Mar
30

It’s MY Party and I’ll Blog if I Want To

by MARIA on March 30, 2010

When I started blogging last June, I did it because I needed something to break up the monotony of my life. I had, and still have no real feelings about stats and feeds and followers and all that. I had no idea that you could or couldn’t make money off a blog, no idea that people give you awards and recognition, or even that conventions exist for blogging. Seriously, I knew NOTHING about blogging. I had no idea, because I didn’t care about any of it – I still don’t care about most of it. I saw the blog as an online diary FOR MYSELF, that my husband could read (and does), and for friendlies who wanted to read it.

Of course along the way, you encounter freaks who wouldn’t know you if they passed you on the street, who feel they have the right to criticize you like they know you. Those people suck. I will say I’m lucky in that I haven’t encountered much of that at all, especially to the degree that some bloggers have, but then again, I’m not the most controversial blogger. I always feel sorry for those people who feel the need to do that, clearly they are missing something from their exciting lives, but again, I won’t be losing sleeping either way.

Then comes that day when your family members discover your blog – boo. Regardless of whether they are supportive or not, it changes you as a blog writer I think. You all of a sudden have to think about every word you write, and how it may or may not affect them, and quite frankly there are so many childhood stories and memories that deserve respect and privacy — hence why I can’t write about many things that swirl around in my head. These things are nothing dramatic, or shocking, or even life-altering — but they belong to me and my family. I’m okay with that most days, and others, it is incredibly annoying that I have to filter like that.

Having said that, I’m lucky that the siblings that have read my blog, my younger sister, my older brother and my sister-in-law have been super supportive and have commented, and will send me emails or call me to tell me they liked a blog post. I do love that. They are my family – they know my sense of humour, and they can laugh along with me. The same goes for my husband – I blog about him often, and I often make fun of him, or pick on him – and the one thing I truly love about him is that he gets my sense of humour, and laughs right along with me. When I can get a honest to goodness hearty belly laugh out of him, I will admit, that it makes me feel like a superstar. The fact that he allows the silly stuff, and the digs to roll right off his back, just proves he’s my superstar too.

So to all those who are clearly beyond the spectrum of my husband, my immediate family, my friends and all the lovely people I have encountered through my blog and twitter (my friendlies) – if you’re reading my blog, and you take offense to something I’ve written, then you clearly don’t know me, and you clearly don’t understand my sense of humour. Perhaps you should be reading something other than my blog, that is nothing more than a chance for me to chitty chat with my people.

Now you know where I stand.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Natalie March 30, 2010 at 2:19 am

I totally get you and this is the first time I’ve been on your blog. I haven’t told my family about my blog because I don’t want to have to second guess my posts. I just started blogging and haven’t opened up too much but I see it coming, it’s just over the horizon and if I want to let it blow I want to make sure I do it with a sense of humor, lots of my perspective and very little judgment from others. If that’s at all possible. I’m off to read some of your older posts, one looks especially intriguing, I’ll just leave it at that.

thanks-

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2 Lisa March 30, 2010 at 2:45 am

I’m a firm believer that you should only read what you can handle :-)
Glad to see that you are not going to let anyone stop you from pursuing something that makes you happy!

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3 Jill March 30, 2010 at 4:48 am

I applaud you for writing this… I’ve recently had to do this too (twice to be exact). While it’s not my family criticizing… it’s parents / teachers at my kids school who discovered my blog and don’t like that I write openly about the issues the school encounters …. or people who live here in India who can’t understand why I don’t just LOVE living here…

I have a real issue with negative comments. I’m still not quite sure why people feel the need to spread their ugliness over what you write, how you write it, and basically your own feelings. It irks me. Why can’t people just read them for what they are … ugh.

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4 Christine LaRocque March 30, 2010 at 5:55 am

Well said Marie! So proud of you for standing up for youself and keeping it real. This is your outlet, not anyone else’s. What it means to you and your family is the only thing you have to worry about. As you say, if people have trouble with that than they shouldn’t read. Plus you can be darn funny, and I don’t want you to change.

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5 Tortuga March 30, 2010 at 5:59 am

I was so afraid of backlash from family when I started my blog. I decided to nip it before it started by announcing the blog, its location, and all that happy stuff. I followed this with the disclaimer that since it is MY blog, it will contain MY feelings and should conflicts arise, it will also have MY side of the story. If they have a problem with it, no one is forcing them to read it.

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6 amotherworld March 30, 2010 at 6:56 am

I don’t even think any of my family members read my blog. If they do, they’re not telling me! I actually wish sometimes that they would be more supportive and read once in a while. I don’t remember if I’ve ever been told, “hey I read your post/article – it was great”.

