Thursday, July 27, 2006

Leroy was my favorite.


This weekend is the girl-blogger prom somewhere in Southern California. I am completely and unequivocally ambivalent about this event, which speaks definitively about my feelings about blogging in general. In fact, even to write about blogging seems odd to me, as I don't really consider myself A Blogger.

In the early days, yes, I spent a lot of time earnestly screwing up the html on this site and making sure my posts were full of informative and entertaining links. I visited new commenters far and wide and visited the new commenters on their sites far and wide and holy hell now I need some sort of laser surgery because of the late night link-chasing and thinking up of funny pithy comments with which to attract new readers.

Then Jim complained. And then some other stuff happened, like spring and summer, and children threatening to eat each other and other things like that. And somewhere in there I went to Savannah and met four wonderful online friends, that I now no longer refer to as online friends, and we talked about life and fat 'ginas and photographed each others' feet and then somewhere along that way I forgot about my initial motivation for the whole shebang: fame. Yes, I've always wanted to be famous. I admit to daydreaming about starring in The Real World. I'd be the one sane chick that drinks a lot of beer and openly mocks the stupidity of the rest of the house. I'm sure I'd have at least some (too old to be watching The Real World) kind of fan base. And those 10 people, man, they would LOVE me!

Well over a year ago I got tuned into blogging and I was sure it was my big break. A couple people were supporting their families on their blog fame and getting glossy spreads in magazines to boot. I started setting aside my extra-clean soccer shorts for my future Glamour spread, because Hey! I've always dabbled in writing and sarcasm literally courses through my veins. And I have a dog that'll put stuff on his head too! And to be a famous blogger, contrary to reality tv, guess what! No liposuction necessary! I started reading a couple of the successful blogs and commented a couple times, wrote a couple obnoxious posts and waited for the hordes of visitors. Then, to my misguided fortune, they POURED IN!! Except they were spam. So I went out searching for fame with my helmet light and junior detective kit. That's when I found Mrs. Harridan. And then Arabella. And then Teebs and Wordgirl. My peeps. Like I said, after that I went spelunking for more! more! more! comments and it was exhausting and unfulfilling and even though occasionally the comments would creep into the 20's it wasn't without a huge effort on my part to maintain the I-commented-on-your-lameass-meme-so-you-better-come-over-and-coo-about-my-next-door-neighbor's-senile-cat relationship. If that's what blogging is all about, no fucking thank you. I finally realized it was just too damn degrading and impersonal.

Now if I comment somewhere it's because I truly enjoy the writing and find the writer intriguing (this means if I say something on your site you don't have to come back and say nice things here - no worries). And when I write something, I hope it's entertaining or informative or whatever, but I don't write here picturing the headline for my own op-ed column any more. In fact, while I'm still trying to figure out why I do this, I just know that I've met some cool people and read some very interesting things, but I don't need a big glossy conference center to validate what I do. The four real people I hugged in Savannah was validation enough for me.

27 Comments:

Blogger Orange said...

You know what? Your recent feral comment was both entertaining and informative! For me, that one little paragraph told me everything I need to know about you. Down to earth, funny, candid.

I'm meeting a new friend this weekend—someone who reads my other blog, we've talked on the phone a couple times, but we've never met. He doesn't blog, but he leaves plenty of comments, so it feels like a real-life blogger meet-up. I love those things!

7/28/2006 11:33 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

It's funny, I think when people initially start blogs, they just assume that lots of readers will come and love them. And then when that doesn't happen, we aggressively go out and search for readers, and try hard to attract them. Then, like you said, we realize, "huh. I used to do other things in my life besides look for blogs to comment on. And this kind of sucks."

And at that point we go back to being normal people who happen to have blogs. It feels so much better that way. And I'm sure the people at BlogHer are having a wonderful time, but I don't feel the need to be there to know that I'm content with the state of myself, and (secondarily) my blog.

I liked this post - I can really relate.

7/28/2006 11:51 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

This is a great summary of the thought process involved in becoming a blogger and sticking with it.

