ChiliHead (is it all one word? or Chili Head? the mysteries of the wind...) is hosting a new meme where we get to tell our readers why we ever got started blogging in the first place.
And I just know you're dying to find out why crazy ol' me felt the urge, nay compulsion, to put my thoughts on
How did you start blogging?
I have this wonderful friend, Rachel, who had started a blog where a few of us who were at Auburn University at the same time and have tried to keep in touch over the
months years could share the events in our lives without the burden of cc'ing every single one of us on an email. She is also a lot like me (tragic, I know) and feels the need to express herself with actual, you know, words.
However, I didn't get on-board with her team blog. As geeky as I am, I didn't "get it" and didn't take the time to figure it out for a while. Probably a year went by and I had read a few blogs but not regularly, just here and there mostly. The Mighty Hunter and I were trying to get pregnant last Spring, and I wanted to record my thoughts as I went through that process. I also wanted to record some of the darn hilarious things that Stinkerbell does.
Did you intend to be a blog w/a big following? If so, how did you go about it?
Of course I did. I'm a megalomaniac. "Drink the kool-aid. It tastes great. Ignore that metallic taste. It's just 'vitamins'."
I think we all secretly (or not) dream of being a BooMama or Chili Head or Amalah. I'm just not as interesting or funny or talented. I have been known to spend hours pouring over my stat counter and identifying each IP address and wondering who was reading what and what they thought. Did they laugh? Was it "haha funny" laughter? Was it "she's so stupid" laughter? Will they come back and read more? Please let them come back and read more.
As I've participated in carnivals and memes and commented on other posts, I've gotten more and more readers. Blogging really is a community. If you spend time getting to know the other bloggers and commenting on their posts, they usually reciprocate. Friendships often result.
What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
World domination. Of course, I've been successful. You're reading this, aren't you?
Actually, I just want to express myself and get some bloggy therapy while I'm at it. It has morphed into an addiction to reading Every Single Word that some bloggers put out there.
Really, every single word.
Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
Only in that I'm participating in the carnivals and memes more. Honestly, they give me something to write about when I'm uninspired. I'm still primarily writing about my sad, little, ordinary (now post-partum) life and how very sad it is, except for the occasional bright spots brought on by Stinkerbell's strangeness and The Mighty Hunter's love for us all and Lucky's sparkly-eyed smiles.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
I wish I had known how to manipulate my template and post pictures and produce a better layout. I'm only now beginning to change the html of my template.
I still wish I were a better writer. I try to write well but tend to think that I'm like Dr. McPhee in Night at the Museum who uses too many metaphors, never finishes them and only confuses those around him.
Do you make money with your blog?
Well, not yet. I think actually putting some, you know, ads on my blog might help with that, but that's so much trouble. I've considered one of those pay-per-post review thingies, but again, the effort. You see, I'm lazy. I'm competing in Bejing at the 2008 Olympics for the Gold in Lazy Blogger for Team USA.
Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
Yes, they know I blog. I would have to hog-tie The Mighty Hunter to read it. Stinkerbell thinks it's cool and has her own blog. My mom read some of my early posts but has forgotten about it - which is fine, since I sometimes write things here that are very personal and not what I want my mom to read. Dad doesn't know about it. My brother and his family don't know. The Mighty Hunter's family doesn't know and doesn't care.
This is where I use my anonymity to its fullest. I write about my lack of self-esteem and excessive pity-partying and inferiority complexes. Ironically, it's easy to share those very personal things and be vulnerable with you, my 4 readers. You can think I'm a sad person, and that's ok. I don't have to face you and deal with the crap that I let myself wallow in.
What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?
Comment on the blogs you read. Leave a link to your blog, especially if you've just written something relating to their posts.
Participate in carnivals and memes. It's fun and helps you share with others in a way that will help them find things in common with you.
Keep your format simple. Don't over-do it with labels like me. (warning: I'm about to re-do my labeling. sorry!)
Join blogging groups.
Spell-check. I'm a good speller but my fingers are occasionally stricken with dyslexia. I don't proof for spelling as much as I should. I know that I let too many typo's get posted. (sorry)
Blogging has developed its own writing style. You don't have to use it to have a good blog. One of the best blogs I read is not at all typical in voice. Moreena writes so beautifully about her family and very rarely uses blogspeak to achieve it. I actually think it's her non-bloggy style that makes all her posts exceptional.
Be yourself. Or be an alter-ego. Either way, have fun.
Now, go forth and blog. If you follow along with this meme, leave a comment here and also over at Chilihead's.