July 12, 2012
Mel has written several times about starting her work day with a blog post, to warm up before doing the writing that constitutes her actual work. I, on the other hand, blog at the very end of my night. Until recently, that would typically be anywhere from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Now, since I have a day job with standard hours, blogging time is closer to midnight, or 10 p.m. if I am either efficient with my other duties or if I totally shirk my other duties.
I suspect that I write differently late at night than I would early in the day, but I can’t say for sure, since I am a night blogger through and through. Occasionally when I first started this blog I’d write posts in the middle of the work day, but now that seems ludicrous, in many ways.
You’d think that blogging right before bed would mean that I’d go faster, but I always prefer to sacrifice sleep rather than sacrificing length or detail.
When do you write your blog posts?
May 31, 2012
I mentioned something to the mother of one of Burrito and Tamale’s classmates about their blog (not BabySmiling; their non-anonymous baby blog). She said eagerly, “Oh, you have a blog?”
I explained, “Well, it’s <i>their</i> blog. It’s about them.”
“Oh. I have a blog too! But it’s not about my daughter, it’s about me.”
Part of me wanted to exclaim that yes I have one of those too, and it’s such an important part of my life, but no one knows!
Part of me was curious and wanted to read her blog.
Part of me, the part that won, wanted to respect her privacy even though she clearly opened the door. Because so many of my online friends use secret identities and don’t share their blogs with people they know, my instinct was to let her keep her two lives separate, even though I don’t think she actually has two separate lives. But then again, maybe she does. Maybe she’s one of us. Maybe she’s reading right now.
Has someone in real life ever revealed to you that they blogged? How did you react?
April 12, 2012
I love blogging. Not quick Tumblr-style blogging that you do from your phone, but crafted, deliberate, edited and re-edited blogging. Email is good too, for the same reason. Most people would be shocked at how many times I edit and tweak even the simplest emails. Lack of editing is why I don’t like hand-written letters… that, and the ink that my left hand smears across the page.
Unlike regular blogging, micro-blogging is a challenge for me. How am I supposed to think complete thoughts in 140 characters? Where is the nuance? I’m the only person I know who not only doesn’t abbreviate when texting but uses full punctuation: I’ve never received a semi-colon in a text, but I’ve sent plenty.
Long-form is too long for me. I’m such a perfectionist that I can’t see a very long piece of writing through.
In the olden days, pre-Twitter, DH used to say that instant messaging was perfectly suited for him. Now, he is a masterful Tweeter. He, somehow, can encapsulate nuance and wit and depth into 140 characters. He’s great at mid-length like blogs and longer-lengths too, but on Twitter he shows a gift for brevity that I can only dream about.
What medium is best suited for you?
March 8, 2012
There has recently been a lot of controversy in the ALI community. I won’t get into it, except to say that it has raised a fundamental question.
Why do you blog?
Some people are basically keeping a journal in public, and what they write would be the same whether or not anyone was reading. Not me.
Some people blog to be heard, to have their words read and acknowledged. That’s not it for me.
Some people blog to make connections, with their readers and with other bloggers. That’s part of it, but not all. I’m certainly not trying to rack up high numbers. I was just having a conversation with a friend who is a respected but not bestselling professional writer; he declared that he is sick of being a cult favorite, and he would like to be a mainstream success. I, on the other hand, love that my blog readers are people who get me. I’m not for everyone, in blogging or in life.
I blog, in large part, to help others. When I was at my most desperate, or hungry for information about being a certain number of days past transfer or how to administer an injection into my own butt, reading blogs helped, a lot. I have made a very conscious effort to provide information that can help others, such as my posts on breastfeeding after IF.
I also blog for intellectual engagement — for myself and my readers. That is certainly the impetus behind Thoughtful Thursdays. I enjoy crafting posts, challenging myself to write in different ways, expressing things that are hard to express.
However, if everyone stopped reading, the intellectual engagement would be there, but it wouldn’t be enough for me to keep blogging. I presumably couldn’t help people unless people stumbled upon posts later, and I definitely couldn’t connect to people in the same way if I never heard from them. I didn’t start blogging to make friends, but as a side benefit of the search to connect and to engage intellectually, I’ve made some great ones.
Why do you blog?
March 1, 2012
Welcome to the March Intelligentsia.
#29: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#25: A from Are You Kidding Me?
#25: Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV
#21: Strongblonde from Strong Blonde
#13: Tara from Turkey In My Oven
#11: St. Elsewhere
#9: Lori from Write Mind Open Heart
#4: Sara from Aryanhwy
A friend just created an electronic account on my behalf and in the process he had to pick a password. He chose the names of Burrito and Tamale. Children’s names would be a logical and very reasonable choice, but I have never used their names — or anything related to them — as a password. I most often use passwords that are somewhere between mantra and pep talk, sprinkled with characters to make them harder to hack. Another favorite theme are inside jokes between me and DH. Almost as often, I have used passwords that related to my cat.
Because I am tech saavy and helpful, people have been coming to me for computer help for two decades. As a result, I have been privy to many, many different passwords over the years. I find it to be a delightful peek into people’s souls. Sports teams. Favorite places. Nostalgia. Special dates. Loved ones. Nicknames. Movies/songs/books/TV. The obvious (“password”).
My favorites — the most revealing about the true person — are the passwords that talk about the kind of life people want to life. Maybe if you type it often enough, it will happen.
Don’t tell me any passwords, of course, but…
How do you choose your passwords? What do they say about you?
July 4, 2011
Day 4 of blog summer camp at Creating Motherhood!
Today’s prompt: What has most surprised you about being an adult?
When I was a kid, anything seemed possible if you worked hard enough and wanted hard enough.
