Why Blogging Is Like Dating & I’m The Crazy Girlfriend You Never Wanted

      Blogging. It’s quite the courtship isn’t it? We write and read in that getting-to-know-you kind of way. We hold back just a little, maybe not publishing our social security numbers or thoughts on yeast infection. At first we ask readers to settle for holding hands, a peck on the cheek, because we want to take it slow. And didn’t our Southern mammas torture us with that old economic hooker riddle about buying cows when the milk is free? We don’t put it all out there, but over time and posts we grow closer, wooing each other with love notes in the comment section. Eventually we’d invite each other over, opening up our personal spaces to guest posts, introducing ourselves to a blog love’s family of  followers and praying, just praying that this time we didn’t forget to spell check, the written form of broccoli stuck in front teeth. Then that lady who writes a blog about designer cat shoes passes along a Sunshine Blogger Award, and we are smitten. One Monday morning, WordPress gets on one knee, says our posts are worthy of sharing the Freshly Pressed name. Suddenly a sweet meme is akin to matrimonial bling and we are crying and “Yes! OMG! Yes!”-ing at the proposal of eternal readership. Finally, after this whirlwind affair, we take the plunge and commit wholeheartedly. Subscribing is for lovers!

      It’s downright storybook. So it was a shock when, during a three-month hiatus from my beloved blog, I discovered I’d lost that loving feeling. As I took time to reflect on what exactly turned this once post-perfect union sour, I came to a startling conclusion. So, listen up, as this is the first and only time in the history of time a woman will say this and ever (even a bit) mean it: It’s not you. It’s me.

   See, once upon a time I was happily single. I had a baby, a rotten dog, and a super-duper fiancée, but in my writing I was all alone. I began a blog so that I could stop stocking up on those glossy Lisa Frank puppy notebooks I’d been using to chronicle my life. Immediately Lisa Frank went out of business ( This is probably false.), but I didn’t have to worry about hiding the hot pink tween folders when real, grown-up guests visited the house. In this way, blogging caused Lisa Frank financial ruin but worked wonders on my writing. I loved expressing myself to….myself. I had no readers and no idea that people could, if they so wished, read and leave responses to my posts. I was blissfully oblivious to the on-line dating blogging world around me, relishing in the simple act of writing what I wanted to when I wanted to because I wanted to. I was the bachelorette, dancing triumphantly to Swedish pop beats before settling in for a pre-bed chick flick with a gallon of ice cream and my cats. I was thinking “This! This is the life!”.

     But two brushes with Freshly Pressed fame knocked something loose in me. Suddenly a stranger from Ohio thought I was “brilliant”. I made a few housewives on the West Coast laugh so hard they “piddled”. Where as I had just, one second before, felt fulfilled by penning jokes to make myself laugh, now I felt starving. Little by little, comment by subscription, accolade by tiny spike in views, my purpose shifted. I was, by the end of it, caught in a bad blogmance. To prevent you unbridled authors still in your posting prime from finding yourself wallowing in bloggy heartbreak , I’m baring all my crazy bits. Here is my descent into You-Should-Probabl-Get-An-Order-Of-Protection-ness in three small but massively psycho steps.

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Of course I love cars and sweating. I love golf, piles of dirty socks on the floor, and playing Dungeons & Dragons with your friends, too!

Dr. Jekyll & Your Girlfriend Lied

   A great relationship starts with finding someone who appreciates the real you. Naturally, you tell a guy you love watching cage fighting and cuddling on the couch in his mother’s basement. You are suddenly choking down seaweed because your date is some vegetarian yogi who believes in cow spirits. Any man who finds himself spending his Football Sunday sitting in a cafe insisting to a lady that he too enjoys frappamochacinnos and spoken word performances? Lying. When you wake up next to her and she looks has the face of a cover girl and the breath of an angel? She set her alarm on vibrate, slept with it tucked under her pillow, crept all ninja like to the bathroom before the sun came up, and primped. “Yes, it is crazy how hot I am all the time. No, that was not me snoring like a bear. Maybe you heard yourself snoring. DON’T YOU LOVE HOW MY MOUTH ALWAYS SMELLS LIKE MINTS?!?” Her face is covered in Cover Girl, stupid. And, P.S., nobody’s “natural scent” is a Chanel No. 5.

