On Blogging

Writing (Photo credit: Wikipedia) You’re right. Clearly, this is not me. Otherwise, I’d need some serious Nair, and I have no clue what it is that Robin Williams is holding but I think it’s some sort of writing tool…?

Look! I’ve written another post on writing! Wahoo!

Maybe it’s this long winter, maybe it’s because I’m bored and tired of putting together 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles of lighthouses, but I want to ask you guys some questions.

This post is mainly directed toward the other bloggers out there.  My questions might be for research purposes (still waiting for Psychology Today to return my calls), but mainly for my own amusement.

Beats shoveling the driveway. And besides, there’s nothing on TV anyway.

Oh, and because I adore you so much, I want to pick your WordPress brains.

These questions are about blogging in general, but more about you. Your life, your personality.  Your reason for blogging, if any (hell, I only do it for the carpal tunnel syndrome), and more specifically, about your burning desire to write.

Fine, lukewarm desire.

  1. Why in the hell do you blog? I mean, really.  We all know that “for the endless amounts of cold hard cash” will never be an answer. What do you get out of it? The main thing that compels you to crank out yet another post. Is it to quiet the voices? You can’t afford a diary? Looking for a big book deal? To connect with others? Your therapist suggested it? Tell me. Be honest. (It’s to quiet the voices, isn’t it?)
  2. How did you discover blogging? What was your initial impression? I thought it was just an online journal no one would ever read or a fun way to let perfect strangers know embarrassing and intimate details of your life. Guess I wasn’t too far off with that guess.
  3. Were you shy and withdrawn as a child or gregarious?
  4. What does gregarious mean?
  5. How close is your ‘blogging’ persona to the real you? Any differences, similarities? If you’re really a Chinese robot, etc? Is your writing ‘voice’ the true you? Are you more guarded with your writing or more confident?
  6. How has blogging changed you or your life? It hasn’t? Aw, c’mon! Fess up. It’s made my ass much fatter.
  7. Do you consider yourself to be a ‘writer’? Explain why or why not.
  8. Do you prefer to write, then edit, edit, edit or just throw up on a page and be done with it?
  9. How confident are you after you hit that dreaded ‘publish’ button? Does it strike fear in your heart? Or do you not even care? If you don’t care at all, I’d like to have what you’re having. Also what Meg Ryan was having in When Harry Met Sally, but that’s another story for another time.
  10. Have you ever regretted something you’ve written? (like what I just wrote about Meg Ryan) If so, what was it and why, and can you give me a link to it?
  11. Have you ever been 100% satisfied with something you’ve written?
    Not one of my finest stories, I'll admit.
    Not one of my finest stories, I’ll admit.

    Do you view your writing as good, bad, so-so, or ‘eh, you really don’t care’? Do you ever look back at a post and cringe? And thought, good lord! that was pure crap on a stick!? Just me? Nevermind.

  12. When you write, do you have a certain audience in mind, or do you just go with your gut and let the words spew forth without a care who would like it or not? In other words, do you censor yourself at all?
  13. What will you never, ever, ever, like totally ever write about and why not?
  14. Can you write a post for me? Yeah, I’m fresh outta ideas at the moment as you can see…

Thank you. That is all.

Feel free to answer any and all questions below. Or in your own post. Or answer none. Right. Like that’ll happen. You’re a blogger. You’re a writer. We love to string words together and babble and drone on and on and on, it’s what we do best, am I right, huh, well am I, hmm?

Okay, that was a bad example.

164 thoughts on “On Blogging

  1. priyanandana


    Even these question pop up in me too.. but I rarely answered them, i do what I always feel like doing. I always loved to write , even it was writing an imposition back in school. I wanted to write about something that is my experience in parenting , or friendship , or whatever it is , but it should be mine .

    1. Me too, I can look back and I’ve just always loved to write, ever since I was little. It’s simply the way it is for me. Generally, I don’t do it because I feel I have to, I do it because I love to.

      1. priyanandana

        same here..if you don’t love to do what you do,then there is no point in doing it.it will be just a waste of time..

  2. Jeez, Darla. I could be here all day. Good think I’m not feeling particularly “worky” today. 😉

    Ok, I’m gonna give it a go. Strap in:

    1. I blog because it’s an outlet for me to spew forth brilliance. Yeah, ok fine, we know that’s not true. I blog because It’s an outlet. Kind of like therapy. Once you get it all out there, you feel better. I also have come to appreciate the relationships I have made and enjoy the feedback I get from others.
    2. I think Allie Brosh’s The Alot post was the first blog I read. Then I discovered others. At some point I thought, “huh, I could do this!” (It must have been all the peyote I was smoking at the time). I really never thought anyone would ever read this crap.
    3. I am a total introvert, always have been. Writing is a way for me to communicate without all that icky social interaction.
    4. No idea. Though I suspect it has something to do with the Brady Bunch.
    5. I like to think that what I write is me, but I do hold back some stuff out of necessity (for anonymity purposes), but also think that I share more on the blog than I do with the people in my real life. It’s a delicate balance.
    6. Blogging has truly changed my life, in the best possible way. No BS, I finally feel like I’ve found what I’ve been searching for all this time . . . people like me and somewhere that I can share my artistic talents. I never thought about being a writer, but I am thinking it more and more now. I am more confident than I ever thought I could be. And I have found others that I connect with on a level I never thought I would. I found my tribe. My people.
    7. Yes and no. I never have, but am starting to. And am actually thinking of trying to BE a writer, although the jury’s still out on if that is a viable option or not.
    8. I write, then edit, then edit some more, and then finally stop stressing over it and just publish already.
    9. Once I hit publish, I figure it is done. It’s out there for everyone to see and I just have to let it go. I am at peace with it . . .
    10. . . . until months later when you review it and realize what crap it is! There was one post I had to take down because I was unduly mean (I thought just snarky, but he didn’t see it that way) to my husband in the post. I removed it out of deference to his feelings.
    11. I usually think most of my stuff is crap. I am my own worst critic. Even the things I think are good, I usually circle back around at some point to question myself. I’m a harsh critic.
    12. I do not censor for my audience. I write what I want, and figure if someone wants to read it, fine. If not, fine as well.
    13. I can’t write about the details of my job, and I won’t write about intimate family details. It just isn’t anyone’s business.
    14. Oh shut it. Your stuff is brilliant and FP material. You do NOT want me writing for you.

    Phew! Now I need a nap.

    Just remember . . . you asked for it. 😉

    1. I know. I probably could have cut my questions in half…. But I LOVE to read everyone’s thoughts on this stuff. Thank you. (I’m going to write a thesis on the psychology of blogging for school next month and this will come in very handy….j/k…..)

    2. Ok, first off YOU are shy? See, I would have never guessed that, Misty.

      Also, I loved your answer to number six, about finding your tribe.

      And I agree–I’ll think something I wrote was fine, then months later I’ll re-read it and I am just disgusted. (I’ve been rereading a lot of my posts for Peg’s this should have been FP’d series) Sometimes what I intended to say was lost in my words or people took it the wrong way.

      1. Oh god, Darla. I am horribly, debilitatingly, painfully shy. Blogging gives me an outlet to express myself that I don’t feel I have the ability to in real life. But I can be gregarious (great word) in my writing. But in real life . . . I’m a shadow. That is, until I get to know you and feel comfortable, then you’ll never get me to shut up. 😉

        I’ve been doing the same thing for Peg! And I went through my entire catalogue of posts (a year and a half’s worth) and only found 4 in total as possible, and even those I didn’t think were all that great. They were all older ones. It’s hard to go back and look at your old stuff. In my first post, I actually wrote “your welcome.” I almost died when I read that, and realized it had been floating out there for all this time!

  3. Can I print this questionnaire out and turn it into you next week, Prof. Darla? Every question is so thought provoking. But I’ll answer two of the fourteen today. Question #3- terribly shy and awkward growing up. I’m afraid I’m still a bit awkward. Question #1- (the short version) I started blogging to connect with others.
    I was having a hard time letting my guard down in ‘real’ life so I decided to explore the online community. Though I’m still a bit reluctant to join Facebook. Oddly enough, blogging feels less intrusive. I’ve only been at this for five months and there’s no going back now. I’ve been sucked into the abyss!

    1. Y’know my main question was if bloggers are or were shy. I am guessing a lot were. I could be wrong and I normally am. I can’t believe you’ve only been doing this five months?! At my five month mark I was still so very lost. I didn’t realize you needed to read other blogs and comment.

      1. At first, the idea of leaving a comment was very intimidating. But, I couldn’t resist the temptation. Especially if that particular blogger spoke to me, pulled on my heartstrings. Plus, I figure we all put on our pants on the same way, right?
        One of the most gratifying things about blogging is connecting with people who are going through the same season of life as me. You know, like sleepless nights, no privacy in the bathroom–basically anything and everything that falls under the umbrella of parenthood. Blogging is the new HAPPY HOUR!

      2. It was VERY intimidating that first time you leave a comment. I think I started leaving some on a few blogs at first but I was definitely clueless how to go about building up readers and getting to know other bloggers. For awhile I was talking to myself. Gradually you get this community of like-minded people and that fear fades. Now it’s the best part of blogging for me. Sometimes I’d rather comment than write my own posts.

  4. Okay- I’m procrastinating here, so answering your blog beats the crap out of finishing my “to do” list! Here goes:
    Why in the hell do you blog? I started writing a journal/diary for my kids after #3 came along. #2 had an empty baby book after the first couple of months, and I knew they’d have questions later and that I wouldn’t remember the answers. Sadly, I’d forget to write. After 13 years I’d lost it repeatedly, only to find it and write a bit before losing it again. I’ve filled 15 pages so far. It seemed like I’d get more done online (since I hide hear from my responsibilities). It’s also an outlet for those voices.
    How did you discover blogging? I started reading other blogs. It seemed like they were fairly organized, directed and had it together. I was none of those things, but heck- no one would see it anyway!
    How has blogging changed you or your life? It’s given my kids a few moments of angst, and contributed to the generally chaotic world of mess around me. My ass hasn’t changed in size as there is no fridge within reach of the computer.
    Do you consider yourself to be a ‘writer’? Not really. No more than I was when I’d turn in a creative writing project in school, or send off a bunch of cheesy essays directed at scoring money for college. .
    Do you prefer to write, then edit, edit, edit or just throw up on a page and be done with it? I think even a casual observer would see that I just throw up all over the screen and hit send. If you look closely you’ll probably find some of my breakfast in this reply!
    How confident are you after you hit that dreaded ‘publish’ button? Only when I do it on accident. Otherwise I’m elated. It feels like I’ve gotten something accomplished, even if my toilets still need a good scrub.
    Have you ever regretted something you’ve written? Oh yeah! I wrote something about/for my daughter (age 14). It was a painful time (ahem…”is”) and she felt that it was way too personal. I didn’t think anyone would look at it, but I received a lovely note from a distant cousin in the UK who wanted to encourage her, as it struck a cord in her from her own teen years. Ave was horrified that “anyone saw that” and had me remove the whole post immediately. Otherwise, all those embarrassing things about myself, once I write them they are forgotten..Until you mentioned it. Yeah, thanks for that. Here is the memory that will not leave my mind for days: http://bringmemycoffee.com/2012/07/23/part-3-tales-of-the-uncool-putting-the-goodies-on-the-table/
    Have you ever been 100% satisfied…NO. Okay, maybe for a few seconds, then I reread what I’ve written, panic and close the screen.
    Do you view your writing as good, bad, so-so, or ‘eh, you really don’t care’? Do you ever look back at a post and cringe? And thought, good lord! that was pure crap on a stick!? Just me? Nevermind.See aove!

