Today a friend called me a name and I was insulted.
She dropped it casually into conversation, tossing it out like a flick of a cigarette and even over the phone I jumped back singed.
She called me a… Blogger.
A blogger. Can you believe it? Every day I slave at this computer writing essays and editing manuscripts. I am a contributor to Huff Post and What to Expect. I’ve been on the NYTimes Motherlode for crap’s sake. Every day I’m grinding my teeth and squeezing my eyes shut as I press send on submissions to Slate, Brain, Child and Modern Love.
A blogger? I felt categorized and marginalized. I felt defensive. She may as well have stepped on my face in a pile of mud.
Wait. I am a blogger. And I love not only blogging but the essays that I write.
Why did I have such an immediate and negative reaction?
Could it be because my friend is a ‘legitimate’ author and I’m a bit competitive and sensitive? Probably.
Was she being a little condescending? Probably.
It’s like the article by the debate editor of Brain, Child Magazine, Lauren Apfel that I just read in Time, I’m a Mommy Blogger and Proud of it about the old negative stereotypes associated with mom bloggers as overly confessional, full rants and vents, grumbles and gripes. And a bunch of us are, and a bunch of us aren’t. Either way, most of the bloggers that I know are damn good writers who are at their craft daily. If we rant or overshare, you can bet it will be a well written and well-structured essay.
These days, many mommy bloggers use their words and their blogging platforms to reach a larger audience, to open doors that otherwise might remain closed and to network. We are freelance writers, aspiring novelists, bloggers who strategize and monetize.
Back a hundred years ago, I wanted to be a writer and I wrote essays, short stories and manuscripts that I placed lovingly under my bed. Yet I didn’t push hard enough for what I wanted. I let it go, accepting a career in advertising that I ultimately let go of as well to stay home with my children.
Now that they have grown just enough that I can tell them to go play in the basement and they do, I am re-discovering myself and my passion. On my blog I have written hundreds of essays, most of which I am extremely proud. Yes I write about being a mother. That’s who I am. I also write about being a daughter, a friend, a human; the heartbreak and the heartfelt; the ridiculous and the pain of the every day.
I don’t want to be in any way embarrassed or perpetuate a negative perception about something that has offered me so much personal and professional, if not exactly financial, satisfaction. I want to own it – strut my blog around the block in stilettos shouting “I’m a blogger!” instead of holding back and hedging, “I want to be writer and I have a blog.”
Actually what I want to say is that I am a writer and a blogger and I’d like to be appreciated as both.
You are my hero icescreammama.
Sing it sister!!! Lol! What a great article and explanation of what we do. I too wanted to be a writer but never, ever told a soul about that. I started my blog four years ago writing a weekly essay and the things it has opened up for me are amazing! Not to mention getting to meet amazing writers like you! I call myself a writer/blogger and am very proud of both!
thank you!! i know, right? here’s to leaving out our dreams here and now! we rock! xo
The funny thing is, I’m always telling people that I am a blogger (although I would never say mommy blogger in a million years). I never considered myself a writer. In college I majored in accounting. Writing was the last thing I ever thought I’d do. After spending a short time as a lawyer and then teaching legal research, I got used to writing about things, so when I decided to blog, it was always to be useful. To recommend products, movies, etc. I consider that blogging. I don’t feel that I have the background or the flair to call myself a writer.
However, I don’t feel it is an insult at all to be called a blogger but it bothers me how little respect bloggers are given.
i agree, i don’t think it’s an insult either, but given the respect issue… sometimes depending who is saying it, it may feel that way.
The thing is–I’m a blogger (and proud of it.) But I’m not a mother.
I used to feel very much a part of “the blogging world.” Everyone was accepted for who she was.
Then i began blogging about disability for psychology today and “helped” people with this unknown invisible disability.
But my real love is writing–telling stories. And blogging was a great way to put my words out there. Only now not being a mother keeps me out of the “cool” or even the “moderately cool” crowd.
