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It’s time for me to go old school again

It’s time for me to go old school again

Ohh Emm Geee! Look who is blogging again. Yes, I realize it is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting  Month) but no, I am not blogging because of that. And I also know it is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)  and rather than sign up for that, I may dust off something I was working on. And, yes, it is also NaNaTaMo (Natioanal Nap Taking Month) and I most definitely will be taking advantage of that particular tradition.

Anyhooooo, I realized most of the things I would’ve normally blogged here, I have  been microblogging on Facebook. However, I haven’t been on Facebook for almost a week and you know what?  No one has even noticed. Facebok tends to give you a false sence  of intimacy. Not with everyone but with many. Especially when it comes to my chronic illnesses and bad days. My high school friends don’t want to hear about that. Neither do the people I worked with on campaigns a year or two ago (or more).  However, I will add that  a couple of weeks ago when I hit a wall of pain and a very dark place and gave a shout out for help,  many, many people came forward to be there to help pick me up.  That meant everything to me. So, there are awesome exceptions. I may pop my head in now and then but it hasn’t missed me so why should I miss it? Am I right?

Focus On Your Goals!
Focus On Your Goals!

So if I am going to be here more often, I need to clean house. Basically, I have some big changes coming up for my little home here. Can  you believe I missed my Blogiversary? 12 years! 12 YEARS!! Now it’s closer to 12  and a half. Nevertheless, can you believe I have been writing here for 12 years. Granted, I have been terrible about being consistent. But I need my space here to be share my thoughts freely. If you come here, it’s your choice. Unlike Facebook when I just pop up in your newsfeed, you choose to come to my home here. I am dusting her off, washing the windows, fluffing the pillows, and lighting some candles to make it smell cozy and homey. And of course, there is always coffee ready for anyone who wants some. I hope you come here and keep coming back. I have set some tough goals for myself here.

For instance, this post was supposed to be about something totally different and more personal but I backed away.  I’ll get used to being open here soon enough. (Or as they call it “blogging naked.”) The things I post may not be what my old readers  want to read. And, yes, that scares me. But? I have to get back to being myself. I can’t be the person some people want me to be. At least not all the time. I have changed. Chronic pain and chronic illness have changed me. I’m sorry to those friends who couldn’t handle the changed in me and had to walk out. I understand and I hold no grudges. It’s rough to have someone with chronic pain and illness in your life. I get that.

But as I write this, I can’t help but wonder if personal blogging is still a “thing” or have bloggers turned to microblogging on sites where they blog in sound bites? I guess we’ll find out. Are you ready to figure this out with me? Grab my hand. Let’s close our eyes. Now… Leap!

I’m turning down the noise in 2013 so I can hear myself blog. Let me hear you blog, too! (Even if that should read “Let me read your blog” it doesn’t fit so go with it.)

I’m turning down the noise in 2013 so I can hear myself blog. Let me hear you blog, too! (Even if that should read “Let me read your blog” it doesn’t fit so go with it.)

Here is where you would normally find an inspirational New Year’s post all about resolutions and new beginnings. Really? When do I do normal? Instead I am going to embrace the old. To quote my friend Liz of This Full House, I am going to blog  like it’s 2003. Back in the olden days where stories were told and if you wanted to know how someone is doing, you had to go read it on their blog not check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, etc. (Or, you know, call or email them but that is not the point of this story.) Or as Carol of Girl Gone Travel says, It’s time to take back the blog!

blogit1.jpgWhen I started blogging way back in the stone ages when we had to use stone tablets and chisel out our posts (or as some people call it 2003), it was an entirely different world. I don’t mean world in the sense of the entire world but in the blogging world. We told stories. We had a community that grew to know each other because we shared stories about life: the funny, the silly, the serious, the real. And things changed. First there was the “OMG ADS!” phase that should have been a peek into what was to come. But oh no! Then the evil “REVIEWS” came along. (SELLOUTS!) But still we wrote. We shared. We ignored the noise. But wait! Then came THE TRIPS! People were sending bloggers on PAID trips to cool places. OMG! That is so awesome/awful/great/evil/coveted/hated. And let’s not forget the BEST LISTS! On blogs it could be somewhat easy to ignore if you wanted to for a while. But then Twitter and Facebook and Instagram (Oh my!) added to the noise. And some of the blogs that had stories I loved to read began to read like one giant paid advertisement. OR the stories were replaced with a short paragraph of “must update so here you go” without thought to content or writing. THE NOISE online became really, really loud.