    When you write, do you have a certain audience in mind, or do you just go with your gut and let the words spew forth without a care who would like it or not? In other words, do you censor yourself at all? Once in a while I’ll write something for a specific person (cousin Allen in the UK, or one of my kids). Otherwise it’s just me, pretending to have a cooking show, or reminding myself of the dorky things that happen in case life ever seems too perfect.
    What will you never, ever, ever, like totally ever write about and why not? Personal issues with Grumpy (the hubster). He’d freak. Like even more than he does when I dare to correct him (oops).
    Can you write a post for me? You know, I’d love to. But I’ve been pretty crappy about getting anything done in my life lately. I’m thinking of just going to Pinterest and actually trying each and every freakin thing I’ve pinned so I can write about the attempt. But who would I be writing for then? No one really wants to see me make salted-caramel-bacon-mojito cocktails or crochet a carport from dryer lint and dog hair. I’m afraid that if I say yes, I’d let you down. You can, however, feel free to poach at random from any of the crappy things I’ve posted in the past year. WOW- that was inspiring, right???
    Thanks for getting me writing again…as my teenage daughter would say ” I see what you did there, and frankly I find it arousing” …yeah, she says that. Thank god for wine!

    1. Like you, at first I was writing mainly to talk about my kids and their baby days, so they’d have something to look back on later when they’re older. There are a few posts I am very glad I wrote, because they do freeze a moment in time for me and I want my kids to know how I felt when they were little. But I got bored of writing only about the kids. Then I kinda wanted to write about whatever subject I felt like.

      I also have mixed feelings when I hit publish. I feel a bit of anxiety. Then I say, good…Now that I’ve got THAT off my chest, I can go about my day. Then a few hours go by and I panic and think maybe I shouldn’t have posted. Then I read a few comments and feel better. It’s really a vicious cycle for me. I am addicted to it.

      Your “crochest a carport from dryer lint and dog hair” line killed me! see, this is why although I’m on Pinterest, I don’t keep up with it because I’d be sucked right in to yet ANOTHER social media thing.

  5. This is quite an interview!

    I started blogging to build an author’s platform for a non-fiction book I was going to write. I was told that was the only way to get published. I totally switched gears after writing flash fiction for my blog and am on my last rewrite of a paranormal thriller.

    Somehow, I figured out that branding was a big part of it, hence the Wild Ride! I choose to write about my adventures and some are wilder than others.

    I am super out-going exactly like my blogging personality. What you see is what you get. No hidden agenda with me…

    Blogging has opened up a humongous (does anyone use that word anymore?) door for me. I have made lots of friends like you, and have learned tons about the world, myself and writing.

    After a few weeks of calling myself a writer, I stopped blushing. Now I “own” that title and don’t go anywhere without a business card.

    I edit the crap out of my writing and have no problem deleting and rewriting. I do the same with my book, that’s probably why it is taking so long…

    I still get nervous when I publish, but have no regrets. Looking back, I see where my writing has improved, but that’s a good thing!

    Adventure with a little humor is my genre. I won’t blog about politics or religion. I always ask the “Who give’s a crap?” question with everything I write. EX. I just wrote about my haircut from hell – who gives a crap- but related it to how listeners only hear positive words.

    I would love to guest blog for you!
    Essay complete.

    1. I am shocked you are outgoing, Susie. I never would have guessed. I read your blog to get inspired to try new things. I’m not normally the adventurous type, so I can live vicariously through you.

      And I agree, the branding of a blog is important for sure. Your blog is so super successful, too. I would even say humongously successful!

      The great thing about writing is, you do improve the more you write. It really takes time and practice. When I look back to the very beginning of my blog, oh man! I can’t even bring myself to read most of my posts. I still have a hard time rereading my stuff now. I think, god that was so stupid! (I’m sure lots of readers do too…)

      And I totally would give a crap about your haircut from hell. I live for that stuff. Because I’ve had several haircuts from hell, naturally.

      1. Wow Darla thanks, so is your blog!
        You will have to come out west sometime for some real adventure!
        I started editing some of my old posts and then realized that people on Google readers were being alerted of them as new posts! Oooopsy!
        Hey my hair has grown about 1/1000th of an inch already! Woohoo!
        I bet you learned a lot about your readers today and even a bit of TMI too! 🙂

        1. Same thing happened to me. I was editing and one of my readers thought they were all NEW posts. Ha! Guess my neurotic tendencies are public knowledge now?

          I had my haircut just last week, five inches chopped off. Feels good!

          I love “getting to know you…getting to know alllll abouuuut you……”

          1. 5 inches is a ton! Wow. I bet it looks cute!

            “Getting to like you,
            Getting to hope you like me…” Doowah doowah…. 🙂

            Man. Look at that last sentence. As a writer, I think lyricists have it made!

  6. My therapist said that I could get a big book deal by publishing my diary, but first I need to connect with others who might buy it. The voices in my head, however, say I need to do something REALLY memorable first. huh, huh, huh …tee,hee,hee…huh,huh,huh…

  7. Pingback: Blogging Part 2: Editing Your Own Blog Post | MikesFilmTalk

    1. I cannot wait to read it.

      Also, this entire post was inspired by our marathon phone conversations. So many things you said were spot-on. I think you’re the only person I’d talk to on the phone that long and with a painfully hoarse voice.

  8. wow! we need to sit down with some coffee and chat. short answer – i blog because i love to write and my cousin made me. i’m now addicted to writing essays and my computer, which is good and bad. i think i’m pretty much the same person i portray. i write and edit and write and edit. i’m always happy with the result and insecure at the same time. and yes, what i’d really love is a book deal. i don’t like that my essays get buried under other ones. i fall in love with many and don’t want them to go away. i like to see them. read them. i’m old and want to really hold them, not virtually hold them. ya know? thanks for asking. you?

    1. God, wouldn’t that be great? To sit and gab about blogging and sip coffee? I laughed that your cousin made you blog. My friend Lisa made me blog and she and my cousin were my only two subscribers for months and months. They both really kept spurring me on to write. Proves, you only need that one person in your audience to keep you going.

      I can also relate to your falling in love with your essays. I do have a few I really treasure and will read again and think, that was good. I managed to get my point across very well! This is what writers always hope for in the end, to just get it RIGHT with the words.

  9. This post is perfect timing, I have my afternoon coffee in front of me.
    1) I started as a guide to London until I realised I didn’t actually do anything that London offers, then I noticed over bloggers writing on a myriad of subjects so I just elongated Facebook posts I would write. Since no one read them on Facebook I thought I may aswell do them on here. Having samples over social platforms like Twitter I realised the general populas has no attention span to read anything more than a sentence long but I found people here who do.
    2) As above, WordPress is easily the best platform for it.
    3 and 4) I have blanked out my childhood and I will know what gregarious means once I look it up
    5) Exactly the same I reckon, I am shyer on first introduction but I think that reflects in my earlier posts.
    6) It’s given me a hobby. Everyone needs a hobby or you end up on crack. And I get to meet great people.
    7) No, not a writer. A writer has a way with words, they can conjure up different feelings. The only feeling I can cause in someone is nausea.
    8) I just throw up on the page (nice link to the nausea) I read through for grammar but I often miss half of that too.
    9) Sometimes I make myself giggle at something in a post I publish, I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
    10) Nope
    11) Never 100% but then I never strive for that. I apply a that’ll do approach to most things in life. (I hope potential employers in Vancouver don’t read this)
    12) No audience in mind, apart from the like minds out there which there must be to like stuff I post. I don’t think I can reach a wider audience, most people don’t get it in person, it’ll never catch on in print.
    13) Nothing too political that creates debate. People do and some do it well. If I did it would have to be injected with humour and sarcasm. People end up on their high horses or being blinkered to the other side of a story. And I can’t slap someone round the side of the head for being single minded if they are just replying to a post.
    14) I will give you three things and you can use them as inspiration: A grandfather clock, A used band aid and a bucket of eels.

    1. Joe, you are awesome. I giggled at most of your responses. If only we could slap someone round the side of the head when things get heated online.

      You’re right, a good sign you’re onto something good is when you are actually giggling at something you wrote. Sometimes though, I think, maybe I’ll be the ONLY one who finds this funny? and that kinda scares me a little. But then I realize, there are a lot of people out there with the same sense of humor (thank GOD).

      This is a little off subject, but…so you’re seriously considering Vancouver now? Yay!!

      1. Is there an emoticon for a slap round the head?

        It’s said laughing at your own jokes is a bad thing, but laughing at yourself is different and should be encouraged. As long as we do it from what we write and not from just looking at ourselves in the mirror, then we need to worry.

        Definitely planning the move, my partner’s work who will transfer him are mucking around a bit and moving dates all over the place, at first it was June, then they said it has to be next week. now it is something sensible for the end of August.

        I am starting to sell some possessions, tidy up my finances and train my cat in airline emergency procedures in anticipation.

      2. Well, August gives you a reasonable amount of time to prepare for the big move. So exciting for you guys. Here’s to hoping the cat has a safe, smooth trip as well! How long is that airplane ride? Damn! But time change will help…

  10. Oh, I’m all over this one, Leonore!

    Why in the hell do you blog?
    I started blogging to keep my mind engaged in things I love before I get so jaded that I forget them. I do it to find my style and voice in my writing. And I started so I could get over myself and let people read what I write.

    How did you discover blogging?
    Not really sure. I wanted an outlet for my writing, and so years ago, I tried Live Journal. Never really stuck. Tried again on Blogger. That was okay, but once I discovered WordPress, it was all over, baby!

    Where you shy as a child?
    Very. Still am. I hide it better now, but deep down, I’m shy.

    How close is my blogging “persona” to me.
    I’m totally a “card on the table” kind of girl, so what you read is what you get. I love my geeky language stuff and I’m serious about learning as much as I can about it. But I also need to keep things balanced. This is where goofy cat pictures come in.

    How has blogging changed you or your life.
    I’ve gained confidence in my skills, which I think has actually made me a better writing teacher. I’ve gotten over some of my shyness and trepidation about my own work.

    Do you consider yourself to be a ‘writer.’
    I have to say yes, even though this might annoy professional writers who are actually getting paid to write. But writing is one of the most important defining characteristics of my life. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s what I can’t not do. I may not be as prolific in my output, and as I mentioned, not paid for my writing, but I have to do it. My mind would be even crazier than it already is. Seriously. For realz.

    Do you prefer to write and then edit, or just vomit on a page.
    Oh dear lord, do I edit. I edit as I write, after I write, and even after I publish! I could never just publish something that hasn’t gone through several revisions and edits. I just can’t. Gives me agida. Even comments are torturous. I’m editing right now.

    How confident are you after hitting ‘Publish.”
    Remember all that editing? It makes me more confident when I hit “Publish.” But as I said, I obsessively re-read even after I publish and sometimes make further tweaks or correct things I somehow missed the first 27 times I proofread.

    Have you ever regretted writing something?
    Hrm…I’m not sure. I strayed off topic once on As a Linguist to vent a little, and I’m not certain that was the right thing to do. I published it partly as a way to push myself a bit more, have a bit more confidence in expressing my opinion even if it didn’t sit well with others. I think about taking it down sometimes, but then I decide not to. For better or worse, it’s out there and I have to stand behind it.

