Shut it down, folks. There’s nothing more to see here.
The other day, a friend of mine was asking me how I keep up my blogging pace (which in comparison to many bloggers, two posts a week is pretty measly). She wondered if I had a stockpile of pre-written posts. While I have had grand plans of that for some time, it’s just not how I work. I guess I thrive on pressure in a way. What I DO have is little notes or beginnings of blogs that I write down when ideas pop into my head. But sometimes, before I have the chance to fully develop one of these ideas, I find someone else has already done it, and oftentimes, done it better. Like the time I had this really fabulous idea to write an open letter to open letter writers. It was to begin like this:
Dear Open Letter Writers,
You don’t know me. Hence, the open letter. If I actually knew you in real life, I’d invite you out to coffee, look you in the eye, and very quietly, very politely ask, “For the love of Paul to the Colossians, could you please close the letters? Just close them.” It would just be between you and me. Not between you and me and everyone who shares it on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other social networks people use that I’m obviously not hipster enough to care about. Because technically, if you have something to say to just one person, it’s really nobody else’s business.
Then, in the midst of writing this post, I came across this “Open Letter to…Open Letters” by Stuart Heritage. Not only did he beat me to the punch, even making his own Bible-reference zinger, but it was absolutely funnier than mine would have been. So I just abandoned my efforts altogether and moved onto something else.
It is hard for bloggers to feel like we are providing something read-worthy all the time. Original topics just aren’t that abundant. Chances are someone, somewhere out in the vast internet wasteland, has already committed that brilliant idea you just thought of to a blog or a webpage. And before that, it was probably committed to a newspaper opinion column or a real book with a spine. And before that, it was probably committed to parchment paper. And before that, stone tablet. And before that, oral tradition.
However, while there are very few truly NEW ideas out there, I have come to appreciate those bloggers who are able to tell the same old stories in ways that entertain me like I never have been before. Bloggers who are able to put their own unique imprint on a universal topic. And bloggers who just make me laugh at life. If you make me laugh, you can come to my party anytime.
Last week, the very charming MindfulMagpie nominated me for the “WordPress Family Award.” (For those of you who aren’t bloggers, WordPress is the blog-hosting site which I, and many other totally rad people, use). Basically the award honors the community that is built by interacting with fellow bloggers. I have been lucky to “meet” quite a few fantastic folks who not only support me in my own blogging adventures, but also entertain me with their own brands of sincerity, hilarity, and charity. One of those people is MindfulMagpie herself. She not only has one of my favorite blog titles, but the no-nonsense yet carefree tone she speaks from makes me certain she would be someone I would dig in real life. And considering how many of the photos from her latest vacation post included the enjoyment of a beer, I might just make her bartender at my party. Mags, I thank you very sincerely for naming me as part of your WordPress family.
But the best part of this award is that it gives me a chance to recognize some of the bloggers I love reading, and who have been wonderful online friends to me. I’m glad they keep the internet open so I can visit these folks as often as possible:
1. The Waiting: Anyone who has been following my blog knows that Emily and I have basically proposed marriage to each other on numerous occasions, and I’m sure you all are getting tired of our PDA. But I not only value Emily for her insane writing skills and her ability to make me laugh while touching my heart at the same time. I also value that when I first came to her blog and started commenting, she welcomed me into her already established tribe of bloggers. Through her, I found many others to follow and befriend. Before her, my blogging social life was pretty dull. But now the two of us are partying every Thursday with our Remember the Time Blog Hop, and this place feels like a non-exclusive sorority house.
2. Life is Funny (Even When It’s Not): It is hard for me to properly convey how much I LOVE Anna’s blog…mostly because I’m laughing so hard when I read it that I can barely breathe, let alone talk. I simply marvel at the unbridled humor she finds in life. And I am overwhelmed by the tremendous support and cheerleading this girl gives me on a consistent basis on both my blog and through Facebook messages. She’s like if Seinfeld and Oprah had a superbaby.
3. Excitement on the Side: I recently told Kelly, who writes this blog, that she brings such eloquence to ordinary things. She has a wicked sense of humor, and I love when I see a new post from her in my inbox.