But it’s a blessing in disguise I guess!

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7 momma nick March 30, 2010 at 6:58 am

Tell them to bite it.

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8 Sarah March 30, 2010 at 7:04 am

Well said! Good for you for writing this!

My entire immediate family reads my blog and it influences what I say. Like you said, my stories are their stories, too.

I don’t understand the compulsion people have to critisize other peoples’ blogs or tweets – no one is forcing (or even encouraging) them to follow, read, or care. People need to mind their business and check themselves.

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9 Jane Daly March 30, 2010 at 7:35 am

One of the scariest things about blogs are the comments! I can’t read the comments on some blogs as they are just too brutal.

As much as blogs are public, I do believe friends and family have to understand that it is still writing…which is part of a creative process. For you, and for many, it is a therapeutic process. My opinion is people take things way too personally and need to follow the rule my wise daughter told me. If something you read on the internet/email pisses you off….wait 24 hours before replying. Just wait. Usually, by then, your immediate reaction has faded. People can hit that *comment* button easily. Wonder if they want to eat those words now…

Keep it up, I say. I really enjoy your writing and thank you for sharing :)

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10 thepaleone March 30, 2010 at 7:48 am

Wow! This has happened to me also, one time I had so many family member’s reading and back talking my blog that I finally moved it and and only told certain people where they could find it, the first blog I just left up a note saying I had decided to stop blogging since “certain” people read too much into what I was posting.

The way I see it, the ones who have nothing good to say about you or your life, have so many issues in their own lives they are using you as a distraction.

Keep up the great work!

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11 A Crafty Mom March 30, 2010 at 7:49 am

I totally agree, and kudos to you for posting this! I definitely filter everything I write b/c I have been blogging for five years and mostly all my family reads it – it is a shame in some ways, but, like you, it doesn’t bother me that much most of the time.

Blogging is an amazing outlet, a way to get in touch with your creativity and get your feelings and thoughts “out there” to sort through them . . . so don’t let anyone ever stand in the way of that!

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12 Tattooedmomof3 March 30, 2010 at 8:00 am

Love your response! I haven’t told my family abouty blog specifically mostly because they don’t support much of what I do & I know a blog would be no different. My hubbie knows about the blog and was forewarned that he will be mentioned, he is supportive of me using the blog and Twitter as an outlet, but he doesn’t read anything about himself lol. Great post!!

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13 Miss Britt March 30, 2010 at 8:13 am

It’s so much easier to tell complete strangers “screw off, you don’t know me” than family members. My grandmother was, for a while, very “disappointed” in my blog because I swear. (I’m not even sure how she found it – because I certainly didn’t show it to her.) That hurt, because I felt like she SHOULD know me, so it was a much more personal judgment than what comes from stranger douche bags – of which I’ve encountered many. lol

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14 mel March 30, 2010 at 8:52 am

good for you for writing this. I for one appreciate honesty and a decent sense of humor. I don’t know what drives people to put down others. this is your space and you should do what you want with it.

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15 Michelle March 30, 2010 at 8:58 am

I agree with Lisa….only read what you can handle. If you think it’s too much, x out and read some other blog.

AMEN! :)

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16 Laura March 30, 2010 at 9:26 am

AMEN!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself. I used to have a twitter account, followed you and hundreds others, and realized it was getting to crazy. I still have my blog, and that’s what it will stay, my blog. My personal space to write about myself, my family and my thoughts. I don’t do it to make money or to make other people happy or to get stats. (Lord knows I don’t have any stats to talk about lol) but I am ok with that, because as the same for you, I started my blog as an online sort of diary for myself and family. Thank you for being strong enough to put all this out there.

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17 Lisa March 30, 2010 at 9:49 am

Here here! I LOVE your sense of humour and have since the first day I met you :)

Luv you friend!

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18 Pres. Kathy March 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

Great post – as a priest’s wife I try to be careful in what I say because I don;t ever want anyone to take what I say in the wrong way. But then in real life, I am totally honest and so that is why I try to be that same way on my blog. I love your blog! Keep doing what you are doing!

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19 Debra March 30, 2010 at 10:20 am

Wow! You have said everything I felt. When my husband’s family discovered my blog, I cried a little. When I found out my Mother-in-law was telling all of her friends to go to my blog, I really cried. Within a week, was receiving nasty e-mails from his family telling me how horrible what I wrote about on my blog was. I couldn’t see why they were upset and neither was my husband. I hate censoring myself. I hate that people get offended so easily!