And none of those things are bad. I am not against any of them or anti-anything (bloggish).

But oh the NOISE.

And really? Let’s be honest. I got lost in the noise. My stories got lost, too. Sometimes because they had to so I could fulfill a commitment. Sometimes because I would update on Facebook and ignore the blog. Sometimes because “Why bother? I’m not getting the fun stuff so pffffft on you!”

But mainly, the NOISE drowned out my voice.

It sounds cheesy, but I really had to step back out of it all and re-evaluate why I blog. Why am I on Facebook? Why am I on Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest?

Because I enjoy them. I really do.

But when I felt like I had to do it all, I got lost in the NOISE.

Looking back at the amazing opportunities I received, they all came from real writing on my BLOG!

I was signed with an agent…because of my writing.

I was invited to Washington DC with Dr. Drew Pinsky to talk to members of Congress…because of my writing.

I was asked to be a long term product ambassador with brands I respect and enjoy…because of my writing.

I was a contributor in two anthologies…because of my writing.

I received a person phone call from Gloria Steinem (complete with her personal home phone number for future use)… because of my writing.

I was asked to write for two national magazine publications… because of my writing.

I interviewed some amazing celebrities… because of my writing.

I was asked to speak several times at a few conferences to share my experience… because of my writing.

I was given the opportunity to meet some amazing authors I admire… because of my writing.

I made some lifelong friends when I shared my life on my blog… because of my writing.

I can go on and on about the wonderful opportunities and jobs I was offered because of my blog writing. Not because of snarky Facebook posts. Not because of 144 characters of charm. Not because of an artsy picture. (Though using those to share my writing help!)

I used to write here for the love of the blog. Then I did it because I felt I needed to write. Then I just didn’t.

But I am turning back the clock. I’m taking back my blog and using social media in the best way I know how to dim the noise and amplify my passion for writing.

I want to write. I really do. Who is with me?



(Have a favorite post of yours? Share the url in the comments if you want a visit. I want to read blogs, too!)


Mommy Needs Coffee Blog Facebook Page

Mommy Needs Coffee Blog Facebook Page

Did you know that Mommy Needs Coffee has it’s own Facebook page? That’s right. I bet at least one of my two readers hasn’t found it yet. Fear not. You can go over to Facebook and visit the Mommy Needs Coffee Blog page and comment, like it or both. (Both would be awesome.) It’s not like I base ALL of my self worth on my number of “fans” (or as I like to call them “friends”) or anything. No really. Okay, maybe on Mondays and when I PMS but otherwise… not as much as those times.

While you are there, tell me what you want to see on Mommy Needs Coffee. Is there anything you want me to write about? Anything I write about already that you want to read about more often. (I’ve see my stats. I know you people love it when I talk addiction or PTA.) Is there anything I started to talk about and left you hanging and you want to know how things turned out?  Do you want to dare me to do something? (Yeah. I can’t promise I will do it but it could be fun!) All of my updates show up there, too. So if you forget to come by here (not that YOU would), FB can remind you. (Isn’t that totally nice of them?)

Mommy Needs Coffee

Promote Your Page Too

I want you to want me. (Yes, I went there and popped off a Cheap Trick lyric but only because it’s true.)

I need you to need me. (Oops! There I go again.)

I’d love you to “like” me! (So, I changed it up a bit. It happens!)

See you over on the F.B., my friends! (Let me know if you stopped by. I’ll stalk ya back. But I mean that in a good way. Not the way that creepy person in the corner means it. For real.)

Everything I needed to know about life, I learned from 8 years of blogging. (No, not really but kind of a catchy title, no?)

Everything I needed to know about life, I learned from 8 years of blogging. (No, not really but kind of a catchy title, no?)

In the eight years I have been saving the world through my blog Oh, wait, that is a totally different speech entirely.

In the eight years I have been posting random thoughts and the occasional insight that actually makes people go hmmmmm (or more likely say, “Girlfriend is tripping.”) I have learned the rules of blogging are not that different from the rules of life. Let us take a look shall we? And as any good blogger knows, I should (and shall) do it in list form.

<Cue old Wayne & Garth flashback music and squiggles>

10. Blogging: If you won’t say it to someone’s face, don’t put it on your blog (Facebook, Twitter etc).  Life: Similar to your real life, if you won’t say it to their face, don’t say it behind their back. It will come back to bite you in the butt.

