Monday, June 5, 2006

faq about this blog

I know. Sometimes I'm gazing at my pregnancy bump — and sometimes I'm naval-gazing! In case you're still trying to get a handle on what this blog is all about (like I am), here's a handy FAQ.

So who exactly is your audience?
Well, sometimes it's you. And by "you," I mean all of you — the variety of family and friends I have told about this blog, even if I have no idea if you actually read it. You live on both coasts and pretty much every region of the country. I started this blog thinking it would be a good way to keep everyone up to date about my pregnancy and life in general, since a number of you live far away. But sometimes I'm not writing for you as much as I'm writing for me. Those are the days when I just let my head — or heart or gut — spill out, like I'm writing in a journal. How do you know? You might not, though I venture to guess you will. But it doesn't really matter. I write what I want, and you are free to tune in or tune out. That's the beauty of blogging.

Isn't it uncomfortable publishing something so personal you'd normally only write it in your journal?
Trust me, the most private stuff in my life is not likely to make it onto my blog. As for some of the other stuff, I suppose you could say I am trying to be more forthcoming and honest about myself, something I am not always apt to do. It's kind of an experiment, you could say. Besides, many of you live quite a ways from me, and we don't have regular conversations about our lives that friends who see each other all the time do. And even if you live near me, chances are we don't get together so often.

Is it hard to write with a larger audience in mind when so few of the people who know about this blog leave comments? Do you find yourself writing just to the people who comment?
Yes. I continually have to put the non-commenting faces in my head when I'm writing, or else this would turn into a private little chat with the people who do post regular comments. Don't get me wrong, my dear readers-who-comment: I do appreciate your comments and value them highly. Sometimes they assuage my fears that I am writing to a vacuum. But I have to remind myself to operate on the assumption — right or wrong — that more people are reading than I might think. And sometimes my assumption turns out to be correct — I am always surprised (in a good way) when someone mentions one of my blog posts in an e-mail.

Does Steve know you keep a blog?
Yes. And he knows the address. But he doesn't usually read it unless I point something specific out to him. He says he wants to respect my freedom to write whatever's on my mind. I appreciate that, but I don't mind if he reads it, either. Nothing here is secret from him.

How does Steve feel about the fact that you write about him?
Let's put it this way: When I first started writing, I told him what I was doing, and I asked him his comfort level about being part of the blog. He requested that I not write about the really private things in our life together, and that I not use it as a place to vent about him or any conflicts we might have. Those things are between him and me. So I respect that. I can't leave him out altogether because he's such a vital part of my life, and sometimes I might write about issues we're facing at the moment. But deep down, you can see they're my issues, not his.

How about your parents? Do they read this blog?
I have no idea. I did invite them to read it, but I have received no word as to whether they do.

Do you edit yourself based on who you think might read your blog? Whose reactions do you consider the most when you self-edit?
In most cases, I make an effort not to. But there are a few cases where I have. I find myself doing it more lately, now that a couple of people in Steve's immediately family and our circle of mutual friends know about this blog. And my parents. In a few cases, I have edited out sex stuff, and I also don't swear as much on this blog as I am wont to do in the comfort of home. I am still trying to figure out my comfort level here, and to find the courage to write without being too swayed by what other people might think. Always a challenge for me. But a good one.

Is this blog taking energy away from actually connecting with people more personally and individually? Would you e-mail or call your friends more if you weren't putting all your deep thoughts down on your blog?
Yeah, I think it's happened with some people, and that worries me. I'm not sure what to do about it. But let's face it — I'm not always the best correspondent in the world. I am hopelessly behind on some of your lives, and it's my hope that having this blog might inspire you to leave a comment or get in touch with me. I know, I know. It probably sounds one-sided, even selfish, to expect you to come to me if you want to catch up. Why am I not reaching out to you with a more personal letter, phone call or e-mail? But I believe some good comes of this arrangement, too. I can say that there are a few of you with whom I feel happily reconnected — or more connected — because of this blog. I hope that happens more often. Besides, this is not just a communication tool. It's also, for me, a form of expression, a way for me to write stuff that I might not normally just hop onto an e-mail and send to someone out of the blue. This form, for some reason, inspires me to write more. And I like that.


Ellen said...

Our parents don't read this blog because in order to get online, they have to go through some archaic dial-up network connection to a computer at Tektronix that has Microsoft. That's the best way I can describe it. The process yields poor quality and virtually no RAM once you establish contact, which is hit or miss. Mom would love to read the blog, but she needs dad to help her get online, and he is not always able to help her do that. And dad won't subscribe to an Internet provider because like all other top-notch engineers, he detests Microsoft. Good for him! But bad for the rest of us when we want to go online at their house.
I think as this blog and its audience evolves, you will develop a more solid grasp of what to publish and what not to publish, and how to serve it up to your readers.

Laura said...

I just recently "found" your blog through the links on our TTC6+ MSN board and LOVE it. You're a great writer and I love that you post often. :)

Ray Mikell said...

I think you married Steve and took his last name with the idea that "lemmondrops" would be an outstanding name for a blog. Or at least that was part of the idea!

Emilie said...

Ray, actually a couple of friends coined the term Lemmondrop for our yet-unborn, unnamed baby when I first got pregnant. Prior to that, the name had never crossed my mind!

Laura, thanks for your note, and I am glad you're enjoying it! I check out your blog too sometimes, and I enjoy all the pictures of your baby boy. I am looking forward to joining the Parenting subboard soon. :)

Ellen, nice talking to you today. :)

Cynthia said...

You know what's funny Em, a friend and I had a similar "conversation" via e-mail Monday about this very topic. She recently started viewing my blog and said I was "brave" for putting up some of the things I have. Why write about the mundane, she said. But they are not mundane to me. They are memorable. Plus, I don't put really, personal things up there. I never write anything negative, even when I'm ticked off at someone or something. Those negative words could and would cause trouble in my life, I'm sure. I also never talk about co-workers, (by name) and I spend the majority of my time with them. I've recently just decided to start talking about friends, but even then I am going to have to be careful in what I post.
The blog was my idea, not theirs so I can't put up anything that would be too embarrassing for them.
So I think I do censor what I post.
But I agree with you that most of what I write is for me and my son since I get almost no hits (except for you of course...thanks by the way.) I think my links also tell a little about me than what I write.

barbara said...

I'm glad you have this blog--reading it, I feel more a part of your life than I have since our weddings. I wish all of my friends had blogs! Being chronically ill and stuck at home so much I feel lonely and out of things most of the time (no one's fault, just the nature of the beast) and in this case, your blog makes me feel much more included in your life again. :)

Karen said...

Hi Emilie from Karen,

Kristine called the other night ... And so, I found myself at Minnehaha Falls on the Summer Solstice creating a couple of intuition exercises - one involves five questions "answered" through five symbols; the other involves five questions "answered" by words. But, just like some mothers don't want their tummy touched, you may prefer that we share by telephone or in person. I also want to share my insights after your own.

And of course, dreams and laughter are
part of afternoon tea at my place or yours. Now, here's music to your ears: When can I babysit?!
Let me know. Tonight, I'll dream a dream for you beginning with the first question... Love, Karen