      While I never typed under a false name, or false anything, really, I could feel and see in my writing the difference. I was overwhelmed with the idea that people liked me or could like me, so I began to actively try to please them. One reader is highly conservative, I avoid the post I was going to write about how I’d like to bring the nose ring back from my college days. My grandmother doesn’t like cussing, so I leave Bombs F, MF, and BS out of my “new” blogging vocabulary. For weeks, this leaves me writing only ten-word posts. People seemed most endeared by my funnier posts, so I refrained from sharing any and all sappy, sad, or otherwise serious aspects of my life.  I was going to write a post on how I need to figure out a way to be Asian because my giant caveman feet are bothersome, but I’d hate for any readers to think I was racially inappropriate. In truth I am inappropriately inappropriate. I curse like a sailor, and I think that nose ring was god damn precious, and I get really bad period cramps that occasionally cause me to weep and watch Little House On The Prairie episodes and run out of funny things to say.Yet I avoided writing in this natural tone. I gave readers the real story of my real life, just leaving out the words or phrases or bad days that would offend or turn off potential suitors. I just wanted readers to like me. You know, that clean-mouthed, turtleneck-ed, perpetually perky version of me.

Possessive Aggressive … ‘Cause There Ain’t Nothin’ Passive About It

    When the classic crazy girlfriend is suspicious (always all the time) she sinks to particularly disturbing lows. You don’t return her call within the minute? She is texting you while calling you while e-mailing your mom while turning her headlights off while trolling around your apartment complex. You try to dump her? Good luck. Because if there’s one thing a good old-fashioned lunatic knows it’s this: when a boy tries to get some distance from you, you just RUN FASTER.  She is artful in her craft of stalkery, stealing photos from your Facebook page and cutting and pasting her own wild-eyed face into them before you’ve even had a chance to drop her off from the first date. Her goals aren’t clear, even to her, and she fluctuates from wanting to know for sure you are a cheating jerk to wanting to get a boob job so you’ll like her more.

     The more I wrote to please all races, religions, genders, political parties, humans, and pets, the more unsatisfied I became. Do you like girls with bigger puns? Does this post make my punchline look whack. Stop trying to change me! Wait. I’ll change! The easy days of writing whatever popped to mind seemed behind me, Joan Rivers-trying-to-remember-the-first-time-she-turned-30 behind me. I stopped writing well and stopped writing often and devoted my time to ensuring my readers would not dump me. When my stats fell and comments declined,  it did not occur to me to that I’d given people nothing to read, no reason to visit. Much the same as the girl who steals a boyfriend’s phone, I creeped all over followers’ blogs. When I found out they had written all week, commenting on several other bloggers’ sites, I felt insanely betrayed: “I know you been reading Darla behind my back, Carl! Who is this “Mom” chick? Who is she?!?!”. I couldn’t believe the audacity of some of you, fleeing from my cold, empty blog to the warm witty words of another. I maybe called you  “Word Sluts” under my hostile breath. And “Blog Wreckers”. And maybe I wrote your web addresses on bathroom stalls of dirty trucker stops beside the caption “FOR A GOOD TIME —>” . It was a dark time for me obviously. So I sat alone but no longer so happy to write just for myself as myself, frantically checking the stats and comments for you to call and remind me (maybe with a <3 or :) or LOL) that our relationship really meant something.

The Blogging Barfly

      She’s the one in the leopard print mini with red lipstick smeared across her face. The long wood bar of the local pub is usually holding her up by the armpits every Monday-through-Monday night. She doesn’t talk much but slurs a little. You’re not sure if her words or outfit are speaking for her, but you think you hear her say “I could be all fixin’ my issuessses, but, like, I’ll just sit here all clown mouthy waitin’ fer you to juss take me home, studddd.”. How sad, everyone thinks, she’ll never find love that way.

         I don’t really drink, but this didn’t prevent me from becoming the Lindsay Lohan of the WordPress World, one big hot mess still praying she’s more hot than mess.  Speaking of fools, Ke$ha once sang/talked/electro-barked “your love is my drug”, and, more foolish still, I found myself sad, depressed with my writing, and suffering some major blog love withdrawals. I wanted to write “single” again. I also wanted whole gobs of bloggers to cling to my leg and tell me how awesome the slightly altered and swear free model of me was. It was a little conflicting. The result? I got chocolate wasted, vowed to not blog for a while, almost drunk dialed typed you, and slept off this wordy hangover.

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    Dr. Phil suggests that we must be completely comfortable and confident, love ourselves even, before another person can truly love us back. Despite his erroneous mustache, about this one thing I think he might be right. In the end, I can’t quit you. I love writing. I love blogging. I love you, you silly little Word Sluts. The breakdown I withstood, the breakup with the blog over the past few months have reminded me (with the help of a few dusty Lisa Frank notebooks and journal entries) that I can write just as I am, and for someone I will be charming, funny, beautiful, good enough. That someone just might be me.

