Posts Tagged ‘writing’

writing on Writing

Monday, August 13th, 2012

This is not another BlogHer recap post, so don’t run away. It is, sort of, a reaction to BlogHer and the many many BlogHer recap posts that have been written. It’s also about what I learned at BlogHer, what I didn’t learn at BlogHer and what I suspect I will never learn no matter how many BlogHers I attend.

You cannot teach someone to be talented. Talent is something you either have or you don’t have, like a super fast metabolism or a crazy drunk grandmother. You’re either someone who can eat cheeseburgers and ice cream and pop all day and still fit in your high school jeans or more likely you aren’t. One may become thin by exercising and watching what one eats and skipping dessert and working hard but it’s never the same as just having it. Talent is like that. You can foster a love of something and learn the technical aspects and search out things that inspire you and work your ass off – but you will always be at a disadvantage to those who were born with a natural skill.

I do not have a talent for writing. I enjoy writing. I like to think I am pretty good at writing. I once had a creative writing teacher read my essay out loud in class. But that was in 2003 and I’m still bringing it up now so obviously the accolades are few and far between. I have no illusions that I am going to wake up one morning and sit down at my typewriter and pound out the next great American novel. At best I might Instagram a photo of myself sitting in front of my dad’s old typewriter making duck lips and holding a gin & tonic.

My blog isn’t poetry, it isn’t how-to, it isn’t deep thoughts, it isn’t photo essays, it isn’t brilliance. It’s in a no-mans land, a junkyard, an oasis of random – except that there are hundreds of other bloggers here with me. It’s the world’s most crowded deserted island and I feel like we spend half our time sharing coconuts and the other half fighting over who gets to sleep in the cool kid’s hut. We’re all struggling to tell our stories and capture a snapshot of our lives with the words we do know, limited as they may be, so people will stand up with us and say “I share this experience” or “Wow!” or even just “Cool story, bro”. Maybe we’re all crazy narcissists for thinking our lives are worth documenting – but does it make it better if we realize that’s what we are? If I’m willing to acknowledge that I have reached maximum saturation among people who like red headed children, occasional recipes and mediocre photography do I win an award of some kind? If I admit I am not that good do I get to keep writing?

Maybe these words right here are some of the most unnecessary ever posted on the internet. Since the fact that everyone is writing about writing has already been written, why bother to publish my thoughts at all? Why am I asking so many questions I have no intention of answering? Why is the rum gone?

In the end, the thing I love about blogging is my space gets to be mine. I am the captain of my blogging destiny, or at least the only one with the login to my WordPress dashboard. I don’t have to be the greatest. I’m not competing for Babble’s list of the Top 10 Bloggers Whose Posts You Think Are Super Deep But You’re Not Really Sure Because Your Eyes Cross Half Way Through or even just Top 10 Mom Bloggers As Chosen By Their Friends Who Also Work Here. The rules for blogging are not actual rules and there are no blog police who can shut you down for not being good enough.  There is more than enough room on the internet for everyone.

Let’s be friends.

evan and caroline friends

Thankful Day 30: DONE

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011


Today I am thankful that NaBloPoMo is DONE and I DID IT and I will NEVER DO IT AGAIN. I am both proud of myself for posting every single day (MORE THAN ONCE if I had sponsored content, because I felt like that was cheating) and annoyed at myself for posting every single day (because I am not that interesting). I think I ended up annoying people more than anything – my comments dropped significantly, which for me defeats the whole purpose of blogging. Not because I need constant reassurance that I’m awesome (although that sure is nice TOO) but because hearing YOUR stories and thoughts and advice is a huge part of why I bother to write my thoughts here on the interwebs instead of in my journal. So, dear friends, if I promise to write less crap, will you come back now? Pretty please?

Things I WILL be blogging about in December: cookies, Caroline’s first birthday party, how much I hate cleaning my house, knitting, my fight with myself over possibly weaning the baby, Little Evan’s inability to control his own strength, house plants, tattoos, traveling with kids and Christmas decorations. I will also be taking more naps, eating too much and dedicating a LOT of time and energy to finding the perfect bubble bath.

Today I am thankful my blog can go back to being whatever I want without feeling like a quitter.

Empty Pockets

Friday, June 17th, 2011

My life is a pocket, being emptied before the endless parade of pants go into the machine.

A crumpled $20 bill. It’s enough for a day – a coffee, a burger, a pretty bobble from Target – but wouldn’t make a dent in a year’s worth of bills and car payments and mortgages. My worth as a mother isn’t paid in dollars and cents, so I am both worthless and priceless.

A rubber band. My patience being pulled and stretched and twisted further and further with each temper tantrum, each unwashed dish, each crying baby. Sometimes in breaks and someone gets stung, a hurtful snap I immediately regret and I vow that next time I won’t let it get so tight.

A paper clip. Holding it all together a day at a time. Doctor’s appointments, vet appointments, car maintenance, groceries, playgroups, laundry, dishes, bedtimes, start all over. Papers papers everywhere and that file cabinet I was planning to use still empty. I need an hour a day a month to organize before I’m buried alive.

A goldfish cracker. The compromise between having a hungry, cranky toddler and eating nothing but organic, locally grown produce hand-picked by virgins under a full moon. The place where doing what is “best” for my family meets doing what is best for ME when it comes to my family and the guilt I do or do not feel when I cut corners. Sometime delicious trumps perfection.

A band-aid wrapper, the band-aid long since peeled off a skinned knee. I cover up the boo-boos, deal with the pain, pretend it’s not a big deal. I’m glad the hurt is so small but the scars are still there even after the scrape is gone.

Lint. Dog hair. My hair that is still falling out by the handful thanks to post-partum hormones. Messes of all kinds invade my space. Bits of yarn. Crumbs. Pen marks. Dirty feet. Messy faces. Playdoh ground into the carpet. Drips of milk. The remnants of a day full of fun, sunshine and creativity.

A penny. For luck. We are all healthy, clothed, fed, loved and safe. So much luck.