Thursday, August 05, 2010

jade thoughts

more green . . .
except i'm done with $ (for now). instead, i wanted to address something else that is often suggested by the emerald shade:

and that is envy.

[allie, that graphic was just for you!]

specifically, virtual-envy, if you will. i was reading a few really popular blogs this morning and noticed that i was feeling these little nagging pangs of jealousy as i read about new book deals, earning a full salary from one's posts, and hearing amazing numbers like one million views/month (let's just say i'm not sure if this blog has collected a million views EVER in its 6 year lifespan).

the thing is, i have absolutely no personal issues with these successful women -- actually, i truly like and respect the ones i have met in real life! but i think it's only natural to wonder (especially as someone doing this for quite a long time) what i could be doing better to grow my readership and turn blogging into more of a part-time career. or, put in a more negative light, what am i doing wrong that i haven't "gotten anywhere" after all this time?

. . . AAAAAAAAAND then i snap back to reality and remember that i already have a more than full-time job in my own little corner of the medical field; a job that i truly love! from this angle, it might look glamorous to fly out to conference after conference, eating delicious treats while smiling for the camera, but i'm far too much of a homebody (and not nearly photogenic enough) for that to make me happy for long.

my reality is less glamorous, but it is much more 'me.' and i think i can let the green hue fade to a prettier blue now. tiffany-blue, perhaps.

don't worry, that's not a shopping reference -- i just like the color!

i hope i am not offending anyone with this post; i just wanted to acknowledge these thoughts. i think that following blogs can be a wonderful and fun experience, but also dangerous in that you see just this little slice of someone's life -- and it's often a more perfect picture than what is really there. NOT that i blame anyone for this; who wants to write about legal issues or little marital snits? (and who really wants to read about those things, anyway?)

the next time i notice these wistful pangs, i will remember that no one is holding a gun to my head and forcing me to train as a pediatric endocrinologist (that would be random, huh?). while it may not come with all that much fame & fortune, it is definitely as rewarding and interesting, and i feel lucky to have gotten where i am.

i also feel incredibly lucky to have the readers (and loyal commenters!) that i have. you all often provide substance in your insights that is often worth more than a million hits put together!

[i am still holding out for the book deal, though.]

just some food for thought on a thursday. has anyone had similar thoughts? if you are a blogger, do you have aspirations of doing so professionally? and if you are a publisher, can i have a book deal?

(sorry, couldn't help it.)

happy thursday! the week is flying.



workout: 5 miles on the TM (i had to stop and answer two pages, but it wasn't TOO bad). 2 miles were at 8:00/mi pace, the rest was 8:35 to 9:13.

almost vegan: this polenta casserole from ED & BV was vegan UNTIL i sprinkled some jalopeno cheddar on top.

real cheese >>> fake cheese. i just couldn't help it! the polenta crust got sort of fluffy and crunchy in the oven and was absolutely delicious. i'm looking forward to leftovers tonight!

reading: 15 PREP questions. i'm still on track with my study plan!


  1. I'm more confused than anything about how one would make a full salary from blogging. Is it from the foodbuzz ad? I get a whopping $5 a month from that!! I wouldn't want blogging to be my job, but I do wonder how they do it.

  2. You took my feelings right out of my mouth ;) I don't think many people understand that you can be truly happy for someone & their success, but still wonder about your own situation

  3. I'm so glad that you posted this!! I do the exact same thing!! And then I feel guilty for feeling jealous...nerds!

  4. Sure. I'm a little jealous of other people's successes, and I wonder what would happen if I had those chances and opportunities. But I am not unsatisfied with what I'm doing, and as I think of it, I'm just collecting experiences for a longer book later in life. And - sorry if this is impertinent - but there are plenty of physicians who write beautifully about their jobs. Have you ever thought about joining their ranks some day?

  5. Totally get it and the times I've admitted some envy for the lives of full-time bloggers I've been met with, "But you're a DOCTOR!" All the long hours and stress of having people's health and even lives in your hands contrasts with the perceived life I see on these blogs that seems so carefree and creative. My job will always be regimented, demanding and stressful and I can never work from home or plan the course of my day on a whim or desire. BUT, the education and experience you have obtained can allow you significant flexibility (once done with training). You can work part time and make a good living, you can write and you have the credentials to back up your words, be it scientific, journalistic or creative. You can work in research, industry, teaching. I'm envious of YOU and the other med student and resident bloggers because I NEVER could have done this type of thing during training. I was unhealthy and unbalanced. It is normal to have these feelings but important, as you did, to acknowledge them and learn from them. Thanks fot sharing!

