This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

In which i discuss the blogging process

Today, after my spinning class, I was asked how this blogging process has affected me. It’s an interesting question as it has had far more impact on my life than I originally thought it would. I began the process as a means to get my “funny” stories written down. At that point, I had assumed that me and my “editor” would put them into some sort of organized form that would result in a book. In fact, I already had a name picked out: “Good Enough: The Chronicles of an Underachiever.” Obviously, the train has gone off the rails so I want to discuss the many ways that this blog and blogging in general has affected me.

1) Time – now obviously the blog has taken up copious amounts of time. Before this began I used to brag about how “time” was all I had as I did “nothing” all day. This has changed dramatically. Certainly writing the posts has taken up lots of time but that’s actually the least of the issue. Tweeting, responding to comments, talking to other bloggers and thinking about issues that I really never gave much thought to have eaten a massive hole in my days.

2) Weight – believe it or not, I’ve lost weight as a blogger. Had I only known 20 years ago that the sheer act of writing about issues, both yours and the world at large, would turn out to be so cathartic and that food, your main source of comfort forever, would take second place I would have started writing a lot sooner! Of course, I’m not sure that I was at a place in my life to do so. The kids took up a lot of my time and sitting down at the computer for long periods of time was a luxury for me back then. When I was at my computer, I was really big into computer games so perhaps I needed to wait until I reached this point in my life.

3) Awareness- I certainly wasn’t unaware of the many problems facing people in the world. As a matter of fact, I’m inordinately proud of the fact that I can understand and relate to the many issues that people have, even if I don’t have those issues myself. One of the many ways I have survived mentally (other than my weekly shrink appointment) is by my “I’m not even worried about it” approach to life. To have this approach, you really need to keep yourself in some sort of protective bubble. As a “fixer,” the minute I’m involved I tend to pour myself into something. This can result in an incredibly time-consuming situation not to mention the emotional maelstrom that can result from being over-involved in someone else’s life. But, just the constant interaction with people and reading their many hurts and pains in the world have definitely affected me.

4) Friends – I have, interestingly enough, made some friends from blogging. Usually the friendships begin with me leaving a comment on someone else’s blog or vice versa. In my case, I always try to email back when I get a blog comment or Tweet them as a thank you for caring. In other cases, people comment back to me. If you have enough in common, you seem to develop an “email” relationship. I have met younger versions of myself, people that remind me of my kids and even a doppelganger on the web. It’s been great meeting people but, as I’ve been incredibly blessed with my marriage, my family and my economic situation, it’s difficult not to start feeling empathetic about some of these other people’s situation. It’s definitely making me want to get over-involved, which is often a huge problem for me. But, in spite of that, it’s been interesting to meet people from all over the United States as well as some international folks.

5) Education – it’s true. I’m actually a fairly educated person but I’ve really enjoyed reading about expatriates in other countries and how living abroad is so different than living in the US. Other countries attitudes towards Americans, while not surprising, can often be humbling to say the least. Beyond that, the attitude towards happiness and money is completely different in many parts of the world. There are also many situations in the US that I haven’t been familiar with so I’ve really learned a lot. Both about my country, myself and humanity.

6) Socioeconomic – this is going to sound terrible but I’m going to put it out there anyways. I didn’t go into blogging for the money. In fact, I don’t actually need money as the truth is that I’m quite comfortable financially. This is obviously not the case for many of the people out there and while I of course knew that, I rarely came into contact with so many people who were in financial straits. My kids attended private school, I live in a nice house, I have help keeping my nice house looking nice … obviously my life is fairly cushy. The people I hang out with are friends I met while my kids were younger, in preschool, school and various and sundry activities. Naturally, we are all in a similar socioeconomic group. So I’m jaded. I admit it. But the internet and blogging community is varied. People from all walks of life are there and many of the things I read are situations that I obviously never had to deal with. Do I buy food or gas? Do I enroll my kid in this or that? I need to homeschool because the school system is terrible and I have no other choices! There’s a medical condition my child has and I can’t afford the intervention. I’ve always given to charity and make it a point to help others but I suppose in many ways, I’ve let my money do the talking. I’ve spent lots of time thinking about this aspect of blogging and the effect it’s having on me.

