Wednesday, November 17

The Blog Monster

In the darkest corners of your mind, the Blog Monster lurks. He waits quietly, ever so patiently, for his opportunity to strike. Then suddenly, as if out of nowhere, he seizes upon you, bringing with him a feeling that grips you to the core.

What is this creature? He is mysterious. He is elusive. And he is dangerous. The Blog Monster can appear in many different forms- it's different for everyone. Mine prowls around in the thinly veiled bouts of jealousy and inadequacy disguised as self-righteousness. and every once in awhile, after too many sips from the Haterade, he breaks through in outright anger and disgust, terrorizing everyone in the process. Poor Sean is usually the first victim to my Blog Monster's reign of terror as I storm around the flat ranting

What the "f"!!! (I may have a nasty beast inside me, but that doesn't mean he likes to drop the f-bomb over the Internet) How does a picture of soggy oatmeal accompained by the literary brillance of "I ate this oatmeal for the 900th time in a row. It was epic." qualify for 159 comments!? Seriously!? Maybe I should redo my blog. I will post things like: Here's the toilet paper I used to wipe my ass. and Look! A sinkful of dirty dishes and an unmade bed! Then I'd probably get my very own book deal."

Haterade. Big time.

(I prefer the lemon-lime flavor if you're wondering)

Now I'm not proud of my monster. It's quite the opposite, in fact. I am trying my best to tame and train him. (We've just enrolled in couples counseling. It's on Tuesday nights. I've also promised him a long weekend in Bermuda if he behaves) The real key to taming my inner demon though lies within myself. I need to come clean with how I'm feeling. I need to own it and work past it. So I'm just going to put it out there...wooo-saaah. okay...deep

I get jealous of other blogs. I judge them. I judge them like the mean girl in 8th grade who made you cry. and then I compare mine against theirs. Most of the time I think I am a better writer than them and I become bitter. I become bitter and jealous and a little bit self-righteous and that is a lethal combination. (and if we are being painfully honest here, which I should be, I'm only self-righteous because I feel woefully inadequate in comparison)

okay. so. there it is. that wasn't so bad. Although I do need chocolate. STAT. I actually feel a lot better now that its "out there" simmering amongst all of you. Raise your hand if you still want to be my friend?

Blogging is supposed to be fun for me. I don't monetize my blog on purpose- there are no ads on my page, no sponsors with their CPMs, it's just me and my flowing stream of crap consciousness that I spew. and I like it that way. It keeps the pressure off and reminds me that this is a hobby, not a job.

or does it?

Lately, the Blog Monster has been rearing his ugly head more and more. It wasn't until today that I truly realized what a huge problem this has become. Life is funny that way. It's like a mirror. You can try to hide the negative feelings, dress them up as a different version of yourself, cover them in sarcasm and snarky remarks, and hope you're fooling everyone. But no matter how hard you try to ignore that part of yourself, something or someone will enevitably come along with their mirror and force you to take a look. No make up, bed head, and all. My mirror came in the form of my college friend, sorority sister, and fellow blogger Elizabeth who gave me an innocent enough shout out over Twitter this morning.

and while I'm sure this tweet was intended to have more meaning for her than myself, it really struck a chord with me. As I reread the promises I once made, to not conform to other people's blog identities and to above all else, write for myself and my own happiness, I realized how much I've lost sight of that. I've been letting the Blog Monster have far too much control.

I started this blog as an outlet for myself. After years of being painfully shy and constantly feeling misunderstood and misinterpreted, writing on here has given me a voice. It gives me an opportunity to express who I am and share all of these things with the people who care to learn about them. and this is where the remedy to my monster truly lies.

with the people who care to learn about them.

There are a hundreds of thousands of blogs out there in cyberspace. There are blogs that get a million hits a day and those who may only get ten...and honestly, what does it matter in the end? Is my life really going to be worse off if a girl in California doesn't comment on my latest post? No. What matters more to me is whether or not I made my Dad laugh and that my blog has opened doors to conversations with friends from high school and college that I thought had shut long ago.

I'd be lying if I said notority and number of comments or hits are completely insignificant to me. That I don't stop sometimes and think, huh? how? when I see yet another book deal on the horizon for someone else. but I am trying to gain my perspective back. I could very well lose readers once I hit PUBLISH POST today, and with every keystroke I make, I am becoming more okay with that. You can't please everyone and I don't want to.

