Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why blog? (Pity party for one?)

I just finished reading the Julie and Julia book (by Julie Powell - credit where credit is due) and the beginning of this chapter made me think a bit.  So here it is word-for-word, and my thoughts are after:

   "On January 1, 1660, a young government worker in London started a diary.  He wrote about going to church where the preacher was saying something or other about circumcision, and about lunch afterward; he mentioned that his wife burned her hand while heating up turkey leftovers.
   "For the next nine years, this guy wrote every single day.  He witnessed the Great Fire of London and some disappointingly overdone roasts.  He went to hundreds of plays, vowed to quit drinking then changed his mind.  He ate a lot - no matter the precarious state of the union, a barrel of oysters was always appreciated - and worked a lot, and fondled whatever girls would deign to allow it.  And he wrote about all of it - honestly, self-indulgently.  He was often entertaining, often mind-bogglingly boring, every now and then ablaze with life - the Sid Vicious of seventeenth-century diarists.  And then on May 31, 1669, he just stopped.
   "Some bloggers might say that Samuel Pepys was a sort of proto-blogger, but we're not a terribly measured lot, so I don't know that I'd listen to us if I were you.  Sure, Pepys obsessively chronicled his interior-decorating ups and downs and the time he masturbated in the water taxi.  Sure, he wrote in his pajamas.  But although he carefully saved his diary, volumes and volumes of it for the rest of his life, he never showed it to a single soul.  Today, when we blog about our weight-loss problems and our knitting and our opinion of the president's IQ level, we do it on the blithe assumption that someone gives a shit - even though there's a guy stuck in Bagdad who blogs, and a Washington DC staff assistant who gets paid by Republican appointees for sex who blogs, and our own jottings must all be dreadfully dull by comparison.  Nowadays anyone with a crap laptop and Internet access can sound their barbaric yawp, whatever it may be.  But the surprise is that for every person who's got something to say, it seems there are at least a few people who are interest.  Some of them aren't even related.
   "What I think is that Sam Pepys wrote down all the details of his life for nine years because the very act of writing them down made them important, or at least singular.  Overseeing the painters doing his upstairs rooms, was rather dull, but writing about it made overseeing the painters doing his upstairs rooms at least seem interesting.  Threatening to kill his wife's dog for pissing on the new rug might have made him feel a bit sheepish and mean, but write it down and you have a hilarious domestic anecdote for centuries.  Imagine if he'd had, say, a safely anonymous pamphlet cranked out on a press and passed around on the streets of London.  Wouldn't he have enjoyed occasionally overhearing some fellow in a tavern recounting to general hilarity Pepys's own yarn about the king's spaniel shitting on the royal barge?
   "There's a dangerous, confessional thrill to opening up your eminently fascinating life and brain to the world at large, and the Internet makes it all so much faster and more breathless and exciting.  But I wonder - would we still have Sam's jack-off stories, the records of his marital spats, if he'd been a blogger rather than a diarist?  It's one thing to chronicle your sexual and social missteps to satisfy your private masochistic urges, but sharing them with the world at large?  Surely there are some limits, aren't there?"

So why did Sam write all these things and never intend to show anyone?  For his own prosperity?  I've kept a diary for many years - probably since I was about 10, for what?  Validation? I had it locked up tight many years and no one dared go near it.  But I wrote about the trials and successes of my life.  I even started writing again last year in a journal - no locks this time - but then transferred to blogging.  Does it matter if no one reads it to validate it?  Not really.  I know that was a large intro, but I thought the paragraphs were entertaining considering how long ago they happened.

There is a thing on my blog that tells me how many people visit my blog and the average time they stay.  It's fun to see how many visitors I have had, I guess for validation.  Well, this past week's report came and it was a big fat zero.  No readers, no visits.  So while I find that odd (and I knew a couple people who get this post via email, so maybe I wasn't entirely un-read), it actually dismayed me a bit.  Despite what you may feel (at this point it may be to no one), but I hold back some things.  I have some posts that will never be posted, and have kept some things under wraps.  My life may seem like an open book, but I don't tell all the secrets.  Anyway, I was a little upset that all my writing was being read by not a soul - especially when I know of other friends who have many readers daily.  Add that to the fact that the last report (a week ago) was also zero - and in the past it hasn't been.

But that brought up some other thoughts.  Does it matter if no one reads this?  Technically, no.  I'll continue to write (trust me, I questioned that for a while), even if not a soul reads this.  And for a few months in the beginning, I wouldn't let anyone read it.  But it is nice to be validated that my thoughts matter - especially when it comes to our infertility struggles, and that I am not alone in some of them. 

