How Do You Wander In To That Room of Your Own?

Can we make this one more about the comments than the post?

I know many of you post something every day, and I know many of you simply post whenever you feel so moved. You post when and how you do, and you have your reasons for that.


1) Why do you write blog posts? If you are reading this but aren’t a blogger, why do you sometimes write something and then share it with an audience, even if it’s just one other person?

2) When do you write? Is there a set time in your day? Also, is there a set place or ritual that surrounds your writing?

3) How do you find the time to write, either blog posts or any other kind of “words out of your head”? Is it scheduled in? Do you refuse other options so you can write?

4) Do you choose not to write about certain subjects–because you know who’s reading or because you have a sense of privacy that wants to keep certain things mum? What’s the riskiest subject you’ve ever shared with others? Do you wish you could share more than you do? Perhaps most importantly, if you choose not to write about certain subjects on your own blog, could you give us a sense here of who/what it is since–mwahahahaahahahaha–the people in question are more than likely nowhere near the comment page on the O Mighty Crisis blog?


Personally, I know I did better with twice-a-week posts and leaving comments on others’ blogs back when I taught classes on campus and held office hours in a room with a door that closed. I could finish grading student work and then take a little blogging time for myself before heading home. However, now that I am teaching completely online and have given up my office space on campus, I find that I have to tuck blogging in around the edges.

I write usually because I feel an internal compulsion, a pounding sense of ideas wanting to get out. Most often, these pounding ideas have to do with my love of chocolate chip cookies and my belief that Jessica Simpson has GOT to be at least eighty-eleventy weeks pregnant by now. For me, the blog is a sandbox where I can play; in particular, I like doing mash-ups, where I take random junk and try to make it connect. Linear has its place, but nutty juxtaposition can reap its own rewards.

Most of my posts wriggle out over hours and hours of stolen minutes, usually when the kids are at school. When they’re on break, it’ s a rare day when I have any attention to give to a post or the blogosphere. I used to write late at night, but these days, I’m playing Scrabble and Words with Friends instead of pecking away. There’s also my exercise, piano playing, and puzzling that eat up the hours. Most of the time, I type up in our master bedroom on a desktop PC. Other times, I’m sitting in a rocking chair in front of the tv, trying to figure out what I want to say with my work laptop teetering on my fleece-clad legs. Every now and then, I type on my laptop while we drive the three hours down to the Twin Cities; the battery dies an hour in, but it’s better than no time at all.

Lastly, I do choose not to write about certain things simply because I do have some sense who’s reading. Sometimes I think about doing password-protected posts or starting up another blog all together, just so I can share all my innermosts with strangers only. It could happen. It might not. If only so I could blog more freely about the insanity of some students without fear of lawsuit reprisal, I consider the options.


Anyhow, I’m curious. Many times, I visit blogs, and I wonder about the writing habits of the author. Some of us use this venue as a kind of daily diary, yet others of us use it as an outlet for storytelling. One thing is always true, though: when the writing is flowing–even in fits and starts–there is nothing that makes my spirit more zingy.

Well, maybe one or two things do, but I can’t blog about them here.

I know who’s reading, and the details would be too much for half of you.




56 responses to “How Do You Wander In To That Room of Your Own?”

  1. Jeni Hill Ertmer Avatar

    “WHY” -darned good question -initially I started blogging as a way to leave a little written record about myself, my inner feelings, etc., as well as the things I was learning daily pertaining to my two younger grandkids and their autism. The “WHEN” -whenever the mood hits me at times and my thoughts are relatively clear -which is not very often on the thoughts being clear thing. The “HOW” -no schedule whatsoever to virtually anything to my life, or so it seems much of the time. There are lots of things I’d like to write about but don’t dare as it would be risky if I had any kind of following of people who actually know me and would probably get my fanny in tons and tons of hot water! I’ve thought too at times about doing a totally private kind of blog -just to use as a cathartic tool -but then too, a lot of times the writing and having others comment makes the cathartic element really helpful. So, guess the nitty-gritty things will have to stay locked up in my mind till the bitter end, won’t they?