Today, my Blog Monster has met his match and it is of David-and-Goliath proportions...except this time, I've got the upper hand. I have the most powerful weapons on my side: inspiration, motivation, and a newfound sense of inner peace. For the first time in a long time, I am inspired to write. I want to lock myself in a room and just let the words flow from the tip of my pen without hesitation. I want to write and write and write (and write). and no person, place, or thing can steal that feeling from me. *Now before we get too touchy-feely up in here, I will let it be known, the sarcasm and snark are definitely here to stay. Those, my friends, are ingrained in my personality. Plus if my willowy inspiration fluff won't slay the Blog Monster, my verbal cut-downs certainly will.

and so I have renewed vigor in my blog daliances. I am going to kick this thing. Metaphorically, I mean. Not literally. that'd be violent. and I'd look a little crazy trying to physically fight my figurative inner demon. I wish I could kick something though. It'd probably be the guy who lives below me. He plays his music too loudly in the morning.

See, there I go again with the Haterade. But he doesn't even have a blog, so I think it's okay this time.


The Thibault Fam said...

haha, i love reading your blog! and i will let you know that you are a far better writer than me! And maybe you should kick those animals outside your window at night? I bet that would make you feel better!!

Genesis said...

*raises hand* i would love to be your friend and my favorite flavor is the Tropical Punch!

totally legitimate thoughts though! wtf do they get book deals when they show the same effin oatmeal a bajillion times in one year and still get $$$ for the visitors that gawk and comment everytime, oh yum! wtf?!

Rachel said...

Please never take a picture of oatmeal. I'll unfollow you and I love you in real life. That's how serious I am about healthy food bloggers.

Also, Finley eats oatmeal everyday. But I'm not famous...

Preppy in Polka Dots said...

I really don't think you understand your greatness. Don't worry about the oatmeal bloggers--they probably aren't as cool as you in real life so chew on that.

runningoffthereese's said...

I had a giant thermos of Haterade for your blog yesterday because I was going to post the same thing about Jessica Simpson's fug ring. And I died because I was right there with you on the Gary Wal-Mart ring. Anyway, I think you are hysterical and I LOVE your blog!

Elisabeth @ said...


Thank you. We all go through this, and it is literally sickening to see all of these non-writers get book deals. Disgusting actually, and it makes me question the people who are buying these ridiculous books.

Not falling prey to all of the garbage that turns up on other people's blogs (and gets them 10,000 hits per day) is difficult, but I think worth it in the end.

You've gained a reader in me. If that amounts to anything. =)

Laura Georgina said...

Awesome post!! It's so easy to fall into the comparison-haterade-despair-ohmygodwhat'swrongwithMYblog trap; I've felt it many times for the same reasons. So glad to see you admit it so openly and vow to beat it--I'm joining in your crusade! There are a million bowls of oatmeal, but there's only one you--and that's what your real, loyal, worth-having readers ultimately want.

Elizabeth said...

Cheers Marie! That's what they say in London right? This post is dare I say it... epic! :-)
Be you and let your blog excude you because that's why I read.

queerveganrunner said...

A picture of oatmeal is sure to send me to the X button on my browser. This is my first visit to your blog, but this honesty was so refreshing and I know I'll be back for another serving (whatever flavor red is, please). I'd much rather read a blog with a point of view than a run-down of the day's activities. And I like your perspective.

Nicole said...

Love this post. Again, you gained a reader in me too by putting your honesty out there. And yes, a pic of oatmeal makes me hit the X button on my browser as well. If bloggers don't know that readers hate viewing oatmeal by now, something is wrong.

Marie said...

thank you thank you thank you to everyone's comments this evening- it is SO refreshing!!!!

Bess @ I Dream of Greenie said...

Thanks for such a refreshingly candid post!!!

There is too much walking on eggshells in this community but by not speaking out, nobody is tasked to provide a fresh, unique and most importantly INTERESTING take.

And quitting hate following lackluster copycat blogs was the most productive decision I ever made.

Kat said...

Lady, we all know that place and you've just said everything that's on my heart. Gold star for you.

I'm so tired of everyone being rah-rah, self esteem! The fact of the matter is that too many bloggers coast or force us through sub-par content day after day. No more.

LC said...

Girl from California, commenting on your blog :)

Also, do you ever read best selling books (ahem Twilight) and think, geez this person SUCKS at writing and they seem to have NO PROBLEM getting people to read their crap, yet you yourself are reading their crap?

Thoughts for the hateration.

Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog a few days ago and I absolutely love it. Your lay out, font, and pictures look so professional and i appreciate the lack of ads. I don't follow many blogs but yours has really made an impression on me. and you certainly write better than I do :-)

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