The other thought was why my readership is lower than so many others and I know the answer to that.  This is a hard subject - very different from Julie and Julia's cooking topic.  So many things are rather personal.  I know close friends read this (although apparently not the last two weeks).  Then, I have also discussed some of these issues with them. So it made me think about how many people know about our infertility struggle:
our doctors, our parents, my hairdresser, my co-workers, my trainer, my close friends, a few of J's friends, my dentist, and the occasional random person be it on Facebook or the street.  I don't know if I am ashamed to tell everyone or if it protects me from all the "I'm sorry's" and "stupid advice" that we are way over.  Or if by telling more people I know, then I have to reign in some of my posts.  I don't have it listed on my Facebook page, I guess because there is a little disconnect there.  My name has been taken off my blog, so besides that point that my picture is there, if you don't know what I look like...then there's no connection.  J asked if his buddies at work could find it (which is why my name is no longer associated with it), but who knows if they care to look and I guarantee they wouldn't get very far with the topic at hand.  Anyway, as I held this post in my drafts, I toiled over the idea of "advertising" it on Facebook in order to up my readership, or to just deal with not being read.  Does it helps us to tell more people of our struggles, or not?  I don't have an answer.  Maybe it's an example.

Just the other day, a friend had posted something about how breastfeeding helped to ward off breast cancer on Facebook and I copied her post for my status, which instigated a lot of chatter (surprising me no less that breastfeeding was such a HOT topic).  Mostly from mothers (who are friends - although maybe not close ones) with thank yous for the knowledge.  I had posted something on there saying, "now all I need is a baby and some milk" and "getting pregnant plagues us."  Now to this was replied - by someone I haven't actually spoken to IN YEARS - "If you haven't tried them already, try the Clear Blue Easy fertility kit. It helped us get pregnant on the first try."  (That is verbatum).  I tried to reign in my it a form of anger... when I replied to her saying, "We are way beyond that. I've had 3 Dr. assisted IUIs this year with fertility drugs. It's not that we don't know when, it's that we don't know why not. I even have a blog about our trials."  I wasn't mad that they got pregnant right away, but their ignorance.  Especially since the length we have been trying was discussed and being that it isn't short, that is a stupid thing to say.  That is like asking someone who has had a cough for 3 months if they have taken cough syrup or seen a doctor...well duh - that is if they are smart!  But I digress....Would the situation have been less anger-inducing for me, if my blog was attached to my Facebook page?  Possibly not.  If the person missed the quote in front of hers (which listed our time period of TTC), who is to say she would see the blog address on the left of the page and actually go there?  Nothing.  I just hope that this taught her to not spout knowledge when you don't know the whole situation, because it doesn't make you look makes you look like a moron. ( Sorry, if you are reading this - but I doubt you are, and it is true.)

So I don't know if it matters to list it on Facebook, or if it matters if people actually read it!  I like hearing that someone else had the same reaction to Clomid as me, or that their hubby doesn't like to discuss these things.  But will the world collapse if no one reads or  So I don't know...I guess if you are out there Bleaders (that would be blog readers with a few less letters), please let me know.  And if you aren't, well then, I guess all who matters in this situation is me.  Yes, it is a bit of a pity party...but should it be?  Who really cares?  I guess I do.  (If that wasn't obvious by this post.)


  1. I'm out there and I read! Often through my Google Reader - so not sure if that's why I'm not getting logged but I always read!

    Facebook is my current nemesis. Can't stand it some days. Often find I get useless advice from well-meaning(?!) "friends" who also don't bother finding out the whole story.

    Rambling aside, I'm here! I will try and comment more often so you know that I am! :)

  2. A Bleader! I am validated! Thank you Fertility Chick!

  3. Hey girl. I am still here, just barely had time for extra computer stuff over the holidays. I love your blog and your postings. I don't always comment, and I don't read consistently, but when I do, I catch up. Keep writing, keep sharing, we will keep reading. Best of wishes this new year!!!!May all your wishes and dreams come true.

  4. Hey chica - I'm here too, and have been keeping up with all of your posts, so not sure why it didn't count me...but I also was pretty out of pocket over the holidays, so maybe that's part of it!

    Keep it up, you inspire me to at least attempt to keep up my own random thoughts blog! Talk soon :)

  5. I just found you a couple of days ago :) I too get irritated with the well meaning but ignorant suggestions of friends. We've had 2 unsuccessful IUIs and made it through several rounds of Clomid without killing each other. Infertility sucks but I am determined that 2010 is gonna be full of good things :)

  6. There is no way you had zero because I've been haunting your blog! I think your number counter is broken.


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