9. Blogging: Once it’s out there, it is out there forEVER. Seriously. I can find deleted posts and blogs that people assumed would never see the light of day once they deleted them. Trust me. I have a screen shot of both a blog entry and a Facebook conversation that I am sure someone in my real life wishes she could have disappear. Nope.  Life: In the same way once you say or do something in your life, it is out there. Words cannot be unsaid. Moments cannot be edited and redone.  You can’t delete an ugly incident just because you had time to think about it.

8. Blogging: Only reveal on your blog what you are comfortable with your worst enemy knowing. (They will totally find your blog. Pinky promise.) Life: It goes hand in hand with only say to someone what you want your worst enemy hear (or the one person you would never want to hear). No matter how much you trust someone, remember that things happen and your words and actions can (and probably will) reach ears you may not want them to reach.

7. Blogging: Don’t hit publish in the heat of the moment when you are mad about some injustice you feel has been done to you by another blogger, PR rep, friend, dog next door, etc. You may wake up the next morning to regret it and as I said in #9, it’s already out there. ForEVER. Rule of thumb: Think before you hit publish.  Life: Don’t make decisions in the heat of the moment or say things to someone because they really made you mad. You may end up regretting it but by then there is a very good chance you’ve already set into motion events you cannot stop. Rule of thumb: Think before you speak.

6. Blogging: Just be who you are. Don’t try to imitate someone you think is a better blogger, or funnier or gets more comments. It is transparent. And? If you’re going to take the time to blog, your readers want to know who you are not who you want them to think you are.  Just be yourself. For better or worse. (And trying to be anonymous rarely lasts very long. Just a heads up.)  Life: Don’t try to be someone you are not simply because you think you may not be “good enough” or “worthy” or whatever word you want to use so that you can fit in with a particular group of people. If you- as yourself- don’t fit it, you need to find the people you will click with who will appreciate you. Life’s hard enough when you are authentic. Don’t try to add on the pressure of being someone you aren’t.

5. Blogging: Write what you want to write about. Don’t try to fit into a niche if it just isn’t you. If the latest and greatest fad is being a mom blogger and that is not what you feel you are, don’t jump on it to be with the flavor of the month. If you like writing about everything under the sun, do it. If you enjoy writing about your kids, do it. If you want to write about every failed recipe you’ve ever tried, do it. Write what you feel strongly about. Life: Do what your heart and passion tell you to do. If you love to write, write. If you have a talent in the corporate world, follow that. Follow your passions. Don’t do something simply because you feel you have to or it is expected of you because someone else said it was. I am all for stepping out of your comfort zone but don’t go so far out that you are miserable or that would deny someone who does have a passion for it the chance to do it. Stay true to yourself.

4. Blogging: Don’t jump on the latest bandwagon just because you see other bloggers getting links and hits from it. Think. Is this really something you feel passionate about? Is this a drama you believe in or something you want to write about because that is what “they” are doing. The hits go away but your part in it remains. Life: Avoid the mob mentality of those around you. Have your own brain and thoughts. Sometimes that “mob” may not be a good fit and the consequences last far longer than the heat of the moment.

3. Blogging: Find your “tribe” and hold on tight. Most of my blogging friends have been friends for years. Of course, that circle has widened tremendously over the years but the one thing that remains true is I know who I can count on for the truth and support. I know those people who will be there for me even if I stopped blogging. I found friends who will be there for me whether my computer is humming all day while we chat or if I go away for a while. Those friends? They are your “tribe” and will stay true. Life: Find your “tribe” and hold on tight. When you feel like you are alone, look around and see who is there for the good times and the bad. Life is too short to stick with drama or the “wrong” people in order to be with the “in crowd” or with friends you kind-of sort-of trust. Cherish the people who treat you well and cherish you back. They are for life.

2.  Blogging: Don’t blog for validation. Don’t post things simply to have random people you may or may not know come forward to tell you how great you are. Are they sincere? Is it a fly by night commenter who really doesn’t care if you’re having a rough time, feel fat or feel inadequate? If you need to blog because you are feeling those things, by all means do it. But do it because you need to talk about it. Don’t do it for validation. It’s not real. Life: Don’t look to other people to find validation in your life. Look within yourself. Your faith. Your family. The things you do that you know you are good at and enjoy. Follow your heart and know that the person you see looking back at you in the mirror is the one person in this life whose opinion of you matters the most. Love yourself. The rest will follow.

1.. Blogging: Make lists. Lists are good. Life: Make lists. Lists are good.