Why do you blog anyway, Mama?

I posted something I shouldn’t have yesterday, and my daughter let me know it. With tears welling in her eyes, she vehemently insisted I delete the post immediately.

The post in question highlighted a few moments of our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. By the time I was ready to blog about it, the corners of my mouth twisted upwards while tapping on the keys. Several hours after publishing it, I read the post aloud, hoping my daughter would hear the humour in our pathetic mini-drama and even consider it with distant objectivity. Instead, she was more hurt than jolly, and I sensed she felt violated by my re-telling.

Of course, I knew what I had to do. Nursing my bruised ego, I clicked the edit button and removed the post from my site.

Why do you have to blog anyway, mama?” she asked me, hovering around the computer to make sure I made good on my promise.

“Because I want to.” I replied childishly. (She had after all, erased my afternoon’s efforts of linking one sentence to another into a mostly-coherent chain; ‘no small feat at the best of times.)

She poses a good question. Why do I blog? Why does anyone blog? or write? or tell stories?

I want Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles to catch a glimpse of our life. I want people to see what we make and do. I want to show off. I want to confess. I want to make people laugh and think. I want to make myself think. I want to disarm. I want to cover-up. I want to craft words that translate into feelings. I want to be understood, to connect, to be known.

“Why do you have to give so many personal details?” Stan adds. “Maybe you could change a few facts and make sure all the faces are blurred in the photos…”

Another good question: What makes a story worth telling, and how true does it have to be? My knee-jerk response is to retort that expression requires exposure. The more bloody guts spilled onto the paper (or screen), the better. A bandaged story is a lame story. What’s the point of writing something that reads like small talk at a company party? I don’t like wasting my time with meaningless conversations so why would I do it in my writing? (You get the point.)

Film maker Andrew Stanton (Toy Story) claims that any decent narrative has to:
#1 make someone care, and
#2, make a promise.
If the truth doesn’t hold promise or make people care, I’m not sure what will…

And yet, even though I am quick to defend myself in the name of authenticity, I still hear my family’s questions, despite my own rant. I might not hesitate to “undress” in front of a virtual crowd, but can I volunteer them to do the same?

The answer, obviously, is a quiet, embarrassed “no”.

And so, in this weird world of online diaries, and quick-as-a-finger-flash publishing, I am re-posting Friday’s blog. Without the guts.

As Belén would be quick to point out, you aren’t missing much.

DSCN4790_

Our THIRD time eating "tiré"--globs of chilled maple syrup--this season

Our THIRD time eating “tiré”–globs of chilled maple syrup–this season. I think we’re good ’til next year.

DSCN4759_

DSCN4780_

We think we’re pretty hot stuff (see past snow sculpture posts)… until we go to winter festivals and see this kind of snow artistry.

DSCN4781_

DSCN4800_
The above pictures are from last week’s vacation. We made the 13 hour drive to spend a couple days with my sister and her family. Tara and Derek’s house is well worth the trip; I felt as if we were in a cozy alpine lodge, tucked in their 3/4 second story with a comfy duvet…

part of a homemade garland strung between Tara's kitchen and living room

part of a homemade garland strung between Tara’s kitchen and living room

(By the way, if you are interested in being creative, check out my sister’s blog, practically homemade. She has great ideas and is considerably less verbose than I.)

When we hit Winnipeg on our way back I was reminded we are no longer city mice.

Overheard backseat conversation, while waiting in 6 lanes of traffic at a red light:

Susanna (emotional): “I think this is a traffic jam, Belén. Yup. This is it! A real traffic jam!!”

Belén (softly, with awe): “All I can see is city. Just buildings and city everywhere.”

‘Wishing you courage and patience as you deal with your own crazy life.
Have a lovely weekend,
Tricia

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Why do you blog anyway, Mama?

  1. Tricia, this post is so timely and so intuitive. You have a way of explaining the unexplainable about blogging. What is it? What is the draw? I have been really trying to step back lately and create purpose in my writing as well. You’re right, there are many reasons, but the main one is… it’s for me. Selfish as that sounds. I’ve been playing with the idea of not publishing and simply keeping a written memoir of our family, and yet I am not sure I would have the same motivation, the same dedication. I look forward to having this conversation with you and continuing to question my own practices.

    Thank you.

  2. I, for one, am glad you blog. It gives this grandma a peek into your lives that wouldn’t happen as easily otherwise.

  3. Hi, Tricia,
    Your questions are so pertinent. Both your point about authenticity and Nicole’s about the motivation apply to me. In my case, as well, though, it’s a question of voice. My journal voice is different. My blogging voice is my letter-writing voice, There’s something magical about having an audience that will laugh with you, nod in understanding, furrow the eyebrows once in a while, or puzzle out some thoughts–and reply! In that way, it’s like writing a letter to an entire group of people, and looking forward to their response.
    Thank you!
    Yvette

  4. I Always enjoy your blogs. Right now I read this one out loud to dad and Pearly as we’re relaxing here in Arizona. Keep writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s