down, I disagree. I’m glad the internet is limitless. I’m happy to have found Blog World. I’m glad I’ve found a place of my own. I enjoy the variety of bloggers out there. The amazing writers that I admire, encourage me and inspire me to be better. A better person. A better writer. A better mother and wife. A better friend.
Call me narcissistic, but I write, hoping to inspire others in the same way.
On Monday I shared with you my top ten ways (OK – maybe not the top ten of all time but certainly the top ten of that particular day) to avoid writing a blog post. And Aging Mommy, of the blog of the same name, had a wonderful idea.
She asked for “a post where you ask everyone to name their favorite non-celebrity blogs (the ones who will never come and say hello to us lowly beings) is in order, I would love to find some new great reads without the hard work.”
In the comment section below please add the link of one of your favorite daily/regular reads. If you’re a regular, you pretty much know who hangs out here. Try to name someone who is not a Theycallmejane regular. And sorry folks, but everyone on my blogroll is off-limits, too.
We’re trying to stir the bloggy pot. Breathe new life into our blogging existence. Give a shout out to someone who is staying under the radar.
And already I’m breaking my rule #1. I only hang out with you people, here. Honest. I don’t visit many blogs that don’t already comment at my place. So forgive me when I give Gale at Ten Dollar Thoughts a shout out. If you haven’t visited her yet – you should. She’s thoughtful and insightful. She inspires me to be a better writer.
Thanks for playing! And I’m going to take the liberty of saying that anyone you list below thanks you, too! I know I would!
My first year Blogaversary is coming up. And I’m very excited.
I’ve been blogging for a full year now and I’ve learned so much: how to post a pic, how to post a video, how to comment with tact (most of the time), that I really have it in me to produce 3-6 blog posts a week.
Yet I still have so many questions: Where do I want to see my blog in 5 years? What did I expect to achieve in a year? How do I handle all the comments, criticism, etc.? What’s an RSS feed? Who has time for all the wonderful blogs out there?
And then I had a brilliant idea!
Help me celebrate this wonderful blogging community we’ve created together. Let’s share the wealth. Share the knowledge. Or just share a few laughs.
On Friday, August 13th, yours truly will have been blogging for exactly one year. On that day I challenge you to post on one of the following topics: greatest gift from blogging, greatest surprise from blogging, best blog tip you ever learned, your evolution as a blogger, how do you handle all the comments on your blog?, what is your version of successful blogging?, what blog posts to you hate to see?, your favorite post topics to read, any other topic that pertains to blogging that you can think of. (Hey, I’m that easy!)
We’ll all meet back here on Friday, August 13th and link and share tips, tricks or just titters. Your choice.
Help me celebrate my year of meeting all of you! Start crafting those fabulous posts you are all so capable of writing and let’s share! The more the merrier! (Yes, this means you, little Miss Lurker. C’mon. It’ll be fun!)
“I open your site and I saw you quite correctly wrote in your site and seeing your site I impressed from u site Employers say they are impressed by job candidates who have excellent communication skills, good grooming habits, and relevant work experience.”
First of all, thank you for visiting, Mr. Spam. I’m always happy to see a new tick on my visits counter.
And you noticed that I “correctly wrote in” my site? Yes, really, it’s quite simple. I open up WordPress. Click new post and begin typing away. With fairly good grammar and impeccable spelling, thanks to the spell check feature. I even use punctuation!
U impressed? And u think employers would be impressed with me, too? Why, I’m blushing. Who knew that I might be impressing anyone? And I’m not even in the market for a job. I don’t remember filling out any online applications lately.
But you noticed that I have “excellent communication skills?” Why, thank you. I’m blushing again. I do try. It’s why I practice here, at my blog, a few days a week.
And my relevant work experience? Well, you’re right. I was a high school teacher of both literature and math for 13 years. I’ve worked in the restaurant industry – even shared ownership of a small coffee house. I’ve worked in human resources and coached swimming. And now? The job of a lifetime. I’m a stay-at-home mom and loving every single minute of it. Well, not every minute, but most minutes. And that’s what counts. Right?