When I became an adult, I learned that some things are close to impossible no matter how hard you try and how hard you want, like getting pregnant.
I also learned that you can’t count on very many people in this world, even in your own family.
I learned that intelligence, education, and hard work don’t get you nearly as far as connections, charm, and getting intelligent educated others to do the hard work for you.
Bonus: A reprieve of Summer Camp Day 1! Specifically, a photo of my temporary blogging spot, one weekend only. It looks an awful lot like camp, but it was actually a weekend getaway on a lake. Although it wasn’t camp, there were canoes, watermelons, and bug spray.
There are lots of other adults at this camp!
July 2, 2011
Day 2 of blog summer camp at Creating Motherhood!
Today’s prompt: What were you like in high school? What extracurricular activities, if any, did you take part in during high school? Did you consider yourself a writer?
I was an artsy brainiac, but it was a prep school so nerdiness was acceptable. I was a very A- student: I preferred to study for 2 hours and get an A- than study for 20 and get an A, particularly since I had so many other things to do.
My college application had 12 blanks for extracurriculars. I had so many that I had to leave some of my activities off of my application.
Among the activities:
newspaper section editor
drama, one or two plays per year
3 choral groups
president of environmental club
wrote poetry and articles for local ‘zine
dance club participant and teacher
ballet and jazz outside of school
rock climbing (on actual rocks, before the days of artificial climbing walls)
summer job in the administration building
French literature reading group (in French)
This doesn’t count as an activity, but I was also an early adopter of online interaction, using Prodigy extensively as well as individually run online BBS. I wasn’t as nerdy as that makes me sound.
I considered myself writer more then than I would now, since in high school I poured my soul into poetry and kept a journal, but in terms of output I do far more writing now.
Want to meet and join the other campers?
July 1, 2011
It’s the first day of blog summer camp at Creating Motherhood!
Today’s prompt: Provide a photo or sketch or dramatic rendering of the space where you normally blog.
I have chosen to provide a sketch, drawn on a magnetic doodler. It depicts my dining room table, where I blog most often. I sit in the chair closest to the foreground on the right; the chair to my left (and the one across the table from it) are high chairs. There is a large window overlooking the forest. The dots on the floor around the high chair are peas and grapes that I haven’t yet cleaned up.
Go meet the other campers — and join us!
March 1, 2011
Life From Scratch is the first fiction book by the incomparable Melissa Ford. I reviewed her first book, the infertility resource book Navigating the Land of IF a couple of years ago. This book is just as excellent, but in very different ways.
I’m not a ChickLit reader — literally the only ChickLit books I’ve ever read have been for book clubs — but I did enjoy this book. The characters are more fully developed, the protagonist more likable, and the situations more realistic than most other books of this genre.
It was funny, knowing the author, to see bits and pieces of her throughout. The main character is in many ways dissimilar from Mel, but there were several times when, if I’d been reading the book blind of the author’s identity, I would have said, “Hey that sounds like something Mel would say.”
And now, the Book Tour questions.
Blogging plays a key role for Rachel in the growth she experiences throughout the novel. How has blogging affected who you are and/or how you see the world?
Blogging helped me survive infertility.
Blogging introduced me to several friends. Not online friends, real true friends that I just happen to mostly talk to online and happen not to see that often in person (or in some cases not at all, not yet).
Blogging has helped me articulate my inner life, since I tend not to express my private thoughts and feelings in other venues.
Blogging has also compartmentalized me — I have BabySmiling friends and other friends, BabySmiling thoughts and other thoughts, experiences told only to BabySmiling readers and experiences told only to others, photos of my twins that I’ve posted on BabySmiling and all of the other photos. I’m not particularly thrilled with still having to remain so secretive to maintain the two separate existences, but I am thrilled to have a place where I can be so honest.
Rachel’s blog gets very popular when she wins a blogging award and she starts averaging about one hundred thousand hits per day. Would you want your blog to become that popular or would you prefer to stay smaller?
More evidence of compartmentalization: this is not my only blog. A couple of readers know that, but most don’t. I would not want BabySmiling to become hugely popular — I am delighted to share my experiences with anyone who needs them, especially anyone struggling with infertility, but I don’t need the level of scrutiny that would come with such an enormous readership. I also don’t need the heightened likelihood of having my identity discovered.
For my other blogs, though, I would be fine if either one became that huge. They’re not intended for that kind of audience, though, so it would invariably change what and how I wrote. Not good or bad, just a bit different. A little less idiosyncratic, a little less intimate, a little more about conveying interesting or useful information and less about personal connection. I’m very active on one of my blogs (posting more often than I do here) and would continue to be so. I’m extremely inactive on the other one, so if it became popular (though I’m not sure how that’s possible when there now are a only a few posts per year, but this is all hypothetical anyway) I would certainly be more diligent about regular posting.
While she is trying to move on from her divorce, Rachel cleans out The Box- a box of sentimental mementos from her marriage. Do you have a Box of your own? What do you (or would you) keep in it?
I don’t have one single Box. I have several areas where I keep things. I have one box of all of the greeting cards DH gave me during our courtship, another box with all of the letters he wrote me — on notebook paper — accompanied by the various roses he gave me, dried. I have a box with ticket stubs from everything we’ve attended together. A couple of pieces of jewelry he gave me when we were dating are in my regular jewelry box. And then there are the photo albums, physical albums from the early and middle days and digital-only (though well backed up!) most recently.
I have all sorts of other sentimental mementos from experiences we’ve shared, but I don’t think of those as being from my marriage — I think of those as being from my life.
To continue to the next leg of this book tour, please visit the main list at Write Mind Open Heart.