Do you ever lose yourself by writing to please others?

Most importantly, do you date me?

86 thoughts on “Why Blogging Is Like Dating & I’m The Crazy Girlfriend You Never Wanted

  1. Dear Tori,

    Hi. I enjoyed your as is post. In answer to your last two questions; I never lose myself writing to please others. I have a hard enough time remembering how to be me without having to write like someone else in order to please people I am imagining might be displeased with the real me. Just writing about it is confusing. And do I date you? I have the feeling I’m either supposed to know what that means in the context of your post or you hit the ‘d’ key when you meant to hit the ‘h’ key(which is not likely since it is nowhere near the ‘h’ key). I think I’m confused.

    What I can tell you is that your writing is engaging and often funny in an entertaining way. That you have been Freshly Pressed is awe inspiring and emulation worthy. What I most like about your posts is the together way you layer themes within themes and connect all the pieces by the time your reader reaches the end, which they do, and all without being bored. That’s a good couple of signs.

    I write when I think I have something to say that ought to be heard by my twelve followers (who got momentarily lost and are not unfollowing me because they are kindhearted individuals) or I think my son might want to learn a little more about me when he’s sixty and I’ve been dead for a while. (Do you think WordPress will keep these interminable blog posts around for twenty-five more years?)(The cloud’s going to be dark and stormy by then, pregnant with words.)

    More importantly, I read those blogs whose authors have captured my attention and then keep it for as long as it takes to get to the conclusion of whatever they’re saying. You do that. And you do it well.

    I hope you keep it up. (Hmmm. Is there a pun in there somewhere?)

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • Thanks, Doug!
      Your reasons for writing sound exactly right. There is no way you’d fall into Crazy Girlfriend mode so long as you keep on that path, writing what you’d like to! I fell of course for a minute. In the beginning I wrote for the same reasons you did. I felt I wanted to say something, or maybe document this event or that occasion for my son to read about years from now. And I was happier then. I think I became too sidetracked with winning people over, the numbers of views, the likes on a Facebook page, and lost sight of what brought me to blogging in the first place: writing unfiltered. While I really enjoy this community of friends and fellow writers I’ve found through getting to know my readers, I realized recently that if my one and only goal is to be popular (to the point where I place writing aside to “network” or “blog swap”) then I’m kind of a fraud in that community. It’s like finally getting the chance to eat lunch with the cool jocks at school and realizing you had to disown your Math League friends to get there/ getting a huge number of followers and realizing maybe you got them by not writing the way you want to.
      I think I’m back on track now. Then again crazy takes a while to cure, so maybe I’ll fall back into blog creeping before the day is over!

  2. This is the first post I’ve read of yours and I love it!!! (I’ll have to go back some time and check out your alter ego!!) Anyway, I know exactly what you’re saying and thanks for saying it…totally makes sense!! I purposely left out the word “diarrhea” in my post scheduled to publish this morning! Now I’m totally rethinking it. I just didn’t want to offend anyone you know…I got some good wholesome people following me! Thanks for giving me a good ol’ knock in the head!

    • Well, first and foremost, WELCOME TO THE CRAZY HOUSE! Glad you stopped by! You might be disappointed to find that my alter ego isn’t too different. I’m mostly the same, dark humored weirdo in old posts that I am today. I just felt myself wanting to tweak my words more and more to make her seem less offensive. Like your “diarrhea” thing (Wait. That sounded awful.). You told a story in your post. That story is still you, you wrote it in your own voice, but left out just that little, messy bit to avoid freaking out milder readers. The problem is that I took it ten steps beyond the “diarrhea”. I began not sharing big, BIG events or opinions on my blog because, oddly, the more people who started reading, the more I worried about scaring them away. It was a twisted logic because, as you probably know from your blog, people begin reading because they like you and what you have to say! Thanks so much for coming by and really getting the post. Glad to know I’m not the only one who’s felt this way!

  3. I did this, after I started getting lots of views and my followers by email hit a 100. I started to censure what I wrote and who I wrote it for. I was so concerned with what people thought of me. Now, I write what I want to write and forget to worry about what people think. Some people won’t like it. Today, I have Unfollowed someone because I feel that they are not being true to themselves in their writing anymore. That their blog is now a platform in the horrible sense of the word. Y’know what, I’ve never been freshly pressed and it has only been two and three quarter months since I started this little sojourn… However, what you said above rings true and feels authentic. Great Post – You go Girl!