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I love the personal history of your thinking that you’re leaving for your family–and that your blog is such an important outlet for you. It’s what keeps you from going nuts, with such a full house, I do believe!

  2. Erin Avatar

    I started blogging to record wedding planning and such the year leading up to the big event. I kept blogging because…I dunno. I made some bloggy friends, plus my mom liked reading the blog. I have pretty much quit because, well, I’m lazy. And it’s warmer outside. And my laptop battery is all but dead and it’s hard to blog from my ipad. Did I mention I’m lazy? I rarely (never?) blogged about anything unpleasant. I try to keep the dirty laundry in my house. And with most unpleasant topics, the story isn’t mine alone to share.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Some of my favorite people are lazy, so YAY for you, Slacker Blogger.

      Your comment about the story not being yours alone to share is really interesting, as it’s a discussion we’re having in my Novels class right now as we read Julia Alvarez’s Yo! The book depicts Yo through multiple viewpoints, and at the very start of things, her mother and sisters are angry with her for writing a book about their family. Many students think they are entitled to such anger, but I like to argue that everyone gets to have his/her truth, and for those who were involved but have different takes on something, they get to have their truth. Everyone has the right to write a story containing the characters in his/her life, whether or not those characters would agree with the version of events.

      It makes for a great discussion!

  3. Lil Avatar

    I started blogging simply because I found a blog by accident while googling something and the whole concept captivated me. Then I searched out others and figured, “Hey, I can do that!” and there you go. For the longest time I used to write regularly, three times a week just because I loved doing it, and last year I lost my mojo so to speak. Bloggers block? I just fell out of the habit? I dunno, but I miss it. Every time I try to get back to it, though, it just doesn’t seem to work. Maybe I’m blogged out. Maybe I’ve just said everything I have to say (or rather bitched about everthing I can bitch about – numerous times). Perhaps after 5-6 years, I just don’t know which direction to take this thing anymore.

    As for what I don’t talk about : work. At least not in any detail you never do know who’s reading. And stuff that just seems way to personal. If I mind that the whole world could know, it doesn’t make it to the blog. Ever.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I wish you’d blog more about your family. I loved that post about how you and Mr. met…I’d love more about you as a kid.

  4. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    As a college-educated SAHM, I ended up online to find friends of my ilk, since in my small town, there were few folks I could REALLY talk to. I mean, the focal point here is sports, great deals at Wal-Mart and home decorating. No one reads much, follows politics, or needs a new BFF to share their past with.
    I only blog during the week, weekends I try to unplug for my mental health. I sometimes plan ahead what I’ll say to entertain, other times it’s straight from my gut. But I DO self-censor. I rarely discuss my marriage or my parents/siblings. Like you, I’ve considered an anonymous spot to really let it all hang out, but I haven’t. Since the book came out, all of my Green Girl anonymity is gone. And it seems like a lot of readers find my blog to be a cheerful place in the Blogosphere, so that has affected my writing there–I do keep it upbeat most of the time, but funny thing is how that actually affects me in a positive way, too.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Are you always at home when you blog? Are your boys always at school?

  5. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    WHEN will we meet IRL? THis summer? I hope so.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Come to Duluth!

  6. Pearl Avatar

    Wait. Did you just ask me to write about why I write??

    Get over here. I’m gonna swat you…

    I write every day. Because I like to. Because I get better at it with practice. Because I crave an audience. Because I want people to miss me when I die.

    Seriously. I think that’s all there is to it.


    p.s. As an aside, I love how you write. But make no mistake: there’s no muse to wait for. There’s nothing secret here, and you know it. It’s work. It’s a habit. Pick yer days, then do it. If I knew you posted every M Th and Sat, I would be here on those days. They say the perfect posts are between 300 and 500 words (so they say). I’m willing to bet that you have opinions on a lot of stuff — and see the humor in the every-day. Sit down and write, dammit.

    Said with love,


    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I’m trying to picture when and where you blog, Oh Miss Pearl. Do you have set times and places?

      Oh, and I feel such an easy kinship with you that you can trust I’ll always take all your swearing orders as being said with love!


