Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What's in a Blog?

I was reading some blogs today. I vacillate between blogs about pregnancy (or trying to get pregnant) and blogs about dressage. Which is ironically funny because 1) I am not pregnant and 2) I don't own a dressage horse. I guess I'm living on the edge of those two, mutually-exclusive dreams (i.e., getting pregnant and owning a dressage horse do not go well together!) so it's kind of fun to read through the blogs and just imagine. I especially like finding long, well-maintained blogs that have been going for many years. I then wade through the awkwardly-organized archives until I get to the very first Blog Post. I try not read the current posts, because that would be like reading the end of a book before you start it. Then, if you are lucky enough to find a well-written blog, you can sit and watch this person's life unfold right before your eyes; a speeded-up summary of the events of the past four years. In fact, I've been spending so much time reading blogs that I started to feel guilty that I haven't been reading any novels lately (I realized this when I got a nice email from the LAPL warning me nicely that my unread library books will be overdue in four days). But then I realized that there is no difference really between reading a blog and reading a memoir. Except of course, that a published memoir will likely have been edited nicely by a crew of people trained to make your writing more digestible and correct. Blogs are just a new type of literature (wow, that sounds corny). It's very unfiltered ranting and raving put forth by someone who is trying to....I don't know, share? connect? be heard? be validated?

It's kind of an interesting question. Why DO people Blog? Why am I starting this blog, for example? Especially since I really don't plan to share it with anyone that I know until I am pregnant and certain. So what I am blogging about is too private for my friends to read and yet I am putting in on the Internet? How strange is that? I guess, for me, it's a way of chronicling what I am about to start. The next stage of my life. If all goes smoothly and easily (knocking furiously on something wooden), this blog will be a story of getting pregnant and then raising a baby(ies?). And I'll be happy to share this with friends once I am past this odd no-man's land of trying to conceive (which, coincidentally, the blogs have taught me is called TCC)...just, not yet. So, basically I needed somewhere to write this all down. I am driving my husband and few friends who know absolutely crazy with stupid little details that I have learned about ovulation. I mean, honestly, you'd be surprised how little I knew about my own body before I started researching all of this. Would you believe I had no idea that you couldn't get pregnant just "any old day of the month?" If I had just read a little bit, I wouldn't have stressed so much about accidentally getting pregnant because I missed one birth control pill. Or just...because the birth control somehow ceased to work that month? Seriously?

Aside from wanting to be able to look back on all of this and see how the journey unfolded, and aside from needing a place to pour out my obsessive little thoughts, I also have another, secret reason for starting this blog. And I guess, since no one is reading this, I can admit my secret to the blank, unfriendly expanse of The fact is I really like to write. I've always had this secret idea that someday, in another life, I could be a writer. Whatever that means. So I guess this is my way of having an alter ego. Similar to slipping on thigh-high boots and black leather on the weekends - just not as exciting. And really, I doubt that this "secret" is all that secret. I mean, aren't all bloggers simply people who wish they could be writers? Why would anyone write a blog if they didn't enjoy the act of writing or secretly think they are kinda good at it? Just to torture themselves??

Anyhow, I guess the point is, maybe my thoughts on blogging are changing. Maybe bloggers aren't people wishing they were writers (well, a LOT of them are), but just people using a different forum to communicate and share their writing.

Finally, I want to share one of the blogs that I have been reading that really stands out to me. Some of them I read just for the pretty videos of horses half-passing across an arena and some I read because I just can't believe how fucking crazy these people are. But some of them are just really well-written. The one I am thinking about is at The author (and yes, she is an author) is amazing. First of all, she has maintained this blog since 2003 which is absolutely impressive and also gives her blog the depth of developing over years of time. Secondly, she is hilarious and extremely intelligent. I really value people who are damn smart and able to apply that to humor, because I think I am damn smart (I have a Ph.D., don't I?) but definitely have no clue how to be funny. Also, she is a great writer. Because no, being smart and funny don't instantly make you readable, interesting, or eloquent. And finally, her story is *amazing*. It unfolds like a movie or a great novel and I am only half-way through so please don't tell me what's currently happening! And yes, I realize that she may be upset or shocked to hear me comparing her life to a good novel, but it truly is riveting. What she and her husband and have been through is inspiring and she wrote about it with grace and humor. Nicely done. Anyhow, if you're interested in infertility, pregnancy, motherhood, or just good writing, check it out. Do it my way and start at the beginning.

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