Now, here’s where I’m stymied.
You’re impressed with my good grooming habits.
As I sit here in t-shirt and pj shorts, with brushed teeth and my hair up in a clip (I haven’t even washed my face yet) – you’re impressed? Are your standards low or am I really in the top of my class when it comes to grooming? I mean, I can’t see (or smell) my fellow bloggers. If they’re like me, they’re lucky to get a shower once a day or a pedicure once in a blue moon.
Or are you big brother (I have a brother-in-law who actually believes this kind of stuff) with cameras strategically placed in my home? You speak as if you know me. I will look at my heating vents or my children’s stuffed animals or knick knacks on the bookshelves in a whole new way.
And while I’m flattered with your impressions of me – and my site and my hygiene – I wonder how you were able to secure YOUR job.
Here’s a little hint. Spell check and grammar check? They’re your friends.
Things were getting a little dull over here. I took a look around my blog and I thought, “Hmmm. New curtains? Maybe a fresh coat of paint? What would this chair look like over here?” And then Kristen from Motherese came to my rescue.
“Let’s trade spaces,” she suggested. And I heartily agreed!
As a part of Amy’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” meme, we decided to switch things up a bit together. It always helps to have a friend’s discerning eye and gentle charm to spruce things up at your blog. And Kristen is just the blogger to help me.
You can find me over at her place, sharing a favorite post. And just a few lines down you’ll find her wonderful words. Her blog is a welcoming place that shares the joys and strains of motherhood. She encourages frank, honest discussion and loving support. One of my favorite daily reads, I just know you’ll love her, too.
Please give a warm welcome to Kristen.
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
Have you ever played the Game of Life? My older brother and I played constantly, both of us longing to land on one of the squares at the beginning of the game that entitled us to a career as a lawyer or a doctor (and the $50,000 annual salary that went with it – I guess lawyers and doctors weren’t making the big bucks back in the 80s). In the Game of Life – and probably in more lives in general a few decades ago – you steered your car along a predetermined course, collecting paychecks and children, all the way to retirement (at which point, if I recall correctly, you could trade in your kids for cash…but that’s a topic for another post entirely).
Yesterday I read a version of a statistic that I’d seen before, but it surprised me nonetheless: according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American worker will change careers 3-5 times during her lifetime. Not jobs. Not 9th grade social studies teacher at Franklin D. Roosevelt High, then 10th grade world history teacher at Oak Hill Regional, then 12th grade economics teacher at Shelburne Community. Careers. Teacher. Then Astrophysicist. Then City Comptroller. (Okay, maybe not exactly, but you get the picture.)
As a kid, like my persona in the Game of Life, I often defaulted to the idea of being a lawyer. All of my dad’s siblings were lawyers. They liked to talk. I liked to talk. I also liked the idea of making $50,000 a year and wearing suits to work. I liked the show L.A. Law. But in college I passed that torch off to many (most?) of my friends who headed off to law school after graduation while I headed instead to a different sort of classroom – one in which I’d be a teacher instead of a student. That’s where I went and that’s where I stayed until Big Boy was born. A few different jobs, but the same career.
And now I’m 32. I’ve had one career so far. I liked it. I even loved it sometimes. But right now I don’t see myself going back to it. And, according to the Labor Department, I need at least two more careers to qualify as average. So I have to ask myself: What do I want to do when I grow up?
And you know what? I have no idea. No clue what I want to do next.
Right now I’m a mother. And that certainly takes a lot of doing. But what else do I want to do? Well, I want to read the stack of books that’s been sitting on my bedside table since last Christmas. I want to wake up one morning to something other than the sound of a baby crying. I want to go back to Paris – with Husband, but without the wee ones. I want to get a massage. A long massage.
Actually, most of my want-to-do’s have to do with states of being – how I’ve been in a different place in time, how I want to be – rather than what I want to do. And I realize that maybe the question that matters isn’t, What do I want to do?, but rather, What do I want to be?
And what do I want to be? I want to be present. I want to be satisfied. I want to be fulfilled. I want to be heard. I want to be happy.
