Saturday, April 24, 2010

Careening Toward the Big 3-0-0

They don't like me
I just know it
But I'd be happy
Just to get along

— Lyle Lovett, 'They Don't Like Me'
from his 1995 album 'I Love Everybody'

As I draw nigh to my 300th post, I again wax philosophical about blogging. Are my reasons for blogging now different than the reasons I began? What have I learned? And the oft-recurring question of late: should I continue?

I enjoyed a successful 34-year career as a graphic designer/public relations person. Writing has always been part of my job, but I was ready to steer myself more sharply in that direction. Upon the advice of a career counselor, I began this blog as a platform. Subsequently, I shifted to a staff writing position at my company. Now they pay me to write all day long: communications to our sales force, training and advertising materials, speeches, and, as of last week, corporate blogging. My original reason to blog no longer exists.

I had no idea what to expect when I ventured into the blogosphere.
I wrote happily in a vacuum for quite a while before I received any comments. Once I did, despite my mantra of 'art for art's sake', over time, I became hooked on comments. Oh, admit it — you are, too.

Like any other addiction, this one exacts a toll. It began subtly enough. I'd craft my posts, choose photos, continue to tweak (and tweak and tweak) even after I published. If I posted in the morning, as I often do, I'd go about my business and be jonesing for the goodies when I went back online at the end of the day. Don't bogart those comments, my friend, pass them over to me ...

What I've learned about myself is that I am not too old or too confident to regress to long dormant high school emotions of feeling inadequate and rejected. There are times when I allow this silly blog to validate me. A rejection letter received by author Anne Lamott comes to mind: "You have made the mistake of thinking that everything that has happened to you is interesting." I have to remind myself that what happens (or doesn't) on this blog is not a reflection of who I am, the quality of my life, my skills as a writer or a horse person, or my value in any way whatsoever.

I hope the reality is something other than a statement of popularity, possibly borne out in my own habits.
I work 40 hours a week, and commute an hour each way. I still have a home, 5 acres, a husband, 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 horses to keep, and all the chores that go with that like laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and as little cleaning as I can get away with. During the week, I only get to spend a few minutes a day with my horses to feed them. I live for weekends. I don't even try to keep up with my blogroll every day. I may glance at a few each morning and evening, but normally, I try to read and comment on every blog on my list (at least once) on the weekend. I don't hang out on the computer for too long. I only post 2-3 times a week. If I hope to have something even semi-interesting (to me, anyway) to blog about, I have to get out there and actually DO stuff, not veg online all say.

I'm no mugs. My adventures can't begin to compare with Mikey (heck, nobody's can), Lisa, or Esther. Most of you have forgotten more than I'll ever know about horses. Still, like everyone else, my life is what it is. Some days it's more engaging than others. Mr. Fry and I often joke that 'boring is good," because that means no drama, no crises, no vet or medical emergencies, no money we have to pull out of our butts. But it also means vanilla blog fodder.

I love the connection with other horse people that I get from this blog. Aside from Heather's family and my friend Kristen, I don't have that in real life. I learn from those more experienced than myself and on a rare occasion, I'm able to contribute useful advice from my own limited experience. I also like that this blog is a chronicle of my non-adventures that I use to remind myself of how far I've come. Besides that, I crack myself up sometimes. I'm such a goober.

Will I continue? I will make that decision Bird by Bird.


Anonymous said...

Good thoughts - I like the Bird by Bird reference!

jane augenstein said...

Oh, don't stop your blog!!! I like reading about you and your horses!! I like reading about people and what they and their horses are up to; my life is pretty boring too but sometimes it's funny as is yours. Our critters do funny things that we like to share with others that are like minded! :-)
Also I like seeing how others ride, what saddles they use, what kind of barns and all things.
Please, please stay on here....I would miss you if you go! :-(
Jane and Gilly

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Congratulations on your 300th post.
I love reading your is real life and wonderful. I may not always comment but I always visit.

the7msn said...

Don't you be stoppin' - the blogosphere needs well-written blogs to maintain its dignity. Your writing is always a stand out, and I enjoy reading it.

Leah Fry said...

OMG, I feel like Sally Field at the Oscars.

I'm not at 300 just yet. I'll do another giveaway and take a blog-cation, though I have nothing stashed as a gift yet. I'm still looking.

Thanks for your support.

Dreaming said...

I'm new to the blogosphere and, like others, look forward to reading what you write. I can totally identify with the comment about the addictive nature of this and the constant tweaking! I'm there!

Jeni said...

Between blogging, facebooking, tweeting, and work communications.. ugh I know this feeling.

