Blog burnout.

Boogie Pants isn’t burning me out because I don’t post enough for that to even happen.  That would be a good problem, maybe.

Nope, everybody else’s blogs are burning me out.  There really are too many and they tend to run into each other theme-wise. They have me wondering why I even keep this fellow Boogie Pants alive.  I just read a blog post on rebranding and monetization and sponsors and GOOD GRIEF THAT ALL SOUNDS LIKE A NIGHTMARE.  What do bloggers really want?  Fame? Readers? An income? How many more people can write about healthy cooking, fit pregnancy, DIY and parenting without burning us all out?

Why even keep Boogie Pants alive? It’s aimless and meandering and I hardly ever post anything that I really like.

For example, I wrote a draft yesterday about my nightmare drive during yesterday’s snow event and how my Nokian studded tires kicked ass. I wrote how I faced my fear of driving  on untreated snowy mountain roads  in the dark while it’s still snowing because I had no choice but to pick the girls up from school and get us all home.  Then, when I proofread the post, all I could think was, well, shit, that’s boring. Vermonters do this every day.  They drive in the mountains in the dark in the  snow because they need to get their kids and they do not make a deal of it.

Why should I make a deal of it, then?  I had no answer, so didn’t post because then it all seemed silly and trivial and quite shallow. It would be nice to write material that is somewhat more substantial than how much I love my studded snow tires.

But now, as write THIS post, I’m thinking, well, driving in snow like that was new to me. With some thought, that bit alone could be worth writing about, so for now I’ll leave my snow  driving draft where it is and think about putting it up later.   Seriously, though, why do bloggers blog and as long as I’m asking, why is the word “blog” even a word?

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On comment threads.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how much time I spend online for the sole purpose of discovering stuff.  I insatiably devour news sites and blogs and return over and over again to the ones that speak to me.  I alternately love and despise how people react to provocative ideas or beautiful images or shocking news developments.   We’ve got the borderline inhuman Yahoo threads laced with profanity, cruelty and worse, and then the moderated threads in which people articulate and further their ideas and opinions in a respectful and open way that is encouraged and supported by the moderator and those engaged in the conversation. The Yahoo brand of comments  chips away at any hope I have for a future peaceful world, while the other kind, the one where people understand that there are humans attached to the fingers hitting the keyboard, does the opposite.  It’s these kind of comment threads that keep me coming back for more, which is obviously is why I am sitting here writing about comments instead of finishing my sewing project or grading essays for my online writing class.

One  conversation  I’m following is happening in one of the groups I belong to on facebook, Mama Friends.  MF was started  by a friend here in town who wanted a place to share her frustrations, joys and everything in between about parenting – the things we often get tired of seeing on people’s main facebook pages.  Mama Friends has grown exponentially over the last few years, from a few dozen locals to well over 200 around the country.   It’s where we ask about the appropriateness of a certain movie (“Brave” came up the other day) or to invite thoughts on how to handle freakouts (ours and our kids’) or to share articles related to being a parent, partner or professional.

Last week I discovered Penelope Trunk’s blog, and the thing I’ve learned from reading her extensive catalogue of posts is that she unabashedly writes her pieces with a provocative, my-way-or-the-highway, black and white pen.  No middle ground exists in the areas she feels most passionately about. I posted a link to her site on Mama Friends because she has a lot of really interesting and in-your-face things to say about homeschooling and the public schools.  A few MFs posted how much they love her blog, then one MF honestly and thoughtfully shared how PT’s writing made her feel pretty irritated and uncomfortable, especially the way she eviscerates public schools and her post titled “3 Ways to Rectify the Miseducation of Girls.”  A few  MFs agreed, a few didn’t, and a few more viewpoints were shared from both sides of coin. I was so gripped by the conversation that I did something I never do: check fb on my phone in the middle of a my walk!  I think the discussion is close to running its course, but I would love to see it keep going because I LOVE the dialogue and questions it has generated!

This is why healthy online discussions draw me in so powerfully. Those who make the effort to process what they read and take the time to formulate and clarify their ideas, disagreements and reactions are okay by me.