    Have you ever been 100% satisfied with something you’ve written?
    Nope. I’m never 100% satisfied with anything! Not that I’m a Debbie Downer, but I think acceptance of the fact that perfection doesn’t exist actually makes me more content because I don’t stress myself striving for something that is impossible. Having said that, I still stress myself trying to be as close to perfect as possible. Yeah, I’m a bit of a moron that way.

    When you write, do you have a certain audience in mind?
    Now I do because I have people who actually read my blog. I think that audience is really great, too. They’re smart and funny and curious, and I try my best to make sure that I can keep up with them.

    What will you never ever write about and why not?
    I honestly don’t know. I do bring my personal life into my writing about language, but I suppose I do try to keep a line of privacy, though possibly more out of paranoia than any reluctance to share certain things. I do believe I’m a fairly private person, so I think maybe if I have problems, experiences, desires, or fears that are still raw or unprocessed will go unwritten. At least for public consumption. I write a lot of things for the purposes of processing events or emotions and I don’t – and won’t – publish any of that on my blog. Not in any detail anyway. Perhaps an oblique reference at the most, but only if it’s relevant to whatever I’m posting about.

    Can you write a post for me?
    I’d be honored if you’d have me!

    1. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s what I can’t not do. I may not be as prolific in my output, and as I mentioned, not paid for my writing, but I have to do it. My mind would be even crazier than it already is. Seriously. For realz.

      Exactly! I feel the same way. It’s really not a choice, is it? When the need to write comes over me, it’s really odd, because I get real excited and sit down and the words just spill out in a rush. Like if I don’t write it down immediately, I’ll lose it. These usually end up being my most favorite posts.

      I can relate to every single thing you wrote. Especially the obsessive editing. Rarely, I can write a post and hit publish with no editing…but then I reread it later and edit a few times. I’d say I edit a more “serious” post at least a few times before I think it’s ready. I’m such a Virgo that way! Honestly, I’m never happy with anything I write.

      About writing more personal stuff…I will write about taboo things like death. But there are things I will never write about either because it really is incredibly personal and honestly, I don’t think I’m ready to process my emotions about a certain event in the past. Maybe someday I will write about it, but I doubt I’d ever put it in my blog.

  11. I’m dating my self here… but my first experience with “blogging” of sorts was on a BBS (bulletin board system – think of pinterest but in text format. Ick!) in the 90s when we would post to different “boards”. My favorites were usually poetry & such discussions. My ex and i would send each other little “love notes” this way. Surprisingly he’s not as techy as he once was.

    1. I had no idea about this BBS thing. Very interesting! I used to frequent community boards when I first got pregnant ten years ago, like She Knows. I guess that’s the closest I ever came to “blogging”. But I had no clue what blogging really was until two years ago.

  12. Deborah the Closet Monster

    1. I’m asking myself this very question a lot these days. I’m coming to enjoy the “reading” more than the “writing” parts recently, but I don’t have much time for each. At the beginning, it was to build an online presence as an author, but that was much less exciting to me than exploring my tempestuous past. Which is now largely explored.)

    2. I kept an online journal between ’93 and ’01(ish). At that point, it was a way for my website to be more than a collection of links. I never dreamed I’d someday have a public file prettier than a collection of .txt files!

    3. Somewhere in between? I preferred reading and writing to interacting with real human beings, but I wasn’t exactly shy.

    4. A very serious person named Greg?

    5. It’s pretty comparable–squishy and idealistic, but also stern and contracts-y. I like to be super straightforward, which can lead to people online and off thinking unfavorable thoughts toward me. The difference is that I keep most of the crass stuff offline. 😀

    6. This is a blog in and of itself!

    7. Everyone who sits down and writes is a writer. It’s folks who call themselves writers that never bother writing down a single word that might better use the term “writer in waiting” or similar. But blogging? Definitely writing!

    8. Dump it on the page and roll! Well, with blogs, anyway. I do reread for typos once before posting and at least once afterward, which doesn’t stop me from revisiting posts 18 months after they were written and wondering how the heck I missed four glaring typos.

    9. Pretty confident. It wasn’t always that way, though. There were lots of posts that it was agony to post, and over which I fretted until the first couple of comments came in. (Bless bloggers for their vocal support!)

    10. Oh, geez. Just about everything in my old public journal!

    11. Is that possible?! I’m usually OK with what I wrote in the past. I do sometimes look back and think, “Wow, I wouldn’t write that now!” But then I recognize writing whatever it was, however it was that I wrote it, was just part of the journey to get to where I write differently. Hopefully better. 🙂

    12. I just let it tumble out, except for crass things better shared between friends over drinks.

    13. Things personal to those I love. Sometimes I want to write extensively about people who aren’t my mom, but by and large I’m not comfortable sharing more than tiny fragments of my friends’ lives here.

    14. I kinda did, once. Well, OK, so that might be a stretch, but just a little one!

    1. Deb, I feel the same way about your answer to number one! As much as I love to write, sometimes, I’d like to take a few months off and just READ other blogs and comment. I think I might have to do that this year to kind of clear the clutter out of my brain.

      I tend to agree that if you are sitting down and expressing yourself through writing, then you are a ‘writer’.

      I loved your line that whatever it was you wrote in the past led to where you are now. SO true. With writing there really is no other way of improving unless you let yourself be vulnerable during the journey.

      I won’t write about much about my husband’s personal past life or my other family members either. I was going to write a memoir, but it’s hard to be truthful and not afraid of how your words might affect people you love.

  13. Pingback: A prompt (and response) from She’s a Maineiac | musingsoftheamusingmuse

  14. Ooh, guest blogging would be so much fun – if you actually wanted me. It’d be like being on Ellen, or Letterman or . . . no, not Leno. I don’t like him. Is he still on? Anyway I would have to think up a post idea and I don’t have a clue but that rarely stops me. And hey, you have given me a prompt here! I could write a post on this and we could collect them all for your thesis and analyze our findings over chocolate! And yes, I am a professional student geek.

    I started blogging because my shrink told me the way I talk about my angst is funny and I should write it down. Can’t make this stuff up.

    1. Yes,yes, yes! I will have to set up a guest blogging series next month. (I hate Leno, love Conan)

      I’m taking Intro to Literature course right now and I was actually disappointed we only need to write FOUR essays the entire semester. I could write one a week. Love, love, love it. Right up my alley. I really should have majored in English. But then I’d be broke. Wait a sec…I’m still broke now…hmm….

  15. 1. I blog because I like to believe that sometimes I have something to say that might connect with other people in some way. I also think that blogging has made me commit to writing more regularly and/or continually trying to become a better writer, because I always work better if I think someone is going to see my work. Even if my actual readership is one.

    2. I first discovered blogging when I was about to lose my writing group because I had to move. One of them challenged me to begin a blog as way to keep writing and keep in touch with them. I had no idea what I was getting into.

    3 and 4. Both. I was the studious, shy, goody-goody with a silly side. I am actually still very shy, but I come off as gregarious. I’ve learned to channel my shyness when I’m teaching, but catch me at a social event and I’ll probably be in the corner observing.

    5. I think my blogging persona is me. I try to be very honest with my writing. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a HUGE following. “I yam what I yam” but maybe people don’t really like Popeye.

    6. Well, besides making my ass fatter, it helped me through a very difficult and lonely period. It’s not working that way now,but I don’t know how I would have made it over the past few years without blogging.

    7. I’m trying very hard to be able to say “I am a writer.” I AM A WRITER! But, in reality, I have absolutely no clue what I am, except for perhaps a lunatic.

    8. I kind of do both. I often write in a stream-of-consciousness kind of way, and then post before I get too scared to actually post. Then I go back and look at what I published and edit, edit, edit. When people seem to be reading old posts of mine, I end up re-reading them and then, usually, edit again.

    9. I doubt everything I do, except sometimes. I usually hit publish, then go back and reread about five times to make sure I said what I meant to say.

    10. I’ve been scared of what I’ve written. I’ve also wondered if I am digging myself into a deep and slimy hole. Usually, for the posts that make me the most fearful, I will make them password protected and share with people I’ve established some kind of relationship with.

    11. No. That’s all I can say.

    12. Sometimes. It depends on what I’m writing.

    13. I’ll send you a super secret private message if I ever figure that out. 😉

    14. I don’t know if you would want me to write a post for you, since my ideas seem to be . . . um . . . gone.

    1. Well, you pretty much summed me up, Lisa, with your description of yourself. I am very shy. I like smaller groups. If I’m in a big social gathering, I do not like it at all. I would much prefer one-to-one conversations. I think it’s because I am so introverted and I do like to observe other people more than participate (which makes great fodder for writing!) But I do like to teach kids. I can get over my shyness in certain places.

      I also thank god for blogging to help me through some tough times. It’s really given me a great deal of confidence in all areas of my life. Meeting so many good people out there, it gives me hope.

  16. 1. I started as a way to force myself to produce without endless revision, and – theoretically – to build a readership to write directly to.
    2. My initial impressions were that it was either the next generation of writing and journalism; or else a desperate, tiny cry of self-validation in the midst of an infinite void. After exploring, my impressions were analogous, but less extreme.
    3. Both. Shy in person, outgoing on stage.
    4. “To act as or like Greg Brady.”
    5. My initial plan was for a persona, but Good Greatsby was doing what I was planning already, so it quickly morphed into something more genuine. It’s particularly genuine in the sense of today’s post, where I use humor to keep people from getting to know the real me.
    6. It definitely has… hard to quantify how, though. Every way I think of has a counterpoint
    7. I consider myself to be a failed writer. But I’ve been pretty depressed lately.
    8. Write, edit twice, be done. It’s my rule. Then, edit one more time after it’s published and the errors all float to the surface.
    9. Depends – sometimes I’m so pleased I think FP and global attention and publication are inevitable. I call those posts my “unpopular ones.” I’ve had several I thought were crap, and said – out loud – “well, that’s badly written, isn’t it…” and then received multiple comments or emails saying it was the best thing I’ve done.
    10. There were times I regretted this last CYOA adventure. It was a ton of work and my readership dropped to almost nothing. I’m hopeful it will recover.
    11. In the moment, definitely. Later? I doubt it.
    12. A little of both. I try to mostly write what I want, but it definitely impacts me when I think about writing about film or music, knowing my readership doesn’t want to read that on my site. Also, obviously, the drop in readership from the CYOA bothered me even though I really like them – so clearly it impacts me more than I’d like.
    13. Hard to say. I can think of a number of things, but it’s because they’d make me uncomfortable, and good writing should make the author uncomfortable, so…
    14. I’ve resorted to publishing a questionnaire I filled outa few years ago. Clearly, my idea cup does not runneth over. Sorry.

    1. This is too weird! My blog’s original tagline was going to be “a tiny cry of self-validation in the midst of an infinite void”! But I thought it might scare people away so… (god, that line is SO true too)

      I find it hard to believe you’re shy. Contemplative, yes. Brooding, of course. But I’ve seen your comedy routine. I wish I had a fraction of your confidence up there.

      Number nine–yes! what is UP with that?? Seems the more I find something just awful, the more people like it. But the thing I worked on forever and is my “best”? Crickets.

      Truth be told, I think your adventure ones are The Best. They’re just chock-full of hilarity, it’s hard to make a comment. But I know when I posted my fiction stories on here (Einstein and the theory of slurpees, etc.) my hits plummet. But the people who do respond? I can tell they appreciated it enough to slog through and read the whole damned thing (mine were 2,000 words) Honestly, I think it boils down to time. People like short and sweet. They don’t have the time or attention-span to read longer posts. But there are readers who WILL read anything because they truly enjoy it. I certainly hope you do write more CYOA in the future. They were brilliant. And no doubt hard to do.

