my across-the-pond kindred spirit angie wrote yesterday suggesting that i blog about . . . blogging. as in: what are the benefits? the negatives? and what keeps me motivated to continue pouring my thoughts out into the cyberspace [ha, such a 90s term!] for the past nearly-seven years?
after all, it doesn't look like i am about to become a professional any time soon. i have no book deal (jealous much? but of course!) and while hits/subscribers have been (very) gr-a-a-dually building over the past few years, my readership has yet to skyrocket to the point of any sort of commercial success. put another way, my monthly checks from BlogHer aren't even quite enough to cover a massage. maybe one anthro top -- from the sale section!
or a few copies of michelle's book. because despite my chartreuse skin tone, you know i'll be buying it!
frustrating things about blogging
let's start with the downside, so this post can end on a positive note!
✔ getting caught in the comparison trap. i have to admit that there are times that i become frustrated that my blog HASN'T grown to mammoth proportions despite the amount of thought and time i put into it. is it my hatred of capital letters? my wordiness? what do i not have that XYZ-blogger does? but then again, i often find myself amazed at the success of some blogs that don't seem to 'deserve' it and the obscurity of others that i think are pure genius . . . so clearly the whole thing isn't so simple, and it's unfair to assume that the global online 'audience' has the same tastes and preferences as i do. so most of the time, i try not to focus on this and to just write what i feel like writing about. sometimes it is hard to ignore these things completely, though!
✔ mean-spirited comments. i'm not talking about constructive tough-love criticism here (i appreciate that!!). the truth is that the true barbs are actually quite few and far between -- and yet they are always the most memorable comments to me. they sting. they can make me censor myself (and i don't really want to do that!). because after i get one, i am paranoid about getting another one for quite some time.
✔ it takes a lot of time -- although this has actually never been a downside for me because it is truly a hobby i LOVE. i am never bored while writing and i almost never dread writing a post (if i do, then i'll throw together some cop-out! the plus side of not being a 'big' blog is not having much to lose by doing that once in a while!).
the good side: why i'm still here after nearly 7 years . . .
♥ processing. every time i write a post, i think that it helps me to deal with my own feelings in some way. it gears me up for the day, helps me organize my thoughts and allows me to put things into a bit of context. without meaning to, in writing many of my posts i end up analyzing why i'm feeling a certain way about certain things, and this almost allows me to be slightly detached from it all. a conscientious observer of sorts . . . perhaps bordering on zen.
♥ the ability to look back. i can't believe i have captured thoughts from ages 24 - 30! i am already at the point where i can look back at my younger self and either think:
-- OMG, i was SO immature!
-- OMG, i am still EXACTLY the same
(depending on the situation, of course). in restarting back in the lab, i was moved to revisit posts from my first stint at the bench -- back in 2004! reading posts like this one, this one [same: falling asleep in confusing seminar; different: bitching about the price of gas in '04! ha, if i only knew what was coming . . .], and this one are helping me to see that i wasn't miserable in the lab before, and that there was a serious learning curve between clueless and competent.
♥ pure love for the craft. as i mentioned above, i love my posting time. period. if i didn't, there is no way i would have kept up with this. i do someday hope to make this kind of writing some part of my future career.
♥ community. as in: YOU ALL who read this, and those of you whose blogs i read! i still treasure each and every comment i get (going back in time also reminds me that for years, i got almost none!), and have met many more-than-virtual friends through the blog-world. i also believe that i have learned a lot from those of you who have offered me advice, and i feel so lucky to have such a smart and worldly population of readers. so thank you!
workout: rest day!
cooking: rest day there, too. i guess making cDNA all day took a lot out of me. i might have eaten ice cream for dinner. can't win 'em all!