Julie: What do you think a blog is? It’s me, me, me day after day.
Eric: I thought it’d be fun. How stupid is that? It just turns out to be a lot of what you call meltdowns, but they don’t feel like meltdowns. They feel like I’m living with a totally self-absorbed person who writes this stuff for a bunch of complete strangers and it’s supposed to be a big adventure but it’s not. It’s our life.
This week I re-watched Julie & Julia with a (sometimes) sleeping baby stretched across my lap. I’ve read the book and seen the movie (which I prefer to the book, in a rare case) and this month, it’s the choice for the #BlogFilmFood series, where a small group of bloggers and I have a monthly digital dinner and a movie.
This was a perfect choice, but as I watched the movie again, I realized that I couldn’t fit everything into one post. So, apropos to the movie, I will have two parts, a Julie and a Juila. The Julie (this part) is going to be about blogging. The Julia (Friday’s part) is going to be about food, with a recipe. (Find it here!)
Have you seen the movie? If not, please do. It is sweet and wonderful and poignant and brings Julia Child to life for a generation of us who are young enough to only know her from the Saturday Night Live skit (featured in the movie) or else maybe not at all. There are parts that brought tears to my eyes (when Julia hears her sister is pregnant and is happy and also crushed) and parts that made me think about my own marriage and writing and also food. OH THE FOOD.
Focus, Kiki. We’re talking about blogging. Let’s start with a brief history of Kiki blogging.
2004- I read my first blog. I wonder why people presume that anyone else wants to read about their lives. I find it strange.
2005- I start my first blog. BUT IT’S ONLY PHOTOGRAPHS. No (or few) words. We’ve moved to Greensboro, NC, so this is how I felt like we could keep up with the friends and family we were far from.
2006- My job in Financial Aid had little for me to do so I became addicted to blogs about celebrities.
2007- We moved back to Texas and I got pregnant. I started a blog intended for my family to read about being pregnant and choosing a home birth.
2008- I accidentally deleted my original photo blog along with all photos and memories. I died a little that day. Despite my original thoughts on blogging, I find myself updating several times a day with things of very little importance to anyone but my family. Oddly, more people begin reading.
2009- I joined an ad network and started making like $30/month. Cha-ching!!
2010-2012- I blogged more and more and started thinking about the blog as more of a space for my writing. Since, you know, I have a master’s degree in writing and all.
2013- I switched from a free blog at blogger to a self-hosted and paid blog at attended Blog Elevated, my first blogging conference. I leave my first ad network and join a few companies that pair up bloggers with brands for sponsored posts.
2014- I actually started making a bit more money through sponsored posts and keep thinking and rethinking my blog goals. Am I a writer with a blog? A blogger who writes? Someone with the goal to make money blogging? A writer who wants to use the blog to grow my audience for my books? Do I want to write about family? Recipes? Faith? Writing? Everything?
Blogging is a weird thing. It has oddly become something defining in my life, something I feel compelled and drawn toward. I know some of my readers and some are strangers. Or, strangers who become somewhat known through the connection of sharing so much in a social space.
Watching Julie and Julia, I started thinking about blogging and its place in my life, how it affects my family. The quote at the top is from a fight Julie and her husband have about how her blog starts to running over their lives. I totally get that, though usually blogging doesn’t run my life. And yet…there was the time blogging almost ruined my vacation. And the time that it threatened to screw up a friendship.
What is the point of blogging? Just to write? To make money? To vent or have an outlet? To connect with strangers?
For me, right now, it is a lot of things, but above all, it is a place to tell stories. I hope one day for my stories (real and imagined) to be in between nice, shiny book covers, but for now, my stories will fall here. I am not sure that I could stop writing them even if I tried. So even with a baby who is keeping me from the blog (who is currently in the Bjorn as I stand in my kitchen writing this), I will be showing up. Even if you stop reading, I will tell the stories.
Ultimately, this blog is here because my stories can’t stay in my head. They’re too loud in there. Lonely too. So if you’re showing up to read, I’m glad. I hope you stay. And come back tomorrow for the Julia post, which will most certainly include BUTTER.