  17. 1. Why do you blog?
    The words are always swimming in my head. When I put them down somewhere then I can go on with the rest of my life. My about page says something about me being narcissistic enough to think people would want to read my thoughts. It also sort of makes me accountable. If someone is going to read it, then I have to write it, and it better be halfway decent.

    2. How did you discover blogging?
    I honestly can’t remember. My first blog was going to be about the year I had to train for a half marathon and ended up being about how I suck at running. My next blog was about homeschooling my son. I seriously could not have homeschooled him if not for the myriad homeschool blogs out there. That was when I discovered that a blog could be a good thing, both for the reader and the writer.

    3. Where you shy as a child?
    To put it mildly.

    4. What does gregarious mean?
    The opposite of me as a child.

    5. How close is your blogging persona to your real self? Pretty spot on. I’m a little more bold on my blog.

    6. How has blogging changed you or your life?
    I’ve met so many people through blogging, people that I never would have known otherwise. That’s pretty cool. Also, I really do think blogging has afforded me the luxury of being a little more confident about my writing.

    7. Do you consider yourself a writer? Yep. I write words,words, and more words. Whether I’m a good writer or not remains to be seen.

    8. Edit, edit, edit or throw it on the page? It depends. I would say the majority of what I do is write, quick edit, publish. Sometimes, though, I write a piece that demands more attention and I sit on it for awhile and continually edit.

    9. How confident are you after you hit the publish button? Eh, sometimes I cringe, but most of the time it feels amazing to hit the button, even if I know I might get shit for something.

    10. Have you ever regretted something you’ve written?
    I’ve written my fair share of duds, but I don’t think I’ve ever thought, “oh shouldn’t have done that”.

    11. Have you ever been 100% satisfied with something you’ve written?
    Is that even possible? Yeah, there are a few that I’ve been really happy with, genuinely pleased.

    12. When you write do you have a certain audience in mind? No. Maybe if I did I’d be a more successful blogger. Hahahahaa!

    13.What will you never, ever write about? I’ve done marriage, politics, religion, parenting. All the sticky subjects. Never say never.

    14. Can you write a post for me? Yeah, as soon as you write a post for me.

    1. You nailed it. I think the very definition of a blogger is being a little narcissistic. Look at me! Listen to what I have to say!

      I am the same description as you, very shy as a child. My blogging persona is exactly who I am in real life, but I am a bit bolder on here because it’s obviously not the same as talking to someone face to face. Although, I would be bolder once I got to know someone more.

      Speaking of confident, your post on BBW was fantastic. And you have more nerve than me to write about politics and religion. I don’t think I’ll ever go there on this blog, but I admire people that do.

  18. Why do I blog? Hmmm. Good question. For me, it’s a way of getting my “stuff” out. And sometimes there are people out there to commiserate with. My blog is a diary of sorts I also like to share things I’ve learned about.
    I honestly don’t remember how I discovered blogging.
    I was very shy and introverted as a child. By my 20’s that had changed quite a bit.
    My blogging persona is all me. Yes, I hold a little bit back sometimes, but not much and not often.
    Connecting to other bloggers is what has changed my life dramatically. I could write a blog about it. In fact, I think I will.
    I do not consider myself a writer. But I can get my thoughts from brain to paper.
    I write and edit some. Let it sit for a while. Reread and see if any last edits are needed. Publish.
    Once in a while, a draft stays just that- a draft- and it doesn’t see the light of the public internet.
    I’ve never regretted anything I’ve written.
    I don’t think about if I’m 100% satisfied with something I’ve written. If I think it’s good enough for me, it is.
    I do think about the fact that people other than me are reading what I write. But I write for me.
    I will probably never write about politics because I have less than no interest in it.
    As for ideas for you… hmmm…I could guest blog about how discovering your blog lead to changes in my life that blew my mind and changed it forever (for the better).

    1. Please write about that blogging connection, Sue. It really is amazing how much blogging can change things in a person’s life. Or just online relationships in general. They normally get such a bad rap. I think blogging is overall incredibly positive.

      Interesting you don’t consider yourself a ‘writer’. I also have load of drafts sitting there collecting dust that will probably never be read and that’s fine with me because they are probably terrible.

      Writing for yourself: see, this is interesting because I strongly feel that in a way, this is the best way to write: first and foremost, for yourself. Otherwise, you start to filter to fit what you think a reader ‘expects’ of you, and then you start to lose your originality or begin to doubt yourself. Or worse, writing becomes a chore. I’ve done that before and had to let it go so I could enjoy writing again and that is really for myself in the end.

      I could write about how talking to you has transformed things in a major way in my life. By the way, I’m meeting with Meredith Kendall in a few weeks to FINALLY get my training underway. She’s also going to sign me up for a Reiki workshop with someone (can’t remember her name!) this summer. I’m hoping to finally get that master teaching underway. This is all because YOU emailed and mentioned Meredith to me! Not knowing she was literally five minutes down the road from my house!

      1. Yessss!!!!! You are the second person I have put in contact with people who have become spiritual teachers to them. Not that Meredith is your only spiritual teacher, but I know that meeting her is big, big, big!! So excited for you. I hope she’s as awesome in person as she seems online.

        I will most definitely write about the blogging connection and will name names (pingback to this blog article). Can I briefly mention some neurological similarities about our sons without naming their names? I always refer to my son as Little Man in my blog.

      2. Meredith is one of those people that is just mesmerizing in person. I had gone to a Reiki share of hers a year ago, and started my training to work at her cancer center. She was insisting I go into nursing (she’s the head nursing instructor at the hospital there). Her and I just clicked immediately. I actually consider Meredith to be the big push I needed to go into the medical field…and that’s all because of my meeting YOU. Thank you doesn’t cover it, Sue.

  19. Ha! Well, my blog is totally 100 percent me except that I say poop a whole lot more in real life and my readers can’t see me always dancing in my kitchen. Since I mostly write about being a mom, I don’t tell everything about my kids, which is tricky. What I write is what floats around in my head while I’m in the shower or driving down the road. I write, then edit, edit, edit, because I’m a writer at heart and trained to revise, revise, revise. I don’t post anything without my husband seeing it first because his background is the same as mine and I trust his opinion. I started my blog to tweak my writing. I started it for me and just kind of hoped people with similar interests would find me. I find if I write from the heart, what’s affecting me, my audience can usually relate. Things I will probably not ever write about: religion and politics…and my mother. 😉

    1. I do the same thing, I get ideas while walking or taking a shower. They just pop into my head. Hopefully I can write them down before I forget them.

      You are lucky to have your husband help you revise. Mine doesn’t write, he is artistic in that he draws and paints, but writing? Not his thing at all! He barely reads my blog unless I tell him to.

      I can tell you do write from your heart, this is why your writing is so good! But no mother stories, huh? Yeah, I only do because my mom doesn’t even know what the internet is. Good thing!

      1. I so wish I could write about my mom. So many stories to tell! But she does read my blog sometimes, usually only when her named is uttered. One tiny mention about her or a negative piece of my childhood. Ouch. And I can tell you she is never happy about it. Then the phone rings. 😉

  20. 1. I blog so people will send me Pop-Tarts. And to know I’m not alone.
    5. I don’t eat anywhere near as many Pop-Tarts as people think. Shhhhhhhh….
    6. I have so many more bloggy friends, and I love it!
    8. I edit…edit…and edit some more.
    9. I don’t worry much about Publish because I know I can edit some more later.

  21. 1. Why in the hell do you blog?
    I started blogging when I moved away from my home city into the vast unknown world of Victoria, BC. When I started, I was mostly trying to keep in touch with all of my Calgary peeps (all 3 of them). Gradually (and I mean VERY gradually), I learned that blogging works better when you read other people’s blogs and comment on their posts. 🙂

    2. How did you discover blogging? What was your initial impression?
    Some of my friends had arts & crafts blogs before I ever started one. My first impression was that I had to be either a great knitter or an amazing yogi in order to have a worthwhile blog. Hence, when I first started blogging, I was writing mostly about knitting. I bored myself to tears and quickly vowed to just ‘be myself’ online instead of trying to write to please, um, all those knitters and yogis out there? 😉

    3. Were you shy and withdrawn as a child or gregarious
    Shy all the way. PAINFULLY shy.

    5. How close is your ‘blogging’ persona to the real you?
    I’m happy to say that my blogging persona is pretty much me, minus (most) of my embarrassing slips of the tongue, which I seem to make on a near-daily basis in real life. (At least Freudian slips make for good blog fodder– I’ll give them that.)

    6. How has blogging changed you or your life?
    Blogging has given me a network of friends all around the world. It’s also changed the way I view terrible situations in real life. Before, it would be all doom and gloom, but now, it’s like “Blog Post Idea!”. I am such a geek.

    7. Do you consider yourself to be a ‘writer’? Explain why or why not.
    Yes and no. I write, but I lack the time (and um, commitment– cough!) to write on a regular basis. There was a time when I was putting most of my life on hold to catch up with other people’s blogs and to write new posts of my own. Now I’m content to live my life and to write about its goings on whenever I get the chance (or inspiration). Or not. I definitely don’t have business cards with “Writer” on them, though I fully plan on making business cards with “Holistic Nutritionist” on them as soon as I earn those credentials. Woot!

    8. Do you prefer to write, then edit, edit, edit or just throw up on a page and be done with it?
    I edit a bit before I publish, but mostly I blog ‘stream of consciousness’ style. It REALLY bothers me when I find spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors in my posts, though. Guess I should invest more time into editing!

    9. How confident are you after you hit that dreaded ‘publish’ button? Does it strike fear in your heart? Or do you not even care?
    The only time I’ve ever had a serious case of anxiety after pressing ‘publish’ was when I wrote a series of posts about my miscarriage. I hadn’t spoken to ANYBODY about it before, so releasing it into the internet was a serious deal for me. Otherwise, pushing the publish button feels fun. 🙂

    10. Have you ever regretted something you’ve written? (like what I just wrote about Meg Ryan) If so, what was it and why, and can you give me a link to it?
    I wrote about something once and was gently reprimanded by a person I like to call my Overshare Fairy afterwards. I thought I was being hilarious at the time. My Fairy (who is probably right) thought I was being inappropriate. This post– that I like to refer to mysteriously as the ‘Wave Pool Incident of 1993’– remains the only thing I’ve ever deleted from my blog after it was published. Sadly, there are no links left. (You missed out, Darla. You really missed out.)

    11. Have you ever been 100% satisfied with something you’ve written?
    YES! After years and years of suffering through paralyzing perfectionism with my written words, I have come to believe that ‘good enough is good enough’. Whatever I write is perfect for that moment… even if I revisit it later on and find glaring errors. Ha.

    12. Do you view your writing as good, bad, so-so, or ‘eh, you really don’t care’? Do you ever look back at a post and cringe?
    I think I’m a good writer with a potential to be great. (Also, I am very modest.) I have cringed at old posts of mine, but mostly those that have unflattering photos or a Grade 4 diary style of reporting events: “This is what I did today. And then…. And then… And then….”

