Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blog Shy

It's been about two weeks since I've posted to my blog. There are several reasons for that. One is that with four kids and various other stuff going on, I have so much free time that it's almost impossible not to blog. Um, yeah. I have at least proven to myself that my life doesn't have to revolve around the internet. I've read a couple of books, worked on stuff for my choir, made my kids' lives miserable by enforcing piano practice and so forth. :)

I've had a couple of posts that I've started writing but never completed or posted. Every so often, rather than just writing I start worrying about what blog readers will think of what I have to say --a sure recipe for killing artistic motivation or intellectual honesty, for that matter.

My favorite blogs are ones where people just write honestly about their everyday lives or what is important to them. I like having a glimpse into people's personalities and what makes them tick. I try to do that on my blog. But it's all-too-easy to fall back into a mid-life internet version of middle-school fashion: "I will copiously follow what I perceive is popular so I can reproduce that and have the greatest chances of making everyone like me." Or it can easily fall into a kind of virtual self-marketing: "Look at me and my perfect life! Did I mention all the things I do or how talented and photogenic my kids are? Or how great my side photography business is? Or how diligently and perfectly I do all the things that I perceive are recognized and valued by my peer group?" (I know, I know, there are a lot of blogs that exist for the purpose of self-marketing. You could argue that that is really what they are for....)

I guess it just bugs me when I hear of people who start out reading their friends' blogs and the end result is that they feel depressed because they don't measure up: they aren't as talented, their kids aren't as photogenic, they aren't as skinny, they've never run a marathon, their scrap-booking isn't as cute, their marriage isn't as perfect, their cooking isn't as gourmet, their photography isn't as good (or they, gasp, can't even work a digital SLR), their house isn't as clean, their wall vinyl isn't as snazzy, their food isn't as organic, their blog doesn't have as many "followers" or whatever. If I'm being honest, I fall into this too. It's too easy to "comparison shop" and find yourself falling short. And this makes it that much harder if you want to have a blog that is honest, because you always wonder if you come off sounding like a wet blanket un-artistic failure of a mother who is always having disasters.

Don't get me wrong... I still love to chill out sometimes to picture-perfect blogs of delicious food that I'll probably never get around to making. Maybe someday I'll have a blog like that or make food like that on a regular basis. I get a kick out of reading about cool things that my friends have done and seeing cute pictures of their kids. And I don't think there's anything wrong with focusing on the positive, running marathons or having photogenic children. But it's worth keeping things in perspective.

So where does that put me and my blog? Not sure. I'm pretty sure I analyze things too much. In other exciting news, the earth is still round....

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