Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yes. Hello there.

I decided as part of the blog-beginning process, I should really look up other science blogs, especially those written by women or have a focus on being a mother at the same time. Holy nerds, there are at least ten of you (that’s as far as I’ve gotten)! This is, of course, sarcastic, because there are wayyyy more than that, and if I had really thought about it, I should have figured there would be many of you. After all, who likes to blog? The ladies. Is that sexist? Whatever. I love to talk and the Internet is an endless ear waiting to be filled. Who else likes to blog? Nerds. Is scientist a brand of Nerd? Why yes, yes it is.
So I started reading these blogs and I’m strongly feeling two things. One is that it’s totally overwhelming to look at everyone’s blogroll (yes, I just learned that word today. Hello, 2010!) because I see all these catchy blog names that I clearly should read before I start mine. This uncontrollable sense of needing to prepare to an impractical degree before beginning a project is a chronic problem of mine that often prevents projects from ever starting. Two, that reading these blogs actually discourages me from writing instead of the other way around. Not just writing a blog, but writing at all. There are so many more of you out there than I had previously thought, and some of you are more eloquent than me (although others are not, I would like to point out self-satisfyingly). I feel that I have nothing to contribute. It seems that most blogs, at least of the sort I have been maniacally clicking on for the past two hours, are started because people are lonely and want to find others like them, and people want to feel special by writing about something that hasn’t been covered. Well, I’m not particularly lonely, and now I don’t feel special. Isn’t that terribly appropriate of someone my age? What a bratty thing to say! But if you have a blog, I’d like to hear why you started yours, especially if it’s not one or both of those reasons. *cricket noises* Yes. I see. So. I was thinking, maybe I’m not just a mother and a scientist (because clearly that niche has been filled), maybe what makes me special is that I don’t want to go into academia, that I’m considering becoming a science writer instead. I should look for those blogs, I bet there aren’t many! Oh, hello Chronicle of Higher Education. I’ll just be over here, not being redundant at all.
What a terrible pity party this is. I didn’t even bring beer.
I know I should be encouraged by the other people out there that are like me, but I really thought I was doing this to give a voice to the voiceless, to represent the un(der)represented, and I see that that is not the case. What, then, is my driving force? And then it came to me.
It came to me and it brought with it that look on my face like I’m about to cry even though I’m not. Like the face-doubles on those Windows 7 commercials, only with less revelation and slightly more pain. I want to write because it’s the only thing I can imagine myself doing. Other little girls wanted to be an astronaut (I’m terrified of space), a ballet dancer (my ankles are as big as my knees), or on TV (I have the chest of a 12-year-old boy and still don’t know what to do with my hair in the morning). I wanted to be a writer. I have sheaves of terrible,
terrible poems and songs. I wrote all of my college papers the night before and got dirty looks when my neighbor saw my grades. I considered a substance abuse problem so my writing would be better (okay, not really. Not really). I correct everyone’s spelling and grammar and word choices, which my husband thinks is absolutely delightful and my daughter is growing to simply cherish. I’ve had an odd compulsion since I was thirteen to type everything I hear people say, including keyboard shortcuts for formatting (shift-how does ctrl-b that ctrl-b work shift/ shift/). I want to write. As a side-note, maybe I’m a little obsessive-compulsive. That’s almost as interesting as a heroin addiction, right?
So here I am, trying a blog. It had the lowest activation energy (thanks, Blogger!) out of all the possible starting points on my path to writer. Writing in my Etsy journal didn’t count anymore because it turned out to be mostly grocery lists and funny drawings of owls with bubbling flasks in their talons. Even though I might have nothing new to say, and my voice might not be revolutionary, and I don't have an English degree, and I misuse commas, I'm writing something.
And I can’t add any more blogs to my Google Reader right now. I only discovered how to use an RSS feed yesterday (I
know, okay??!) and I’m already following eighteen kajillion people. Maybe one day I’ll feel encouraged by this vast community of people like me, who might want to be my friend, but for now it’s simply intimidating. I also can’t read back over what I wrote. I don’t know how I’ll ever write a second draft of anything this way…

1 comment:

  1. Just blog, dude. Don't worry about how many similar topic bloggers there are. Your voice will end up being unique.