Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In Which We Wander Around and Finally Get Back To My Point

We've probably all heard of The Colbert Bump, but I hypothesize that there are other "bumps" out there that are just as powerful -- the Mir bump and the Dooce bump. Mir has linked to me a couple of times and I didn't know it until I checked my stats and was like "holy crap! where are all these people coming from?" And strangely enough I've been getting a lot of links from a comment I left on Dooce's site a couple of days ago. I mean, these are two of the most popular bloggers out there, so hey, yay me, you know? On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that the posts people found when they clicked over were complete crap not my best work. So the moral of this story? Don't write crap because you never know when you'll get "bumped."

But the above is not actually what I started out to write about tonight. What I really wanted to write about was writers who really put it all out there. Who don't hold anything back and write honestly -- and wittily -- about what's going on in their lives. And how I wish I could do the same.

I think I'm probably one of the last people in the world to read Dooce. I know, I know. What was my problem? I'm not sure. I have this very weird aversion to things that are too popular. I could probably dig deep into my psyche to try to figure it out, but I guess it boils down to the fact that if the masses love it, it must be pablum and not worthy of my time. I really need to get over myself because I've been proven wrong a lot in my life. Grey's Anatomy? Love it (or did, anyway, once). Blogging? Hooked. Mir? Fangirl -- though in a way she doesn't count because I didn't really realize how popular she was when I started reading her. She was, after all, only the second blog I ever read. And now Dooce? I'm hooked. (I should probably give Miami Vice and ER a second look -- both popular shows of which I have never watched a single episode due to the above quirk).

Maybe it's because I discovered Heather's blog when she was "under fire" from Kathie Lee and I felt a kinship with her because I, too, am a "mommy blogger." Maybe I felt the need to circle the wagons. I am just fascinated by the way that Heather and Mir are able to open up about so much that's going on in their lives. I'm sure they don't share every detail, but I'm certain they share a lot. And I envy that a little.

In real life I'm a little bit reserved. I've always been one to hold back a little and sometimes I hate that. I think this reserve has, on occasion, kept me from making friends. Sometimes I wish I could just let go of this shell and relate more openly with people and in my writing. We've had a lot go on in our life in the past two years and sometimes it feels like a heavy weight on my shoulders, or like my finger stuffed in a crack in a dam. It would just be such a release to let it all go.

But sometimes it's easier just to keep it all in.


All Adither said...

I'm sure that Heather and Mir suffer some for all that they share too. I doubt that that kind of popularity comes without a price.

I left a comment on Stuff White People Like last week and Holy Cow! The traffic. Nothing will compare to when Bossy came to Seattle, stayed with me, then posted a huge ass pic of me on her 'guess and press' section.

It was fun while it lasted.

But I don't think I could, or would want to, give away quite as much as those ladies. Especially Dooce. Mir will always be one of my all time faves.

And you're quite nice yourself. :)

Mir said...

Okay, well, first of all, you and Angie are both very pretty. ;)

Second, Heather is orders of magnitude more widely read than I am, and that's fine with me. I think she suffers a lot more fallout than I do; I have no desire to be "big" because of the less-than-wonderful bits that come along with that, you know?

But to your point, a couple of things: First, you know there's PLENTY I don't blog, for various reasons. That's healthy and appropriate (I think). Second, when you find yourself feeling that internal pressure to blog some of the harder stuff, take some time to think about WHY you want to and what you'd hope to get out of it. Maybe you'll decide to write about it and maybe you won't, but it may just be a case of "wow, this is heavy on my mind" without it being a blog-appropriate topic.

I don't know about you, but I actually CANNOT read blogs that clearly hold NOTHING back. Because that's not sharing/entertainment, that's an exhibitionist compulsion and kind of hard to watch.

Sass E-mum said...

It's got to be personal if it's going to be interesting. But divulging EVERYTHING is too much.

Don't let (too much) daylight in on magic, I say.

Karen said...

I, too, shy away from the popular. What is with me?! I'd read Dooce a few times last year but her audience even then was huge and I was looking for something more personal. (Not a relationship, though.) Now I love her but fear reading because I'll look like a blind follower.