I've started to think of blogging as an opportunity for me primarily to 1) interact with people in other parts of the country and world with whom I have a great deal in common with and would otherwise never get to interact with, and 2) read great writing that wouldn't otherwise be published because the writers involved aren't interested in altering their content and/or sleeping with big shots, etc.

And I loved Savannah. I loved meeting you and the other ladies; it was so wonderful to become friends in the flesh. I think about it daily. It was totally satisfying. I may someday go to BlogHer, but if I do, it'll be for entirely different reasons than I thought it would be when I first started this. I, too, am off the fame thing. It's very liberating, isn't it?

Great post!

7/28/2006 12:44 PM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

If anything, you cemented friendships with four wonderful women, thanks to blogging. If you quit right now, I'd say you got your money's worth.

7/28/2006 1:04 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

For me, blogging was just another excuse to write. Without knowing any of the bloggers who commented on my site (or vice versa), blogging remained an abstract thing. Then...Savannah. Like you, it changed everything. It's one reason why I've shifted slightly in my attitude towards BlogHer. Is it possible that it could be an experience like Savannah...only slightly larger? Perhaps not. But I'm not sure, and with Tammie out there giving it a shot, I have to say I'm willing to wait for her opinion on the thing before I throw the idea out with the garbage.

I wanted to be famous, too, and there's a thread of discontent that runs through everything I do because I'm not. Go figure.

7/28/2006 1:58 PM  
Blogger Orange said...

P.S. Leroy was hot. Those dance moves!

7/28/2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger mamalujo1 said...

Mignon, now I know why I've always come back to read you, ever since I started "blogging" and all through my blog deletions, absences, anonymous fits; everything. Because I knew without knowing that this post would come from you. I've wished for the comments, the bloglove, I've trolled around looking for peeps to be in my posse. So Junior High. Famous. For my writing.
What I'm really looking for is just a place to think out loud. Like I say in my own blog header. I DO love to write, and I do hope to find the discipline to create something more lasting than a pithy, humorous, maybe even thought-provoking post. But this is a good place to find like-minded people, as you just so eloquently demonstrated.
Man oh man, sometimes I wish I was a girl.

7/28/2006 6:58 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Orange, thank you for the positive feed on that comment. I'd like to market the process, but I'm not sure how, exactly... And Leroy? Yes hot! The cornrows and nut-hugger tights? HOO!

Kristen, hi. Yes, yes - what you said. I'm a person who happens to blog. Perfect summary.

Arabella, it IS liberating! I feel like I can just write instead of wwwrrrrriiiiittttteee. You know, less agonizing and more just saying stuff. So why would you go to Blogher now, out of curiosity?

MamaT, Exactly. But quitting right now doesn't seem that attractive. At all.

Wordgirl, I entertained that thought - that Blogher might be like Savannah. But it still seemed like the focus would be too much on BLOGGING and FAMOUS PEOPLE THAT BLOG, instead of just having a good ole time. That was my conclusion, anyway. And keeping it small is so much more my style anyway.

Mamaluji, I admit I keep reading your comment over and over because I find it so complimentary. Thank you very much. But why do you want to be a girl? Because of our B-list Blogfest thing? Or for other obvious reasons... (I'm not sure what I mean by that)

7/28/2006 7:55 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Cheers! As a firm not-cool-enough-to-even-make-a-list type blogger, I give it a big fat who cares! And, I enjoy your blog.

7/28/2006 7:59 PM  
Blogger lildb said...

this is brilliant, and honest, and everything I love about you and your words in a nutshell (help! I'm in nutshell! how did I get into this nutshell?).

fame is cheesy, and not what it's cracked up to be (I'm guessing - I'm not randomly some famous bitch, all of a sudden).

blogher is too all about the scene. bo-ring. that said, I wouldn't mind meeting a few of the ladies I enjoy reading, that are attending. so, wah. but still, blogher, the conference? ehhh.

remember how Portland can be - so awesome in some respects, but so FUCKING scene-y? I used to get so goddamn tired of that part of this place, pre-baby. these days, I don't care, but I mean, that's the kinda shite I detest with all my might. and that's, I truly believe, where that conference is at. and, yuck.

p.s. again, and I can't reiterate this enough, your blog is like the verbal equivalent to warm, fresh cookies and milk. please don't stop writing, regardless of the motivation.

over and out.