  7. Mother Theresa Avatar

    However you do it Jocelyn, it works. Your posts are brilliant. As for me, I started blogging because my sister had a blog, and I thought it was a neat way to share stuff (this was way before Facebook), but then I found other blogs, and people found mine, and I discovered that there were people, besides my relatives, who actually read my posts, and (gasp) liked them. I started writing for an audience, even though it was only like three people. But it was fun, and besides, I had to do something to keep from going entirely insane while my kids were bouncing off the walls during the many, many rainy winter days we get over here. Then I fell in with the Central Snark crowd, found Diesel, and then things got wild. I started posting nearly every day, trying to be funny (I said trying, not necessarily succeeding), and it was like a drug, or even better, chocolate. It was fun while it lasted, and I think some of my posts from back then were the best I’ve done, but after a while the humor blog crowd kind of petered out, and writer’s block set in, so I took a break. Then I came back, because I really love to write. Now I don’t have as much time as I did, but I still try to get in a post or two a week, but it’s hard to get really good posts out because they require time, which, as I said, I don’t have much of these days. I don’t have a set time, I just do it when I can, and that’s the only way it works for me. I blog when the mood hits me, because when I force myself to blog at a certain time, my posts end up being crappy. And there’s usually coffee involved. There are things I would love to blog about that I don’t, stuff about people I know, which I used to do more of, but these days everyone I have on Facebook, and half the people where I live, know I have a blog, so I’m more careful. For example, I’d love to tell you about the time one of the women in my dance class, who dances the man’s part, picked a bit of lint off of a, ahem, delicate part of my anatomy, which along with certain comments, leads me to believe she enjoys more than just dancing with other women. But I can’t write about that, because for all I know she may read my blog, or someone who knows her might find it, put two and two together, and things could get uncomfortable. And now I’ve done it, because they may very well follow me, via blogroll, over here…

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Lint picked off your nethers by a dance partner? That’s RICH stuff. Come here any time and leave me such snippets in the comments!!

      I think my blogging is a lot like yours, in terms of loving it but doing what we can, in the ways we can.

  8. Chantal Avatar

    1. I used to write because I was lonely. I didn’t know anyone in my community and it was a way to reach out. Now I know many in my community. But I still feel the need to write. My biggest issue now is that, like you, I feel I can’t completely let loose on my blog. Even though I have many friends, they are not the type that I would freely vent to. But I don’t feel comfortable venting on my blog either. My poor husband.
    2. I used to write each morning when I got to work. Before work started. These days I find myself scanning my FB feed and playing WWF. I should still write I can’t seem to manage it. So my posts are few and far between.
    3. Like I said, these days I find it hard to find time. I do feel like I need to. I should find time. But I am not sure if I will.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Isn’t it nice to know we’ll all still be here, when you do write and post? There’s a kind of easy camaraderie in the blogging world that feels really accepting.

  9. chlost Avatar

    My post started after seeing my daughter had a blog. I saw it as a way to keep a journal. I never really considered that other people I didn’t know would read it. I didn’t want family to read it, and have never admitted that I have the blog. I believe that many members of my family are reading it, though. So, I don’t say anything too “honest” which may be hurtful. I wish I could just let out some of the frustration and anger sometimes, though. I have to be very careful about anything work-related. I have tried to be circumspect about my job and where I live, both for self-protection and confidentiality issues. I write when it comes. It is always at my home computer, and usually when no one else is around. But what I never imagined is getting to know so many wonderful people through a blog. I have met people from all over the world. Some of these people I consider friends. Some I have met. Many have turned out to be from near my home. But I never would have met them without the blog.
    Take you, for instance. We live somewhat close…..if I were to run into you at the lake, for instance, I would feel comfortable in saying hi and introducing myself. It might be a bit awkward for a few minutes, but I bet we could have coffee together and find lots to talk about. The only thing I wonder about with the blog is whether what I write is boring. I wonder if my writing is able to convey what I intend. So it is a good exercise for me to do this. I know that it is obvious, but I usually just write what comes up in my head. Only a few have been planned. I would like my blog to look a bit more “professional” but don’t have the skills, time or inclination to work on that. I am always shocked and thrilled that anyone reads what I write, even more when they follow the blog and actually come back for more! It has been just over 2 years, I have only repeated myself on a few subjects, and haven’t gone more than a week without finding something to say. I also am very wordy……obviously!

