Blogging: The Joys and The Horror

The thing about blogging regularly is that you never really know who's reading unless they leave a comment. More than once I've run into someone whom I haven't seen in years - or, weirder still, someone I don't know very well at all - and they'll say something like, "Your poor husband! I can't believe the baby pooped in his bath!" and I will be left scratching my head, trying to figure out how in the hell they knew about that, and then realizing: Whoa. They're reading OGL.

In my head, you see, I'm writing pretty much for posterity. Also for The Varmint, my friends and with entries that don't contain swear words, poop references, boobs, sex or anything too horrific, my family. In my mind, I picture a readership of about 10 people - on a good day. If I think about the reality, I freeze up, start to edit myself, get too self-conscious and can't write worth a damn. The result of this self-delusion is that when someone outside my mental inner circle says something to me about One Good Life, or leaves a comment, I'm perpetually startled. 

The most recent incident of this came when a very cool girl from my sorority - scratch that, I mean former sorority (ironically, I was kicked out for "conduct unbecoming Delta Zeta" and am therefore not legally able to claim them as my alma mater, a fact for which I could not be prouder, especially now) - contacted me with a very New York "How the hell are ya?". D-Mac (a.k.a. The New Yorker in the comments section) has been cracking me up with some very off-color, politically inappropriate emails since. She has also been sending me some horrifying pictures from my college days (see the photos - how DID we get our hair that big?!), and regaling my sadly lacking memory with tales of larceny and mischief that I'd long since forgotten.

TamDonna1989So, while it's crazy how easily your past can ring your bell with just a few clicks of a mouse in this modern world, what's more mortifying is the thought that people are out there that know even more about you than you would care to share, face-to-face. On the other hand, many Tales from My Girlhood's Underbelly would have been long lost if it weren't for publishing OGL. I've also made and fortified some valued relationships - and as I have absolutely no intention of running for any office of any kind, ever, I figure at some point the benefits of blogging far outweigh the humiliation. And as most people will tell you, I've got a high tolerance for that, anyway.

Not that putting it out there comes easily. As The Varmint reminds me when I'm wavering about disclosure or taking something too far, "Contrary to popular belief, blogging is not for pussies." In other words, no one cares what you ate for lunch. Put it out there, or put a sock in it. 

Which brings me to your comments. For years there have been some hilarious comments on this site, and in my opinion they've made it much more interesting - conversations are always more interesting than monologues.

Sadly, due to technical limitations when transferring content to the new OGL, I lost all of the pre-transfer comments, and frankly, have felt that something important was lost and have been whining about it since.

So I want to thank the new commenters out there. Like blogging, commenting isn't for pussies. I'm glad to see that of-late, much of the old guard is throwing down their 2-cents as well, and perking things up in that regard. You guys rock.

And to anyone out there thinking about commenting, but feeling like you "can't write" or are "too embarrassed" - give me a break! You're talking to someone who talks about fertility, vaginal exams and post pictures of friend's husbands as varmints on a regular basis. Besides, most of you email me privately all the time, so I know who you are and for the record, your writing is fine - gird your loins and click the publish button already.

If that simple chastisement doesn't motivate you, try this: Commenting (that's the 'Tell us what you think!' link below) has been proven to make you lose weight, feel 10 years younger, double the size of your sexy bits and add an extra digit to your bank account. No, really. It's all true. 

What? You don't believe me? Hey, you can trust me. I'm a blogger.


  1. The New Yorker said on April 28, 2007 20:54

    ohmigod, wait til I get the pics of you as the Robert Palmer girl at one of the frat exchanges from 1989... then we'll really have something to talk about!

  2. eman said on April 28, 2007 23:33

    "Put it out there, or put a sock in it," is a great line, possibly your new byline. Your comments on comments have helped me realize something important about one function of comments. And so I have a comment.

    You have a daily blog with a readership in the double digits. I have a seasonal blog with a readership in the single digits. However, if I comment on your comments I then move into the double digits. (Except who actually reads your comments other than you? Can you get me the data on that please before I finish this thought...)

    So, I can either build up my own blog audience (first, learn to write like Tam, second, learn to make/maintain friends like Tam, third, write, write, write...) or I can just be a commenter on your blog, a stupid pet trick to your Letterman.

    So, carry on! And thank you for doing the hard work!

  3. The New Yorker said on April 29, 2007 07:22

    Another thought... it was obviously asinine for a back east, goody-goody southern belle organization to attempt to establish a foothold at the number 3 party school in Southern California and expect the girls there to conform to their standards of etiquette. For crissakes, weren't we all there just to have fun?? Meanwhile, the much despised, South Carolina big-toothed director Kim, who occasionally blessed us with her presence was banging the Beta boys next to the House while no one was looking. Such hypocrisy!

  4. Tam said on April 29, 2007 11:02

    Eman, you have to be kidding. Rudolf's Diner (clever name, as anyone in the parenting business will tell you) is AWESOME and I know for a fact the readership is way more than single digits, you modest little literato, you. If you haven't checked it out, see it here: http://www.rudolfsdiner.weblogger.com

    Also, the comment sections are surprisingly lively. Yes, people read them - especially when they are active.

    The New Yorker, I HAD NO IDEA that stuff was happening. The sad part is I joined the thing to meet cool women, without researching what it was really all about. In my universe, cool women don't conform. And they certainly don't prostitute themselves out to "men of a certain calibre" via archaic organizations whose sole purpose was (and in some cases, I would argue, still is) to form unions of the socially advantageous kind - a puppy mill for the priveleged. Makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

  5. The New Yorker said on April 29, 2007 15:01

    Thank God you haven't changed!


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >