Monday, June 30, 2008

Why Can't We Be Friends?

Time to clean house and address those dust bunnies that have been gathering at my feet when I try to read all of my favorite blogs.

For a few weeks I've been thinking about my little 'ol place here in the great blogosphere (I know, totally NOT an original thought, but it's mine, so oh well). I've been thinking about my writing, what I like about it, what I don't. I've been thinking about my reading, what I like about it, what I don't. I've been thinking about how much time I should spend doing my "hobby," and how much time I should truly devote to folding laundry (which would be so much easier with an Electrolux set . . . just sayin').

Basically, I've been doing a lot of thinking.

What I've come up with is this.

None of us are original.

None of us are unique.

None of us have all the answers.

There, I said it. I learned a long time ago that it is nearly impossible to have an original thought when it comes to writing about mothering. What? It is.

No matter what story we tell, there is and always will be someone else who has "been there, done that," or who had it ten times worse or better than we did. It's a fact. Don't believe me? Try writing about potty training or sleep issues and see how many people tell you their own stories.

That being said, I think it is okay. Yes, it is okay. All of it. All of the shared experiences are what bind us together, give us common ground, link our arms in a chain of solidarity that represents the struggle of parenting.

And it isn't a bad thing. How could it be a bad thing?

If written well, I will read ten thousand posts about potty training. Why? Because it is entertaining and it binds us together in a shared experience (be it the inferno of potty training, or something else). And who cares? Why all this anger and blog bashing over things like originality and copying and names?

I remember a long time ago reading a post that was basically the same thing I'd written the day before. I thought, "Hm, that's weird - I just wrote that! How could it be that she wrote that too?"

And then I pulled my head out of la-la land and realized that what I'd written was neither a) original or b) unique.

Guess what? That was fine. It was fine because that is not why I blog.

I blog to tell my stories. I blog to scratch my writing bug. I blog to make a written record for my family. I blog to read about other people who may or may not be going through something similar. I blog to learn. I blog to belong to something that brings me great joy and a sense of belonging to another kind of community. I blog in hopes of someday being a real writer. I blog to laugh. I blog to cry. I blog for you and I blog for me.

Do I like that I get a check from BlogHer on occasion? Of course.

Do I care that there is an ad on my sidebar? Not really.

Do I read all kinds of posts where I've been there and done that? Yes, and I'm fine with it.

Have I ever posted on a topic that someone else has addressed? It would be stupid to think that I hadn't.

And it's fine, all of it. Because that is why I blog.

Why do you blog?

*stay tuned tomorrow for a unoriginal and totally not unique post about sleep issues!


amy said...

Fab post my friend. Want to know why I blog?

I tend to talk a lot. I am always afraid someone really wants to tell me to shut but cant.

I can blog and "talk" all I want and people can just quit reading and no one tells me to shut up

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It's amazing how often people across the country from each other decide to think and write about the same thing on the same day. I always put it under the category of "great brains think alike."

Valarie said...

Oh my goodness that is so crazy that the reason you blog is pretty much the same reason I blog!!

Almost like you were copying me ;o)

just kidding!!

Really your reasons are alot of the same as mine. I like the fact that I will be able to have something for my great great great grandchildren to look back on. Something to keep family in touch. I also love the fact that I have found such wonderful people to talk to. :)

Kyla said...

I blog because of KayTar. Because I had to have a place to put that part of my process work through it. And now that we are at an even keel, I blog because of the connections I've made mostly.

GoteeMan said...

I dunno... I stumbled into blogging about 5 years ago...

I go through phases - I cycle between posting alot, posting seldom, lurking and just walking totally away from time to time...

I guess it's an outlet, which isn't all bad. "met" some really cool and interesting people. Still stay in touch with some via e-mail that don't blog anymore...

I like to read funny stories, touching stories, etc. Sometimes, my life is a little too heavy. The past 6 years have been really rough, and sometimes I just need the time away from responsibilities and heaviness to just revive inside.


Christy said...

I started blogging because I wanted to get back into the practice of writing and wanted a way to find my "voice." I thought it would give me experience in an environment with less pressure (less structured.)

I don't think it matters if the material you have to work with as a mom isn't original...I think it's all in the way you weave your words together that make it interesting to some and not to others. I mean, if you look at any magazine on the stands, don't they all have pretty much the same material? "How to Lose Weight" "The Best Exercises to Target (fill in the blank)" "5 Steps to the Best Sex of Your Life" etc...none of it is original. I think that some writers' styles will be appealing to some readers, and not to others.

So, write on! You have something to say & it resonates with all of us here--that's why we come back every day! :)

Jenny said...

Great post!

As a stay at home mom in a small town, blogging is an outlet for me. It's a chance to talk to other moms and, just as you said, nod during the 'been there & done that' stories. It's fun.

I hope you have a great week!

flutter said...

You know what?

I don't know.

OHmommy said...


Sandy C. said...

Oh thank goodness. I'm sure every single one of my posts is just a pale comparison to someone else's. I have potty training posts-o-plenty!
Like you said, it's alright.

Some days, I read my own posts for self-amusement ;)

jen said...

lovely, sister.

to witness and to bear witness. to leave a record for my child.

Shamelessly Sassy said...

i blog because i would be nuts if I didn't. I might still be nuts, but still.

All Adither said...

It's all so true! And I blog for the exact same reasons.

San Diego Momma said...

Well put.
And so, so true. I do think out voice makes us unique, not our content (in most cases).

I blog to exercise my writing chops, to connect, give and get support. But mostly, to give my writing muscles a workout. And I haven't regretted it since.

Great post, Carrie.

Kristin said...

My reasons for blogging have changed over the years... it began as a way to keep family and friends updated on the kids, but then I got caught up in the social aspect of it and pushing my mad writing skillz ;-)... so, now I blog to share and to whine.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I blog to share the highs and lows of my existence on the planet....that...and I am a HO for affirmation (Read-COMMENTS) :)

Original or not....I think you are pretty special!

Amanda said...

I tell my mom that this is sort of our generation's Birth to Three. Learning, teaching, ranting, raving. There are literally days where I live for the outlet, whether it is the writing or the reading, it's a haven.

Thank you for letting me into your life in this way. Your words at my blogs always mean so much!

Our Crooked Tree said...

Well said. Why do I blog? Ditto.

Ann(ie) said...

I blog because I'm too cheap to pay for therapy for myself and because I never did a baby book for Ben so it's my online dysfunctional version....poor dude.


Seriously, I blog to scratch my writing bug, too and I dig the unconditional camraderie it brings me. ;)

Happy 4th my friend. GOOD POST!

NotAMeanGirl said...

Nicely said! I blog to hold myself accountable. I blog to release my pent up agonies. I blog to celebrate my life, my son and our world.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...


I blog to record my family diary because my memory is poor and because it brings together several creative pursuits I enjoy like writing and design and programming and photography.

alice c said...

I blog because I must.

I am so glad that you do too.