  6. Anonymous10:24 AM

    i would TOTALLY give you a book deal if i had the clout :)

    i can get caught up in others lives through their blogs! i totally suffer but blogging envy. someone else will always have the latest toy, or cooler meal or faster pr. but i like the way my life is right now. sure it can be crazy but i like it :)

  7. Love this post, and your honestly.

    A few things: First of all, these blogs you're speaking of are great! and I read them too, but not because I think their content is ourstanding, but because pretty pictures of food are nice to look at while you're wasting a few minutes online. :)

    I think it's for this reason that they're so popular as well as because women are OBSESSED with food. Analyzing, counting, restricting, over-indulging...etc. I personally think that food journal blogs are way over the top & I would never want to do that for a living. I think that snapping a pic of everything that goes in your mouth can potentially send negative images to others. That being said, I agree that these women are fantastic at what they do, and what comes out of their blogs are great opportunities that anyone would be jealous of!

    I know plenty of fabulous women writers & bloggers who should very well have 1 million readers, but they may not because their blogs aren't as visually stimulating and addicting as food journal blogs are.

    I think your blog is different because you don't food journal in the sense that these blogs do. They even go beyond that and basically journal most details about their day, and what they ate at each portion of it. I would go crazy spending so much time doing that.

    I read your blog because A) You talk about more than what you ate today, which quite frankly, I can't stand to see another picture of oatmeal, B) You break it up into sections which I like, and C) You're very relatable and humble, you seem just like a girl I would be friends with, not like someone who is so popular they don't have time for me. Because let's face it, blogging in itself is narcissistic, you're right off the bat assuming everyone wants to take notes from you. I like blogs that DON"T assume that. Oh, & I also like the organizational stuff & recipes!

    That being said, I think most of us out there are jealous of your career! You're a doctor, you have worked very hard to get to where you are now. Doctors are the standard for which our society is measured, "Oh, yess....she's a DOCTOR you know."

    A few years down the line, you won't need or want any other job (not that you need it now, but you know). Because you'll be making well beyond the limits of what you can spend. Trust.

    I hope this doesn't come across as a negative comment, because I didn't mean it to be. But you touched on a subject that is interesting to me! I personally think one should blog because it's what they want to do, not because they're getting paid for it. I have quit reading blogs that are SO big they say things like, "Due to the amount of comments on these posts, I just can't respond to them all." I just think that's condescending. Even if it's true, don't put that out there.

    You obviously love to write in this space, so keep it up! No matter what your numbers are. :) I will still be here reading!

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  13. Whew! I think I'm off my soapbox now. Back to work :)

  14. Sometimes I am really frustrated because I don't know what I want from my blog, and other times I feel relieved that I don't know what I want from my blog. I like that I don't have pressure to do anything I don't want to do on my blog or with my blog, but of course, I wish I could make more money through it because it takes up so much time.

  15. That's so funny that you say that because when I first started reading your blog I felt exactly that way about the life you have. Always wanted to go to Med School. I think if your post offends anyone then they truly just aren't taking it in the right context. Everyone, no matter who you are, is always going to be envious of something that someone else has, I think that's just how life works, what's important is what you do with that feeling. Letting someone else's success negatively impact your life is pety for one, and it doesn't do anything but place the other person higher than you. You never know who might be feeling the same way about your life, maybe a person your envious of reads your blog, or knows about the life you lead and wishes they could be more like you, it's entirely possible. Really love your honesty.

  16. whew i treated myself to a midday glance at the comments and you are all so wise (as usual!). kristin, your comment definitely made me think a lot too (good point about the narcissism . . . although i REALLY hope i don't come out too much like that!) and i definitely didn't see it as negative -- at all!

    also, i totally do feel lucky to have the career i do . . . i suppose it's part of the 'wanting it all' syndrome that impacts so many women especially these days.

    more later but just had to thank you all for the insight.

  17. Woo Wicked! I agree, it can be intimidating and discouraging to read about people's success but you just have to remember your time will come (in general not YOU're already successful!!!!). Although these days, I am feeling the dumpiest about it because I'm unemployed and not doing much with my $200K degree.

  18. I'm glad I came back to read this later and got to see all the good comments. I definitely get blog envy sometimes. Actually there's probably something about each of the blogs I read that I'm a little envious of or else I wouldn't read them!

  19. Great post.. so honest and so true. It was ironic to me because I am not a doctor although I continue to wish and think about going that route so I so thoroughly look forward to reading your blog each morning to hear what the life of a doctor actually is about. Your blog continues to be one of my favorites. It seems so honest, real, and always interesting!

  20. I agree with Kristin's comments. I would bet that while there are probably plenty of food blog readers interested in "healthy living," there's probably a large portion who are slightly obsessed/disordered and the blogs feed that (unintentionally), day in and day out. I read your blog because I've always pictured the life of a doctor to be glamorous. I enjoy your honesty and your reflections.