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I have that feeling, too, about us feeling comfortable pretty quickly, if we ran into each other by the lake. I had a sort of moment like that a couple years ago at the North Shore institution called Betty’s Pies. I was sitting there with my family and some friends–my first time ever in Betty’s Pies, mind you–and a lovely woman came up and said, “I don’t mean to be creepy or obnoxious, but I think I read your blog.” It was super flattering and exciting and made me wave my hands around my face for a bit. Then I got to meet her daughters and friend, and it was like all sorts of pieces came together.

      1. chlost Avatar

        Been to Betty’s, but it was not I who spoke to you. I would have, though!

      2. Deborah Avatar

        ‘Wave my hands around my face for a bit’. That made me LOL.

  10. Robin Avatar

    I don’t have enough time to perhaps say everything, but briefly:

    (1) Why: I started blogging because I feel that something said out loud carries more weight and responsibility. And accountability. I am more thoughtful (and want to be more thoughtful) with something I am willing to write down and send out into the world. Plus, the idea that it might stimulate discussion or provoke thought or action by others — even if you never know about it — is motivating. We’ve all had the experience of being affected by something we’ve read. I want to dare myself to write to a level where I could contribute that energy to the world. Also, there is a small part of me that wanted to simply participate in one of the signature technologies of my time. I like the idea that I am, in some small way, part of the future historical record. Internet archeology, if you will. On a more personal level, being a “writer” was always something I aspired to, but somehow I never felt qualified. I finally decided that I just needed to do it. Hitting “publish” for the first time was very scary.

    (2) When: I am nothing if not deeply resistant to imposed structure for the sake of structure and routine. I have no set time or pattern or discipline around my writing. I don’t “make” myself do it. I go for days without writing anything. For me, it is very much a subconscious process. An idea will catch my attention, but I know that by itself it is too plain. Needs more flavor. I know that forcing myself to sit down and think about it won’t get me where I want to go. So I throw it in my mental crock pot and let it stew. I carry notebooks around with me everywhere, though, because I will get sudden surges of new ideas or connections or relationships that I need to capture. (My brain is not great at long-term data retention and I am at serious risk of forgetting these ideas if I don’t write them down.) Many, many ideas are never allowed to see the light of day, but the joy in finding ones that excite me is worth wading through crap for.

    (3) How: once my crock pot is full and boiling, finding the time to let it out is not an issue. I will stay up late into the night if it is flowing. I don’t care about being tired the next day because the reward of letting it spill out when it is ready is worth it. It feels good to get it out and down. You just have a feeling that you’re tapped in. I’m sure I would be better if I made myself do it more often, but I wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much. Plus, I don’t think I can generate that much good content. I’m lucky if I can get one solid post per month.

    (4) Subject matter/restrictions: I haven’t yet really censored myself that I can think of, but I have felt the weight of being public. I have warmed-up slowly to the visibility of the internet, but I have come down on the side of expression.


    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I am swoony over your response here, Robin, and pretty much just want to yell, “YEA, WHAT SHE TYPED.” Your posts are so awesome. SO. Awesome.

  11. lime Avatar

    i started blogging in order to keep in touch with online pals from a now defunct trivia chat room. there were about 6 of us who all started at the same time three of us are left but i’m the only one who posts with any regularity any more. no, wait…i was actually set up with a blog by one of the others. she and i did one jointly. we were chatting one day about it. i was joking in my answers but as i was joking she was setting the thing up then told me my password and that she expected a post sooner rather than later. since she had already been blogging for a little while our joint blog had some built in followers she had found. they were warm and welcoming and i so appreciated that. anyway, that blog, fun as it was, had a narrow scope in terms of being at home mother oriented humor. i quickly decided i wanted my own space to cultivate in a wider variety of ways, though i kept posting at both for about a year. i need the creative outlet and at the time i needed an outlet that cost zero dollars. i keep at it because i so enjoy the friendships i’ve found here and because i still enjoy the outlet.