    • If I may wax eloquent for a moment… You be smart, girl! Seems like you have figured out the writing truth that took my stubborn brain a solid two-years to learn. “Some people won’t like it” became something I actually feared. Feared! I would stress and pick apart my posts to prevent some people from not liking me, and that, unfortunately, led me to a really bummy place where I didn’t want to write at all. Finally I’m starting to understand that writing what I want is far more significant than writing what this person or that person wanted me to write. Keep that head on your shoulders, lady. Sounds like you are sure of yourself and that is a major gift to hold onto in this big, old blogging world!

  4. As I was reading this, Charlie Brown popped into my head. “That’s it!!” He yells as he recognizes that he is afraid of everything. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8SDztycKwY

    I don’t know that I have lost myself by writing to please others, because I don’t know that I had as many others to please. But, I have lost my voice in trying to hard to achieve the lofty goal of being Freshly Pressed or garnering lots of followers. I’ve lost my voice in my own confusion about who or what I am in this world, which for me has a lot to do with others perceptions of me (even though I’m trying to break that habit). I don’t like that I’ve lost my voice. I hope I find it again.

    Meanwhile, Tori. Write from your heart. Write who YOU are. Write what you want to say. Your readers will follow. And if they don’t, it’s not you, it’s them.

    • The Charlie Brown reference is perfect! I think I had that same, scared epiphany. I got to a point where (in the process of trying to write to please every personality type, geographical region, political party, and human being) the real me had NOTHING to say. I was technically going through the motions of writing but ran completely out of real words that actually meant something to me.
      And your voice? I hear it. It might not be as lost as you think it is :)

  5. Well, I have missed you, because I lurrrrrrve you.

    I almost never write about writing, but I’ll break that rule here. I write every single post for me. It comes from a place of need, a deep chasm within me, that I can’t explain and don’t fully understand. I’ve gained and lost readers, because I write to please myself, and my ideas about what makes me happy change as my hormones spike and crash, I mean, as I evolve and mature.

    So.

    Write what speaks to you, what has to flow out of you or else. Chances are, that voice will always speak to others, too.

    • Chasm. Look at you and your poetic words. I lurrrrve you, too. Because you DO write exactly what you want to and (as seen in comment proof) you are the blogging equivalent to a totally supportive girlfriend.

  6. Blogging is like dating. In a very, very open relationship.
    I see pure passion in you, and I didn’t realize you were feeling this way. I’ve definitely written for others. But I don’t do it so much in my blogging as in my fiction writing. I’ll start reading literary fiction and suddenly I want to write literary fiction. I’ll read a thriller and suddenly want to write thrillers. I’ll read Harry Potter and suddenly want to be Rowling. Well, I kinda always want to be Rowling, but that’s beside the point. I want to be for others what that book was for me, instead of be myself and let others enjoy something new.
    Does that even make sense? Sigh. Dating is confusing. ;)

    • Tried to get Dr. Drew to give me input for this post, but he was all “Girl. I just play a doctor on TV. Also, who the hell are you?”. Dating is confusing! I totally get your point, particularly about the fiction. Let me just tell you, I tried to write a trilogy called The Thirsty Games after I read The Hunger Games. Three books about dehydrated teens in the forest DID NOT WORK.

  7. Be careful; that was good enough to get Freshly Pressed!
    Somewhere around the age of 47 or 48 I decided I didnt give a crap what anyone thought because someone ALWAYS has a problem. I write what I think and if someone doesn’t like it there are ten more than will. I write for Me. Be your stupendous self. It looks good on you.

  8. I feel like I might have gotten to the clingy girlfriend stage….lol. Gonna change that and keep trying to write what I love. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    • It’s easy to get sucked into the stats and views and want more and more of that. I think it’s pretty natural to enjoy positive feedback. I just got to a place where I not only enjoyed it but felt I needed it. I’m a little ashamed to admit that there were more than a few days when I was legitimately depressed because I didn’t get “enough” comments. The thought was “I must suck” without thinking “Hey, I like what I wrote. Maybe my readers are busy today”.

  9. “Any concern over what others may think of you is a secret form of captivity, an unseen prison cell created by the false and painful belief that you are real — and your life worthwhile — only if others say it’s so!” ~Guy Finley

    You are very wise, very talented, and have been very missed! Write on, and many of us will follow ’cause we love what you have to say.