  21. I can relate so much to this post. I get those same pangs of envy when I read other blogs. I mean, I'm not really successful in any way--yet. I just have to remember that someday my hard work will pay off.

  22. I know what you mean in terms of being jealous of other people's successes. There must be something to learn from our jealousy even if means just taking a step back and appreciating where we are in life. Keep up the good work, doc! :)

  23. atilla9:01 PM

    love the blog I'd buy your book

  24. I read the other day (this post about how browsing facebook tends to make people unhappy. Facebook is full of announcements about wedding, engagements, babies, promotions, and wonderful vacation pictures, not the ethical shortcuts taken to achieve the promotion, or the story about how the tropical vacation was assigned by the therapist to help the couple recover from an affair, or a last effort to try to save a marriage. Basically, facebook, and I think a lot of blogs can be included in this, focus on the good, which is great, but isn't real. So when we compare our real life to the positive details of the lives of others, it makes us unhappy.

    I have less than 10 subscribers. And that's totally find because I blog mostly for me, and it's not that great, but I have been attempting to blog for over a year. Some people celebrate their first year with all 1,000 of their subscribers, and it's hard for me not to be jealous :(

  25. not on topic at all:

    prescient posting of the wyclef video. did you see he's running for president of haiti?

  26. Anonymous12:04 AM

    I agree with you totally Sarah! I think for me personally I'm just jealous because they are doing something while I feel like I'm doing NOTHING. I am still new to having a healthy living-focused blog, and I need to remember that I do it for ME and not anybody else. and while it might be fun to make a living as a blogger, I start nursing school in a few weeks and that's much more exciting to me. :)

  27. Sarah6:37 AM

    I don't get jealous reading blogs. I do, however, tend to get feelings of guilt. Feelings that I'm not eating well enough, exercising enough, working hard enough.

    I try to be mindful of this comparison/guilt trap and work towards not comparing myself with others. It's hard but I try to use other blogs (like yours!) as inspiration to lead a healthier lifestyle.

  28. I'm a little late to the party here, but I totally understand what you mean! (I wonder what Kristin wrote and then deleted...I've always respected her opinion! Anyway...)

    I am always confused as to how someone with a food blog can be a "full time blogger," earning an income to support themselves solely off of blogging about food and going to conferences so they can blog about more food. I used to read multiple "big blogs" all the time, but I now only read one or two, mainly because I like bloggers who I can relate to, and I certainly cannot relate to a blogger who blogs for a living! I'm a nurse with weird hours and I certainly don't have time to make myself a nice dinner every night, since sometimes I don't even have time to microwave my food or (gasp!) eat it.

    Okay, enough of my work-hate there. Truthfully, I like to read blogs of people who are like me...who work and still have time to train, be with their family...have to schedule a vacation because they have a "real" job...etc. It's just easier to relate to! That being said, if someone paid me to blog, I wouldn't be opposed. Nurse stories have to be more interesting than people who just food blog all day. (Okay, that was mean...but really.)

    I sometimes wish my blog had more followers/readers/commenters, but at the same time, I like it being low key because there's not much pressure involved. Blogging is fun, not a job...then again, if I knew I was writing for a bigger crowd, maybe I'd like it even more. Grass is always greener?

    I'm interested to see what other book deals bloggers are getting...Caitlin's (who has a blog I do read daily!) book wasn't totally related to her blog, but her blog definitely helped her get the book deal.

    If you really want to do a doctor-nurse duo for a book deal, please let me know...I'd buy it.

    Sorry for the random spattering of comments. :)

  29. Like Susan, I'm late to add my comment/s, but I'd love to add a few thoughts.
    First of all, I really enjoy what you write here and the thoughtfulness with which you approach topics. Although I have a blog and, like others have "confessed", I would like for it to be more 'popular', I also don't want it to become my life. I'm happy that it's a place where I can reflect upon different topics and goings-ons, but I think that I would hate to make myself into a commodity. And, maybe this sounds judgmental, but it does seem that many of the bloggers make themselves into a product/brand/commodity, and I'm not exactly sure what that says about our society or, at the very least, the blog community. Don't get me wrong, I find plenty of interest out there, but I also wonder about the constant need to write a post, leave a comment, check out the latest posts, twitter, facebook, email, text...
    I think that it is great that some people have been able to pursue a passion or develop/deepen their interest in sports, art, travel, cooking, whatever, but I do balk at the idea that just because someone has a popular blog, he/she is an "expert" on something and merits a book deal. It's one thing to be Mark Bittman or Ruth Reichl with years and years of experience, and, to be frank, it's another thing to be a *popular* food blogger.
    Finally, you've obviously given a great deal of thought to your life and career and what you want. The term "successful" is SO subjective! And I think that it's easy/common to measure and to compare ourselves to others, especially in this media-driven culture where so much seems to rest on image and money.