    13. When you write, do you have a certain audience in mind, or do you just go with your gut and let the words spew forth without a care who would like it or not? In other words, do you censor yourself at all?
    I write with my readers in mind– most of whom appreciate a good sense of humour and/or laughing at other people’s misfortunes. Ahem, I mean ‘laughing WITH’. Not laughing AT. Mostly this works out okay, but sometimes it means that I won’t write about more serious topics or another post about food, even if I am BURNING WITH DESIRE TO WRITE ABOUT MY DINNER. I am planning to start a separate, food/nutrition blog so I can satisfy my geeky needs to wax poetic about kale while still holding on to the threads of my readership on my main blog. 🙂

    What will you never, ever, ever, like totally ever write about and why not?
    My sex life. a) Nobody cares, b) Except for Marty, who would totally flip out. And justifiably so! Some secrets are best left kept. 🙂

    14. Can you write a post for me?
    Sure, as long as you’re okay with a poem about curly kale.

    1. Number six! So true. I think, hey, how can I write a post about this? Just putting words down and maybe having a few people that can relate IS therapy.

      Is your post on your miscarriage still available to read? This is something I have experienced, but never had the nerve to write about. (hope you don’t mind me asking)

      Sooooo disappointed about the “wave pool” incident I’ll never know about. Damn! And I say, go for it on the food blog. If it’s something you’re passionate about, you’ll get lots of enjoyment out of it.

      1. Yep– the miscarriage posts are still up. I had to break the whole story up into three (long) posts, mainly because the experience was pretty disconcerting and confusing for me right from the get go.

        Post 1 is mostly about finding out I was pregnant:

        Post 2 deals with when I found out there was no fetal heartbeat anymore:

        Part 3 deals with the miscarriage itself, in all its nasty details:

        I wrote the three posts in 2008– 2 years after I had experienced the miscarriage. At the time they were written, it still felt like a huge deal to me and the only way I could flush the experience out of my body was to write it down (still couldn’t speak casually about it). Since then, I’ve really come to peace with everything. I don’t mind talking about it and actually hope that my experience might help other women who are in a similar situation. After all, so many pregnancies end up in miscarriage– most people just don’t talk about it.

      2. Thank you so much for providing those links, Dana. I agree, miscarriage is such a taboo subject. I still can’t bring myself to write about my own experiences yet. You are very strong for doing that.

  22. For not having much to say, you said a lot. And quite well, I might add. I’m going to answer your questions in my own blog. But fear not, I’ll link back to this brilliant post. Maybe you just started something… 😉

  23. I am more of a blog reader than a blog writer. I love all kinds of blogs except when people are just talking for the sake of talking, so I stopped writing when I had nothing to say (except my last post which was just a way of getting the post before the last post in the past – answer to # 10: yes). My blog started as a way to survive a family trip with my kids when they were in their late teens and early twenties. When the trip was over, my blog evolved into brain splatter (I just had to get it all out), and eventually became the source for some wonderful connections with people all over the world. The thing I will never write about is my sex life (note: my blog is called the Worrywart’s Guide to Weight, Sex, and Marriage). Oh yeah, I’d never write about my marriage either.

    1. Your term “brain splatter” is perfect. I’ve had that feeling many times. Just feel like I have to let it all out somehow. I’ve hinted about sex as a joke but yeah, that’s as far as I’ll ever go on my marriage or personal life. I do like to keep some things private.

      1. Here we are with our brains splattered across the Internet; countless works of art posted on the wall of the World Wide Web like finger paintings lovingly taped to the refrigerator door. I’m okay with it, and I really enjoy your artwork!

  24. I’m the Jason Bourne of blogging. I just do it, I don’t know why.
    I discovered blogging in a bar in Texarkana. No, wait that was clogging. My first impression of blogging was that I should look for gainful employment, but like the cat that curiosity killed, I soon learned that staying in my pajamas until early afternoon wins out over being gregarious. Blogging doesn’t pay, well, anything. So, I can only afford one persona. WYSIWYG at HonieBriggs.com.

    Blogging has given me well toned elbows. I do consider myself a writer. Not in the same way a popular writer with extraordinarily questionable standards might, but still a writer of sorts, without street cred, of course. Sometimes I edit with such fervor that the finished product bares no resemblance to what I started out to write. I care greatly that my readers think I should keep my ramblings to myself.

    I should censor myself. When I’m up, I’m up and when I’m down, I’m down and when I’m only halfway up, I’m neither up nor down. See what I mean? I will never, ever, ever write about that time in Vegas when me and Prince…
    This comment almost turned into a post.

    1. Exactly. Unless I get paid big bucks to become someone else, I’ll just stick to being me on this blog. It’s exhausting enough, y’know?

      I’ve gotten carried away with the editing many times. I’ll start slashing things out, then entire paragraphs, then I’m left with something entirely different than I intended. I am working on keeping my posts shorter. I notice the shorter they are, the more people like them. I should probably be insulted by that, shouldn’t I?

  25. Babs

    Too bad some of your commenters don’t have a Babs in their lives. Then they could make all kinds of fun of their moms. And get away with it.

  26. Let me begin by saying that I appreciate the opportunity to effectively utilize my time at work to answer your questions. Yup, tax dollars at work here. (whatever keeps me from going postal — whatever it takes) So, here goes: I started blogging as a way to tell everyone what I was going to do with the CSA fruits and veggies that I was overpaying for in a convenient format as to avoid actually talking to anyone. And, I like to take pictures. I love to show people random snapshots that I have taken and I always expect a compliment, dammit. I have only recently discovered the horrible pain of being shy. It is completely relative to the size of my waistline and a recent trip to the public pool Maybe, Jules will have another contest and I will share that story. Anywhoooo … I am pretty close to the original when I am online as live and in person. I will talk your ear off if you let me. I tend to stay pretty conservative on topics for blogging, though. My photo blog is just pictures and the food blog is just food. No controversy. No names to change to protect the innocent. I look forward to posting something random for you with the intent of rambling on and on about some drunken adventure that may or may not actually be true in real life.

    1. Haha! First off, I love it…I do think sometimes blogging or the internet in general IS a good way to avoid going postal for a lot of people.

      I hear you on not wanting to go into the more controversial subjects. I really don’t enjoy debating. Mainly because people can get so mean to each other so fast. At my age, I’m done with the arguing and the bickering (mostly). I have my strong opinions, but I try to keep them to myself (and my poor husband)

      And drunken adventures? Sure!

  27. Melanie

    1. Why in the hell do you blog? For two reason, in two places. The first blog is to have a central, searchable place to catalog my abusive marriage, the horrific divorce, and the crap he still throws at me. The second is to be creative and have fun, to be quirky and silly, and now to challenge myself to a weekly series of writing short stories using only clichés.
    5. How close is your ‘blogging’ persona to the real you? It is the real me, in both places.
    6. How has blogging changed you or your life? 1 – It gets the abuse out of my head so I don’t have to remember everything; I can look it up. 2 – It keeps me dedicated to practicing my craft.
    7. Do you consider yourself to be a ‘writer’? Yes. I write at work for pay, and I come home and write for myself and to improve my skills. Yes, I am a writer.
    8. Do you prefer to write, then edit, edit, edit or just throw up on a page and be done with it? Edit, edit, edit, publish, and then probably edit again.
    12. When you write, do you have a certain audience in mind, With my first blog, I have an audience in mind, and that’s women who have, are, or will experience domestic violence. With my second blog, not really. I usually picture my biggest supporters and write with them in mind.

    1. Thank goodness for women like you who are willing to be brave enough to talk about domestic violence and divorce. These are the things that is so great about blogging, you can reach a wide audience of people and share your own personal stories in the hopes someone out there will know they are not alone. That is so positive and a huge plus of blogging. Thank you for sharing it.

      1. Melanie

        I was amazed at the support I received pretty early on. Now I have a dedicated group of women who read and comment, and I reciprocate on their blogs. It’s a mask-off relationship I haven’t found in “real life”. Beyond that, I know I am reaching a wider audience thanks to the Stats keeping track of the search terms. Sure, some of them are creepy, but a lot of them are right on and that makes me happy.

  28. Impybat

    1.Why in the hell do you blog?
    Just for fun. Not looking for fame and fortune. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I like to show off pictures of my cats and dog every once in a while.
    2.How did you discover blogging? What was your initial impression?
    I started blogging on LiveJournal. I was more angsty back then. I thought it was really cool.
    3.Were you shy and withdrawn as a child or gregarious?
    Gregarious! I was a weird, Gemini kid.
    4.What does gregarious mean?
    It means very social.
    5.How close is your ‘blogging’ persona to the real you? Any differences, similarities? If you’re really a Chinese robot, etc? Is your writing ‘voice’ the true you? Are you more guarded with your writing or more confident?
    I am definitely not a Chinese robot. Aside from not being an actual small bat, my persona is pretty close to the real me. The reason I don’t use my real name is because I want to keep my blogging separate from my professional, working life (teacher).
    6.How has blogging changed you or your life?
    Blogging has not really changed my life except given me more to do, such as write posts and read other people’s blogs, and answer questionnaires.
    7.Do you consider yourself to be a ‘writer’? Explain why or why not.
    I don’t really consider myself to be a writer, just someone who blogs when I have time and energy.
    8.Do you prefer to write, then edit, edit, edit or just throw up on a page and be done with it?
    I do both. Sometimes it is just a quick “filler” post, like photo of a sunset or clouds, and other times, I compose something that requires lots of editing and get a little carried away. In my fevered imaginings, I’m writing an expose for Vanity Fair, when it’s actually just an essay on the pet elves I had as a child. Sometimes I will even draw accompanying artwork! WHOA!
    9.How confident are you after you hit that dreaded ‘publish’ button? Does it strike fear in your heart? Or do you not even care?
    I just hit Publish and don’t look back.
    10.Have you ever regretted something you’ve written? (like what I just wrote about Meg Ryan) If so, what was it and why, and can you give me a link to it?
    Not really. There were a couple of posts I did a while back about an old job I had. I was concerned enough with keeping it fairly anonymous that I gave the people fake names, even though I thought it was unlikely that they’d ever see it. If they did I know I’d hear about it. The link is here: http://impybat.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/just-because-youre-paranoid-doesnt-mean-theyre-not-after-you/
    11.Have you ever been 100% satisfied with something you’ve written?
    For the most part.
    12.Do you view your writing as good, bad, so-so, or ‘eh, you really don’t care’? Do you ever look back at a post and cringe? And thought, good lord! that was pure crap on a stick!?
    I think I’m better than I used to be. But I still hover around “Just OK”.
    13.When you write, do you have a certain audience in mind, or do you just go with your gut and let the words spew forth without a care who would like it or not? In other words, do you censor yourself at all?
    I don’t censor myself as far as swearing goes. I just write how and what I like for the most part. It’s usually pretty inoffensive, though.
    14.What will you never, ever, ever, like totally ever write about and why not?
    My dysfunctional family. The wrong person would see it, I’d get found out, there would be World War III…
    15.Can you write a post for me?
    I barely have time for mine 😀

    1. I love it, you’re gregarious and you hit publish and don’t look back. I could learn a few things from you. I absolutely agree with not wanting to write about any of the dysfunctional familly stuff. I understand why some people might choose to do that, but I prefer to keep a lot of stuff private.

  29. I was thinking I’d answer each question, then scroll back to the top to review the next question, then scroll back down here and answer that one, etc etc. Then I discovered that the scrolling takes forever, becuase of the 247 long-winded comments you’ve already got up here. At this rate, I’ll have to write the questions down and then refer to it at that time.