    • BAM! That quote was so important to hear I felt it needed the attention-grabbing BAM! Captivity is maybe the best way to describe the feeling. And on the flip side, being exactly sure of who you are and accepting that is a pretty sweet style of freedom!

  10. I’m glad you’re back! I love your crazy, well-thought-out (is that even possible? Yes, if YOU’RE writing it) posts. I admire your courage and your willingness to write about anything. And I do mean anything…I often find myself spitting coffee on my keyboard when I read a particularly funny and never offensive to me sentence or phrase you’ve written.

    I don’t have that courage. That lack has a lot to do with why my blog is hidden off in a corner collecting cobwebs like the barn door jamb in Charlotte’s Web, sadly missing the witty words to define “some pig!”

    I never worried too much about offending my readers (not that I have many), except for two. My parents read my blog, which is a nice parental thing to do, but a huge portion of what I REALLY want to write would upset, offend, dismay, shock, appall the ‘rents. Or, at the very least, solicit a comment from them I don’t want to read, followed by a phone call I don’t want to answer. I’m 45 and still trying not to piss off my parents. Craptastic.

    **sighs and walks away to beat head against wall**

    I’m really glad you’re back.

  11. I can relate to this more than you might imagine. I left another blog, one in which I had written on and off for 10 years, because I could no longer be myself and was, instead, writing to please the masses and make them laugh. So I pulled up stakes, came here, and have never looked back. I’ve been able to delve into this relationship with Tara honestly and openly, something I never would have imagined doing when I started the blog, and also mix that up with humor and the occasional political jab (though I really do need to bring out the big guns and insult Republicans a little more often now that election season is in full swing).

    I say, keep on writing, don’t worry if Carl is seeing Darla (hope she’s not really his mom), and just get whatever you feel like out there for the world to see, damn the consequences!

  12. Tori, I’m missing you like candy. You know, Mandy Moore style. I have a couple followers who are preachtastic Christian women who I respect greatly, but I know if I write from my own crazy heart they may cringe. Guess what? That’s okay! Be who you are and say what you feel…Dr. Seuss was one smart man. Get back to you and forget about stats, hits, likes, and all that shit. Oh, and I’d dry hump the shit out of this blog (Bad Teacher reference; watch it if you haven’t ). :)

    • Hahahahahahahahaha. God. Between the Mandy Moore and Justin Timberlake dry-humping references, I had a little 1998 flashback that I’m just shaking off. Solid advice for 1998 AND today. Thanks, lady :)

  13. Hi Tori

    Firstly good post. As for me. I don’t think I am swayed for long by what pleases people.
    Since my blog is a bit more serious in theme.
    And no I dont date your blog. I dont always comment. But we all go through things. I am just glad you are comfortable enough to share your life with us bloggers.

    Keep on

    • Oh, commenting isn’t even that big of a deal. Crazy Girlfriend Tori just got to a pretty manic place in which comments were directly equated to how much or how little people thought of me. Sane-ish Tori understands that plenty of people read and don’t comment, or, hell, don’t read. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t write. Thanks for letting me share with you :)

  14. Question one, yes, occasionally. Then I have to regroup.
    Question two, run away with me, Tori.

    We love ya’ but don’t do it for us (Word Sluts though we may be) unless you want to write for you too.

  15. I am so, so happy to see you posting, as whatever you write rocks my readerly world. I don’t know that I’ve ever written to please others, but I have my share of writer neuroses. Hell, I ever created a character for a while called Writing Neurotic.

    I’m with Lisa, as you might have guessed. Write from your heart, dear Tori. It is inevitable that readers will respond. I can NOT imagine a world where that won’t happen. You are too, too dear and your writing too damn stunning for any other option.

    Hugs to you (and Man Child),
    Kathy

    • NO! This is definitely one area I wish I wasn’t so capable in! It’s been a tough experience trying to get back to writing just like I want to. If you are already in that confident place STAY THERE! Thanks for stopping by :)

  16. It’s so hard not to be conscious of the audience when you write, and to try not to pander to them! Obviously, a basic tenet of writing is to “know your audience.” But if I remember that my boyfriend’s extended family reads my blog, as does my grandma, I end up altering the writing and losing my voice in the process. So I try to stay as true to myself as I can (albeit I tone down the swearing, because I am a potty mouth by nature!). Great post, Tori!

  17. LOL! No, I haven’t written to please. (Which does not mean I haven’t been tempted to try it!) I’m not very good at altering my voice, if that makes any sense. Which is kind of ironic, considering what I’ve been writing lately =D Great post, as always, lady!