But - I like you Leah LOL. You're funny, You're a real person, You are REAL about life ... and your ponies are cute.

Congrats on the 300 !

RoSe said...

Hey you, you inspired me to start my blog, and like your other fans I always look forward to reading your posts, even if I don't comment. This was so well written Leah, impressed as always by your ability to wordsmith my friend.
Take a 'cation', but don't stop...

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Well, I'm glad to hear that blogging worked as it was intended to for you. But ya know...we have all gotten attached to ya now and wouldn't like for you to leave us.;)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

This was a very enjoyable read. You had me chuckling. You definitely have a talent for writing, so keep it up. I had to check my bookshelf to see if I have "Bird by Bird", but all I found was "Writing Down the Bones", "Wild Mind", and I'm in the middle of trying to read "Ordinary Genius" by Kim Addonizio.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What is Bird by Bird? (I hope I don't sound stupid for asking that. lol!)
Hey! You included me in your post. I'm honored.

So, eh, what are you going to wear tomorrow. I think I'll wear something similar..hehehe!
Ahhh...high school. I hated it and I hated all the cliques and pettiness.

But you're right, it's easy to get caught up in that "Am I popular and interesting enough?"
I know I'll never be a Pioneer Woman, and I am a-ok about that. I can barely keep up with my blog as it is and I have a very difficult time visiting everyone who leaves me a comment each time. I suffer from guilt if I leave anyone out, too.

But I've received so much in the way of support, understanding, comraderie, and even friendship through this crazy community called Blogging, I just can't imagine not doing it anymore.

And your blog has always been one of my favorites because you keep it real, have a sense of humor and honesty. And your horses have something so endearing about them that they already feel like family.

But of course that is also due to your talented writing, too.
If you think your blog is vanilla flavored, that is just fine with me.

My favorite flavor is vanilla.

And it has to be real vanilla, of course.



City girl turned Country Girl said...

OHHH I love your post! And oh so true!! But the truest part of all of this is that we have come to know you through your blog and it has been a true joy to read your stories!!! Now I'm hoping your not going anywhere cause we'd ALL miss you!!

Leah Fry said...

You guys are awesome. Thanks.

Bird by Bird is a great read I received as a gift from my friend Rose over at Short As A Minute. It's about writing and life. I've read it several times, and would be reading it again if I could find where I stashed it. Click on the Bird by Bird link; it takes you to Amazon and an explanation of the quote.

Vanilla is my favorite flavor, too.

I have to keep it honest. I don't know enough to fake it. Besides, truth is funnier than fiction, and I love to laugh and make other people laugh.

Leah said...

Thanks for this posting and for your kind words at mine.... I find that yes I put blogging on a schedule and I have certain days for certain things.... they don't always get done (and yes it is OK) but I find when I don't blog or don't think about the next pictures I miss it -- This has opened up a new adventure for me and my pictures (an outlet to express myself)... Maybe it is therapy - just something I can do and really it only matters to me (and a few followers) Have a great day and I hope you get a few minutes to spend some time with your four legged friends! :)

By the way I enjoy your blog....don't leave...

aurora said...

Great post Leah. I echo much with a similar career & struggles, as well as the comments left before mine. Do know I too love reading your blog. Why? I can relate. Your real, it's well written, funny, creative. It's about you and your adorable horses. What's not to love?

However, it sounds like your in need of more time with that which feeds your soul. Take it. Live it. Tell us about it. We'll be here eager to listen and share in all the wonders.

AareneX said...

Hey, 300 posts, that's awesome. Congrats!

I agree: Reading your posts, and seeing the photos, it's part of my morning, right up there with gathering eggs and that first cup of hot tea. Ahhhhh. (okay, I'm reading stuff at night right now, but usually I read in the morning!)

And yes: I'm addicted to comments. You totally nailed that one.

Now, I gotta check the library holdings for a copy of Bird by Bird.

cdncowgirl said...

There seems to be a lot of talk (at least on the blogs I read) regarding the whole "should I or shouldn't I continue blogging" theme. It can suck a lot of time & energy from a person. Although I know in my experience I get a lot back from it too.

Hope you stick around, even if you just post weekly. I'd miss ya if you left! (although there is still Facebook lol)

Esther Garvi said...

Leah, because you started blogging, I have gotten to know you, and I am very happy I have because you are a wonderful person! Bird by bird is a great way to take on the future; and in any way, never blog because you HAVE to, but because you want to. Although we all love feedback, I think many of us who have a love for putting our thoughts on paper enjoy sharing them. If I wasn't writing for others, I might not actually be writing at all - and so for me, my blog becomes a public diary of the things I'm up to.

That said - I hope you come and visit me one day!!!

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