Sometimes I get jealous that I don't get a lot of money or free stuff for blogging. But in my heart of hearts I don't care about that stuff and I love blogging. I love blogging because it gets me to write.
I have always thought I should be a writer. Before I could read or write, I had this notion of creating a series of children's stories called the Hush-a-Bye Pea Stories. In grade school teachers always told me I could be a writer. But they say that to anyone who can't draw and is dumb at math, so you can't go by them. One of my best childhood memories--and I have a freakishly vivid memory of my childhood--was a writing assignment in 4th grade. That's the year you learn Utah History. I wrote in the voice of fur trapper Jim Bridger. I said, "Yee-haw!" and talked about meeting up with Father Escalante to retrieve a cache of furs. It was good and I was proud of it. It wasn't copied out of the encyclopedia like all of my other "writing."
There was only one good thing I wrote all through high school. It was a story for English in 10th grade, which my teacher thought was really funny. I don't think it's actually good writing. The funniness of it relies on a story I heard in Sunday School about a boy who used to get to church early to hide his feet under the pews because he had to wear nurse's shoes. So maybe it's not timeless or universal in it's themes. But still. It's those teacher comments in red pen that stay with you. In this case, "Hilarious!"
The only other memorable writing I did before I started my blog was a paper I wrote as a graduate student. It was a personal narrative and my teacher loved it. He said, "Excellent voice! Inviting, while at the same time keeping the reader at bay." I loved that. I still love that. It's exactly what I want to do--invite people in while keeping them at bay. I also remember a comment from a different teacher in graduate school: "Do you even know how to write a paper?" So, mixed reviews in college.
There is a bit of awful writing in the form of a comment I wrote on one of my student's papers several years ago. I hate to even tell you about it because I am so embarrassed of myself for saying it. I think the paper was about a forest fire and when I was grading it there was a fire up in the mountains. I wrote conversationally in red pen, "As I write this, I'm watching as a fire rages up Y Mountain. . . blah blah." BLEK! I really hate myself for saying that. Rages? It's not so horrible, I guess--but I would NEVER say it in real life and (here's the worst part) I only said it because it sounded like something a writing teacher would write. So I did. Gag. I regret it.
For the most part I don't regret my blog posts. And if it weren't for blogging I would write nothing. My husband thinks I am funny and awesome in my blogs so it lets me get away with being just a bit more schleppy and drab in real life. I think this is the case, too, with a few other people who read my blog and know me in real life. So that is a plus. It also gives me something to talk about with other people who blog. Blogging is a good topic--it's almost completely effortless for me to talk about it.
One of the best perks of blogging, however, is the people I've met through blogging. I have good friends who have nothing to do with blogging of course, but my best friends all read my blog and like it and talk about it. And most of the best friends I have now I met through blogging. That is, I didn't even know them until we started reading each other's blogs and now we know each other and are friends. It's a pretty good thing for me. I don't make friends easily, at least not friends I really like. I've been blogging since 2004. That's six years! It's longer than high school. And many people have lifelong friends they met in just four years of high school (lest you think blogfriends don't endure).
It was through my blog that an editor from Parents Magazine found me and asked me to write for them which is WONDERFUL and AMAZING and makes me feel fancy and great and even like a legitimate writer for a few seconds until I remember how Mr. Rutter wouldn't let me into Creative Writing when I was a senior because, well, there's really no nice way to say this--I wasn't good at writing (that's when I learned not to try for things) and of course the whole, "Do you even know how to write a paper?" (See above.) Actually, I have Design Mom to thank for the Parent's gig because she referred them to my blog. There again, bloggity blogness making the world go round. PS: I know Gabby in real life and we go way back. So don't bug her and try to get her to get Parents Magazine to hire you. I DON'T NEED THE COMPETITION. I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO WRITE A PAPER.
And finally there is something so dear to me that I almost hate to write about it--but since it is St. Patrick's day and all--it is through my blog that I met and began a correspondence with my beloved Frank Delaney. And by "meeting" and "corresponding with" I mean that I "regularly take advantage of his politeness" on "Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail." But it doesn't matter! It makes me happy. I wrote blogs about his books (because they are good and I like them) which he, apparently, read. Or heard about. Or maybe it was a fluke. Or maybe it's a joke. Whatever the case, he humors me. And to get an LOL out of Frank Delaney every now and then is a real treat. A real treat. Thank you, blogging.
So I love blogging. Do you love blogging? Does blogging sometimes leave you cold? Ever wish you got more free stuff as a result of blogging? Well my friend, try using your blog as a vehicle for stalking. You won't be sorry. THEY'LL BE SORRY. THEY'RE THE ONES WHO'LL BE SORRY.
(Hey Conan O'Brien, Google yourself much? Welcome to my blog. Mind if I add you as a "friend"?)