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20 leighish29 March 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

My dad reads my blog. I found out that he’s been reading the series I’ve been writing. He called me to tell me he was proud of me. I still can’t help but think that he’s reading it, though.

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21 Loukia March 30, 2010 at 11:18 am

I think it is the worst thing ever, sometimes, when people we know in real life read our blog – because we can’t blog about them, or talk bad about them or talk about the situations we find outself in that would be so great to write down to get help/answers from other bloggers, you know?

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22 Alexandra March 30, 2010 at 11:43 am

Well, I hope you don’t stop blogging: I find you very funny, and sweet. And I do love me my sweet peoples.
I’m so sorry about the family member finding out: how did this happen? Some of my favorite stuff from you has been the stories of growing up. My absolute favorite stuff.

Sorry to hear.

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23 Maria March 30, 2010 at 11:47 am

It’s not an immediate family member – its the in-laws, and I have no idea how they found my blog. Clearly there was nothing good on television yesterday. Thanks for your sweet comment.

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24 Cheryl March 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I hear you. My mother just asked for my blog address. I’m sure she wouldn’t be pleased to find that I mentioned her in the post the day she asked, about how she never wanted to drive me anywhere, so i didn’t get to participate in sports growing up. It was a salient point b/c it’s affected how I parent. Anyway, I didn’t completely throw her under the bus, and it’s true, so…

I don’t think I’ll edit myself because she might be reading. My sister and brother and SIL read me (my husband doesn’t unless I make him!) and they seem to like it and even occasionally comment.

I’ve been blogging since ’05 and, like you, had no clue about SEOs and followers and all that. Still don’t know a whole lot, but I do know my blog has given me a place to write what I know. And that’s not something I’m going to give up – and neither should you!

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25 Deborah / Mom2Michael March 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Thanks for writing this Maria. I completely don’t get people who feel the need to read stuff they don’t like, by people they apparently don’t like (or want to like), and then have to complain about what they’re reading. Who invited them to play anyway?

I haven’t actively shared my blog with family, but there are a couple of family members (including my brother) who follow me on Twitter, so they must know about it I guess. Hubs is vaguely aware I write about stuff somewhere. Anyway, it does make me stop and think about what I’ll write about, or how I say it. And so far I don’t think I’ve put up anything anyone would be concerned about. (Or interested in?? lol)

At any rate, you rock! I love your sense of humour. Don’t you dare go changing :-)

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26 Elaine March 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I just wish I could meet you IRL, because I know I would love you even more if I did. This doesn’t have much to do with your post, but I just wanted to say it.

I started blogging b/c a friend from church had one. I, like you, had absolutely NO idea this whole community was out there. It’s crazy and has it’s ups and downs, just like anything but it is pretty darn awesome.

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27 InspiredDreamer March 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm

It was sortof odd when I realized that my mom occasionally reads my blog. There is definitely an aspect of wanting my blog to be public and hugely followed, only not by any of my family. But I generally am over that. It’s sort of the same thing about having my Mom and my aunts as friends on Facebook. I have to realize that what I say is going to be read (and commented on) by them. Does that change how I filter myself? Probably. But honestly since I’m Facebook friends with people at work, it’s probably a good thing anyway. :)

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28 Joann Mannix March 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Sorry if you’ve had some haters. I LOVE your blog. I can’t imagine anyone taking offense, but I understand. The worst is when I see an “anonymous” pop up, I know I’m about to get slammed.

I used to write for our city paper, until the demise of another papered journalism. On the tough days, when I’d get hate letters because of my opinions, my editor would comfort me with this, “Any reaction is a good reaction. Hate or love, you are inciting passion in someone and that means your writing is all that it should be.” I’ve never forgotten that and I try to keep that in mind when the trolls pop their head up from under the bridge.

Kudos to you for shouting it from the rooftops. It’s your opinion. It’s why it’s a blog-Duh.

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29 Jean March 30, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I could go on and on and on about this because I basically understand every single word you wrote above, but I will keep it short and simple:

well said, and you are not alone.

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30 Lady Mama March 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I relate to everything you’ve said here Maria. Blogging is a strange thing, in that you can never make everyone happy, and sometimes you piss people off without knowing it and just never hear from them again. I think one of the best things about your blog is that it’s genuine and it’s who you are. I do wish I could meet you in real life as I think we’d get along. (Cus I have a twisted sense of humour too. Just kidding! hehe)

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31 Shannon @ AnchorMommy March 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Well said! I couldn’t agree more!!!

