Friday, October 25, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog: That is the Question

“Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?”
William Shakespeare

 I took a leap of faith the other day and created a blog. All my life I have been talking about how much I like to write yet all I write is in my diary. My diary is not even under lock and key. Whatever scrap I find I randomly and inconsistently jot down my emotions and thoughts and who the heck knows where it’s filed. So, without any more pomp and circumstance, I took the leap. I was so excited but hesitant at first. I didn’t share on Facebook as I was too embarrassed and nervous. Instead I emailed my link to a select testing market (cousins, parents, sibling, and good neighbors.). They could judge and critique and I’d only shrivel a little. Or so I thought.

My test market gave rave reviews. I was elated, on cloud nine, proud of myself, excited, new life breathed into me. I began to day dream about my future book, talk shows on Oprah, Jon Stewart, Tosh O. What celebrity would I cast to play me? Sheer ecstasy at my accomplishment!

And then there was my mother.

She is my toughest critique. So I waited to hear from her all day. Finally I ran out of patience and called her. “Hi Mom, so what did ya think?”

“Well, you mean the actual writing or the blog?”


“Well, I don’t really get what a blog is supposed to be. To me it just seems like Facebook and I don’t understand the purpose of all those postings. I read them but I don’t get it. As for your writing, seemed a little choppy but maybe that is how you are supposed to write for blogs. What do I know? Just didn’t seem to flow and what about potential employers? What about that part that talks about how you don’t know if you can juggle job and kids? I don’t know. I don’t know why you don’t just keep a diary.”

I was silent and then I hung up the phone on her which was not a very nice thing to do to your mother, especially when you asked her for her opinion.

I couldn’t help it. The wind from my sails was knocked clear out of the water. I started to panic. “Oh crap. I’m out there for all of cyber space to read. I posted my picture. People can find me. I really expressed some heavy, personal stuff. Oh I feel so vulnerable! I think I am going to be sick. What have I done?”

Like in the classic movie “The Christmas Story” when Ralphie writes his theme about how he wants an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle and the teacher says, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” and he was mortified because he thought he wrote such a masterpiece; that was me. All I heard was every teacher's criticism coming to haunt me, “You’re writing is awkward, it doesn’t flow, I see what you are trying to express but you failed!”

That night I tossed and turned. I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about what a voyeuristic proposition I set in motion. I was disappointed in myself. I’ve lost focus. Thoughts raced through my mind, “I’m wasting time. This is irresponsible. Instead I should be focusing on finding a job. Instead of 50 resumes a day, I’ll send out 100. I will target 20 firms, appear in person, network so that when that job becomes available they will know where to find me. This is serious stuff. I can’t be messing around with a blog. I need employment for my future and the kids. I could be homeless in a couple of years. I’m black listing myself with my BLOG! Now no one will hire me. ARGH!! HELP ME!!”

 When I woke from my fitful sleep, I felt a new sense of courage and purpose. I would throw caution to the wind and write a blog! Ideas started pouring into my head and after I dropped the kids off at school I raced to my desktop and turned it on. While it was warming up I grabbed some coffee, full of vim and vigor to start my next posting.

As I entered the office, my computer sounded winded. “Gee, it’s really out of breath.” I played around with it for a while. No screen of death but no life either. I realized this was a sign from the heavens above that I should NOT write a blog. I went to my smart phone and pulled up my blog. It was not even in existence. It had been wiped from its page. “See, divine intervention has spoken and rendered a decision: Not to Blog.”

“But wait, perhaps instead this is a sign that I need a laptop so I have easier access to write all my wonderful stories.” With renewed sense of purpose, I dashed to Best Buy, consulted with Geek Squad. They diagnosed that it was just my monitor that wasn’t working. They also highly recommend I invest in a laptop because my desktop was old.

Coincidentally and cosmically my dear friend and neighbor Debbie happened to have a flat screen monitor that worked but she just didn’t need it anymore. SCORE! So now, I not only have one computer, but two. My very first blog is up and running. I made some edits with my mother’s suggestions to hopefully make it flow and less choppy. However, Mom and I agreed I would not ask for her opinion on future postings. I shared my maiden voyage on Facebook and I am a Blogger, hear me post!

“To sleep: perchance to dream” William Shakespeare

Tonight I will lay me down to sleep, no bed bugs biting, and with a little winter chill in the air, I will sleep as snug as a bug in a rug. Goodnight.

Next week, in honor of Halloween: “The Haunting”


  1. To blog or not to blog? Blog, DEFINITELY!! You write well!!

    PS-- The "Please prove you're not a robot " thing is STILL THERE.

  2. Well that's just one more thing I disagree with your mom about!

  3. You do realize you're doing this for yourself, right?
    Of course, it's brilliant.

  4. Welcome to the blog world. I am your newest follower. The blog looks terrific, and you should do just fine (as long as you're not cranky like your old man).

  5. Okay, I'm one of your clueless readers, where is the follow button?

    I'm also putting you on my list of "Stuff I Like to Read" over at my place. So far, so good. I've commented on ALL of your posts, since the beginning. Your Dad can't say that, can he?

    Oh wait, it's a question of scale, isn't it?

    1. The follow button is right on the top of the blog Sarge...under the title. Sheesh...and you maintained billion dollar Jets?

      Thanks for visiting - Cranky

    2. Okay Joe, I see it now. Computer at work was not letting that through.

      It's worse, I SUPERVISED the maintenance on multi-million dollar aircraft.

      (Has your Dad always been this tough? Heh. We still love him!)

  6. Dear Ms. Brandywine,
    My checkered past included a fairly lengthy stint as a community college teacher of English. (Then I was divorced and had to earn a living.)
    You've kept me engaged and interested.
    I'll see you next time.


  7. I must agree with Uncle Skip. You write for YOU. And just FYI, your writing is excellent. You keep writing, and I'll keep reading. Deal? :)


  8. Yay! Starting a blog is so exciting! I started mine back in 2007 and had no clue that it was a public blog. I seriously thought I was just journaling on some website and that it was only for me, that only I could see it. Then one day I got a comment from a stranger, and I was like, "Whaaaa? People can READ my stuff?" Since then my blog has become much more than just a journal for me -- through it I've connected with others and have made friendships that I really enjoy.

    Try not to stress too much about what others think of your blog or of your writing. Just enjoy the process and write for yourself, not others. Good luck, and have FUN :)

  9. You can always write about your parents. When I write nasty stuff I about mine, people seem to love it. Don't over think things like Hamlet did. Take care and have a great weekend.

    1. She does need to be careful. I hear her father reads these posts!

  10. MB, getting started is the hardest thing. The Brandywine starts as just a tiny trickle of water and ends as a rushing river. I've known you for a very long time and am proud of your courage. You have taken the challenge and I am proud to be an elder cousin. "Stick to the fight when you're hardest hit: when things lseem their worst you just don't quit!"

  11. Blogging is indeed a daring proposition, and sadly, family can be the harshest of critics. Still, I think that with a bit of common sense on what to share and not share, blogging can be the most amazing experience and open you to a world that a diary never can. You will find that most readers are a forgiving bunch, not concerned with choppy structure, but far more interested in what you actually have to say. Be true to yourself, and just do it! In five years you will look back and be amazed at how far you've come!

  12. After reading your first post, I knew I'd be back. I can't critique you like someone with a PhD in English, but I can tell you've begun writing about your interesting life in a riveting blog. You've got what it takes. :)