  18. You know, I kinda worried about you a little when you were gone for so long. I had hoped it was just a summer break, forget blogging type of thing and not that something bad had happened. So, I am glad you are well and back to blogging. I think we all get a little caught up in readers/stats/people pleasing sometimes. I know I struggle with it. I struggle with “should I really say that?” I worry about offending people and I end up pleasing no one, especially not myself. So, Glad you’re back!
    ~FringeGirl

  19. As you know I’m the farthest thing in the world from a writer, but I almost always find myself censoring my shiz, too.
    Which is like… SO totally going to work someday.
    I can’t look… is W.P. looking over here? Is it? Is it?
    Whatever.
    I totally don’t care.
    I’m over it.
    Really.
    Honest.
    *sniffle sniffle*

  20. Nicely said! I agree that blogging is like dating: you present a certain part of yourself. A slice. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, as long as it’s a real slice. I like how you can reveal as much or as little as you want, with a little poetic license thrown in.

    Trying to please others/keeping readers in mind? Impossible to avoid to some degree: just as long as it doesn’t completely stunt. The beauty of blogging v. journaling IS the readers, so if they’re digging one aspect over another, it’s worth paying attn to! :)

    • It’s true. I wondered if I was being a big old hyprocrite for reading and really enjoying comments to this post. The key is knowing that I CAN still write without them. The feedback and friendship part is a bonus to the blogging experience but not the whole point :)

  21. First off, you ain’t crazy. I know – I run the meetings, and you’ve never showed up once. And trust me, your puns can NEVER be too big (or bad) for me. ;)
    Second, yes – I have wandered. I read other ladies’ blogs. Even a few guys (bi-bloggie?). But each one has their own special place in my bloggy world. And you need never, EVER fear yours would disappear.
    And finally? You can be honest, open, even a first-class bombardier with a B-52 load of F-bombs. You can show up smelling of Chanel No.5 or Formula 409 or even loads of Number Two. It just don’t matter.
    ‘Cause you’re YOU. And I don’t read you ’cause you’re FPed, or BS-ing, or WTF (whatever the … well, you get the idea). I read you, for YOU. Period.
    Now put that gallon of Ben&Jerry’s down, back away from the scotch, and when you’re ready, give us more of that good stuff we’ve come to love. ‘Cause you ain’t gettin’ rid of me THIS easy! :D

    • Ugh, John. Caught me with the Ben & Jerry’s again. Despite a face smudged with Funky Monkey I really thought I was getting more subtle in covert snacking. Thanks for reading and being a friend… even when I’m the sloppy girl in an ice cream coma :)

      • Let’s see – beautiful girl crying on my shoulder, check. Half-empty ice-cream container – check. Being told I’m a great friend – check.
        Yep, more than 30 years later, it’s high school all over again. :D
        (See that’s the REAL reason why I hang here. I get pretty girls to actually TALK to me! ;) )

      • Hahaha. I’m flattered… and super grateful you guys can’t see the awful acne on my chin or mystery stain on my oversized sleep shirt. I would be the world’s grossest Homecoming Queen :)

  22. You`re silly. Birds of a feather flock together. People who are attracted to your blog because of your perspective on life will keep coming in and out. The others will drift off to find other blogs that are more closely aligned to their style. That doesn`t mean there`s anything wrong with you or your writing. Do a good job at being Tori – the good, the bad, and the ugly- and you`ll be fine!

    • That’s the strangest part. I KNEW how silly I was being but couldn’t stop myself. So I’d sit down to write and think “Just write what you want!” but my crazy hands would leave out words or type a whole post about poop jokes and by the end of it I’d had one of those dramatic moments like a dude who just realizes he’s a murderer. Like “WHO AREEEEE YOUUUUUU?”.

  23. Here’s my short answer, hehehe:

    First of all, to continue the Crazy Girlfriend theme, the dorkiest Billy Joel lyrics come to mind –

    “I don’t want clever conversation
    I never want to work that hard [actually, I do want witty]
    I just want someone that I can talk to
    I want you just the way you are.

    I need to know that you will always be
    The same old someone that I knew …”

    Secondly, dammit Tori, so are you now telling me that I shouldn’t be pimpin’ myself out to my audience?? Fo’ shizzle, that’s what I do. My readers want posts on the real meaning of music lyrics, why Randy Travis did what he did, and silly stories about my childhood. Hellz yah I pander. The more followers the merrier.

    Now you had to go callin’ me out and shiz. So, here on out, dude’s skippin’ from OG to LG (Literary Gangsta).