    i used to have more of a ritual about when and where i wrote and was very scheduled about it. you may even recall how certain days of the week meant certain types of posts. i did that because i wanted to make sure i was writing in several different styles and not get pigeonholed into being only about one type. i didn’t want to jar readers with something they had never seen if i felt the need to get it off my chest so i established early that there was going to be a wide range by forcing myself to do 5 different types of posts in a week. mostly i got up in the morning and just put together whatever that day’s post was to be. sometimes if something inspired me before that i’d have a draft of notes ready for that day or if the muse was screaming in my ear i’d do the whole thing ahead of time. then i switched to writing at night. then it was kind of whenever inspiration hit. now it’s when time allows.

    finding that time in the last couple of years has meant shutting out other things, mostly tv, which i don’t consider a loss. in the last week, since my laptop was drowned i am going a bit out of my mind not being able to sit down and blog when inspiration strikes. i have all these bits of paper flying around with things jotted on them and i can’t sort them out and make something. ack! it doesn’t make me crazy when i go to the beach for a week and have no laptop or internet access but that’s voluntary. this is just driving me bonkers.

    i do self edit on topics out of a sense of respect for my family, who actually does not read my blog….mainly because i don’t want them to. though 2 of my children have recently asked if they could read some of my posts. part of me is encouraged because their requests seemed to be a sincere desire to know. part of me still wants to keep it all to myself because of how poorly my creative efforts have been received in the past. riskiest subject? hhmm….probably a couple of old HNT posts (remember those?) i took one of them down that i was actually really proud of but i knew if my family found it i’d never be able to make any of them understand why i put it up in the first place.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Oh, wow, now I’m missing your HNT posts! I had some sense of this history of yours as a blogger, but I like the new part, where a couple of folks in your family want to see some of your posts–but only if they are ready to receive them non-critically, of course.

    2. logo™ Avatar

      Ohhh hey, wow
      yah, I remember a group of bloggers like that

      Ah the good ole days.
      I love reading your blog, and I am so glad you do post regularly.
      uh huh,
      I took down several of mine as well, for similar reasons.

  12. Meg Avatar

    I kept journals on and off for years, starting in about second grade with one of those 5 year models. I never thought of myself as a WRITER, but now as I write my blog I realize that I always was. I was always thinking, thinking, thinking – about the view out the bus window and who lived in the houses and what went on in the families that lived there. I started blogging by posting my silly haikus on facebook and I got a little thrill when people would comment. Then I did slightly longer posts on facebook and got a little thrill when poeple commented. Then a lot of things started happening in my life that I needed to sort out and I found that writing was the best way to do it. By choosing (carefully) the words to describe what I saw and felt, I was able to get a handle on what it was that I was feeling. I blog because, like the tree falling in the forest, if nobody heard me, did I make any sound? Am I a WRITER if there is no corresponding READER? Even if it’s only 1 or 2 readers, it makes me feel like a writer and if I feel like a writer, then I make it a priority to write. If I am only scribbling in my journal, then it falls off the priority list.
    I write at my desktop computer in our home office. I do most of my writing either when my kids are at school or late at night. Sometimes I have been known to say to my Hombre on a weekend or during other family time, that, “I really need to write right now because I feel I will burst if I don’t get my thoughts out, please give me some space,” and he respects that and will do his best to keep the girls out of my hair for a few hours. I have struggled a little with the content of my blog. It was important to me that I not offend my parents since much of it is about them. They have assured me that it does not and my father in particular encourages my writing. One family member has been quite hostile about it. I try to make sure that it focuses on only my own feelings and observations as a way to avoid offending others.I think that if we write about personal subjects, then it is inevitable that someone will get his/her nose out of joint. At some level, you just have to accept that.
    Finally, it was reading the writing of other bloggers (you in particular) and finding it thought-provoking and entertaining that gave me the last push I needed to press the “publish” button for the first time.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I have felt a lot of resonance with you from the start, Meg, and maybe it’s partly due to the role writing plays for us; if I have something in me, it won’t completely rest until I process it through writing.

      …which is why I wish I could blog freely about ANYTHING, just so I could process and put to bed all sorts of thoughts about all sorts of things. I mean, out of fear that Candice Bergen might be reading my blog, I haven’t ever written that niggling post about how one-dimensional I found her Murphy Brown character, for example.

