Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why I Blog

Subtitle: "ME ME ME ME"

The quickest way to a blogger's heart is to ask her to write about herself. A Pretty reader, cleverly recognizing this, sent me some general blogging questions in connection with a research project; with her OK I'm reposting this here (with some minor style edits) in case my drivel is of any interest.

(And also because I just cried because Master P is on nap strike AGAIN CAPS LOCK and I feel like an old friend has died - namely, Mr. Will-To-Live. And I really should be packing for our mystery trip tomorrow - FORESHADOWING!!! - but instead I'm doodling around on here. And where are my "Housewives" and wine again?????)


When did you start blogging?
Oh, ages ago - or the summer of 2008, I believe.

Why did you start blogging?
The desire for instant fame & fortune, obviously.

The face of overnight success, circa 1980. You can't deny the pigtails.

Actually, I was just desperate for social and creative outlets. I felt stuck in a job that wasn't right for me, and an isolating one at that. I had just moved to Austin and was struggling without friends here since I commuted a long distance to that job - and because making friends after college sort of sucks. Am I right or am I right here?

Did it give you a sense of community?
Absolutely - it still does! That sense of community has really sustained my interest in blogging, back when I was a bored lawyer and now as a much less bored stay-at-home-mom. I've developed some dear friendship through this weird hobby of mine (ours).

What makes you continue blogging?
What makes me wake up every day and want to eat cake? It's just a part of me now. I feel off when I don't write a bit every weekday, though I've also enjoyed long writing breaks when I've needed them. For example, I found it tricky while pregnant to keep both my writing and my obsessive stroller research going.

How do you come up with ideas for your posts?
Writing is a self-perpetuating process for me - the more I blog, the more I come up with post ideas. Reading my favorite bloggers, as well as reading a whole heck of a lot in general, also helps.

When I get stuck for ideas, I try to force myself away from my laptop and do . . . ya know, real life stuff. It sounds obvious, but if your life isn't very interesting, you're not going to have interesting things to write - and, more importantly, maybe you'll want to get that boring life thing sorted out.

Do you receive compensation for advertisements or have sponsors?
I've received in-kind compensation for reviews & giveaways (meaning I receive the item that I'm reviewing or giving away). Although I've received payment, the words & opinions I use are always (and will be) my own. I'm considering doing the sponsors thing now, actually.

If so, how did you decide to do this?
Funny you should ask . . . I'm chewing on my feelings about this right now.

Like many an indie band (minus the coolness factor), I've worried about the sponsored stuff, so I haven't much pursued it; I don't want to lose my "voice" (barf, I know) or bore you Pretty readers with a bunch of uninteresting ads. I've also been alternatively bored or annoyed by ads disguised as posts or incessant marketing on what was once a personal blog.

Also, I never want to be the person who doesn't make time to respond to readers or to read the blogs of others - to the limited extent my day job with Mr. No Naps allows, that is. Until recently, I didn't see how I could juggle both.

The thing is, I've since watched a number of my blogging friends handle sponsorships without compromising their writing style or ethics. I have no issues with people making some income doing something they love, blogging included - in fact, it's a terrific way for stay- or work-at-home parents to add to their income, so long as it's done in a way that's transparent to readers and true to the "voice" of that blog.

So I'm open to it now - Mama does love her some fancy shoes, after all. I'm hopeful to someday work with Pretty-worthy brands I feel good about endorsing.

Do you have any examples of the camaraderie of blogging?
Oh, not really. Bloggers are just a bunch of self-absorbed narcissists. *pot, meet kettle*

All kidding aside - early on I was lucky enough to meet the very first blogger I ever read, and I've since grown close with a number of other ladies, meeting people both here in Austin and cities across the country. Too many to list, I'm thrilled to say (though click on my "Favorites" tab for a few of 'em). Never in a million years would I have thought the "social" benefit of social media would be so literal for me.

This is a long way of saying that my husband no longer says it's weird that I meet friends off the internet, which isn't nearly as sketchy as it sounds. Mostly.

What are your future plans for your blog?
A book deal and a movie of my life starring Reese Wither*spoon. Duh.

If we aren't limited to currently living actresses . . .

Actually, I just want to keep writing, and write better, and continue to meet nice people like you. Yes, you. The rest is gravy.

And if I could use all of this to plot my eventual PTA Board domination, so much the better.

Please share any other comments about your blogging experience.

It beats algebra. Or practicing law. And a lot of other stuff, really, but especially those two.

Any other blogging questions? Observations about how closely young me resembles Grace Kelly?


Melissa The View From Five Two said...

I loved reading this and I think you do a great job of staying true to you - and I have no doubt you would continue to do so even with sponsors. Because you rock, duh.

Wittschen's said...

I'm new to your blog, but I'm officially hooked!! Loved your interview about how you started blogging. looking forward to reading more of your posts!

Allison said...

I have heard of this "community" of which you speak. I suppose it is difficult to be part of a community when you lurk and stalk, but then you still feel these blogs you read are written by your friends? They just don't know it yet. Ack, stalker! I might have to write a similar post, more along the lines of BABY PICTURES!

Erin said...

Love love love this post. Especially the reference to waking up and wanting cake HA! Blogging really does just become a part of who you are and what you do each day. Thanks for sharing :)

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

My condolences on the naps. Hopefully this too shall pass (I have been blessed by the napping gods with 2 this week!)

I may have broken out in the shakes if I was asked to complete this survey, but as always you have proved truthful and hilarious in your commentaries.

P.S. You need the KS Eat Cake For Breakfast Tee...I just splurged on it. I'm taking a post-lenten vow of frugality

Chas said...

Well said.
I'm first in line if you open up to sponsors. :)

Perfectly Imperfect said...

PTA domination for the win!

And that little grin you're rocking in the above picture? So Master P'ish. Little mini you? absolutely.

Nat said...

Love this! I don't know how I haven't found your blog before! I've blogged on and off for the past 3 yrs, mostly taking last year off and I'm so happy to be back. I forgot how great the blogging community was!

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