    Thirdly, I’m so confused. Now I guess I need to find my “true” voice – a voice in the middle of the wilderness, that spends most of it’s time barking at the moon. A voice that cries out,

    “Please read me ‘kid who loves Glee’, ‘jock kid a the popular table’, ‘grandma who loves Betty White’, ‘country music fan who loves Taylor Swift’.”
    Fat kids, skinny kids,
    kids who climb on rocks.
    Tough kids, sissy kids
    Even kids with chicken pox
    *Love hotdogs, Armour hot dogs.*
    I mean love MJ.”

    Oh shoot, skip the Armour hot dogs part.

    There I go, pandering to the readers again.
    [Hehehe, it’s surprising anyone reads a word I write!]

    • Hahahhahaha. Please start a segment on your blog called Literary Gangsta. Please. Just, please. I think YOU think you pander. I hear you loud and clear though. While you might write about topics readers want to know about, you are always, always, uniquely MJ.

  24. You mean that people might actually read this stuff… Yikes, I better go back and delete a few. What was I thinking when I told my boss about this blog thing! Do you think I could actually be turned down for a mortgage or someone might refuse the offer I make on their house because I wrote a post on Freedom of Religion?

    So glad I’ve never been freshly pressed! Those post views are probably just people looking at the pretty pictures. OK, feeling better now. Still not sure I want to hit “Post” on the gay marriage post. Not that I’m worried anyone will read it… just need to work on the wording a little longer.

    • Eric,
      Sadly, I totally got that paranoid about how I was writing. I got to a place where I was just sure my kid would be unlawfully targeted by the police, maybe thrown in prison at the age of 3, because I cracked a Po Po joke on the blog and pissed them off. Turns out, the police (and everyone else for that matter) don’t mind me and my little blog. I say write what you want!

  25. Well, I was Freshly Pressed once (a long time ago – that’s when I first visited here, from a comment you left on that post.) I went through a period of obsessive stat checking, giddiness over new followers and for a day or two, I actually thought I was “it.” Then the visits dropped, comments dwindled and I felt like I had been jilted. For several weeks, it was hard to post because how could I top that one post?

    My posts vary greatly, but they are all different sides of me. Me. Not someone readers expect me to be. Sometimes it’s photos, others it’s poetry, then I write about funny things the kids said, and next thing I know, I’m writing a serial story about a child promised into a polygamous marriage.

    I know my posts don’t appeal to everyone. When I started writing about my spiritual journey over a year ago, I warned my readers that Sunday was “the day” and gave them an out to not read it if they don’t like that kind of thing.

    I hope you are able to find your writing voice again and re-discover the joy of blogging. Looking forward to more posts from Tori. The real Tori, whether she’s PMS cranky, funny, introspective or whatever you want to be that day.

    • “it was hard to post because how could I top that one post?’ Ugh. I feel your pain. I really think Freshly Pressed should come with a warning label because there is always, ALWAYS the let down after the soaring happiness at instant blog fame part. I think when I realized I was trying to literally re-write my Freshly Pressed posts so they could be Freshly Pressed again, I knew I had a problem. It’s been a long, long time since my FP days, and I’m just starting to get over it. So WordPress won’t put all my posts across their front page? So what. I’m getting that just because someone isn’t taking notice doesn’t cancel out the fact that I am writing.

  26. I am so glad that you don’t “hold back” when writing–otherwise it might be too sterile for me. And, hey, your personality really comes out in your posts, and that’s how your blogging fans have come to love your blog.

  27. I had just started reading your blog when you left it. I’m glad to see you back! Somehow I subscribed to you and wound up unsubscribed, but not by my own clicking madness. That’s happened to me before, but I have no clue how. I’ve re-upped though!

  28. Okay, first off, Tori, welcome back! We missed you! I’m REALLY relieved this is why you took a break. I immediately went to a “she has cancer” place when I got that ‘blog update’ email from you. Is that weird? So, not to gloss over this fantastic post, but, I’m feeling pretty happy right now.

    I’m glad you opened about this; I think it’s very common but very taboo to talk about. I hope you find a way to still write for yourself no matter who the audience. I struggle with the same since I have a ‘silly’ humor blog, but I remind myself that in real life I AM very ‘safe,’ so playing it safe IS me. If I suddenly started ranting and raving about, say, politics, that would be inauthentic. Having said that – I’ve always thought your posts were funny and genuine, and I love when people swear and push the envelope on what’s politically correct – so I hope you say whatever’s on your mind ;)

    • Haha. It’s cool. I got a giant bunch of e-mails that immediately went to “It was a car accident, wasn’t it? Oh God! Just reply if you are alive and still have hands!!!!” or divorce. I was a little cracked up by the ones who worried I was going through some disasterous break up… a few months after readers planned my wedding and saw the whole love fest go down :)
      Luckily I am totally married and with two-hands at that! Definitely took me a minute to figure out what it was about the blog that was making me less than happy to post anymore. Turns out it was me!

