Better Than The Atticus Finch*, I Suppose

So recently I saw someone who called herself "The Willy Loman of Blogging". This was on a mostly anonymous forum that I visit when I'm not reading a good book, so I can't really give her (and I don't even know for sure that it was a her) proper credit, but I want to be clear that I did not think of it myself.

For which I am very, very sad.

My perception of Willy Loman - from a cursory experience in high school - was that he was a man out of his time, careerwise. And thus he felt like a failure. (The descriptions I just read on the interwebs are a little more nuanced and detailed, but I still stand behind my 16 year old interpretation.) 

I have felt like the Willy Loman of blogging for years now.

Back in the dark ages when I started blogging (also known as 2005), people blogged for many reasons, but none of them included making a full time income. I blogged, as did many of the people I read then, as writing practice.

When I started mommy blogging in 2007, perks existed, but it wasn't an industry. Having 2 kids in 15 months, quitting teaching and needing a way to write again, mommy blogging saved my life. All my friends were still working, the moms I met at the park seemed totally unfriendly (I have no idea if they were, I was so tired, frazzled and hormonal that I thought everyone seemed unfriendly). Back then, most people's blog posts were about embarrassing or triumphant moments of parenting, not the latest movie/gadget/toy/food/whatnot that the blogger was being asked to review positively.**

I tried to keep up. Sort of. But I didn't want a full time job and I was already cranking out crappy articles for extra cash. And, you know, there were 3 kids to raise.

When the kids got a little bigger, I tried to throw myself back into the changing landscape. It was not a good fit for me. Plus, I felt uncomfortable telling stories about my kids when they started being able to tell their own stories about themselves.

Blogging got even more uncomfortable after I realized many people I knew locally were reading. It's hard to write about a distressing/disturbing/odd/funny experience with another parent when everyone wants to know who that parent is.

(BTW, if you're reading this, it was never you. I promise.)

The truth is, though, is that I miss blogging terribly. I miss how free I felt in the olden days, snarking and whining and ranting in my own little corner of the internet. I miss the people I used to read and I miss the people who used to read here (although I think I'm still friends with most of them on Facebook). Like Willy Loman, I miss how things used to be.

Fortunately, my life isn't being written by Eugene O'Neill (or Harper Lee). I can accept that the blogging world has changed. I can accept that I can't change it back. I can accept that continuing to blog like it's 2007 means I'll be toiling in unpaid obscurity forever.***

Hell, I even have permission from my kids to write about their lives, as long as I don't use their actual names. I did point out that since I use my actual name it won't be hard for people to figure out who they are, but apparently our small town has already convinced them that everyone always knows their business anyway. They just don't want to be search-able by their future college friends and employers, it seems.

Anyway, this is my long-winded way of saying that I'm back. I'll be blogging like it's 2007, which means that:

  • There will be swearing.
  • There won't be very many pictures because I'm too lazy to watermark shit. ****
  • It's not all going to be about parenting, as I've recently developed several new TV obsessions.
  • There won't be any useful advice unless it's in the "What Not To Do" category. 
  • I will keep using footnotes, because I love them. 
  • I started tutoring part-time and I do a lot of volunteer crap at my kids' schools and I'm launching a real website at some point soon so I have no idea how often I'll be posting here. 

*Atticus seemed so cool until I read the reviews of Go Set A Watchmen. I won't even read the book, because as much as love Harper Lee, I don't want to think about my beloved Atticus being in the Klan. Nor do I want to create a Klan type outfit of old time mom bloggers to bring things back to the way things used to be in the blogging world. 

**Look, if companies wanted honest reviews, they'd pay a premium to all of those prolific Amazon reviewers and reuse their comments. They wouldn't need to pay bloggers and/or give them free stuff. I'm also not saying that any bloggers, including myself, try to trick readers when they post about the latest movie or product. But only mentioning the positive stuff is definitely an omission many of us make. As my mom always said, "Lying by omission is still lying." 

***As far as this blog goes, anyway. But most people don't actually make money from their hobbies, so I'm not going to feel bad about it anymore. 

****I warned you about the swearing. 

No comments: