How to blog the real you, whether or not ‘blog’ is a verb

‘Yes, self’, I said, ‘you may write a blog post this evening, on the strict condition that you are done by 10pm. Because, and stop me if you are already aware of this, you are tired enough to be an actual menace to society’.

Cue stream-of-consciousness (it’s 9.51).

Yesterday I led a couple of workshops on blogging for teenagers. I’m not always on solid ground with teenagers, which I think is mostly because I’m extremely uncool and hyper-aware of it, so I get all awkward. But these were great. They laughed obligingly at my baby-poop stories, joined in my lame-o personality quiz, and we all had an inappropriate giggle at an innuendo I accidentally wrote on one of my slides. Totally not the time or the place, and frankly what you deserve when you put together a slideshow at 1am. But they laughed instead of letting me flounder in an awkward silence, so we were all winners.

Preparing this made me think a lot about blogging. How you can write your life the way you want it to be, or the way it actually is. When I was a teenager I was caught always between the bravado I pushed in front of people and the insecurity that seethed underneath. Blogging can be a lot like that – too shiny-perfect on one hand, too woe-is-me misery memoir on the other. Sometimes I think that turning into an adult means learning how to occupy the middle space between bravado and insecurity: taking long, square, compassionate looks at your vulnerable places, allowing them house-room alongside your strengths, and holding them out so others can understand you better.

The blog I want (and don’t always manage) sits in that middle space, too. Good days and bad. Leaving equal room for the vibrant and vulnerable. If we start from the assumption that we’re all vulnerable somewhere, then maybe there’s space on the internet for us to sit alongside each other, swing our legs, pass around some cheesecake, and be ourselves.

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13 thoughts on “How to blog the real you, whether or not ‘blog’ is a verb

  1. reverend61 says:

    Glad it went well! I stayed out of this one because I don’t think any advice I could give would be helpful; I’ve been thirty-five since the day I hit sixteen and if there’s anyone who’s rubbish with teenagers it’s me. But sounds like you did just fine, as we knew you would.

    Blogging – proper blogging, anyway – is an uncomfortable tightrope between the real and the exaggerated, the mundane and the important. You seem to spend much of your time trying to see the interesting stuff in the everyday. And you do it incredibly well.

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    • I thought of you when I wrote this post, because I think you walk the blogging tightrope wonderfully.

      I have also been thirty-five since I was sixteen. Maybe when I get to thirty-five, I’ll feel right at home πŸ™‚

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  2. Andrea says:

    Another great post! Those kids had a great teacher for that topic because in my opinion, you have mastered that “middle space”. I wish I could have been apart of that blogging class. I know I would have learned a lot about finding my own middle space. Well put again! Btw, I think you are amazing and pretty cool, and I bet those youth do as well! πŸ™‚

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  3. How do you do it? With a toddler and an infant? For me its an achievement if I comb my hair once in a day. You’re an inspiration. I’ve been feeling the need to do something other than nursing and changing diaper. I just need to strategize. Pointers would be great help.
    BTW you pleased a bunch of teenagers? Wow that proves you are cool πŸ™‚ Which you are actually.
    And about finding my own middle space, actually that didnt sink in properly yet, i’m kind of phased out right now πŸ˜€

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    • Hey, it’s taken me four VERY long months even to get us all dressed in the mornings. And I blog mostly late at night. And there are plenty of days where I get nothing at all done and cry about it πŸ™‚

      Seriously, you are doing such a good job. Do whatever you can do, and remember that everything moves so quickly with babies. The older and more independent they are, the more routine you can establish and the easier it gets.

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  4. RA says:

    Mel (of Mel Thoughts) pointed me in your direction, and I love this post! I think you’re right about occupying that middle space and balancing the wished-for life with the as-is life. Thanks for this. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks so much for being here! It’s such a fine line, isn’t it – you want to be honest, but also positive. There are a lot of bloggers in my feed doing it very well, though, so it is possible πŸ™‚

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