I still don’t know what career space I want to land on in my own personal game of life. I still don’t know how the doing can get me to the being. No, I still don’t know what I want to do, but I’m getting closer to knowing what I want to be.
What do you want to do when you grow up? What do you want to be?
A dear blogger over at Classroom Confessions was sweet enough to send some love my way. Cammy thinks I have “fantastic” blog. She awarded me “Kreativ Blogger.” Thanks, Cammy! And Maureen, of IslandRoar, sent me some “Lovely Blog Award” love. Thanks, Maureen! I’m going to share the love with the following…but first…..
Part of the Kreativ Blogger Award I need to share seven random facts about myself.
1. I was a competitive swimmer for 12 years.
2. I am addicted to Coke (a-Cola, that is.)
3. Twenty years ago I had a small part in a major motion picture. I won’t say which one but Kiefer Sutherland is an absolute angel and so was the director. The other main star and a sleazy producer? Not so much. It completely turned me off of show biz and I took another direction with my life and I’m glad I did.
4. My first words were sung to the tune of a Herman’s Hermits song.
5. The first time I sang the Hallelujah Chorus in rehearsal with the Symphony Chorale I was a part of, I cried and couldn’t stop.
6. I visited Disney World the first year it opened and it continues to be my favorite place to vacation, much to my husband’s chagrin.
7. When I was younger I wanted to be the next Judy Blume.
The Absence of Alternatives – Is it weird I’m honoring her twice? No! She makes me think and thinking is good. Love her writing style. If you dare….check her out!
Maureen at IslandRoar – No, she’s not getting this because she just gave me one. I already had her in mind when Cammy sent me her award. Maureen just tagged me before I could tag her. I enjoy checking in with her every day! Wonderful writing. She tells a great story.
And now the Lovely Blog Award. It feels a bit odd giving this award out again since I just gave this award to 5 Lovely Bloggers a week ago. But since the purpose of this is to recognize bloggers and send new readers their way I’m going award it again. And I’m choosing some “new” blogs (new to me) that I have stumbled upon and recently bookmarked. So…..
Warm Chocolate Milk – Beautiful writing and beautiful pictures. Need I say more?
If Evolution Really Works – Another excellent writer. Are you seeing a trend here?
Is it 5 o’clock Yet? – Her writing cracks me up. She’s so popular I’m sure she’s rolling her eyes at yet another fan giving her an award but if you need a little pick me up, she’s your gal!
There you have it – some of my old favorites, some of my new. Enjoy! And thanks again to all of you who stop by to see what I have to say. I’m truly honored.
Did you know that the word blog is only 10 years old. Ok, for you twenty somethings out there that might seem old to you. After all, it’s half your age. But to us old farts? That’s young. And I feel like the word has been around forever. But according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog), the word blog was coined in 1999. It’s a tongue in cheek reference to the word weblog. Then it became acceptable to refer to blog as both noun and verb. Then came the word blogger.
Frankly, I’m not enjoying the progression.
Weblog is ok. Direct. Succinct. Very business like.
Blog? While Michael Gorman of the Library Journal (http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA502009.html) likens the sound of the word blog to “something you would find stuck in your drain,” it is definitely tongue in cheek. Kinda cute even. I can live with it.
But blogger? I’m a blogger? Sounds too much like booger, blubber, Frogger. Dried nasal mucus? my expanding middle? An 80’s arcade game? No thanks.
Michael Gorman even takes the term one step further. He calls bloggers, “The Blog People.” The Blog People?!? Sounds like some B-grade, cult movie classic. Complete with quotable dialogue, “Oh no! It’s alive! IT’S ALIVE!”
There has got to be a better word. But it has to be catchy, current, hip. Something that creates the vision of a cute, petite, girl-next-door sitting at her laptop in her adorable cotton pj’s, but sexy all at the same time. Coffee cup (or sweet tea with 2 lemon slices) within arms reach. Her golden retriever, Max, sitting at her feet and her tabby, Scooter, purring softly next to her.
Seriously. Blogger of the Blog People. There has got to be a better word.
Suggestions?……… Anyone? Anyone?