  13. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar

    I started because I’ve always like to write and wanted to practice the craft. I have found that it is an amazing addition to my life as I can share my thoughts and opinions (SO many opinions) with a lot of people and have amazing discussions. Meeting many bloggers IRL has been such a plus.

    Easily the most sensitive thing I have blogged/am blogging is my daughter’s eating disorder and it is a huge blessing to have this outlet.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      The ED posts you’ve been doing have been riveting and have really taken me inside the minutiae of the problem. I’m grateful for what you’re sharing.

  14. geewits Avatar

    I fell in love with IMDB and have always been someone who loves to look things up. My whole life I probably spent 99% of my library time reading encyclopedias. It’s really nice to be able to look up my own personal experiences. When did that hail crash through our skylights? When did I get my new shower? When did I paint that one wall red? I can look that up. When I first started blogging I thought I had to post all the time, but I got over that. Now I just post when I have something to say or have any sort of life event that I want to add to my personal database. I spend little time thinking about what I want to say. I just wait until there is something I want to say and then say it.

    1. geewits Avatar

      Oh, and I forgot to add that I decided to not post about the three things that are considered bad form for general conversation: sex, religion and politics.

    2. Jocelyn Avatar

      Blog As Personal Diary is a great tool–I imagine one day tech archaeologists will stumble across your blog and use it as a tool to unlock the mysteries of the early 2000s…

  15. Deborah Avatar

    When I first read this post I wanted to jump in toot sweet and answer all your questions, but then, for much the same reason I don’t blog much anymore, I pulled back. However, since you are so good at prompting me to write, I figured that I would do a post on this subject and get a bunch of things off my mind. It has been started! (but breath-holding is not adviseable)
    The short answers are: 1) because it seemed like fun at the beginning and gave me a bigger window to look through. 2) For the first year and a half I was pretty regular and disciplined (a rarity in my life) and posted most Sundays. I read (past tense) blogs daily, to the exclusion of almost everything else. Now I only write when I think there’s something to say that’s got some chance of being original, or to tell a story. And my schedule has evaporated, which is part of the problem. 3) After posting the beginning of a memoir about a particular period in my adult life, my daughter reacted quite strongly, saying that writing about it on a blog was inappropriate and no different than airing it on Facebook. She was quite embarrassed, partly because some of her friends read my blog. Another child said that he wishes he hadn’t read it, as there are things children would rather not know about their parents. (Note; It was personal, but still very discreet, but it concerned my divorce, something my children were deeply hurt by.)
    That prompted me to remove that material to another, private blog which I have not used since. The whole experience made me question the need to tell, if not all, even some of what has and is happening in my life. I now distrust the urge to reveal what’s in my head, and this applies as much to non-personal things as anything private. I guess I’ve gone turtle. What do I have to say that’s worth anyone’s time? No but seriously! This is not a question of self-esteem, but rationality. And the other thing I began to dislike was my thirst for praise and attention. The more I wrote, I more I couldn’t wait to read the comments – repeatedly – and every positive comment would send me back to my own post to re-read it through the lens of the reader’s praise. It became a drug and in the way of addictions, it began to feel less good as I relied on it more and more.

    Well!! I didn’t mean to go on and on here, and maybe this means it won’t come out in a post after all, but you asked!

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I am exactly like you, when it comes to the comments and then wanting to reread the post through the lens of each commenter. Let’s pretend that’s simply a wonderfully-developed sense of audience, okay?

      Trust me: you have a lot to say that’s worth a lot of people’s time. I understand myself infinitely better, thanks to reading the stories of others…what if they hadn’t taken the time and found the courage to do that sharing? I’d still be playing with my toes and watching the pretty leaves blow in the wind.

      1. Deborah Avatar

        So glad I’m not alone with that shameful admission….

        1. Jocelyn Avatar

          Here’s the interesting part, to me: I don’t find it shameful! Hee.