  29. Totally guilty of this! I find myself writing to please others even though I admittedly have little to no idea what others want to read. I tone things down because I’m afraid my grandma may be reading–and all those other conservative people in my life. And then I realize I’m not actually being honest, and if I’m not being honest, what the heck am I writing about? At least I know I’m not the only crazy one. I like the REAL you. Keep it up and thanks for challenging me to do the same.

    • You get it, mama! You totally get it! After realizing over the past few months that I can’t possibly please everybody, I gave up the idea of pleasing anyone. It’s a huge weight lifted. Being able to just write what I want to whenever I want to brought the fun back into blogging for me :)

  30. I love the F-word. But I don’t use it on my blog. In fact, I don’t swear at all… which is wildly misrepresentative of the person I am. Why am I worried about offending strangers who are not obligated to like me or read what I write?

    • Dear Victoria,
      I like your name. It also happens to be my name, but the universe got one good look at me and decided I was not nearly fancy enough to pull it off. So Tori it is :) Also, ARE WE SHARING A BRAIN?!? I’ve asked myself the very same question you listed a million times. It seems ridiculous to be so consumed with worrying over the opinions of “people in general”, so I struggled with that as I kept, well, trying to please people in general! It’s a weird and vicious butt-kissing cycle I found myself in.

  31. Welcome back, sister. I’ve been on a blogging hiatus since early June, but will be ready to get back into the saddle again soon. Writing should be fun, inspirational, and fluid, not forced and feel like a chore. Just like in relationships. Be true to yourself and write for all the right reasons. Glad to see you are willing to continue your relationship with all of us as well. Kick some ass and drop some F bombs every now and then, Tori. Woot!!

    • Chore is an excellent way to describe how writing began to feel! It was tedious and felt a bit obligatory because I was forcing myself to write on a schedule and in a tone that pleased other people. It’s a pretty huge relief to get back to basics and just write and when and in the way I want to.

  32. Oh Tory Tory Tory, can you ever forgive me? I’ve been away a long time too… I hate wrestling with the readers in my head. I’m SO not the conservative missionary fundamentalist so many readers want me to be. Trying to do everything in the missionary position gets boring. I learned that a long time ago. I could learn from your bravery… and now that I’m reading the ramblings again I must admit, I really did miss you.

    • It’s tough to tell when we’re writing for ourselves or cross that line into writing for others. I’ve never been a subtle creature, so I just kind of flung myself over that line and crashed on the other side :) Glad to be back, writing things that I enjoy!

      • Yay! I’m almost back. Actually my husband Peter has been diagnosed with a brain tumor this last month… tectonic plates have shifted in my core. It’s funny how something like that is mercy disguised as pain, allowing me to know what’s important and what’s just a bunch of flingin flangin fluff. It’s like I got a google earth street view of my own life. So maybe I can blog about it when it’s not quite so raw. In the meanwhile I will enjoy your posts, my very bloggy friend.

      • Oh oh oh. I think my heart just punched me. I am so sorry to hear about Peter, Patricia. That has to be a rough thing to adjust and cope with, and here I am whining about being comfortable cussing on my blog again. I wish I had right words to say to you, but I know I don’t. I AM here, though. You know, out in the cyber wilderness. I am always, always here if you need a friend who specializes in the flinging flangin stuff. Love, love, love to you guys!

  33. ‘Clean-mouthed, turtleneck-ed, perpetually perky’ people don’t exist, as far as I know. Please, just be yourself. We’ll still love you. And the ones that don’t ain’t worth it. It’s the people, not the numbers. Not that you know everyone, except through your bloggy- wedding.

  34. Tori! Sorry to be so late to this lovefest, but a girl’s gotta work! ;) I’ve really missed you and your writing, and I can relate to the self-censorship aspect of blogging 100%. (Remember the Wave Pool Incident that I went back and deleted after a reader called me out over it? Good times.) I hope that, during your blogging break, you found the courage and strength to be yourself and nothing but. Readers, stats, and comments come and go, but nobody else is going to be great at being you except YOU! Looking forward to (slowly, ever so slowly) catching up on what I’ve missed. xo!

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