Wednesday, 29 July 2009

There must be at least thirty posts that I want to read backed up in my 'Following' list. I am managing about one post a week on my own blog and am scrambling to get one every two weeks up over at Canada Moms Blog. (I will have one up tomorrow morning over there.) Summer is not good for blogging, at least for someone whose husband does not know she is doing it. And I don't see any way that I can tell the man that does not let me in for a lot of nagging and cutting remarks about wasted time and silliness.

As far as I can see, most of what I do comes under those categories for JG. I'm not going to go into any detail about it, because I do, frankly, think it is wrong for me to discuss the man in public when he does not even know I am doing so. What I am going to do is ramble on a bit about what blogging means to me and how the secrecy affects me. This is pretty close to the line I have drawn and I am going to have to be careful. But I hope the stricture will force me to be dispassionate and honest - a state of mind I find hard to attain.

It is so, so easy, when someone criticizes, to be defensive, to say to yourself 'They just don't understand!', to allow hurt feelings free rein, to retell the narrative making all the points in your own favour. A more elaborate version of waking up at 2:00 am with the perfect retort to a nasty comment someone made to you the day before. It is even easier to be passive/aggressive, to retreat into silence, to behave in a way that will return pain to the person who is giving you pain.

For me, writing a blog is a way to be my own person. I love to write. I love to put words together in pleasing ways, to entertain, to give people pleasure and get validation from the comments they leave. It is also a way for me to sort out my own thoughts and emotions because to write well it is necessary to clarify what you are thinking, to order it, to identify and lay out what is going on. Whether the writer is telling a story, giving information or eliciting humour, the process is the same. When I write something that is not honest or clear, I can't leave the words there. I am compelled to redo it, correct it, make it real. To make it reflect me as I really am.

Often what I write is a narrative or an essay about something that interests me or that I care about. I love to do the Monday Mission assignments and work what I am thinking and feeling into whatever structure has been proposed. Sometimes I have to work hard at this blog, thinking things out, editing, amending, rereading to make sure it is coherent and true. Sometimes it just flows. The transitions are there, the words pop into my mind. After such a halcyon experience, I am often surprised at how true to me the piece of writing is. And, sometimes, the idea takes on a life of its own and veers off into new territory, no matter how hard I pull on the reins. I have some of this type sitting in draft, waiting for a resolution.

I write about my own little world with its birds and flowers and weather, its beauty and its beasts. (Essay about deer flies coming up soon!) I write about my granddaughter a lot because she is the future and I love that in her. I see her mother and my mother sometimes in her face and actions but her smile and her promise is all her own. I write about what I feel about my children and my friends and my neighbours. The post might start off as a rant but in the end it is usually positive because the good things are what stay true.

[Just a note in passing. I went and read through a bit of this, a blog that rates other blogs, the other day and was just disgusted. But I guess the writers and commenters there find validation in dealing out sarcasm and kicks in the teeth. I'm so glad I don't know any of them for real.]

I hope that the positive viewpoint, the humour, the sentiment, are the things that are real about me. The things that are good. I try to write out some of my faults so that I can look at them and decide if they are poisonous or merely me. (I should be running the vacuum over the floors this very minute, but too bad! The floors can wait. This is what I want to do now. The procrastination queen in action.)

I don't, very often, write about the wide world and its problems and its pain. When I was younger and more energetic and, I guess, more naive, I thought that I could help to change some of the horror out there. Now I concentrate on my own community and try to make it a better place through volunteer activities. There is enough to do to reduce poverty and all its accompanying misery right here in Eastern Ontario. (I have a writing assignment to do for the organization where I volunteer that I should be doing this very minute, but ... I'll get to it after I pick up the dead bugs from the floor. Maybe.) That's the inner person talking in this paragraph, or the best I can do to winkle her out of her shell. Is she a good person?

