Wednesday, March 26, 2008

wow. a whole year

When I tried to solicit people to give me some questions to answer, Susan (aka My Two Cents) asked me to list the reasons why I'm glad I started blogging. Maggie May wanted to know why I started blogging, if I kept a diary in my pre-blog days and if this project has met all of my blogging needs. Irene asked how long it took to build up readers. And both Iota and Eileen suggested (gulp) that I simply ask people what they like best about the blog. So now, with varying degrees of comfort, I'm going to tackle all of them.



I started blogging as a way to keep in touch with people I loved. Staying connected has always been a huge problem for me. I have really good intentions and really crappy follow through, and the more I feel it slipping away from me the worse I get. It's not one of my better qualities and I'm not proud of it, but I did get really tired of it. I was ready to change my evil ways.



So that's how it started out - intended to be a kind of daily diary of our lives for those who weren't here to share in it. But it started changing on me right away, because I found myself taking small little pieces of those daily diaries and putting them under a microscope. It was the small, absurd moments that I really enjoyed, the episodes that read like a bad '80s sitcom. And in spite of myself, that was where I gravitated. It was almost like the posts were writing themselves and I was just this hapless (and frequently horrified) bystander.




I've rarely kept a diary or a journal, even though I've always wanted to. There have been times in my life though where, inexplicably, I did, and I love going back and reading them. I reread a lot of the posts, too, and am always amazed at what I've forgotten. It really is like a snapshot of our lives - for better or worse.



And to my astonishment, people started reading it. Several of us have tried to figure out how we all found each other and it's really fun to try and trace it back. Jen was my first real blog buddy and it all grew from there. For some reason June was a big month in terms of new people hooking up. So was September. And as we all know, when you link and are linked, wonderful things happen and terrific people join in. In a really cool timing coincidence RC got its 30,000th hit Tuesday afternoon, which makes me happier than should be legal.



Am I glad I started blogging? Yes. Does this blog meet all of my blogging needs? Yes. Has it - literally - changed my life? Absolutely yes. I'm not the same person I was a year ago. This was a big personal risk for me, mostly because of the way I set it up for myself. I really can be my own worst enemy. Because underneath the worthy cause of staying in touch with people was a more selfish reason. I love to write. I've always loved to write. But I'd lost it. Years of school and work and kids and grown-up responsibilities had me believing that I'd hit my peak writing my editor's column in the college newspaper. (I've reread those columns. It wasn't a peak to write home about).



But when I would go about my days anticipating the time I could sit in front of the computer and write, when I found myself reworking something over and over in my head as I went about my normal routine, when I remembered the sheer joy of writing...I was hooked. I'm not sure I could ever go back. I may need to google Blog exorcisms just to get it out of my system.



I'm glad I started blogging because it worked as far as staying close to people. I'm glad I started blogging because I have met so many incredible people through it - people I'm proud to call my friends. I'm glad I started blogging because (as I said once quite a while ago) it's mine, mine, all mine. As any mother knows, it's almost impossible to have anything in the house that is truly yours and yours alone. This is mine. I'm glad I started blogging because it's refired up a passion I had never in my heart totally given up on.



And in a really sappy way to end this up...I'm glad I started blogging because you have all been a huge source of support to me in some really crappy times. There have - honest to god - been times lately where blog comments were the only positive things that got said to (or about) me in the course of a day. I follow your lives so closely that your blogs provide an escape for me too. We come from different places and different mindsets and different lives, but we've found a common ground on all of our blogs. I wouldn't trade that for anything.



I'm sorry. I know I've missed the tongue in cheek mark this post. I know I've been schmaltzy and a big goober. Aren't I allowed one sappy post a year? Can this be the one?



This leads me to the point I've been trying to avoid - the suggestion that you comment on why you like it here. If you feel like it - great. No pressure. You might find this hard to believe, but in spite of my big mouth I really do like to keep a low profile and fly under the radar. This smacks suspiciously of tooting my own horn, but it wasn't my idea. Honest. Blame Iota and Eileen.


Actually you're all at fault for encouraging me. What were you thinking?

37 comments:

Altaglow said...

I think that most of us were thinking that the best was yet to come. As has proven this far to be true.

ped crossing said...

I like that your writing reminds me that we are all in similar boats. Yours just seems funnier than mine. And is a glimpse into my parenting future minus one boy child and two dogs.

That and I am reminded why I did not choose a medical field, but I'm glad I get to live vicariously through yours. :)

Willowtree said...

I used to like coming here because there were never any sappy posts.

Rose said...

Wow, as usual, you said it just perfectly. I love reading your blog for the humorous way you describe "family living", a phrase a woman I admired when I was 20 used to describe her most hectic times at home and that I never use without thinking about her tongue in cheek delivery. And don't apologize for sappy; sappy can be good. Keep writing! Keep sharing! Thanks!

Jen said...

I like coming here to read Willowtree's snark...

I've been trying to figure out how exactly I found you online, I think it was the "next blog" function on Blogger, or maybe I saw you comment somewhere else, and followed you to your blog. I remember you and me and Jo having a converstation about this. Either way, I'm glad that I did find you. You have a gift for writing, and I think you know that. And you've been remarkably supportive of other writers, including me, which makes us love you all the more! (That sappy moment was for WT)

Dumdad said...

