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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Writing about writing. Or blogging, if that's what you call it.

I started this blog when I noticed I was no longer able to put a sentence together on paper (or a screen). I used to take any writing ability I had for granted. It saved me from failing classes. It came to my rescue when I needed to write thank you notes in a hurry. It allowed me to appear semi-articulate. After my wedding, thank you notes were few and far between. Graduate degree in hand, I had no further need to write papers. As a mother, no one much cared what I had to say or how I said it. So I got rusty, dangerously close to illiterate, really.

I don't want to go back to school. I can't force people to be interested in my thoughts. I should write more thank you notes, but I have to do something to upset my mother and drugs, under-age drinking and pre-marital sex are out at this point. So I started a blog, like every other boring mother. Unlike the other boring mothers, I never thought the minutiae of our lives was interesting to anyone other than the grandparents*. The beauty of the blog is that no one has to read it, or even tell you if they do. Apparently, I'm far more boring live than on screen. Who knew?

I tried to start a paper journal, but it made me feel like a middle schooler. I found myself writing things like,

"OMG! A. asked me out 4 friday. Hope I can find a baybeesiter! He is like the COOLEST GUY EVER!! I hate my MOM! She will problee not even let me GO! OMG OMG OMG! he was so cute when he asked me he was all 'want to go to that benefit on friday?' and I was all 'yeah but we need a siter and what is it for anyway?' I hope he doesnt think I am a total LOOSER! im going to wear my pink shirt from the limited and my new Tretorns that match. and pinstripe baggies, the ones with the rainbow pinstripes, not plain."

Also, the baby kept trying to eat the pen, which would remind me that I wasn't a middle schooler and I would get all depressed.

"OMG i am so OLD and dapressed! and i am so fat! OMG My mom is so mean!"

Thus, the blog was born. That sounds very dramatic, doesn't it? And the best thing about the blog is that it isn't dramatic at all. I suppose some are, but mine doesn't seem to inspire any overwhelmingly unpleasant feelings, which is fine by me. When I started, I pledged to write a few times a week, skipping no more than two days in between entries.

I also pledged never to tell anyone about my blog, but I drink too much sometimes and told my sister, who drinks too much and told some other people. Now I have millions of readers enough readers to make me feel very appreciative. And, although I have yet to hit the jackpot and make millions from my blog**, I have gotten some freelance writing jobs from it, which resulted in people writing me actual checks for actual money, just for writing stuff. Like a five year old hearing his parents cheer from the sidelines of his soccer game, this makes me feel really good and want to practice even more. You don't even have to give me blue Gatorade and Oreos***.

My blog isn't always my best work. It's done in spurts - in the driveway while the baby naps in the car and the house cleaners work inside, over coffee while everyone's at school, for a few minutes while the kids are in the shower or a few hours while they zone out in front of a movie. The blog is practice. It's the school equivalent of an essay test, not a term paper. Several people have told me recently that they would like to be writers, too. This implies, much to my great joy, that I am an actual writer, which qualifies me in some small way to give advice to writers:

Writing is like exercising. You have to practice to get better and you have to find a way to fit it into your day.

In other words, start a blog. I'll read it! But let me leave you with one last piece of unsolicited advice. These words should never pass your lips:

"Do you read my blog? You really should!"

That makes people feel even more awkward than when you brag about your kids. Don't do that either. Save it for your blog.


* In fact, even my mother has accused me of being boring when I'm talking about my children. No one else has, but I've see their eyes glaze over.

** Dear Oprah, I would be happy to come tell you all about my blog. Or say whatever you want me to say if you will just tell your fans you love me. Please? And this offer isn't just open to Oprah. I will compromise myself for fame and fortune for anyone, faster than you can say "hooker." And I will walk down Main Street, completely nude, for a lot less than a million dollars. A lot less.

*** I do, however, like Diet Coke and Fig Newtons.


Anonymous said...

*sigh*....oh, Anne. Reading your blog makes me feel like a middle-schooler too. A middle-schooler with a mad friend crush on you because you're so wonderful and hot.

Anonymous said...

yr bloog iz awesomes

MT said...

Anne, are you like totally reading my diary and copying?

I've linked my way to a couple of writing opps, too. Feels good, doesn't it?

Glad you're blogging - and totally agree on the writing as exercise.

But not the Fig Newtons. Pass me the Oreos!

Unknown said...

I wonder how much dough (and glasses of wine) it would take for me to walk down main street nude.