I still remember the first time I found “blogs.”
I had followed a link from a weight watchers chat room. The blog was written by a woman named Melly. Ordinary Morning, was the name of the blog.
It was 2001.
It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen on the internet.
Granted, I had only been on the internet for a total of *maybe* 3 months, but still, MOST AMAZING THING.
Here was this young, single mother, writing openly and brutally honestly about her life. She was smart, beautiful, devastatingly funny.
I found myself wanting to get to know Melly. I wanted to hear more of what she had to say. “I think we’d be great friends!” I’d think to myself as I would read her words.
I started clicking her links and those links lead to new blogs that, yet again, BLEW MY MIND.
I wanted to know these people! I wanted to be in on their “inside jokes!” But mostly, I wanted to write and put my words out there. Maybe someone could relate. Maybe I could make someone laugh.
I love to write. I would most surely love to blog!
I won’t go into the entire history of how I finally got my blog up and running but I will tell you that a complete stranger was kind enough to answer all of my blogging questions and help set up my very first blog on blogger.
I had a blog.
And I started writing in that blog.
And people started reading.
(One of those people was Melly. And I was right. We became friends. The best of friends. She even came to California (twice!) to visit my family.)
I would write stories about my boys, who at the time, were only 9 and 4 years old.
I was mommyblogging before mommyblogging was a “thing.”
I would suggest you go into my archives and see what I was writing about, but my archives are painful to read. I was going through a severe depression and writing through it all. I wasn’t thinking about “attracting marketers” or “My brand.” I only cared about telling my story, as painful, ugly, honest, and sometimes hilarious as it was.
I showed my stretch marks to the world before there was a movement online to do so. And I took the hell that came along with that. People telling me to keep that shit private because “no one wants to see your disgusting body.”
I was just this stupid girl putting it all out there because it felt right at the time.
It felt safe. There was this core group of people reading. And we were all friends. Kathy. Joelle. Mikey. Wendy. Statia. Trish. Robyn.
But things started to change.
Suddenly, what I was doing had a name. “Mommy blogging.”
And then people started fighting because HOW DARE YOU PUT ADS ALONGSIDE YOUR STORIES ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN YOU DEVIL CHILD EXPLOITER I HOPE YOU DIE IN HELL1!!11!%%!!!!!%%@#
And now people are all “DON’T GO BAREFOOT AT CONFERENCES AND DON’T DRINK WINE OUT OF SIPPY CUPS BECAUSE YOU ARE PROFESSIONAL WHO MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY!”
And I’m all on twitter going “come see pictures of my daughter’s first hair cut!”
Blogging as I know it has changed.
And I just can’t keep up. Because this blog isn’t a business. This blog is personal.
I just want to keep writing about my life. About my kids. About my struggles with health and weight and body image. I just want to write.
I feel like a complete misfit in blogging, which is so weird because I’ve been doing this since 2002 and what the hell?
Blogging is a business! Build your brand! YOUR BRAAANNNNNDDDD!
There’s no denying that I’ve been given some pretty amazing opportunities through blogging. (Interviewing the cast of New Adventures of Old Christine. Meeting Tony Hawk.) And that still amazes me. But that’s not WHY I do it. That will never be why I do it.
And suddenly, it feel like– if that’s not why I’m doing it, why even bother?
I used to be able to sit down and write a post about the most trivial things– like my trip to the doctor’s office yesterday, for example– hit publish, enjoy the comments and move on to the next post. Now I doubt every post. “This isn’t good enough” “no one will care about that” “People are writing about HEALTH CARE REFORM AND YOU’RE WRITING ABOUT PEEING WHILE YOU SNEEZE YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.”
I also used to be able to write about important things, like depression or body image and feel safe. Feel like it mattered. Like by writing my story I was helping people and that people were helping me by reading, by sharing their stories. I know that is still true, but sometimes? I feel like the stories aren’t being heard because we’re all too busy about traffic and page views and twitter followers and OUR BRRRANNND.
And that’s fine! It’s wonderful that women are finding success because of their blogs– I mean it, it makes me so proud. But also? A little sad. Sad that those of us who are just here for the writing, for the stories, for the good content are feeling so out of place and irrelevant.
I don’t even know where I’m going with this anymore other than to say I’m struggling with blogging right now and I hope that by writing this out I will be able to make some sort of peace with it all and stop over thinking this shit and JUST START WRITING AGAIN BECAUSE I MOTHER FUCKING LOVE TO WRITE.
I still remember the first time I found “blogs.”