Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's a Blawg, Dawg

It's the ultimate naval gazing. Blogging about blogging. But I wanted to write one column about the subject to thank you if you are reading this and explain why I am keeping a blog.

First, thank you if you are reading this. And thank you if you sent it on to someone else. And thank you for not making fun of me for having a blog. At least not relentlessly, anyway. I really appreciate it.

Second, I don't write the blog at 3 a.m. I don't wake up that early, though I might as well because everybody else in our house does (except my husband, who I mentioned earlier can literally sleep through two marching bands playing within feet of him.)

At 3 a.m., the boys realize they are a. hungry, b. wet, c. scared to be alone (even though three of them sleep in one room), or d. wanting to talk about how to rearrange the furniture in the house. Still, I go back to sleep until 5 a.m. or so. It's the earliest I've ever woken up in my life, but writing at nap time doesn't work because there's no such thing. It is a myth parenting magazines perpetuate for God knows what reason. To make us feel inadequate so that we buy more of their magazines, I guess.

The purpose of the blog is because I love to write and having people read it makes it a lot more fun. But I also need to start pitching in financially around here.

When I started this blog, I got a little carried away. I checked out a book from the library, Julie & Julia, written by Julie Powell, a blogger who cooked the entire Julia Child "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" cookbook in one year--very entertaining. I'd check back in the afternoon for comments. I'd ask Justin to read the blog. One day, we had no food in the cupboards and Justin asked, "Are you just blogging now, or do you still go to the grocery store?"

Basically, I was obsessed with it, which was okay because if it wasn't the blog it would be learning to knit or making decorative spoons. But I'm sure Justin would, for once, like me to be obsessed with something that either a. made money or b. related to cooking better dinners (see above.)

When thinking about a subject for the blog, I considered combining the two by doing a knock off of the book I read. This would solve the problem of me not having my own imagination, save us money, and, if nothing else, at least make dinners interesting. It would also eliminate trips to the grocery store, replacing them with squirrel hunting expeditions. My sons would so dig that.

Let me explain. The Julie/Julia Project blog was very successful and became a popular book. But I can't afford to cook like that. I mean, lobsters might cost $6 a pop in New York, but here, those would definitely have to be substituted with crawfish or even land bugs. Also, my life is not as interesting as the narrator's and if it was, I certainly wouldn't have the guts to tell anybody about it.

What if instead, I cooked the entire Poor Folks Cook Book, I wondered. My mom inherited the book from a patient. Written and self-published by Mrs. W.R. Waites of Lucedale, Mississippi, it's sole intent was to teach women like myself how to save money. Needless to say, there is plenty advice on how to skin squirrels and opossum.

I'm not going to tell you why I shot down that idea down, because the truth is, I'm still considering it.

But back to the making money subject. My goal is to either have a weekly family newspaper column similar to some entries in the blog or attract more readers to the Web site in order to make money through advertizing.

You might have noticed the ads for rabbit hutches and swim team fundraising opportunities at the top of these blogs. I'm sure you all went out and bought 10 or 11 cages for all your pet bunnies and then went door to door selling candybars even though you don't even know anyone on swimteam. Witness the power of advertizing. The google computer worm or beetle or sloth or whatever it is "crawls" this blog each day and basically reads you, the readers', minds to determine what advertizements would interest you. I hope you don't mind. I think it's doing a great job. I especially like when I write about glorious food and it advertizes weight loss opportunities. What's that supposed to mean? Is the crawler calling my baby fat? He is built like a god. Cupid, to be precise.

Now, when I tell people I want to write a family column, you know, like Erma Bombeck only not as funny, or sad, or poignant, or vivid, or good, they are usually very encouraging. But some people suggest there's a lot of competition out there. I find that hard to believe. Who would want to hang out at home all day and write? What is the fun of writing stories without interviewing people who hate you because the national press didn't interrogate Bush hard enough on the weapons of mass destruction and that means you're going to screw up the pumpkin pie eating contest story?

One editor I pitched the idea to suggested that if he wanted a family column, he'd write it himself. Right. And I suppose a smart aleck voice narrates his entire life like it does mine. I doubt it.

"And at that moment, the ludicrously self-assured writer erroneously suggested that I do not constantly narrate my own life. Aux Contraire, ma seour..."

Well, maybe he does. Maybe we all do.

(Above scene is a knock-off of Scrubs, as I'm sure my sister-in-law Erin knows.)

So, as a contingent plan, I'm trying to attract readers to this blog. I realize it's an arrogant assumption to think that people would want to read about my hellacious trips to the grocery store when they could read blogs about celebrities and politics, but it's the only arrogant assumption I have. To that end, I sat at this computer last night and tried to navigate the trail wizard or whatever it was I bought from Go Daddy--the people with the extremely tasteful Superbowl ad--that's suposed to attract people to this site.

I could have hired a chimpanzee to do this for me and gotten better results, but I didn't want the animal rights people coming after me. I typed in a bunch of stuff and have no idea if it worked. On the upside, I ran across some interesting blogs--like ones by moms who obviously have the same person narrating their lives as I do, and ones by teens who are stuck in awful high school situations. There is even a blawg search engine--you know for blawyers. My dad should do that in the insanity category, if there is one. (Not that he is insane, but his clients are, at times.) My brother Josh told me about a lawyer on Arrested Development who had a law blog and also his name was lawblaw. It was the Lawblaw Law Blog. I'm sure I have that wrong. Let me know if you watch the show.

Anyway, if you ever wanted to find a character for a novel, the blogosphere, as we call it in the biz, would be a good place to look. There is one homeschooling mom who has a blog about how, as the woman, she is the weaker vessel and needs her husband to be the boss of her. Is her husband a nice boss? I wondered. Just shows to go--not everybody thinks like you and the people you know. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm talking about my own blog. Please excuse the self promotion.

So that is the story of this blog. I still haven't found a topic, except being a mama in the Midwest. This is because I don't have the time or inclination to do anything but be a Midwest mom. And cook squirrels, possibly.

I know that writers are not supposed to write about writing. That's why in Flashdance, you didn't see the main character peddling articles to Reader's Digest. No, she was dancing her heart out. But, just this once, I wanted to explain why I'm writing the blog and especially thank you for reading it.

And at that moment, I realized just how thankful I was for people reading this blog...

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bridge,
I love reading your blog. As one of your friends already said, it is a great way to start the day!!!
Thanks for providing us with your fantastic writing!
erin

7:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Lablaw's Law Blog.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

Keep bloggin' Here are some squirrel recipes for your spare time. http://www.backwoodsbound.com/zsquir.html

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bridget--You shouldn't write such fetching columns! I should be cleaning my house before the boss man gets home not playing on the computer! Sarah

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I'm home and I missed your blogs every morning! Whatever your reason is for writing them, please don't stop! And please, don't eat a squirrel!

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love that everyone thought you were up writing at 3am..including me. i was going to prescribe you some xanax:) i love your blog, dawg and think that your thoughts on screen will lead to great things other than giving us something to laugh and think about daily! lib
-and then i remembered what johnny said to jj about loving him more than richie and laughed out loud-

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bridget, i find myself continuously checking in. you're a great writer. real, creative and with a sense of humor that i would compare to my own (a good one, i think). keep writing. good things come to those who wait.

7:19 PM  

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