This is the kind of post where I tag myself for a meme I created. It feels.. naughty. And yet so right.
Yes. well. anyhoo. After much hinting and stalling, the Blogrhet team is ready to launch it's first meta-meme. Not that's not a meme about memes (although there's an idea). It's a blog meme about blogging.
Our mission--select one or more of the questions and post a response (or series of responses--depending on how much you want to get up close and personal with that navel). Link back the original post, and then tag three people. I am going to give the first question a stab, and maybe come back to the others.
1. Go back to first or early post. How would you describe your voice back in those early days?Who were you writing to? What was your sense of audience (if any) back then?
Why did I ask that question? I hate revisiting old writing, for some reason. I am always convinced that I was talking rubbish at the time, which is not always the case, but a few glaring errors and trite turns of phrase, and that's all I see.
So my first post was the old "allow myself to introduce myself" one most of us kick off with. The immediate thing I notice is the "i will not use caps at all in my posts. this way i will look cool and edgy." A few posts later, when I realized that I was spending more time editing *out* the caps than anything else I gave it up. It seems really silly now, but I think I was working to make my writing style seem effortless and casual. Also, I think I had seen it somewhere, and I thought it was rad.
Actually, now I reread the post, it's not half bad, although I remember thinking after I'd written it, and included a slew of edgy things about myself, "well now that's done. what the hell else can i write now?" This is evidenced by the next few tentative posts where I a) declare I am mommyblogger; b) write a cringeworthy post on Lost; and c) do my first meme and get all excited. (all in lower caps).
I do see the seeds of the kind of writing I enjoy doing now (when I have the time) --a mini-essay on my son's spidey valentines. (At the time I was thinking I'd start doing a series, Bill Bryson style, called "Notes from a Small Blog" that played up the I'm a Brit in the U.S. angle. Although I still do a few posts like that here and there, this shifted as I got a sense of audience and community--probably about two months or so into blogging).
Who was I writing for in those early posts? No one specific. Not even my husband knew what I was up to, and when he discovered it he was mildly alarmed that he and our son would become blog fodder. But I been reading a few blogs religiously, especially Tracey's--who I knew from Grad School--and thought "hey. this looks like fun. i can do that!" (I even thought in no-caps, see).
I liked the personal, self-deprecating, sharp and funny voices I was coming across, and I wanted to play too. I'd just completed my PhD, so I was used to writing pretty dry and dense prose and having it ripped apart by committee members. I'd become quite jaded and even crippled as a writer. Looking back, I realize I was still kind of reeling from that experience, and this was a way I could feel a sense of confidence and enjoyment about writing once more. I also liked the idea that I could write in this more creative and loose style, and instantaneously get an audience. (Yes. I was a tad naive. And egotistical).
In those early days I was slightly adrift in terms of who I was as a writer or blogger. I "tried out" different styles, topics, and felt a little like I was muttering in the dark.
2. Do you remember when you received your first comment? What was it like?
I think I had an almost visceral response to that first comment--it was by a blogger named "Sheriff" who had a (now defunct) blog called "MothrFkr" and another one called "Emotic*nt"--and I will confess, the first heady thrill of "someone is reading!" was swiftly followed by alarm when I clicked through to his site. But it turned out Sheriff was a very nice lad from Newcastle, UK, and he was a very kind cheerleader in those early days. I have great affection for him still, and take it as a lesson that even the most unsettling of blog-titles will most likely harbor mild-mannered and polite bloggers who are good to their mums.
Other early responders were Jon and Mike--also seriously nice blokes and excellent bloggers. It's interesting to look back and realize that for the first month or so, it was The Guys who were there for me. (I heart you guys... Sniff....)
And then I found myself tapped into the (largely) mommy community. A lot of women like me, who had only been blogging for a short while, and who were finding their feet as writers--and very nicely too. We were all writing and reading one another, and diligently commenting on each and every post. Oh sweet heady days.... When I look back, I can see a shift in my writing as I become more confident in who I am writing for, connecting with.
But more on that in another post (maybe). Right now, my navel's all wet from the open-mouth breathing.
Time to tag: Hmmm. How about the lovely Mrs Fortune (she's baaaaa-aaaack!!! WOOT!) Mad Hatter Mommy and Julie.