7/28/2006 10:18 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

Man, you said it. I have been thinking about the whole BlogHer thing all week, because it's been bloody inescapable - at least 50% of the blogs I read have referenced it, even to say, "Am I the only one NOT going?"

It's funny, I think so many of us had similar experiences as new bloggers, wanting to attract new readers. Hoping to become the next Alice, Eden or (of course) Heather. I think what you wrote really rings true: while it would be really nice to be famous (and you would make a great famous person, btw, as evidenced by the fact that you set aside *soccer shorts* for your eventual photo shoot; I love that), if it doesn't happen, so what? We 4 met and are real friends now. The relationship is cemented, and that shit beats 30 comments any day.

If I can't be moved to pay actual money for my blog or even a blog header, I'm probably not ready for BlogHer. Maybe another time, but not now.

Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

7/29/2006 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Jeni said...

You shed light on this for. I am an amateur and clearly sit at the geek or smoker table in the cafeteria. Heck, one person reads me on Live Journal and shes my earthly friend. Sometimes I wonder if I should seek more readers but that seems so hungry. Anyway your post unveiled the inner workings of the aspiring rock star blogger. I always thought people just came to their table and hung out. Um and just for fun can you read me so I can feel the thrill of having more than one person peek in. Leroy was the man. By the way I dont even know my stupid website that's how amateurish I am. I know I'm Toastfan at Live Journal.

7/29/2006 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I'm actually chiming in from BlogHer, having come with mixed feelings, but here's my perspective:

I didn't come for the metablogging talk, although I'm here to support Dawn in her session. I didn't come for the tech tips. I didn't come to publicize my blog and increase my readership. I came to meet the other bloggers I love -- kind of like Savannah, only with a convenient excuse. :-)

p.s. -- tammie's sitting right next to me and she is as lovely and beautiful in person as I expected she would be. As you know.

7/29/2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

Hi! I'm at Blogher. The connectivity sucks and it's nothing like Savannah.

I don't think it would be possible to replicate the intimacy that we were able to share because there were only five of us and we all knew each other so well.

But, that said, I have had a chance to meet many of the other wonderful women I've interacted with over the last year. It's a bit overwhelming in such a huge setting for an introvert like me, but I'm doing it. I wasn't sure I would initally. Honestly though, ya'll aren't missing anything but the chance to connect with a bunch of cool chicks who also happen to blog.

I think next year, I'll just plan on Santa Fe. I like the smaller group and the potential to get to know a few women who I admire even better.

Nancy, you are such a sweetheart and as a fellow introvert let's go hang out by the pool and leave the networking to the bigwigs.

PS - Orange? Your description of Mignon is right on target. She rocks.

7/29/2006 12:19 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Blogging for me has been humbling--in a good way. It's exposed me to so much great writing and interesting people and given me a glimpse into the inner workings of lives so different (and so much like) my own. No, I'm not going to be famous or popular, but hey, I've NEVER been famous or popular, so life marches on.

7/29/2006 11:53 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

This is the first time I have visited your blog, but I am impressed. I mean, if you want a virgin blogger, you oughta see my pages. They are horrible. No html experience here. I just record what I am thinking and go with it. Purely stream-of-consciousness.
Isn't that what it is all about? Sure, I could make my dogs do tricks, too, but that is forced for me.
You keep up what you are doing. I love the witty sarcasm. I'm a big fan of it, myself.
Blog on, girl.

7/30/2006 6:43 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

I'm not at blogher either and I've had mixed emotions about it but I think overall I'm glad I'm here. For me, the best reward to blogging is that I was able to find a few soulmates to make me realize I'm not alone in my weirdness. And that has made all the difference.

