Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to the blog! It’s been up for one year today.

I’ve written over 400 posts- in the early days I was so excited I’d post more than once a day. Now I’ve slowed down to five days a week, with two brief pieces on weekends.

At first, I had about 25 people a day visit my site- that was mainly family and friends- but have grown now to have over two hundred people a day visit. Over 25,000 people have visited over the year. It’s hard to tell exactly- I’ve tried a couple different site meters and they show different results so… I’m making an educated guess.

I did have someone from NPR on my site the other day- probably just an intern cruising the ‘net. Made my heart start racing, though, and immediately I went into a swirl of self-doubt. I read what I had posted recently and thought… crap… crap… more crap… my big chance to make an impression and it’s all crap.

After the initial panic, I remembered something so important about this year of blogging. I love it. I love to write. I didn’t start this to be widely read- I started it to make myself write everyday. To slow down and reflect on my life, my kids, my world.

Besides, no one from NPR is knocking on my door.

The greatest challenge for me, going into my second year? Is to stay true to my voice. I write in a raw, painful manner sometimes. I’m trying to find the balance to bring the reader in without oozing blood on them. As a friend said to me, you don’t want to sit next to someone on the plane who starts talking about his scrotal itch. You can’t slap people in the face- draw them in slowly.

I’m trying. I have another friend who refuses to read my blog. Too much, she said. I can’t take it.

Then you miss the funny pieces about mango loafers, I said.

I don’t think she took the bait.

Over the year, I have made people mad- no, furious with me for what I’ve written. I thought at one point I was going to be sued. There are a few earlier pages that I have actually removed some parts- with notation- because I was advised to do so. I used to causally mention friend’s names and I no longer do with a single exception- Margaret, the Martha Stewart of Parenting. But I have her permission to do so. Walter, Allan, Jeanine and I agreed early on that the benefit of creating an understanding about gay and lesbian run families was worth the drawback of having the kids identified.

Most important? I have never posted anything about Jeanine without her permission. People find that hard to believe but it’s true. The two weeks she and I were figuring out a separation this summer, I did not write about her. I could not bear to ask her to read and approve of what I was writing. She supports me as a writer even when she hates what I write.

And she’s hated it at times.

I have had one person actually stop talking to me altogether because of the blog. Not a family member, not anyone I knew that well, but I have heard through the grapevine she disapproves of what I write about. My guess? She still reads it anyway.

I’ve never meant to shock, horrify or hurt anyone with my words. There have been times when I’ve been blown away by responses to my words. I do not understand their power. When a friend wrote me and said the piece “One for You, One for Me,” made her feel sad and pathetic, I felt terrible. I paced in my office all day trying to find words to try and make her feel better. She is someone I see as one of the strongest people I know. How could I do that to her?

She was not the only one who got in touch with me privately. I turned to Walter and said, I’m not sure how to hold this… what have I done?

You’ve put their experience into words, Sara. That’s not a bad thing. But it is powerful.

I’m trying to take that in but it’s still bouncing off my skin. Last year? I thought of myself as someone who liked to write. Never a writer. Now? I will actually say to people I’m a blogger- not quite a writer. I’m getting there, little pieces at a time.

For this next year? I hope to continue to write in a way that hold people’s attention, pulls them in minus the scrotal itch. I hope to make you laugh out loud, too. I will respond to anyone’s comments or questions, whenever possible. I am trying to add an email link to the page but for now, you can reach me by direct email at sgwhitman@aol.com.

Maybe? I can learn to choke out the words, I am a writer.

Happy birthday to the Suburban Lesbian Housewife.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jamie said...

Happy Birthday indeed! As a new reader, I can say this with complete honesty...don't stop writing...ever!! Your honesty, humor and pain keep me coming back for more. It's also nice to know there are others out there they just *have* to write whether it's appreciated or not! Be well my new found blog inspiration!

10:48 AM  
Blogger LoisLane said...

Happy Birthday! I've been reading your blog since day one, and I love it. Sometimes a little raw, sometimes light and funny, sometimes hitting a nerve and sometimes using just the right words to capture the moments that seem mundane or usual, but are truly the special moments in life...always with a directness and a level of bare honesty that the rest of us should strive to acheive. Well done, and congratulations.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

Happy b-day to your blog my Seester! I'm so glad that everyone now has the chance to enjoy the talent you have with you amazing way with words that I have loved and been in awe of for many many years!!
BLOG ON!
I'm SO proud of you!!

3:13 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home