  16. Secret Agent Woman Avatar

    I started because my baby sister had a blog and you could only comment if you had one of your own. And other family members jumped in, too, and we commented some on each other’s posts. And then somehow, other people started finding my blog and I was hooked by the community. In the meantime, the rest of my family dropped out of the blog scene. And although I have taken a few breaks, I can’t seem to stay away. I blog less frequently than I used to – down from near-daily to every two or three days, but it is almost a compulsion for me. Part-journal, part creative outlet, I guess. And it got me to start taking photos, which I never even knew I’d enjoy. And of course, as my blog became increasingly personal, I moved and didn’t take family (except one sister who knows all my secrets) with me. I began my blog in the twilight of my marriage and the support I got from readers through my separation and divorce was humbling. It still is – it’s like having my own personal cheerleading squad and I am deeply, deeply grateful.

    As for things I don’t blog: even though my kids don’t have access to it, I would never post about anything about them that I thought would embarrass them. I feel like that just wouldn’t be honorable and I do love them madly, even when I want to pinch their heads off. Fortunately, they are pretty good kids. But recently, I’ve been toying with when/if I’ll share the blog with my boyfriend. If I do, I may first go back and pull or edit some posts. I don’t think he’d want to read about some of the more… um… scandalous episodes from the past few years. He’s made it clear that he does NOT want to hear gory details of past encounters (as I do NOT want to hear about his), and I wouldn’t want him to have to read them. So, we’ll see how much editing I feel a need to do when the time comes. For that matter, I have no idea if he’d be okay with how much I’ve said about him.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I feel like you’ve been pretty guarded and discreet on your blog, so I can’t imagine there’s much that would get the bf crazy…but what do I know; I don’t mind any details of my husband’s past encounters. I own him now, so praises to all that came before and made him such a great purchase.

      1. Secret Agent Woman Avatar

        Remember the 25 year old? Or when I was juggling three guys? Yeah, that sort of stuff. And he’s told me directly he doesn’t want to know any of it.

        1. Jocelyn Avatar

          I guess I just thought you were cool!

  17. kmkat Avatar

    Like many of your other commenters, I blog when I have something to blog about. Usually it s something that has happened or something I have found on the web that I want to share. As a knit blogger I have a ready-made community and have made new friends there (much to my surprise). I try to entertain in my writing. And it is so convenient to be able to go back and look up something I know I blogged about in order to settle a chronological question. I feel like I am fairly open on my blog, buy I don’t write about things that are intensely personal or (very much) about my experiences as a county supervisor. I have blogged about a number of things from work that were entertaining, but I have tried very hard to keep my employer — a well-known name in the business community — anonymous. I find that after five years of blogging I may or may not be a BETTER WRITER, but I know I am a FASTER writer. Practice has its benefits.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I like your observation about writing coming faster the more you do it. I may have to steal your quote for one of my syllabi!

  18. magpie Avatar

    it’s some kind of outlet. a little bit story-telling, a little bit venting, and a little bit diary/personal history. i write in my head a lot – and lots of that never makes it into writing. sometimes i think i’m never going to post again, and then something sets me off and i have 15 posts in draft again. and i’ll schedule posts into the future, but sometimes i futz with the scheduling, if something comes along that’s more timely. like yesterday’s post, about gas prices. i had to get that out, right then, so i bumped what was scheduled for yesterday.

    also, i tend to steal reading/writing time while at work. i know. i justify it by calling it my little break from the quotidien, the break that resets my brain.

    i don’t blog about some things – and i actually rewrote (and republished) a post the other day because it talked about my brother’s college sex life and my sister thought he would go ballistic if he read it. he’s got that internet squeamishness thing going on. i rarely talk about my husband – for similar reasons.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I actually feel a little bereft that I can’t read about your brother’s college sex life, to tell you true.

      Stealing reading/writing time while at work is a sanity saver!

      1. magpie Avatar

        that post may still be up on google reader… once posted, ever posted – even with the edits.

  19. Monica Avatar

    I started blogging ’cause my BFF in Norway did..and kept at it for my own amusement, a bit of show and tell for my family in Norway – and for anyone else passing by.. Being all flattered when someone actually comment on my posts..
    Contents: family and stuff.. not very regularly, must admit I check out other blogs much more often than post on my own. Right now I am a lot about babies and dogs.. As you have noticed my dear eloquent Jocelyne…
    When and where? from work mostly, in between tasks..

