Where I think about how my blogging voice was formed
Like many things in my life these days, my intentions were grander than the reality. Last week was the link-up, celebrating my one-year anniversary . . . and I actually had hoped to write one of the prompts per day (except for Wednesday, because I wanted to let my guest post at Quasi Agitato get the limelight that day). Alas, between trips to the ER and work and both symphony & band practices, I just ran out of time.
There was, however, one prompt that I truly wanted to write — so you’re getting it now, a week late. Which bloggers were instrumental in shaping this blog, the way you see it now.
Unlike most bloggers around, I’ve had a few false-starts along the way. So, while I’m approaching a year at daddyrunsalot.com, I’ve been writing for far longer — but, I have to start with Stacey, of In The Kitchen with Stacey. See, she & I went to college together . . . and, like you do with many people who
you had a crush on you went to school with, you find yourselves in the same circles in the social media scene. Only, well, Stacey had a twitter presence far before I did . . . and, come Fridays, I’d greatly increase my twitter “following” list just by following anyone she said to follow during #FollowFriday.
Soon enough, there was another blogger who I was chatting with, pretty regularly — she was funny and smart and loved wine and had two kids (at the time, I had one kid, with the second on the way). Mainly, though, when she wrote, I wanted to write more. She made blogging seem effortless (even though I know that she put a ton of effort) and fun. When you read a post, you had a thought that blogging would just make you feel better. And, for the most part, that’s true — when I’m writing, I’m better.
But, one day, she went on vacation, and she had a parade of guest bloggers2, and one of these was the estimable Momma Kiss. Momma Kiss is a gift to the blogging world. She’s funny, heartfelt, and always looking to ensure that she’s the best person she can be, whether this means working crazy hours, or walking for days on end to raise money for breast cancer research, or taking her kids somewhere that she knows will drive her crazy (but she knows they want to go).
Around the same time I found Momma Kiss, I stumbled upon both Kris of Pretty All True and Pop of Go Pop, Go!. I would do dirty, dirty things for Kris’s readership, and I’ll admit that, when I first started reading her blog, I was intimidated. She had sponsors, she was posting regularly, and, unfathomly, she was scoring 100+ comments per post. I’d have been elated with a dozen comments per week over at my place.
The thing is, when I commented on Kris’s blog, I’d get a response. And if I commented on that response, I’d get another . . . despite the fact that she had more people reading & commenting than I could comprehend, it was obvious that she was appreciative of my visit and the time I spent reading her words. And, that makes you really, really feel special, as a reader.
Then there’s Pop, who was also in a place where I wanted to be. See, he was working, and cooking, and parenting . . . and, for the most part, he was sane. Honestly, when I launched Daddy Runs a Lot, I was terrified. I was a father, a husband, a web developer, an aspiring musician, author & composer . . . and I feared that I was failing at each & every of those initiatives. Life, simply, wasn’t a lot of fun then, and I was in survival mode. But, whenever Pop would post, I’d see someone with similar issues as I had, but he always, always, always wrote with a sense of humor. Honestly, he reminded me a bit of my grandfather, who would always say “I’m not worried about anyone who can maintain their sense of humor.” Pop wore many hats — but he was always Pop first . . . he never lost his sense of self. When he posted, he reminded me that, perhaps, I needed to look out for myself a bit more.
And I’m looking over my post, and I can’t believe that I’ve gone on, at such length, without mentioning who is, likely, the single most influential blogger to me. While she never sees it, herself, she balances work and parenthood and marriage and “being herself” so masterfully that I find myself, constantly, in awe of her. She has a wicked sense of humor, an unparalleled ability to convey emotion through her writing, a deep appreciation of both boobs and sex that rivals (if it doesn’t supercede) my own, and a complete lack of taboo, which I’m sure some might find offputting, but I find refreshing. Yes, The Mad Woman is a huge part of the voice of this blog. Seriously, there are things she writes that I think “damn, I think she looked in my brain when she wrote that.” When she’s training for a race, her enthusiasm is downright contagious. She loves dark beer. And, she’s really, really good at reading through any code that you put into your own post (possibly because she’s attempted to deploy the same barriers, herself).
And that doesn’t even begin to start the day-long emailed conversations about parenting strategies or bitching about housework or, really, whatever surfaces.
Anyhow, these are the voices that you can
blame thank when you read my words, as they’ve brought me here. The one thing, about each of these bloggers? I feel that I feel that I know them more than “just bloggers.” Sure, there are friendships that have sprouted thanks to this little section of real online estate – but of those who guided me when I took my first online steps as Daddy Runs a Lot:
- Stacey, for drawing me into a whole new world
- An unnnamed, but greatly missed personality, for showing me that a blog can be part journal, part experimentation station, and can evoke wonder
- Momma Kiss, for, basically rocking my socks
- Kris, for showing me that each reader is important, and it’s damn important to make each reader feel just that
- Pop, for reminding me to keep a sense of humor, and to find love in stuff (even if that love is only through food . . . because, well, food is yummy)
- And the Mad Woman, for always providing a bit of whatever-it-is-that-I-needed-when-I-needed-it-whether-she-knew-thats-what-she-was-giving-me-or-not and for teaching me that, while my voice my be unique, there’s those with similar voices – and they sure like it when you’re loud.