I want to scream: “yes I’m a blogger and I love it!” But if I’m not accepted….
That’s it – There are some mothers, some writers, some photographers, some political commentators…short story writers… whatever.. we’re all unique.
Love your post…I have reached a point where I am so honored to be a blogger….but there are many that think since I blog primarily about fashion that I am an AIRHEAD Blogger…oh well, can’t please everyone. I just know that I am confident and proud of what I am doing. I feel like it is my own online magazine!
I love that thought! It is your own online mag!! Fantastic!
I don’t mind being called a blogger – at least it means people are aware of my writing. Besides, essayist is really hard to say.
ha! you got me there!
Booger ooops blogger and proud of it !!!!
Sent from my iPhone
Oh now I see the problem!! There’s a booger in blogger! 😉
Blogging doesn’t define us, it inspires us. I am not sure I ever would have got off my ass to write (even though I love it) without having a blog as a forum. Now I feel inspired to submit work, think of a book title and many other opportunities I never would have had without my blog. Call me a blogger all you want because I know what that really means. Thanks for putting my thoughts into words.
Thank you – for reading and for being out there with me!!
I think being a writer and a blogger are two different things. Some people use blogs to share their art, their music, or their photography. In my mind, you are both a writer AND a blogger, and there’s nothing wrong with either. Besides, most professional writers do keep their own blogs so they can publish their thoughts on various subjects.
yes to a writer and a blogger! thank you! and you’re right, most writers do have blogs these days.
I have only been a ‘blogger’ for 12 months… Probably less than that since I didn’t have an audience to start with (I think that’s essential to be recognized as a ‘blogger’!) but i didn’t realise how much influence a blogger could have on others as well as the potential audience these messages can get out to! Writers, bloggers, journalists etc, we are all wielding the power of the pen (or keyboard in today’s terms)!!! 🙂
Blogging is really amazing as a platform, especially if you have something important to say! 🙂
I love the humor and honesty. As for over sharing, I think it is a sexist and undeserved term, but that is another blog topic. 😛
Agreed! Like speaking about the reality of motherhood or life for that matter is irrelevant.
Just finished reading the Apfel article. Persuasive perspective on the changing platform of blogs. Perhaps we should no longer hang our head in shame. You certainly have NO reason to. Though, if I’m being honest, I’m still a closet blogger. I haven’t really come out to many people. *Gasps*
i hate the stigma. all the blogs i read are wonderful.
but actually sometimes it’s better to keep it from those close to you – it’s more liberating. although, at some point it always gets out… 😉
Amen from another writer and blogger!
I love acceptance everywhere I see it!
Totally. Blogger… writer… commentator… reviewer… whatever. Let’s all be who we are and accept and not categorize.
You said it sister!
A thousand times yes. Wear that “blogger” badge with pride.
That article on Time also really rocked me – I loved it and embraced it. I understand everything you are saying and agree. Thank you for this!
Thank you for stopping by and reading – and for agreeing! 🙂
I loved writing ever since but I never thought of becoming a writer nor do I consider myself a writer because meh. But I love reading stuff from bloggers who write and the writers who blog. And I am a proud blogger!!!! Except when I see my typos and errors AFTER I hit publish. 😀
I guess I’ve always considered myself a writer…or at least an ever aspiring writer.. so maybe I’m extra sensitive.
I think you’re a terrific writer, in whatever form you choose. Dang it.
I enjoy all your writings, whether they are called blogs, essays or chicken scratch! I applaud you for following your passion, it takes courage and perseverance. As you know my girls are “grown up” – in quotes bc my definition of grown up includes a lot more than having a 21st bday… I have finally allowed myself the freedom to BE ME… which includes alot more yoga and meditation sessions, writing, picking up my SLR camera and as of late tickling the ivories! There just maybe an artist inside of this mama! KUDOS to you – I say go out an buy a pair of BRIGHT RED Stilletos and do the BLOGGER STRUT!