Monday, 14 February 2011

This Strange Business of Blogging.

"A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from change the world to share your shopping list."
- Unknown


Being a blogger is an odd kind of thing. I've been doing this for a few years now ... sometimes I get all writery, sometimes I act like a fool.

Why do I blog?

Last week, I received an email.

"I debated writing today, because I don't know if I sound off base and bitchy, and maybe out of line. But here goes - I don't feel like your blog and your twitter sound like "you" lately - I am reminded more of mommy bloggy conferences and brands than I am of you. (I have left this in my drafts folder for three weeks, I am so wishy washy about sending it.)

But since I don't know you I feel ridiculous saying that - all I have ever known is what you choose to share and write, and whatever and however is not something I should be having an opinion on, no? Besides, we all change and evolve.
So, that's my observation, based on nothing but a few months of a vague feeling. I'm not making a value judgment, or trying to be unkind - I really am coming from a place of genuine affection for you and a feeling that you would want the feedback."


::

I was fascinated by this email - I recognised the email address it was sent from, so I knew she was genuine. I thanked her for her honesty, and really appreciated the fact it was sent as an email and not an anonymous comment. After a few exchanges back and forth she wrote: "I think it's awesome that you're going to conferences and speaking and whatnot - and I have a little bit of invested pride, like hey, I read her way back when!  Confession, I still read the boys' names as Tiger and Monkey."

Oh, the Tiger and Monkey days. Back when Max was a six-year old Tiger and the tiny embryo was a baby Monkey Rocco. Back before it all went to shit.

Dave getting cancer is something I'm not sure I'll ever be "over." Even though he's in remission now - even if the cancer never comes back - life took the biggest dump on me back then and I kind of went crazy and never completely came back.

Seriously - a few weeks ago I had a bit of a mental health episode, so I rush to my GP and crisis person and meetings and end up in a counsellors office. And she asks me, "So, Eden - have you ever had therapy before?"

And I laughed so long and so hard, waiting for her to laugh too. Except she didn't laugh, and I was the crazy lady who stopped laughing and said that yes, yes I've had a LOT of therapy before. And I suddenly became super-aware of my body language, and my facial expressions, wondering what she thought of me as I gave her a "brief" rundown of my history that ended up with us *both* tearing up. (I make therapists cry!)

I didn't blog about that, because I'm waiting until it doesn't hurt so much so I can make fun of it. Maybe that's what prompted the above email .... I usually am very open in my blog, and I have felt quite guarded lately.

::

So all week I've been wondering ... why do I blog?

A lot of reasons - I like it. It's free. It's the biggest and best hobby of my life. I get to share things, like the Valentines Day card I gave Dave this morning. (I am *so* romantic):





He laughed so hard - a big throaty laugh. I gave him a present, too. When I handed it to him, his exact words were, "Oh you bloody bugger!" I know he won't get me anything, and these days I don't care. I used to, but not now.

I share my life here. Maybe, as I change and learn and grow ... so will my blog? Is that ok? Am I allowed? I love the business of blogging, but for me it isn't a business. Just a hobby.

I have known for a while that some people and brands are interested in my blog, which is a great ego-booster. I'm not good at how to do life, very well. This year I am determined to get more organised and focussed. I like talking about my struggles - I want you to know that you are not alone. We're all walking around this strange planet, bumping into each other, doing the best we can. I hate pretending.

I've never scheduled a post, just come here and see whatever feels like spilling out. Sometimes the post that demands to be written just writes itself and I have little to do with it, just hit publish and go and clean some poo up or something. I know I need to install a better commenting system, so that I can reply back to comments.

I've shied away from monetising this space, for a while now. I didn't want to answer to anyone. Would it be so bad, if I hooked up with a sponsor who might be a good "fit" with me? If I did, I might be able to make this space even better by writing more consistently, to justify putting more time and energy into it, instead of sneaking time away from my family and other work. I don't have a media kit or PR page or any of that shiz .... but I can talk to you about the benefits of blogging until the cows came home. I'm passionate about it.

I'm in the middle of getting to know a lot of wonderful Australian bloggers. The scene down here is just heating up; with brands and agencies and sponsors starting to cotton on now, to the benefits of social media. Next month is the Inaugural Aussie Bloggers Conference, and I have a feeling it's going to be pretty big. I like being in the same room as other bloggers. Like, if you're a chess player at a chess conference.

Blogs open me up to so many things. I need to read about Amy Turn Sharp's beautiful Lucky Teeth. I'd like a cake like this.  I love what Schmutzie wrote about blogs today. I went to the beautiful Stirrup Queens Melissa Ford's (American-based) Lost and Found Connections Abound (LFCA) - to see if I could spread any comment love to somebody who needs it. Somebody did, and I cried - for her and for Grace. Then I realised she is in Sydney. (The world isn't as big as you think.)

Last night, I sat up and watched the very powerful Henry's Story, from Mamapundit. All 28 minutes of it. It's a subject very close to my heart, and for the umpteenth time was reminded of why I see blogs as so amazing, such a powerful way of storytelling.

I have so much to say on my blog, that it feels like I'm only just getting started.
::

What do you think about blogging? And blogging about blogging? Do you care if a blog has ads?

::

There was a knock at the door while I was writing this. I accidentally didn't answer it - went and checked later, and found a big bunch of flowers. For me! I honestly had no idea who they were from, wondered how was I going to explain them to Dave?

I opened the card - "Happy Valentines Day .... love Dave."

*faints from shock*
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