7) Pain – I’ve talked a lot about depression, death, medical issues and the like. I’m pretty much of an open book and certainly, there’s very few things that I haven’t personally experienced. The fact is that there’s a lot of pain out there. People are hurting and scared. They feel isolated and alone. They have situations that overwhelm them. In some small way, I hope my admissions of things like depression, fear or even bulimia will make people realize that we’re all human and we all deal with these issues. I’ve never met ONE SINGLE PERSON in my entire life that doesn’t have something they need to deal with, even if they haven’t yet. So, I suppose that the knowledge of how extensive that pain is has surprised me.

So there you are. I started this journey towards a book with the end goal of being a “professional talk show guest.” Instead, I’m in the process of becoming a maudlin, wordy, self-involved human being who rambles on and on about the human condition. It’s been an intriguing journey thus far and I hope you continue with me as we go further. I like to think that I have an ability to observe the world and enlighten people in a humorous, yet somewhat unique manner but of course, you’d have to be the judge of that. I love talking, writing and thinking about this stuff and feel free to comment on this or any other blog post I might have. Thanks for accompanying me.

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11 Comments

  1. Karla Telega
    December 8, 2010

    I started out using Twitter to help build a platform for my book (developing an audience on the web). I've been truly surprised at how much I've gotten from reading other blogs and meeting new people online. I'm glad for the opportunity to meet some pretty special people, like you, and I mean "special" in the very nicest way.

    • Lynn
      December 9, 2010

      Yeah, i can finally comment back. Excellent

  2. Sarah
    December 8, 2010

    Blogs are good for those with poor memories too, like me. This way, I don't have to bother trying to remember stuff cos I can just look it up here.

    What was the name of that wine? Just a sec, I blogged about it… etc.

    I don't expose myself and my kids too much on my blog. I have local nosey old buggers snooping around checking me out for criticism of the French and then making hell, so I try to keep them away from potential trouble.

    I don't stop criticising the French though, but I only do it when there's a reason to, not to be gratuitously provocative.

  3. Very Bored in Catalunya
    December 8, 2010

    It's strange that something that starts off as a solitary pursuit ends up opening so many doors socially.

    Blogging has been a massive learning curve for me, and one that I am sure will continue for a long time to come.

  4. An Authentic Life
    December 8, 2010

    Well, Lynn, if you end up as the second coming of Oprah, can I be on your team?? That would be so fun.

    Me? I want to earn my living via my blog. Others do it, I want to do it. But, damn, it's not as easy as it looks…oh well, I continue plugging along…it's been fun, and look, we've met each other that way!!

    Power on sister!

  5. An Authentic Life
    December 8, 2010

    ooo…I just read *Sarah's* comment – yep, blogging does help a poor memory!!! And mine sucks!

  6. Tim@sogeshirts
    December 9, 2010

    Lynn that was very interesting. I agree with you that blogging takes a lot of time. You really need to network with other bloggers and read their blogs so that they take the time to check out your blog. Very interesting on the weight loss. Agree with you that writing can be very therapeutic. It definitely is interesting peering into the lives of so many different people. Love the new layout on your blog.

    • Lynn
      December 9, 2010

      Thanks for checking out the blog Tim…there have been so many unexpected bonuses of this blogging thing. i’m having fun and meeting people…it’s ALL GOOD!

  7. Emma Jayne
    December 13, 2010

    Holy Mother of Pearl, Girl! You are on Fii-yah! Love the new site and I saw that you are attending a blogging conference. Sooooo wish I could attend with you. Love your reflections here…so personal and honest. Just lovin you….in a totally non cyber-stalkerish way.

    • Lynn
      December 13, 2010

      Hahaha…i understand the stalkerish thing. I feel like that too sometimes. Yeah, i’m going to Blissdom. I’ve NEVER attended anything like that so we will see! Two other friends of mine are going with me so it should be fun! We’ll probably meet sometime as i will need to bring my son up to UVA to check it out! THanks for reading and especially for commenting. I’ve been slack lately but i’ll get back on track checking you out… i promise!

  8. voyance
    April 19, 2011

    How do you make a site look this awesome!? Email me if you get the chance and share your wisdom. !

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