7/30/2006 8:41 AM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

Great post. I like your style. You're one candid chick. Thanks for sharing your breath-of-fresh-air perspective.

7/30/2006 6:11 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Well, hello all of you new people I've never seen before. It appears I've publicly given up the ghost on the whole fame thing and now all of a sudden... well, I won't say I'm famous, but, hey! Hi all you people I've never inter-met before! Thanks for saying nice things about me. At this point I should direct you to some of my sucky posts about nothing, just so you know the real story. I'm too lazy though, so suffice it to say, if you come back another day (like tomorrow) and are so bored the drool streaming from your slack mouth causes you to get an electrical shock from your keyboard, you've come to the right place.

7/30/2006 8:40 PM  
Blogger Toasty said...

Um Mignon I would like to amend my earlier "Jeni said" comment and say that I am such a geek and created a new totally obscure yet needy kinda blog here at Blogger. Also can I just say I really really did think Leroy was hot. My "Leroy was the man"comment just seemed a tad, well, like I was trying to "fit in" You know, that's scary when you are 35 years old and you say Leroy from Fame was hot just to sound cool.Which I totally did not do. Okay I need to shut up now.

7/30/2006 10:00 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Best. Post. Evah. Mignon is not only the fucking bomb, but has excellent advice--as well as an excellent name!

7/30/2006 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Dresden Dad said...

I really enjoyed your post, and think someone more artsy than I should choreograph an interpretive dance of the stages of blogging. (They could link to video posted at You Tube, of course).

It all seemed familiar to me, yet my experience was not quite so intense. Still... I longed to see my hit stats track upward.

Concerning my Fotki blog - I have been a slacker lately myself, but I can blame the hottest July in the history of Saxony, and the lack of AC in our apartment.

The last thing I wanted was a hot laptop sitting on me.

7/30/2006 11:04 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

You've got a great discussion going, Mignon.

(As an aside, I frequently want to call you "Minky," affectionately, but I'm afraid you'll get mad. Will you?)

To answer your earlier question about why I'd consider going to BlogHer at this point, I guess I'd want to go for the same reason that I once wanted to read an article about stud horses while sitting in the waiting room of the dentist's office. (For the record, I have absolutely nothing to do with stud horses. I live in New York City, where "horse" is one of two things: something policemen ride in Central Park, or what happens to your voice when you are out too late screaming at a concert.) It's because I might learn something unexpected that will resonate with me. It's no longer because I want to be one of the "cool kids." It's because I want to study them as a detached observer.

Ok, the horse parallel isn't quite perfect, because the cool kids write and I write, so we DO have stuff in common. But, you get the point. It's not as much about soaking it all in as it is watching and listening.

I don't think it'll be anything like Savannah, and TB's comment cemented that in my mind. I think BlogHer might be interesting. Savannah, without exaggeration, was life-altering. I really, really, really want to do it again.

One last thought about BlogHer: in the back of my mind, I think it might be cool to meet a fellow blogger "backwards"--get to know her first as a person, and then read her blog.

7/31/2006 6:36 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

P.S. Sorry for the windy comment.

P.S. #2: Hehehe....you said "nuthuggers."

7/31/2006 6:38 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

Omg, A-fucking-men to that Mignon. And I love you... I really do. You're an awesome person who was totally gypped of being famous.

And for the record... I NEVER had hopes of getting big off my blog. Although I do hope the people who wander on without knowing leave thinking, "What the hell was that?!" LOL. It's the little things girl.

7/31/2006 1:46 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

Excellent. I've met three other bloggers in the last few months, always in a small setting in which we could talk and really get to know each other. I'd probably be a bit intimidated in such a large setting. I think poolside drinks & laughs with a few like-minded bloggers would be a perfect afternoon.

As mentioned above, you do indeed rock. :)

8/01/2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I told both Tbs and Wordgirl that I am going to try to make B list next year. I want more Conversation.

8/02/2006 4:23 PM  

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