4. Tales from the Motherland: Dawn’s tales are very helpful to me, as she had already traveled many of the paths of motherhood I have yet to traverse. And her reflections are laced with humility and wisdom. As icing on the cake, I adore our interactions in the comment section.
5. Sass & Balderdash: I’m a Sasshole, and I’m proud of it. Katie has the ability to be both charming and sassy all at once. And I have the feeling if we were ever to meet in real life, she would bring me some Cheesecake Factory, and that’s dope ya’ll.
6. The Mom’s Group: Perfection Pending, Joy & Woe, I’ll Sleep When They’re Grown, Awesomely Unprepared, Stay At Home Trauma, Murphy Must Have Had Kids, Becoming Cliche, Here’s the Diehl, The Mercenary Researcher, and Imperfect Happiness: First, I want to thank these ladies for coming up with clever mommy blog titles that don’t involve the words “margarita” or “wine.” Seriously. All of us mom’s aren’t counting down the minutes to happy hour on a daily basis. With that said, when I can’t find the time to grab a drink and vent with my real life momma friends, I know I can visit any one of these blogs and feel reassured that I’m not screwing up this whole parenting thing. And by calling them “mommy blogs,” that does not mean that they only post about their kids. Only that they are all moms, who also write about other aspects of their lives..because damn it, we’re women with interests, hobbies, ideas, and careers, too.
7. Daddy Duty: Snoozing on the Sofa, Stuphblog, & Squatch Makes Three, and Holding Together the Jello: Here’s the thing…dads are hilarious. And I enjoy these guys in particular. Maybe you can all do me a solid as well, and help me convince Ande over at & Squatch Makes Three to start posting more often again. I get it, Ande. I do. There’s that whole raising a child thing and making a living thing and being a husband thing. But I miss your Squatch updates, and more than anything, I miss your hilarious comments. To the other three gentlemen, good work. Carry on.
8. My New Friends: Growing Up on Prytania, Lame Adventures, ThisBestLife, Ginger’s Grocery, Mended Musings, Never Imitate, Something of a Dreamer, and Drama Happens: I think I “met” all of these folks through either being Freshly Pressed or the RTT Blog Hop. And they’ve all stuck around so far, and I immensely enjoy their company.
9. The Tried and True: The Kovies, Sistersara’s Blog, Snide Reply, My Aha’s, Dances Like a White Girl and Colemining: Most of these guys have been with me since the beginning days of my blog and/or are very loyal readers. And I am immensely grateful that they’ve been traveling along with me. Getting likes or comments from them is like it’s coming from an old friend (just ignore the fact that White Girl at Dances Like a White Girl and Shannon at My Aha’s are actually real life friends of mine.) And I’m so proud of Janice at Snide Reply for starting up a new blog called Crazy Good Parent, a resource for parents struggling with various forms of mental illness.
10. Blogs So Big They Don’t Need My Puny Award, But I Want To Proclaim My Love For Them No Less: Pile of Babies and Rarasaur: I am not even 100% sure that Pile of Babies is a WordPress blog, but I’m giving Meredith a WordPress shout out anyway. Because she’s the sh*t. And Rara over at Rarasaur is pretty much the Queen of WordPress, so I don’t know that this award would even exist without her.
Basically, I just wanted to thank the above bloggers for making WordPress a shiny, happy place to store my words. And those of you not mentioned (mostly because you’re not bloggers or not WordPress bloggers or are sneaky, stealthy readers who visit and leave no trace of having been here…or I erroneously forgot you because I don’t write my posts in advance; therefore it is now after midnight and I just want to get this damn thing finished so I can go to bed), I’m making up an award to give to you as well: The Gee You’re Swell Let’s All Group Hug Award.
I will not instruct anyone nominated to pass along the award (either the legit WordPress one or my hastily made bogus one) or even acknowledge it, unless you want to. Because by mentioning you, all it really means is that I appreciate the time you spend here, and I enjoy whatever time I spend on your respective blogs.
And for the love of God, can we all agree to stop writing open letters? Thank you.