30,000 hits! I'm impressed. You also use StatCounter like myself so I can do a direct comparison - my counter clicked up 12,000 today and I've been blogging as long as you. So you're far more popular than me. I'm not jealous, really I'm not. Must be something wrong with my counter. Maybe it should read 120,000. Yes, the counter must be faulty...

... Early on I used another site meter that within weeks was recording thousands of hits. Flattering but it wasn't true. I prefer to know the truth, however disappointing!

Celeste said...

You are a great writer. You do have a gift. I wandered on here linking from some other blog.

Working in medicine, I enjoy your work stories. I trained in Big City County Hospital so it brings back a lot of memories.

I personally find the blog world interesting. So many people seem to find a voice in the anonymity.

softinthehead said...

Great post, as ever, given me some ideas for my own post today. I think I found you through your bookclub blog, but that was in December I think and you hadn't posted anything in a while to I hopped on to your regular blog and was hooked. The way you describe your need to write is fascinating and the way you look at life in all its guises is admirable and hilarious. Keep it up, so glad I found you.

PixelPi said...

No one who writes like you do could ever seriously be a candidate for goober.

Sappy posts? Willowtree a snark? Never in a million years. Snicker.

I do remember how I found you (and a goodly number of the blogs I read). I sometimes check a good blog's comments to see who's writing them, and if it's someone of quality, such as yourself, then you get a bookmark. If, over time, I still love your blog, you go on my blogroll. Just as you did, RC.

Diana said...

Why do I love thee?

Too many ways to count. Mostly, though, I love your style, I love your stories, and the medical link is a sparkly bonus.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Oh I just absolutely adore your blog and your writing. What a fantastically uplifting post and ultimately inspiring. Keep at it for you are a gem.

Kaycie said...

I like your humor. I like hearing what's going on with you and yours (although lately, it's been rough). I like hearing about your nursing adventures. Visiting your blog is like getting a long e-mail from a friend. You can't ask for much more than that.

Rudee said...

I was sent here by Willowtree. It was the writing that made me stay. And maybe the fact that you're a nurse too. I feel all caught up after yesterday's exercise so thanks for the assignment. Today's post wasn't too sappy and anyways, sappy is ok with me.

kitten said...

I'm glad you started blogging! It has been great to get to know you and you are a wonderful friend! I found most of my friends through Fun Monday and I hate I have missed out the last few times.
Thanks for all your encouragement with my mom. She is a lot better.

Akelamalu said...

I know exactly when I found your blog - 29/6/07. How do I know? That was the date you won the Rising Blogger Award and I followed the link over here! Why do I come back and comment? Because I absolutely love the way you write, your sense of humour, hearing about your family and your job - in fact I like everything about this place, so please don't stop doing what you're doing. x

aims said...

I can't remember how I found your blog..but that's not surprising..sometimes - and I know this is going to be hard to believe - but sometimes my memory just sucks!

I think I saw a comment you had made someplace else and was intrigued with your little nursy pic and followed it on through.

No matter how I found you - I know I'm never leaving you...even though I'm not listed as one of your 'fun' reads..because I'm not - I know that...but I'm still not leaving you....besides which - even though I'm not linked to you on your blog - you have said incredibly nice things about me...so there.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Hi RC my sweet. I read this the other day but didn't have time to comment properly as we've had a mad weekend. I think I found you through Jen and your comments on Jen's blog. When I came and read you I just loved your wit, your intelligence, your passion and your sense of humour and fun. You and Jen and Mya were my first real blog buddies, and I've grown to really love and respect you all, and even though we've all reached out in many directions and found so many more friends, you lot are just so special. I know I don't always get round everyday now, but I know that when I stop by to catch up I'll get a good read.
I think the other thing I love about your writing is that it is so honest. You say what you think or feel. I love that, I think it helped me to be more open too.

And you are a fantastic writer RC. You write in a very natural way that is always good to read. I hope you do give us that book one day. It would be great. xx

Carolyn said...

I only started blogging a few months ago and you were one of the first few to comment regularly on my posts. It made me feel rather special indeed. In turn, I started reading your blog, which made me feel even more special because you're a wonderful writer who always finds the perfect turn of phrase. With a dash of humour here - a pinch of sarcasm there – and a little bit of sap sprinkled all over, you're a recipe for success. Keep writing and I'll keep reading!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Blogging is a great way to make friends. And most of whom we never get to meet! Apologies for now being around much, lambing is catching up with us all!

Hope you are okay,
Crystal xx

Marti said...

Hi RC

I love to read your blogs because you write just like you speak. I can picture in my mind you and I having the conversation. It is amazing. I have sent other people to your blog b/c I enjoy it so much.

Whether you are angry, happy, or sappy, keep blogging what is in your heart and mind and it will always be the best.

ExpatKat said...

Love your blog because you tell it how it is - in your own wonderful style!

the planet of janet said...

i love the way you tell a story.

and your humor.

i have no idea how i got here, but i'm glad i did -- and i'm stayin'

how's THAT for sappy?