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32 Monabookgirl (hanajibu) March 30, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I think you are awesomely funny and witty and really enjoy reading what you choose to share. If there are people out there who don’t like what you write, they need to know that it’s their problem. They don’t have a gun to their head, they aren’t being forced to read what you post. And if those people in turn bitch at you because they are unhappy with what they read, then just tell them they don’t have to read it. You are way more considerate then most people who blog. Most of the blogs I have read are all about the nasty stories and airing dirty laundry type stuff. Tell the bitchy people to go read those blogs to get some much needed perspective. You are awesome and that’s all that should matter.

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33 Emily March 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I have 2 blogs. One is private, about my kids, and for family. The other is my own babbling for me and my sanity. I’m the same as you- I don’t care about readers and traffic. It’s a journal for me.

Then I found out that my mother and my MIL had found it. While I never post anything I would be ashamed of, I did talk about things that I specifically avoid when around them. And so the judgement began. It was fun.

I ended up creating a new blog with a new name, even switchig my Twitter name, just in case. But now I hardly post on it at all, because what if they found it again? And that’s where I’m stuck.

I wish I had your guts! Maybe some day, I’ll grow up, too.

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34 Sandy March 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I really enjoy your blog & your tweets! Just try to ignore them, and keep going! You’re fabulous! (just don’t friend them on Facebook ;))

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35 PrincessJenn March 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm

It’s tough when you get to that point where you feel you have to explain yourself. But you’ve done so beautifully.

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36 Rebecca March 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm

I still don’t fully share my blogging with all my friends and family. Some know. My MIL and SIL are great supporters and really respect my writing and fun I have with it. My family doesn’t really read it. But I tend not to write much about my extended family, mostly about my dh and kids.

I think what’s worse is that some of my family is on twitter!

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37 Tricia March 30, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I just want you to know that I love your blog, your sense of humor, your Tweets…all of it. And you have to keep doing exactly what you’re doing because if you don’t, I will suffer through serious Maria withdrawals. And I know this may anger some peeps out there, but in-laws? They’re annoying and like to stir up trouble. That’s just what I’ve noticed….about other people’s in-laws. I mean, mine, well they’re just AWESOME. Like getting kicked in the face; that kind of awesome.

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38 Maria March 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm

” I mean, mine, well they’re just AWESOME. Like getting kicked in the face; that kind of awesome.”

BRILLIANT.

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39 Lagunatic March 30, 2010 at 7:38 pm

You should feel lucky that your husband reads and enjoys your blog – mine rarely reads mine, and when he does he just looks at me funny.
Oh well.
At least you people laugh at me…right?

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40 Lauren March 30, 2010 at 7:48 pm

HOLLA! Hell, I’ve even had my stupid SIL bitch about something I wrote so you’re lucky that your family aren’t assholes. Love your guts.

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41 calgarydaddy March 30, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Good Call! Dont take any shite!

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42 Sarah Ruth March 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Good for you for writing this post!

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43 Mamarazzi March 31, 2010 at 6:14 am

i followed you over from SITS, just out blog jogging and i am so glad i did. loved this post. i remember when my family first found my blog, they totally did not get it. now they all have blogs. it is my place to journal…i do not scrapbook (no time for the creative chaos) so blogging is my way of keeping memories.

secretly i wish i had an anonymous blog for really cutting loose…lol.

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44 kristen March 31, 2010 at 1:01 pm

*claps*

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45 ericka @ alabaster cow March 31, 2010 at 7:24 pm

bravo! just stopping by from SITS and i definitely see your point of view.

i was actually thinking today how i feel a little censored. i have too many close friends and family who read my blog and although i’m very appreciative of their support there are some things i’d rather not say in certain company.

i enjoyed this post. consider me a follower.

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46 Maria March 31, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Thanks so much Ericka!!

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47 Kellyology April 1, 2010 at 10:23 am

Been there, done this. And…I concur.

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48 Tired Mom Tésa April 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I just talked to another mom blogger who experienced family upheaval because of some things she wrote in her blog. How sad. I hope it’s not as difficult for you and that the people who read it don’t take things personally. I think you have a great blog and enjoy reading.

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49 Parent Club April 1, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I totally get how, when knowing people who know you – read your blog, you change your writing (or your thinking…or choice of words).

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50 Stephanie April 13, 2010 at 7:00 am

Hi! I’m Stephanie from “And Twins make 5! – A Mommy Blog”. Just making the rounds via the UBP 2010, hope to see you around my blog too!

http://andtwinsmake5.com

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