    1). Why do I blog? At first, it was just to write more, in hopes of honing my craft to eventually maybe become an actual author. Once I got bitten by the comment and approval bug, the thought of writing an actual novel has faded somewhat – since I’d have to write for years to (hopefully) get published and possibly have someone buy the book and actually enjoy it. Comparitively speaking, there’s much more immediate gratification in blogging, especially when I get lots of hits, likes and comments.

    2). How I discovered blogging is not consequential.

    3). Look it up ferchissakes – you have Google!

    4). I was painfully shy as a child, now I’m the loudest mouth in the room.

    5). My blogging persona is kind of me, kind of not. Sometimes I’m intentionally dumb, like when I confused a chupacabra with a guayabera. Lordy me, that was comical. Other times I’m able to sneak my sensitive side in there or my cynical aspect.

    6). Blogging has changed my life, albeit to a small extent. It’s given me an outlet and something to do besides bother my wife. For now, that’s pretty good for both of us. In the event that virtual reality porn ever becomes available to the average Joe, I may cut back on blogging.

    7). I’m a writer – not necessarily the best one I’ll ever be, but already better than some “real” ones I’ve read. Of course that’s just my opinion, but then, who else’s opinion matters in the big picture?

    8). I write then edit then edit then edit, then write some more, then edit and edit some more. Finally, when I reach the point where I beleive that my editing is hurting more than helping, I read it one last time, miss 3 or 4 typos anyway, then hit publish.

    9). I’m confident when I hit the actual button (See answer 8 above), but with every passing second without likes and/or comments, my confidence drops like a Yugo’s resale value.

    10). I was invited to write a post for Sweetmother’s guest blog on America/Canada called Canadica. Mine was titled “Canada Oh!” and I’m fairly sure it sucked. Luckily, it was showcased for all of her adoring fans, who were polite enough not to confirm my suspicions about the post’s quality.

    11). I’ve come close to being 100% satisfied. “Willie Prader Private Eye: A Glutton For Punishment” in Katy’s 7 Deadly Sins contest was pretty good, largely because I was limited to 400 words or whatever the rule was. I’m hoping my next one will be a flawless gem, but it might be the one after the next one.

    12). My audience is you guys! Of course, I’d love to have thousands of adoring readers, but as I learned from my Freshly Pressed experience, the more people that read you, the lower the percentage of them who “get” you.

    13). If I think I can get a laugh out of it, I’m going to write about it. A few posts ago I focused on coffee enemas and people who lick their pets, so… I’m not stranger to trolling with the bottom feeders.

    14). Can I write a post for you?! I think I just did…but you’re the one who’d have to hit the dreaded publish button, not me sister.

    1. You got me, my real reason for doing this was to conduct an experiment to see how far people would scroll down to respond.

      (y’know I really should have thought this through and cut my questions into two parts! I am getting dizzy and a migraine just reading and commenting! Who would’ve guessed bloggers would like to talk about blogging?!) I’ll be back to read your answers tomorrow morning. I think I need to pop two tylenol PMs and call it a day now…

    2. Interesting you were painfully shy, but now you’re not. I’ve definitely changed since childhood, too. I really do think it has to do with age. The older I get, the less I care much what others think of me, I just blurt stuff out. It can be a problem.

      Virtual reality porn? That would be the death of society as we know it. No one would ever leave the house (not that they do now)

      I’ll have to check out your sweet mother post, I bet it’s good. And you did write me a post just now, love it and thank you.

          1. Well, I’m pretty sick today so hairy arm humor is like the best thing that’s happened to me all day. I’m sure any joke you told me right now would get a huge response. 🙂

    1. I know, I didn’t think this thing through, Tar. Guess I should have known bloggers would jump at the chance to talk about blogging. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed. Looking forward to your answers, short is good!

  30. Thanks for asking this, because I’m just narcissistic enough to love a survey.

    “Why in the hell do you blog?”
    Let’s go with the “voices” thing. Yes.

    “How did you discover blogging?”
    I had a livejournal back in high school, then I got older and it started turning into consistent entries of “OMG WORK SUX FLARHGSDF”. Realising how lame that was, I abandoned it (though I’m pretty sure it’s still floating out there on the intarwebs for anyone sufficiently savvy/curious to find). My current public blog is predominantly to serve as a repository for recipes, and the occasional accidental insight.

    “Were you shy and withdrawn as a child or gregarious?”
    I was a misanthropic extrovert. Both of those have softened as I’ve gotten older.

    “How close is your ‘blogging’ persona to the real you?”
    I’m definitely more careful of phrasing and style in my blog posts than I am in real life. But content-wise, it’s about the same.

    “How has blogging changed you or your life?”
    It helped me realise that what I really wanted for myself was to cook. It’s the reason I’m now in culinary school. I hadn’t really thought of it in those terms until now, but that’s a pretty big deal.

    “Do you consider yourself to be a ‘writer’? Explain why or why not.”
    Yes, because it has always been how I’ve processed my thoughts and emotions. I’ve been a prolific journaler since 1999, have been published in a couple small literary magazines, and am a regular at the local open-mic poetry night.

    “Do you prefer to write, then edit, edit, edit or just throw up on a page and be done with it?”
    I tend to edit heavily WHILE throwing up on the page, if that makes sense. I revise the phrasing in my head before I commit it to paper. Phrasing is important.

    “How confident are you after you hit that dreaded ‘publish’ button? Does it strike fear in your heart? Or do you not even care?”
    I try very hard not to post anything that could come back to haunt me. I don’t mean that I won’t talk about my political views, because I’ll throw down for principle on any hour of any day, but I try to keep former legally-iffy shenanigans and tentacle porn out of it.

    “Have you ever regretted something you’ve written? If so, what was it and why, and can you give me a link to it?”
    About two years into dating the woman who would later become my wife, we were having a fight about something, which I carried on my livejournal. The comment flame war that followed was spectacular in the most pathetic possible way. Fortunately, we made up about a week later, and have been together ever since.

    “Have you ever been 100% satisfied with something you’ve written?”
    Yes, and it always tends to be when I was writing specifically for myself, when I didn’t give a flying fart what anyone else might think of it.

    “Do you view your writing as good, bad, so-so, or ‘eh, you really don’t care’? Do you ever look back at a post and cringe? And thought, good lord! that was pure crap on a stick!? ”
    Again, the terrible high school “Strife and Life” poetry. Not all of it was crap, but some of it definitely was.

    “When you write, do you have a certain audience in mind, or do you just go with your gut and let the words spew forth without a care who would like it or not? In other words, do you censor yourself at all?”
    See the question regarding the publish button.

    “What will you never, ever, ever, like totally ever write about and why not?”
    I can guarantee you that if I’m not willing to write a post about it, I’m not going to leave a comment about it on a public blog.

    “Can you write a post for me?”
    That is entirely dependent on whether you care about it being coherent, relevant, or any of those other things English teachers like so much. I promise not to write about tentacle porn. Unless you want me to…

    1. “Misanthropic extrovert”….I think I was more of a misanthropic recluse growing up, but now I’m more of a semi-friendly introvert.

      Blogging has led to your new culinary career–that is pretty dang cool!

      I do get what you mean by editing while throwing it up on the page. I can have whole paragraphs in my head and I shift things around here and there with a general sense of what I want to say before I even write it down. The best are those moments when I can just let it fly and it comes out the exact way I intended it to in the first place. Wish that happened every time I went to write.

  31. My kids grew up and moved out.
    I didn’t know what to do with all my sorrow and angst.
    I blog because my insurance wouldn’t pay for any more therapy.
    Now I’m all better, but I’m addicted to checking my stats!
    “You like me! You really like me!”

  32. OMG…It has taken me years to write my last two posts. I would say I answered 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 there. I know — perhaps Peg’s etiquette might toss me out as tacky, but there are my answers. So that leaves…
    2. I started out paying tribute to my aunt and then the family stories kept rolling.
    3. I wasn’t shy and I wasn’t gregarious. But, all humility aside, I was popular. Maybe it was the good grades and my friends and their parents wanted those.
    4. any comedian
    5. After having faced a high school audience for 33 years and survived my administration and school board + a junior college audience…what you read is who I am. I think I have been hammered and molded to not get fired = innocuous perhaps. Sheesh!
    10. I did ask two different bloggers to delete my comment. Gratefully they did…Sheesh again!
    12. Yep…my categories are posted to the right of my posts.
    13. that book about the color gray…
    14. awww…good luck, dear friend, on the thesis. I would say you have a lot of material above.
    Enjoyed playing!

    1. Yes, I won’t write about the “color gray” book either. I would never be able to bring myself to read one sentence! Peg would never toss you out as tacky. Neither would I, I have no real comment etiquette on this here blog…

  33. Darla, Jeezum Crow, woman. I am exhausted reading all this. Now. I wish you had rolled these questions out one at a time. Think of it – 2 weeks of posts, and my eyes wouldn’t be spinning from all the scrolling! Anyway, since it it’s all about me – it is, right? Here ya go.

    1. Why in the hell do you blog? It’s the voices.

    2. How did you discover blogging? What was your initial impression? Accidently. And I was hooked.

    3. Were you shy and withdrawn as a child or gregarious? Shy (still am).

    4. What does gregarious mean? He’s my Cousin – Greg Arious

    5. How close is your ‘blogging’ persona to the real you? All me – loving, snarky, bitchy, funny, profound on occasion

    6. How has blogging changed you or your life? My house is messier, my pants are tighter

    7. Do you consider yourself to be a ‘writer’? I am a writer, among many other things, because I write.

    8. Do you prefer to write, then edit, edit, edit or just throw up on a page and be done with it? Endless editing. I’ve edited these answers 10 times.

    9. How confident are you after you hit that dreaded ‘publish’ button? Filled with terror usually, ready to be done with it sometimes.

    10. Have you ever regretted something you’ve written? Never. Well, except “Does This Cement Make My Butt Look Big? Because people visit, read that one, and never come back.

    11. Have you ever been 100% satisfied with something you’ve written? If it says what I wanted to say, I consider it good.

    12. When you write, do you have a certain audience in mind, Go with the gut. Censors be damned. Plus I am all over the place, recipes, poems, fiction, essays, humor, contests

    13. What will you never, ever, ever, like totally ever write about and why not? Religion, too personal. And people are too opinionated about it.

    14. Can you write a post for me? No, I’m busy not writing, myself.

    1. God, I know. I really missed the chance to make this into a month long series of endless posts about blogging. I’m not too bright, Katy.

      I giggled with your very first response: it’s the voices. I find it amazing how many of us would consider ourselves shy, but then it makes perfect sense. This is why we love to write so much.

      And yes, YOU are most definitely a writer. And why in the world would people leave your blog after reading Does This Cement Make My Butt Look Big? That was classic!

  34. OneHotMess

    Ugh!! Great post, but is it not enough that I live in the same blessed state as you do, and I am so over this winter that I could…click my heels and move back to Oregon, which is so tame compared to Montana. Now you want answers to a million questions??? I cannot even get up my road! I write because I am a writer, and I just cannot seem to help that. My blogging persona is me, just like my real world persona. What you see is what you get. You can take it or leave it. I do not much care. See?? There’s another thing! I am menopausal. I have forgotten every question. Did I mention that I actually read your blog and love it. That’s true. It’s all true, but that’s what I remember now. Can we meet somewhere and have coffee sometime?? Am I excused now? I mean that about the coffee, or tea. You choose! 😉

    1. Ooh, Oregon! Love that state. I lived for a few years in Olympia, WA but it was too gloomy most of the year. Still, in a way, I’d rather have warm rainy weather right about now.

