Blogging: Why I do it
I have this real moron thing I do? It’s called thinking.– George Carlin
By Rose Simpson
It’s been nearly a year since I started this blog. How do you like it so far?
In talking to friends and colleagues, I get a mixed reaction. Some people give me the old thumbs up, while others look at me as if I’ve farted in their general direction.
A lot of my friends have given me useful advice about the blog; mostly they say that I should stop writing it. They say writing a blog like this one is a career killer; it shows that I exercise bad judgement. They tell me I will never be a successful blogger because I write about everything, and not just one thing. They suggest marketing strategies. My son Stef even told me I had to make people hate me to be successful.
My friends also worry that they might end up in the blog, because I write about my life, and they are part of it. I know at least two friends who’ve stopped talking to me fearing that their name or likeness might end up in this space.
Please, you’re not that interesting.
Truth is, the blog is not a career killer for me. I have kept my mouth shut for years and it hasn’t resulted in me having a career. The career killer in my case was having a family, getting divorced and becoming a single mother. By the time I got out of that ghetto, I was too old to hire and probably a little bit too crazy to be taken seriously.
I used to be a newspaper columnist, with columns in three daily newspapers. Did it for years. The last column I wrote lasted seven years, and I finally gave it up out of boredom. Why? Writing a newspaper column is a highly sanitized effort. Newspaper editors don’t want edgy or controversial, especially from those of us who write “slice of life” material. You may have noticed that most of the slice of lifers write about their happy suburban lives, smart careers and gentle self-help solutions to our everyday problems. Margaret Wente writes about bees. Leah McLaren writes about shoes. Christie Blatchford writes about men in uniform.
Too many of them write about babies.
I used to be able to write that stuff, but I realized a few years ago that I was lying to my readers and lying to myself. I wasn’t happy and I didn’t think most people were happy, so I could no longer pretend we were. I needed to explore the depths of our collective misery and the ridiculous nature of our culture.
I’m tired of the National Dream because to believe it in, you have to be asleep.
I wanted to write the truth, as I saw it, to be pure and honest and forthright — even if I were dead wrong.
I knew I couldn’t write for publication because my stuff was too “out there” for prime time. That’s why I became a blogger.
At first, I was tentative, and often I’d pull a blog after realizing I may have gone too far. I felt the sting of comments from others.
Fortunately, it didn’t last long.
I began to realize that writing this blog is better, and cheaper, than therapy. It allows me purge the toxins in my brain and my heart.
I told my friend the other day that writing The $10 Life has made me pure of heart, and I can now see more clearly the evil in the world.
And it is everywhere.
Evil lurks in your childhood memories, in your friendships, your relationships and in the workplace. It’s on the bus and it’s in the grocery store. If you are pure of heart, you see people for who they are, you understand better their motives, and you find ways to become more accepting. If you understand the evil that motivates people, you can more easily forgive them.
They know not what they do.
Ricky Gervais was asked by Piers Morgan the other night why he was so controversial at the Golden Globes. Here’s what he said:
“I’m not going to apologize for being true to myself. My strategy is to make me laugh. If there’s anyone in the world like me, that’s a bonus.
“I’m confronting the elephant in the room.”
Let me tell you, there are some big assed elephants out there just waiting to be bagged. I can’t wait.