Maggie May said...

I liked that post very much & feel I got to know you more through that one. Your blog seems packed with activity and enthusiasm. You seem to be an organizer & get every one involved! The blog draws you in somehow!
You have done very well in one year!. Hope I am as successful at the end of my first year!

Sandy said...

I found you either through WT or through someone else's comment section. I hang around because your writing is a pleasure to read (I love people who don't resort to parenthetical remarks) and your writing is real.

I appreciate your honesty, sincerity, and warped sense of humor.

Thanks.

Mya said...

I think you found me! You were one of my first regular commenters, bless you. And when I came to check out your blog I was so impressed (and flattered) that I've been coming back ever since. I love your writing, your honesty, sense of humour and your decency. And 30,000 hits? Woohooo!!!

Apologies if this comment duplicates - the Blogger God is being weird.

Mya x

the mother of this lot said...

I really don't know why I visit here. I think it's because I've got nothing better to do.

I'm kidding! I feel a great affinity with you....and you make me feel normal!

Potty Mummy said...

Let's see... why do I visit? Excellent writing, hilarious anecdotes, the feeling that - as you said already - we are all in similar boats, your ability to paint pictures with words, the fact that you even manage to visit my blog from time to time (never underestimate that one!), and underlying it all, the knowledge that with two boys of my own, I may well be revisiting your posts in years to come to give me some clue on how the hell to handle them.

Or something.

laurie said...

you know, my hits and comments have been dropping like mad this last week or two.. from a high of nearly 250 to not even cracking 100.

and now i see why: THEY'RE ALL OVER HERE!!!

Iota said...

"The episodes that read like a bad '80s sitcom" - I like those bits. I like the fact that it all sounds a bit fictional, but it's so obviously real life. I think your big writing gift is that: to turn everyday life into a great story. It IS a gift, you know. Not many can do that.

I feel I know you better than I know most other bloggers - it's your openness and honesty and humour. Your blog often reads like you are sitting at my kitchen table, obligatory cup of tea in hand (and maybe a Cadbury's chocolate finger if you're lucky), telling me about your day. I wish you were my next door neighbour. The side door would always be open.

Oh, and by the way, I don't think there is such a thing as a blog exorcism. You can take the girl out of the blog...

Swearing Mother said...

I love everything about this blog. It's funny, witty, well written, insightful, clever and sassy.

Recently there's been a new dimension which is emotional reality. I like it that you feel able to share stuff like that with us, without getting maudling.

I know what you mean about worrying that a change of pace or direction might disappoint your regular readers (I have the same worry over on my blog) because you are usually so upbeat. But I think it's a measure of your skill as a writer, your appeal as a person and your ability to reach out to others that will make whatever you write a pleasure to read.

RC: Keep on keeping on. Your blog is a one of my absolute favourites.

And who the f*ck is Willowtree?

my two cents said...

On March 26th last year an e-mail arrived with the heading, Interesting (?) site. The message read: I can't believe I'm doing this, and there was a link to this blog. It was FABULOUS!! The promise of visits with a great friend who was too far away. Who knew you would write every day? Who knew it would take off the way it has or lead to so many new friends?

I am so very glad you began your blog. I come by everyday just for a visit, to check in, to keep in touch, to laugh, to cry, to nod my head yes, and sometimes to cringe. Just to enjoy a little bit of RC, like I used to get to do at the park, or the pool, or the beach.

Happy Birthday, Blog, and many happy more.

Kaytabug said...

What a wonderful post!! I really enjoy your writing, I love reading what you have to "say". It has a lovely flow, and you make me laugh. I also enjoy those retro pictures.

Fun Monday and Willowtree used to go hand in hand, choose your poison and you'll get how I found you! I am so glad that I found you, you are a joy to read! Happy Blog Birthday!!

girl with the mask said...

I ahve recently strated my own blog and reading this has made me feel a bit less alone and encourages me to stick with it.

Who knew there were so many people out there juts waiting to be our cyberspace friends?!

Love the blog.

girlwiththemask x

Nearlydawn said...

I read your blog because I like the way you describe the major AND minor trainwrecks of daily life... You make the story interesting and/or funny, even when you probably cried in frustration in your real life.

You make me want to check my bloglines, even when I'm drop-dead tired. That is saying a lot too!

Eileen said...

Didn't make it over here yesterday, sorry. I love your blog because you are such a talented writer (it is like a great book, that just doesn't end), you have a true gift of connecting with people, your honest, your funny, you stories about your kids and life in the ER are always interesting and you no matter what life deals you, you just keep going. It is ispirational. It is a safe, fun, comfortable place to be. Now if you would just trust me and write that book....
XOXOX

Willowtree said...

Blech

Bookwoman said...

OK, I confess, I've been reading for a long time but not commenting. I discovered you through your comment on another blog. I had to know about the person who identified with Cherry Ames.

You're a very good writer, and I love the medical stuff. My college roommate was a nursing student, two of my sisters-in-law are nurses, and another sister-in-law is a p.a. I've heard the stories!