      And I know what you mean about being forgetful/menopausal. Oh, god, do I know what you’re talking about. It’s the pits.

      Yes, we can meet up for coffee sometime. Coffee plus endless gabbing about blogging? sounds like a good day to me.

      1. OneHotMess

        Okay, somehow I missed this… I must have found a chin hair or something. I lived in Seattle for three years. I didn’t mind the rain. I was much younger and springier then. Okay, so we are on for coffee….when the snow ends, if that ever happens. We’ll meet in the middle. Where are you? 😉

  35. Pingback: To Answer Darla | Living in Maine

  36. A few things…

    I was an introvert for sure. I always loved writing, but started my blog in order to discover local foods/restaurants/farms in my area. Then I remembered I love to write.

    My blog persona is just like me. I’m not trying to hide anything or act like someone else. I appreciate authenticity and honesty in others, so I try to emanate the same.

    I’m mostly proud of things I write here. I was a bundle of nerves about my Freshly Pressed post because I felt like it wasn’t my best (I wrote it in about 20 minutes). But who knows what those FP gods really want, right?

    These were interesting questions!

    (And I think Robin Williams’ arm is way more hairy than that.)

    1. You certainly can handle a vlog better than anyone I know .From what I gather from others, the FP post is never the person’s best stuff. Certainly always shocked the hell outta me what they picked for mine.

      You are so right, Robin’s arm is way hairier. It looks like he’s wearing a wool sweater.

  37. Curly Carly

    Ohh a questionnaire! Fun! You don’t have to read my responses, I’m just gonna answer for my own personal fulfillment…

    1. I blog because I think it’s a good escape, it’s a good way to connect to people and because I find it rewarding, like I’ve accomplished something.

    2. I think I discovered blogging after reading a co-worker’s wife’s blog. I didn’t think much of it, but I guess it got into my brain and then one day I just decided to start one out of the blue. When I started it, I had never even heard of WordPress and didn’t follow any blogs.

    3. I was a very shy kid. I absolutely, 100% think that’s part of the reason I enjoy blogging. I’m not anywhere close to as shy as I used to be, but there’s still a part of me that loves being able to express my thoughts via the internet versus in person. Somehow it’s helped me come out of my shell and build confidence, even in my late 20’s.

    4. I think “gregarious” is an adjective used to describe someone named Greg or Gregory.

    5. I don’t know that I have a blogging persona…I try to keep my thoughts as authentic as possible. I definitely aim to be a little more positive when writing than I tend to be in real life though. It’s easier to keep from blurting out/publishing a Debbie Downer comment when you’re forced to see it in print first. I like that about blogging. It’s forced me to consciously think about my thought processes and learn to be more optimistic/happy/etc. I’m telling you, blogging = a cheap version of therapy.

    6. Blogging has definitely changed me. Like I said, I find it very therapeutic, even if I’m not talking about anything remotely serious. I think it lets me deep think in a structured way. I’ve learned that deep thinking without a purpose is just exhausting. Man, this is getting deep…

    7. Haha, no, I don’t consider myself to be a writer. For some reason it seems like the term “writer” applies to people who are paid for writing. I know, I’m overanalyzing…welcome to my life.

    8. I edit the crap out of my posts. Hellooo, perfectionism. Then later I re-read my posts and catch all kinds of typos and errors. Whatever.

    9. Most of the time I’m confident in my posts. However, there have been a few times when I felt a nagging feeling that something I wrote was either offensive (unnecessarily so), too off the wall to even be funny or too self-indulgent (those “Hey, listen to me even if this isn’t really entertaining! I need attention!” posts). Luckily I think we all understand that blogging is pretty much always self-indulgent to some degree.

    10. Yes, I’ve regretted something I’ve written. I wrote a comeback post in reply to a crappy troll comment. I thought it was fine at the time, but then months later my grandpa mentioned something about me being very angry at a commenter in one of my posts. I went back and re-read it and felt so childish. It came across as very petty. Delete! Some of my earlier posts have an overly sarcastic theme that I’ve realized could come across as kind of mean, which I never intended. But hey, it made me realize I probably need to fix that in real life, too. Just now I’m realizing blogging has forced me to mature by seeing that many of the things I think or say are poorly thought out and childish. Growth…gotta love it.

    11. Most of the time I can find something wrong with a post, but occasionally I’ll be perfectly happy with one. Blogging has helped me get over some of my perfectionist traits. Hitting the publish button even though you know it’s not perfect? Baby step #1!

    12. I usually write with my real-life friends in mind, mostly because that makes it easier to think about what they would find entertaining. Plus, if I know I have to see them in real life, I’ll be more apt to not make a complete fool of myself (at least some of the time).

    13. I will probably never write heavily about religion, politics or the details of any future relationship. Maybe I’ll change my mind at some point, but at the moment, those things prevent me from ensuring the ol’ blog is lighthearted and (mostly) uncontroversial. I want the blog to be a happy place, not debate forum. And child-safe.

    14. Of course I can write a post for you. But only if you teach me to do that thing where you twirl the stick in the air (yes, I’m serious, I can’t think of the word for that right now).

    I can’t believe I just poured my heart out in a single comment. This is longer than a lot of my blog posts. Are you sick of reading the same responses over and over yet? Are you gonna charge me for this therapy session?

    1. Your number 3 is how I’d describe myself. The answer to number six is very thought-provoking. I agree totally.

      I always worry my sarcasm is going to come across has mean. This is the main thing I worry about. That people won’t see I’m being tongue-in-cheek. It’s happened before where a reader will leave me a rude comment because they didn’t get that I wasn’t being totally serious.

      I would LOVE to teach you baton! haha! As soon as I can remember how to twirl it without denting the ceiling….

      And no, I would never get sick of reading these responses. Are you kidding? This is why I asked these questions…to see how others feel. It’s very enlightening and interesting to see what people think. (and I’m sending my thesis to psychology today….)

    2. Carly, this is awesome! It makes sense and your thoughts on all of this really do come out in your blog. It makes me want to just hug you for being such a wonderful lady! 🙂

  38. I may have one of a less usual reasons for blogging: it’s my exercise. I had been writing sketch comedy with a group for years, and when that more or less ended, I eventually decided that I can keep writing just to stay sharp. That’s why I write lists of 10: those are exercise sets 🙂 Though, unlike actual gym exercises, I prefer to do my blog exercises with an audience.
    by the way, that reminds me, I need to go to actual gym more often….

    1. How cool you wrote sketch comedy! That would be a dream job. I also should be doing something more healthy and productive than sitting here blogging. But it’s just too easy to come up with excuses not to exercise.

  39. Pingback: Did You Know I Write For You? | Go Jules Go

  40. Awesome questions. Can’t blame Jules for wanting to make a whole post out of it. That thought crossed my mind briefly, until I remembered that I’m lazy and that sounds like a lot of work, and I suck at answering questions. But still, I thought this was pretty great. 🙂

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  43. 1. I started blogging partly as a creative outlet and partly because I wanted to show other people how easy it was to bring a little fun and adventure into their lives. Now, it’s become a hodge-podge of sharing new recipes with friends, making me take more and better photos, a platform for justice issues I’m passionate about, and a collection of my travel memoires. So bring on the book deal! And if I quit now I’ll miss all my new blogger friends. 🙂
    2. I used to think blogging was a public journal of sorts and since I’m a bit of a private person I didn’t see the draw for years. A bit skeptical of the whole thing, really.
    3. Yes, I was the shy kid. so #4 – gregarious isn’t in my dictionary.
    5. I feel like I can be a lot more outgoing with my writing, more honest and much more thoughtful because I’ve had time to hone and craft what I’m “saying”. I think sometimes my sense of humor gets lost in translation or eliminated altogether.
    6. Blogging has already made me a much better writer. If not from an editing standpoint, at least from the aspect of expressing myself.
    7. That I write nearly everyday makes me feel qualified to consider myself a writer. Putting together a thoughtful piece (or not) that I worked on and hitting that publish button really is the moment that make me feel like an honest-to-goodness writer.
    8. Yes, the editing is my far the longest process EVER. Pure drudgery but I can’t for the life of my put out something that I have checked in triplicate. And even then I usually have atrocious typos and berate myself for my impatience to put a post out there before it was ready.
    9. I usually have a mild panic attack after I hit publish. I re-read the post another 5 times and since there inevitable mistakes I pray to God that no one has seen the post while I go back and edit.
    10. My regrets usually surround the editing process, kicking myself for not writing more eloquently (poet laureate style and all that yo!).
    11. My inter-critic is too harsh to give me 100% on anything but there is definitely a grading scale that I judge my work on.
    12. I write on so many different topics from cooking to travel to human rights that I’ve opted to focus my audience on the Everyman. The point of my blog is to encourage others to live a full and rich life, whatever that may look like for them. I hope anyone can come across my blog and find something that resonates.
    13. Hmmm… I’m terrified of slugs and spiders so putting down 500+ words about them is just not going to happen. EVER.
    14. Sure!

    And thank you for putting this together. It’s actually been fun to refocus and remember why I’m doing this. Plus I love seeing what other bloggers have to say!

    1. Wow, I relate to so many of your answers, Audrey. They shyness as a child, the mild panic attacks after you hit ‘publish’…the constant editing problem.

      And especially, your huge fear of spiders. Just typing the word spider makes me shiver. Slugs are pretty creepy too. When I lived out west they had these giant ‘banana’ slugs all over the place. Blech, I think they are a close second to spiders.

      Thanks for answering all the questions, I do get a huge kick out of reading what other bloggers say and getting to know them a little bit more. I figure, these are people we spend a great deal of time talking to, might as well discover more about them.

  44. Okay, I’m coming so late to this (a day and a half) that I have to freaking copy and paste your damned questions into the comment box so I can remember what they are instead of having to scrrroooooooolllll all the way up to read them and then scrrrrrrooooooollll all the way back down to answer. Gah.

    1. Why do I blog? I blog because my friends and family don’t want to hear all my thoughts all the time, and also if I spewed forth on them in paragraph form, as I do in blogging, someone would crack me in the head. Or interrupt me and get me off-track. I have all these thoughts that tumble around and then I start getting them to gel cohesively (sometimes), and I have to say something because CLEARLY I’ve just hit on something totally brilliant, but the people I know in real life would get so sick of it. This way, eh, read it, don’t read it, comment, don’t comment… but if you DO comment, I know someone has heard my brilliance and responded to it in some way, which, by the way, is what being brilliant is all about. It’s like a tree falling in the forest. Or something. Somebody’s gotta hear it or it doesn’t count.

    Also, I’ve always liked writing. And sometimes I actually crave typing. Which is probably something I should talk to my therapist about because that can’t be normal. And I type 40 hours a week anyway. And I suck at diaries because I annoy myself writing for myself. There’s no reason to give things dramatic flourish if you’re the only one reading about you. Vom.

    2. How did I discover blogging? I don’t know that I “discovered” blogging. I think I just… knew it existed. For a long time, actually, I avoided doing it because I thought it was sort of narcissistic and self-serving. The way I got around that was by not telling anyone I know in real life that I do it. So it’s totally up to you people to determine whether I’m worthy of praise. But I probably – scratch that – definitely, at times, have used it as free therapy. Let me throw this out there and see what other people think. People I respect because I know they’re thinkers, too.