Well, no, not really. A really good, strong person would fold her arms and say, aloud, that this blogging world is really important to her, that the friends she has made here are important to her and that a few bugs on the floor are a small price to pay for being connected, alive and happy. Because writing and reading are the things I love to do. Being here in this community, reading about you all and talking to you is a solace and a strength for me. And I get here as often as I can, as often as the path of least resistance will allow me. And now I am off to deal with dessicated earwigs and flies. And to try to forget how much of myself I often hide.


  1. Aw Mary... this is a very touching post. I hope that when you come to Blog Out Loud next year, you will read this one. It's so sad when a life partner belittles something that is so important to you. I'm assuming after all this time, you're sure of what his reaction will be? And perhaps you are happy to keep this secret?This special little something that's all yours? There are so many different reasons why people blog, but the love of writing is a common thread. Don't stop. You express yourself so beautifully and honestly. And I hope you can come to one of the local blogger gatherings some time. It's really nice to connect with kindred spirits face to face sometimes.

  2. OH Mary! Say it, and say it again.

    Have I missed you.

    My husband reads my blog. I don't think he "gets" why we do this, but sometimes he's helpful. Tonight I was reading blogs and I burned the dinner - but at least I vacuumed earlier :). I can't believe that yours does not respect your interests enough to accept this.

    I have a few ideas I'm going to send PM for MM - do you? Another reason to be looking forward to September, and not just because school will be in session. Hopefully, I'll have a paying job by then, because we need it, but also, it should be good for me. I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have to. I need that push. But...worried, scared.

    Since visiting that blog you referred to, I have been thinking a lot about persona and having a "true" voice. I admire you for not posting a comment - after reviewing more of that blog than I wish I had, I made an attempt to speak in their language and...well, Ouch. That kind of hipsterism is really nothing but indecency.

  3. I had no idea. One should never have to apologize for writing in whatever form or forum one wishes to. It's more important than picking up the d$#@ bugs! All the best.

  4. You articulated so much of what I have been thinking lately. As a stay-at-home mom, I started blogging just to have something that was all me. It never manifested itself that way as I do receive a fair bit of judgement on what I write from people I wish I had not shared with. I will have to go into a form of hiding myself, I fear.

    (I had my own kick in the teeth from that site you mentioned. I submitted for 'fun', but didn't quite get out of it what I thought I would)

  5. Very well-written. I get what you're saying. I clicked over to that other blog and really fail to understand people who find pleasure in demeaning others, even if it's just a blog.


  6. This was wonderful. I do so love to read about why other people blog. And I love your writing style. I'm glad to have this community that has you in it.

  7. You are a true voice, and I wish that you could be in a relationship that allowed you to express it in other ways than electronically.

  8. I agree with Alejna--and I'm glad to read you whenever you get a minute. Your sentiments always lift me.

  9. Oh, Mary. When i started my blog i didn't tell my husband right away, but did after a month or so. i didn't think he read it at all for well over a year, but then I figured out that he did. I don't think he really "gets" it, and the only time we ever really talked about it was the one time he suggested I take something off (a post I wrote about some neighbors... he had a good point)

    I'm glad you're writing.

    (and yes, send me ideas for MM. I'll be needing some come September!!)

  10. I like to read you. Just wanted to make sure to let you know!

  11. I started my blog with my (ex)husband litterally sitting on the couch next to me - and he knew about and commented on all the prior ones - but still, it caused problems. In my case, sometimes he didn't like how I said something, or felt I said too much, or didn't like how he was depicted. This is why I mainly avoided writing about him and our relationship!

    So - I can udnerstand the ways a blog can cause conflict, or how a partner's personality might not make them sympathetic or understanding.

    Hang in there and keep doing what you do! We all love you around here...

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  13. I've told next to no one "in real life". However, I have met a bunch of virtual people face to face, and hang out with some quite a bit. Strange, huh?

    I don't see how you manage to keep it secret from your husband though. I considered that at the very start, but couldn't not tell him about it. I kept thinking, what if he found out one day by accident?? Better to tell him right from the start. He is my most loyal reader. Not only that, he's my first stalker. ;-)