    Blogland is entertaining, interesting, educating.. Love being able to get in touch with lovely strangers from all over the world, finding out what they are all about!

    and I love your wonderful writing, ever so often making me laugh out load

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Wait: you like dogs?


      1. Monica Avatar

        Sheeez…. I take back eloquent…

        1. Jocelyn Avatar

          Now you know I LOVE your big doggies–and those cutiepie babies. I just like to tease you, girl!

  20. Jess Avatar

    Do I win laziest for being too lazy to even read other people’s blogs in a timely manner? If Erin wants to fight me for it she can, I plan on fighting back tomorrow, or next week. Probably just later.

    I think I started blogging because I work things out through writing, like you, but I hate writing in journals. I have occasionally in the past and it makes for such awful, cringe-worthy later reading and I don’t edit enough and what’s the damn point anyway, if nobody’s reading but me? So I made myself a blog and I writed stuff. And then not so much. Which sucks because I really have quite a lot of stuff buzzing around in my head that wants to come out. I think my anxiety is linked to my utter inability to keep my mind on one topic for more than three seconds (except when I sit down for a few hours and read a whole book, isn’t there any way to balance that out somehow?) because both are up around crazy levels the past few years and I can’t really do anything about it until we have an income and decent health insurance.

    What was I saying?

    I mostly blog on my trusty Macbook but it’s ready to give up the ghost and I’m not some swinging single chick who can afford a Mac now so I’m reduced to using Todd’s planned-inconvenience of a computer hooked up to a tv. The idea was that we’d be less obsessive about the internet if using it was really, really, really uncomfortable. It’s kind of working. Though keeping me from reading your blog for a few weeks seems counter-productive in the worst way..

    As for.. what was the other question? Privacy issues! I liked being really open before I married into a custody case but I’m always reigning myself in now. I think about using the private blog but then no one really wants to read weekly rants about the crazy biological mother of my stepchildren, right? Plus I always regret what I say later (when ranting in real life) because I hate that I let her turn me into a version of herself. Being nice sucks, dammit.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Just want to assure you that I, for one, would be all over reading weekly rants about that biological mother. I AM your audience.

      And I think you’re grand. And I wish you health insurance for some anxiety help. I just want Jess to feel as great as she is.

  21. logo™ Avatar

    I am late to the party and have not much of significance to add, but I like talking to you, so here ya go;

    1) I started blogging as a joke. It was never something I intended to do long. I started out blogging as my dog which I knew was a one-note joke and assumed I would delete it after a couple weeks. Yet here I am, 7 years later, still at it.
    Right now I blog for the purpose of staying in touch, or recording things, or when the spirit moves, or when the sun spots.

    2) I write whenever, where ever, without ritual, set time, and half the time without really knowing what I am going to say.

    3) I hardly do find time to blog, and it is definitely not scheduled. I will occasionally write instead of something else, but right now I am doing so much writing for other endeavors that I don’t feel a drive to blog.

    4) I am fairly circumspect about what I will discuss. I am very aware that my blog is open to the public. My general rule of thumb is that if I wouldn’t say it at the PTA— I won’t say it on my blog.

  22. MaryD Avatar

    I started blogging in 2004-5 to put forth an account of how my best friend~my dad~ was dealing with dementia….at the time I had no idea that the various “illnesses” I was dealing with would transform into late onset-schizophrenia.
    I came by way of Friko’s blog & this is the comment I left for applies here as well:

    Considering I had one person write an entry that my blog was a train wreck & another write an entry saying I was not a schizophrenic who gave away my home & my belongings while psychotic, but someone who just wanted attention so I created that story…I don’t have to worry about people being too KIND to me in blogland. ;o

    Sometimes blogging & reading blogs in like wearing an old comfortable sweater, & other times like wearing a hairshirt. But over extended time, it truly has been more of the former & less of the latter, not lately for me, mind, but going through the whole stretch. Hypocrisies, myths, foibles, & vanities..even hostile interpretations & social posturing. Nothing comes our way without a price. It can be a very good ride, but way bumpy.~Mary

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