    3. Was I shy or gregarious as a child? This is a question I’ve been exploring a little in my head lately because I realized I might not have been who I thought I was. I think OTHER people thought I was gregarious. But really I was very insecure and maybe not “shy” but definitely reserved. Now I’m more secure (though not entirely) and I’ve realized I’m much quieter in groups. One-on-one, I’m probably the dominant personality. In groups, though, I tend to sit back and listen/observe.

    4. What does gregarious mean? It means you’re someone people either love or hate. No in-between.

    5. How close is my blogging persona to the real me? Well. As I’ve mentioned in a post or two, I started out wanting to be 100% open in my blog. And then I found ways to challenge myself as a writer, make people laugh, etc. and that seemed to work for me. My blog is definitely me, but it’s probably not ALL of me. I don’t tend to hold back in a post – If I’m writing about something, I’m going all the way – so you get the full frontal of my neuroses, insecurities, etc. But maybe I don’t put everything online that I’m feeling, because gross. I will say, though, that the readers I value most are the ones, like you, who appreciate my serious stuff just as much as they do the funny stuff. They’re the readers who make me feel the most supported and accepted for who I am.

    6. How has blogging changed my life? It hasn’t really. Again, because no one I’ve actually met knows I have a blog. I guess I have a whole secret side thing going on… so that’s something…

    7. Do I consider myself to be a writer? Um… Yeah, I guess, but not with a capital W. I write for a living, too, so I’m kind of always writing something. I think in paragraphs, and then I edit in my head. Even when I’m thinking about an issue like the sequester, etc. I’ll think in a full sentence and then go back and revise it. So I might as well write it, right?

    8. Do I prefer to write, then edit, edit, edit or just throw up a page and be done with it? Well, I guess I kind of answered that in 6. I edit. I even edited this comment.

    9. How confident am I after I hit “publish?” Probably as confident as I can get, given that I edit so much. But I don’t know that confidence even comes into play. Mostly I just want to be confident that I didn’t leave out or misspell words, and that everything makes sense, because what I’m most afraid of is appearing stupid. Because that’s what I think of people who leave out or misspell words. Like, if something is FPd and there are all kinds of errors in it? I get enraged. (And yes, I have committed those crimes. And like the Byronic Man, I tend to go back and fix them even after several people have read the post.)

    10. Have I ever regretted something I’ve written? No. But I will if the people I wrote about ever find out. Hence my anonymity.

    11. Have I ever been 100% satisfied with something I’ve written? Hmmm. Probably a few times. I find when I go back and re-read stuff I posted some time ago, I think it’s either better than I felt it was when I wrote it, or way worse. Sigh.

    12. When I write, do I have a certain audience in mind? Yeah, I guess I do. I tend to think of what works to keep my subscribers and pick up new ones. I’m always myself when I write, but I do think about which elements of myself people like the most.

    13. What will I never, ever, ever, like totally ever write about and why not? I can’t answer that question. I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.

    14. Can I write a post for you? I’d be happy to do a guest post, if that means anything. :-)…

    1. Interesting you crave typing as well. I love to type. Problem is, sometimes I type too fast and make tons of errors. I also feel the need to go back and fix any typos in my post, even after people have read it. I would LOVE to be able to edit all my comments, especially ones on other’s blogs. The worst is when I see something really stupid in my comment and it’s too late to change it.

      About #5: I love that you can write serious stuff and funny stuff. I have no problem when a blogger mixes things up like that. I don’t feel like a blogger should HAVE to stick with one certain type of post. I say, write whatever and whenever you like. If the readers don’t like it, they can move on or not read it. I tend to write more funny, because I think it’s easier to do. I think readers do expect the humor, so in a way, I give it to them because I know they’ll enjoy it (I love it the most too)

  45. Darla … If you read all of this and think on it, you won’t have time to write another blog until, maybe, 2015. But, if’s masochism you’re into, here goes:
    1) I write because the voices in my head tell me to.
    2) Some of my friends had blogs and I didn’t want to be left out.
    3 and 4) Gregarious as a child? I would talk to a shoe if it was put on a chair next to me.
    5) What you see/read is what you get. (But some parts of my story are being withheld to avoid libel suits.)
    6) How has blogging changed my life? Now, complete strangers come up to me on the street and beg me to quit writing.
    7-10) I considered myself a writer long before I became a journalist. Still do. I edit, rewrite, weep, gnash my teeth, and say “oh, the heck with it” and hit publish anyways.Regrets? I have a few, but there’s always the next blog to redeem myself.
    11) Never 100 percent satisfied with my writing – always feel that I could have done more.
    12) My audience? At first it was just me and a few relatives and friends I could badger into reading my blog. Now it’s any one who might enjoy my perverse meanderings.
    13) From the movie “Top Gun,” ‘If I told you, then I’d have to kill you.” (You should have known I’d stick a movie reference in here.
    14) I think I just did. 😆

    Thanks for making me think about my craft and the reasons I love it. I do enjoy your posts, Darla. Many are out loud funny. Others very thoughtful or sentimental. Keep up the great work. I hope you have enough material for your psychology thesis on blogging.

    1. There is so much here to think about, my head’s hurting. This is good though, as I don’t have another blog post coming up for a few weeks.

      Your answer to number 6–true for me as well. ha!

      There is also plenty of gnashing of teeth whenever I write a post. Good way to put it! Then I just say, the hell with it, because I realize it’s just a blog. It’s not an essay for school.

      Thank YOU for answering the questions. And for saying such nice things. I am thrilled you read my stuff and appreciate your feedback.

  46. 1. Why in the hell do you blog? Good question. Partly because I’ve found that I just like writing, and partly because I like interacting with people who leave comments (the comments on my blog are often funnier / more interesting than the posts).

    2. How did you discover blogging? What was your initial impression? Well, this is a little weird. I started out reading technical blogs, which have a totally different feel and etiquette than personal blogs. One of these blogs had, at the time, an annual not-so-serious writing contest, and on a whim, I wrote something and won. That’s when I thought that there might actually be people out there who’d like to read things that I wrote, so I started my blog.

    3. Were you shy and withdrawn as a child or gregarious? Super-shy.

    4. What does gregarious mean? The opposite of what ungregarious would mean, if ungregarious were a word.

    5. How close is your ‘blogging’ persona to the real you? Well, I write in different voices. Sometimes it’s very close to being me, sometimes it’s what I would be if I had a particular delusion, and sometimes it’s not at all like me.

    6. How has blogging changed you or your life? It’s caused me to lose some sleep, but the act of writing has been fun and sometimes cathartic (if I’m feeling frustrated or annoyed about something in real life, blogging about something completely different that I feel frustrated or annoyed about seems to help), and I like all my blog-friends.

    7. Do you consider yourself to be a ‘writer’? No, but I aspire to be one. The answer is “no” write now because I don’t really have any writing discipline — I just blog when I feel like it. But I’m thinking about a more ambitious longer-term project.

    8. Do you prefer to write, then edit, edit, edit or just throw up on a page and be done with it? I don’t like to just throw up on a page. I’d just have to clean it up, like when my cat throws up on my carpet.

    9. How confident are you after you hit that dreaded ‘publish’ button? Not at all. I always think of something better I could have said.

    10. Have you ever regretted something you’ve written? I’ve written some things that are just so bad that they make me cringe in embarrassment, but I don’t have any serious regrets (the kind that would come from writing something that hurt someone or revealed my social security number or something).

    11. Have you ever been 100% satisfied with something you’ve written? Do you view your writing as good, bad, so-so, or ‘eh, you really don’t care’? I’ve never been 100% satisfied. I’d say my writing leaves room for improvement. That’s not just a euphemism — I really think this is something that I can get better at.

    12. When you write, do you have a certain audience in mind? Not really — I just try not to be too obscure.

    13. What will you never, ever, ever, like totally ever write about and why not? That one time that [redacted] because the consequences would just be too dire. Actually, when I started my blog, I made some hard-and-fast rules — I wouldn’t write about my family, my job, or my cats. I’ve broken them all.

    14. Can you write a post for me? I think I just did.

    1. I agree, I think the comments are the most entertaining parts of blogging. If I could somehow get away with not writing any blog posts, I’d be golden.

      Love the answer to number 5, about your blogging persona. I think I also have many different sides of myself that I pick and choose to portray. I’m definitely more funny in my writing than I am in my real life.

  47. Ape will respond by plagiarising something he wrote a while back in a post or as a comment somewhere. Ape can really remember exactly but it went a little something like this. (Queue sound of ascending chimes and wobbly flashback thingo they do on TV)

    Because if I don’t blog then who will!! Oh, the other thousands of bloggers that discovered writing years before me. Really? Thousands? I suppose then because I like to make people laugh and to have an outlet for the nonstop stream of nonsense that fills my head constantly. That and the guaranteed millions I will make from blogging. You are all millionaires by now I assume. Really? Only half of you are millionaires?! I might have to keep my day job for a little longer than planned.

    1. Please, be pushy! haha. My book has been stopped in its tracks. Stuck on 10,000 words and no sign of anymore in the near future. sigh. Thanks for the encouragement, though, I appreciate that, simple life!

      I love meeting people from all over the world and getting to see a bit of their lives, it is very cool.

  48. You ask a lot of questions. But the one or two I remember after scrolling down all this way from previous answers is Gregarious refers to Gregar the Great, Thor’s forgotten brother who was Thor’s ghostwriter and biographer and is therefore forgotten and fellow Norsemen thought that was really funny and when they were drunk they laughed like crazy and sang songs, “Are you gregarious today?” and it came to mean the opposite of a writer’s personality. Oh, and blogging is a part of my personality that tries to behave well when out in public.

  49. lemme see.. i forget what? no. but i blog anonymously (unless nosey wordpress employees or warrants become involved). so no. and no. yes. but not telling. probably closer than the persona people in real life know.

  50. I blog because I stink at scrapbooking. I’m horrible at putting pictures in albums, but I have a knack for capturing snippets of everyday conversations that would normally be forgotten. When I’m old and my babies are grown, I’ll have these blog posts to read and remind me of the everyday stuff that was said around the kitchen table…the childhood nonsense that makes me smile and keeps me from taking myself too seriously. It will be my gift to my children.

  51. I intended to reblog this but taxes took over my life and now, nearly everyone who follows my blog has already found this so it seems a bit mute now. But, to answer the question: why? I started blogging to get used to people reading my words. That may sound simple, but as a closet writer forever, I simply needed to launch into some kind of public domain. It has made it much easier to see myself as a writer too.

    This is a brilliant post. I think we all need to examine our reasons for blogging on a periodic basis.

  52. Wow! I’m new at blogging and I too WAS shy when I was younger! I don’t know what happened but I don’t have a shy bone in me anymore! Probably because I figure if people don’t like what they see, they can look away! What a great blog to stumble on to. You guys are hilarious! My blog is about my 50th bday coming up. It sucks! Not the blog, I hope, but turning 50! I figured I might as well write and document the 6 months leading to the dreaded day. You are all very inspiring and I hope to get tips from you experts!

  53. I blog because I don’t Facebook. It started as therapy and became a platform for all things dirty and gross (except for the bald eagle). It’s the real me — 100% unaltered! Who else would pretend to raise giant grub worms and brag of stealing trash?

    I’m not a writer, I’m a digger. But I have to write in order to share(drat). Those who know me in the flesh are blessed with bags of dirty caterpillar-infested vegetables (I’m organic, remember?) delivered personally. I’m like a crack dealer, only for healthy stuff.

    Can’t make this shit up. 🙂

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