Oh, the tangled web I'm weaving.

Laurel said...

It's totally scarey to put it all out there, especially when people don't know you-know you. I have a small group of friends that get all my stuff, but they know me enough to get it and like me anyway. That might be enough for me.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

If you are a little mysterious and leave something to their imaginations they'll keep coming back.

I also hold a lot back and try to keep my posts light. I'm very careful about what I say or how I say it because I don't want to a) open myself up to scruitiny about my life, and b) hurt friends, family members, or acquaintances that might find my blog.

I read Mir before I'd even heard of Dooce. In fact, I think it was a link in one of Mir's posts that I found Dooce. I love both of their writing. They each are hilarious yet have their own voice.

And I know what you mean about the traffic. The link to my site from WCS remains the highest traffic day to date!

I recommend the first 3 seasons of ER.

leandra said...

I've been reading Dooce since she was living in California; she was fairly big then but nothing like today. I found Mir's blog through some other fashion, I think through her other site, wantnot.net, actually.

My husband and I write mostly about our extensive travels and the crazy shenanigans in our daily lives involving our dog, but every so often I'm compelled to share a little more. But I never write more online than I would want my close family to read.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I don't read Dooce or Woulda Coulda. I'm with you. I like to find the people who are less "popular" for some reason? And, I think everybody holds a little back.

Stephanie said...

I'm a new blogger and find myself with mixed emotions all of the time. I get a little jealous of and also admire those who get so many comments on EACH AND EVERY POST like Farklepants because I surely don't. Then I realize that my closest friends are just not on their PC's much. Then I ask myself what do I really want out of this? and I am still figuring it out. I know I have enjoyed connecting with some people I don't know and I get to share my recipes which I love. I am just going to keep doing what makes me feel good and I suppose the rest will fall into place for me.

Colleen said...

I feel the same...I wonder if by holding back (in real life and blog life) it's limiting the amount of friends I have. But there are some things that I want to write down to work it out of my system, but I don't necessarily want to share it with everyone that reads my blog. Plus, every once in a while when I get bit by the sharing bug, it turns into the over-sharing bug and I think I end up scaring people a litte. :)

Also, I don't regularly read Dooce...just drop in every once in a while. I'm always glad that I have, but I feel like I'm just one of a million, so I don't even comment. I'm starting to feel that way about Amalah except that I pretend that she knows me because I've been commenting at her place for the longest out of all the blogs I've been reading (well over a year now!).

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Ever since I managed to get my head on straight and committed myself to my original blogging purpose of creating a journal for the Toddler, I've had a much easier time knowing what to write and what doesn't belong there. There are still some things I need to tell her, but it's taking a lot of time to figure out how to word it. Some of it is mind-blowing, perhaps paints some family members in a bad light, and will likely lose me some readers, but I don't care. Getting your head on straight helps like that.

I actually try to like the big dawg bloggers, but rarely do. Dooce, Mir, and Amalah are pretty much the only ones that I continue to read. I think it's because I get the feeling that they haven't lost themselves in the world of blogging. They may have wandered along the way, but I think right now their personal blogs are exactly what they want them to be. I doubt that any of them write a blog post specifically with the intent to make money. Other bloggers very obviously do, and it's an instant turnoff for me.

OK, longest comment ever. Sorry about that!

Backpacking Dad said...

I wish I could write clearly enough to tackle the deeper stuff without it reading like a cry for sympathy.

I like sympathy. I love sympathy. I just don't want to go around asking for it. Ya know?

ms picket to you said...

When people ask me, why oh why would you do that (aka: say that) for all the world to see, and while we both know "all the world" is a bit of an overstatement, I usually just shrug my shoulders and say, i dunno, fun? But what I really want to say is why do people make music, take pictures, write books, garden, sculpt or do whatever they do? Why do people talk? Because they like to, they need to, because it's what they can do.

Caroline said...

DANG, *I* want a bump, too! I'm lucky if I get THREE comments, and I think half the hits I generate are from me surreptitiously looking at my site while I'm at work, waiting for my three commenters (it's nice and cyclical that way). Whaddya gotta do to get Dooce to give you a shout-out?