5.30.2007

Blog on Blog Action Meme: Round One...

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.

Good God.

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.

16 comments:

slouching mom said...

Why am I unsurprised that your first commenters were men? ;)

Having looked at bon's take on this, having written my own, and now after reading yours, I am struck by one similarity.

We all believe our voices have not fundamentally changed over time and with the addition of an audience (stylistic changes like capitalization aside).

Mad Hatter said...

I'll do my best, m'dear.

Lawyer Mama said...

Gah. I cringe when I read my earliest posts too. This will be fun and I can't wait to see where it goes and how it evolves.

Mary G said...

Yours is one of the blogs that I traced back to the start point and read all the way up. Once you lost the edgy 'i' thing, which for me was more than a style change, you seem to me to have settled into much the voice you have now, which is a voice often singing with itself to create gorgeous harmony.
I find slouching mom's comment right on. Do you think we need a neutral reader? If so, poor thing!

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

Great, now I'm getting anxious about mine!

Julie Pippert said...

With greatest respect...LOL, all lower caps.

I will have to follow some of your links. I am newish to your blog. I think the first one I recall is one about your sick dog?

This is what I get for cheeky commenting. ;)

No, thank you, really.

I am somewhere between overly self-indulgent and braindead so...a meme. Thank God! A meme! I can breeze past self-indulgence (well, sorta) with fodder for a fresh post on a silver platter. I'll try to serve up something tasty.

Christine said...

It is really interesting to hear all about the beginnings of the bloggers out there.

Glad to have found you. . .

Bon said...

oh poo. you mean not using caps ISN'T cool and edgy?

i slink to corner in my hot pants and mullet. ;)

it's funny...i expected the same "ick, how i hate looking backward" reaction when i went back to look at my own posts (because i suffer from it terribly when i go back to look at my old journals), the blog, for me, was less painful. like i said, the voice felt exposed, but intentionally. less free than when i'm not expecting anyone to read, but also - in hindsight - less cringeworthy.

loved reading this.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I'd love "Notes from a Small Blog"!

I don't think I'm able to cringe just yet at my posts, seeing as I haven't had my 1st anniversary post yet.

Oh, boy, do I remember those first comments. I felt dizzy that people I didn't even know were reading something I had written and commenting too! Blew me away.

Mad Hatter said...

done. for better. or worse.

No caps and all sentence fragments. Edgy and authoratative, no?

Mom101 said...

I love this...might even just have to do it myself. And yeah, the good ol' days when there were like four blogs to read total. Sigh.

Her Bad Mother said...

It's that confidence thing that seems to have made all the difference, no?

And yes, the old days, early last summer, when we were so young and fresh and free and reading each others' every single post. Now we are old and crabby and usually liquored up and compulsively texting instead of stalking posts. Ah, how we've grown.

Oh, and we've double-tagged Julie. PUNCH BLOGGY NO RETURN!

mamatulip said...

I just tried to comment and it got eaten. Much like those lovely Custard Cremes you are nibbling on...

I like this meme. I've seen it around the 'sphere and I've enjoyed reading it.

Stacy said...

Great idea for a meme. I just did it on my own blog.

themikestand said...

Still heart you, too. Even though now you're this high-profile think-blogger. :)

Catherine said...

Hey there! I just found you via this meme, which I just completed myself (obviously running a bit behind) and now am back to read the others.

Its nice to "meet" you...thanks for starting the meme. :)