Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thoughts on Blogging

Someone in my real life world has started blogging (only the second person I know from my real life who blogs!). It's more of a professional blog. I always use my annie oddflower moniker when commenting on blogs. Using it on her blog means I might run the risk of other people in my real life world seeing my blog.

My friend the pysho therapist taught me that though it is always a risk to be truly seen, it can also be quite rewarding. I’m thinking I will take the risk, but what if I am sorry afterwards? Then the horse is out of the barn, so to speak, and there will be nothing I can do to undo that. Well I could do something, I have seen others do something about the problem, but it would take a lot of work.

I started blogging as a creative outlet and as a way to add variety to my world. Also, at the time I was in school for Commercial Art and one of my teachers kind of casually remarked that I was technologically challenged. I wanted to verify to myself that I could do this. I had recently rediscovered my love of collage and was participating in a Yahoo group and wanted a place to show my creations. There were several blogs I read on a regular basis that became my inspiration at the time for the direction I wanted to go with my blog. I still consider those bloggers to be above my level. I no longer aspire to be so much like them. Instead I am content to let my own blog go in whatever direction it will go. It has evolved into an eclectic collection of personal anecdotes. I am pleased with the evolution.

I realize now that I also wanted a way to be seen. I've been through a lot of doggie doo since I began blogging and I have made meaningful connections with several people through this experience. I think I have also grown quite a bit since my first post. In thinking about this, I think my growing self would say to the timid me "Oh get over yourself woman and allow your self to be your self."

It's been a lot of fun--and no, I am not about to say that I am quitting! The end of this month will mark my third anniversary in blogland so I have been a bit introspective about that. Do any of you ever think about the fact that we bloggers are walking on such new ground? I've read where they caution young people about the things they put on their MySpace pages, that those things could come back to haunt them years later when they start to look for their first "real" jobs. This stuff never really disappears from cyberspace. These blog postings may have the potential to become the equivalent of old diaries and journals from our grandparents' generations. Years from now some whippersnapper may read our words and come to conclusions about how we lived "back then".

But even more fascinating to me is seeing how cyber friendships develop through these interactions. I value my little group of consistent readers and the friendships that have developed. I love hearing from y'all. Y'all have been a source of encouragement and inspiration to me and have more that sated my need to eavesdrop on the lives of others.

(Y’all do know annie oddflower is not my real name, don’t y’all? I mean, isn’t that much obvious? Annie is a nickname given to me by the couple I worked for in the sporting goods store. All during my first week there, the husband kept calling me Annie. I answered to Annie, it was obvious he was talking to me, but inside I grumbled “I’ve been working here a week and this goofball doesn’t even know my name yet.” Turns out, he often used nicknames and I grew to like mine and became accustomed to answering to it, so when the time came to choose a name for my alter ego blog writer, I chose Annie. I added the Oddflower as a tribute to my Native American roots, and because, well, it fit so well. I am a bit of an odd flower! I freely admit that much.)

Day 11: Thankful for a rudimentary grasp of blogging technology.
(Didn't I already say I was grateful for my dear readers?
I sure hope so, and I am thankful for you, my dear readers!)


  1. I like your name. My paternal grandmother was an Anna, often called Annie by my grandfather. I always like Annie best; it seemed less stuffy.
    As to whether you want to allow your *real world* into your blog world, I would think really really hard about it... and then think some more. Mine is private from my family for a lot of reasons. Mostly because sometimes it's a great place to vent and I know there is always someone who will have some insight that helps. I have recently started copying and pasting bits of my blog into emails to hub so he will shut up about me keeping it from him. I regret even mentioning to him that I HAVE a blog.

  2. Flutterby I thought of you several times as my head was thinking about this. My hub has no clue that I have a blog (probably does not even know what one is!). My girls suspect that I blog, but so far, have shown little interest in trying to find me.

    The people who would read the other blog (and might find me) are people I am not close to in day to day life, which is one reason why I am thinking it might be okay if they figure out who I am. It might even be fun.

    I am always questioning myself as to why I am so secretive with the creative part of me. I ask myself if I am different here than in real life. Truth is, I may be a bit more open here. But here and in real life, I am generally a cautious and protective person so I probably have not written anything that I would regret anyone in my real life seeing, except for the naked feeling I would have in having them see this part of me!

    I admire people who seem to be able to go in and blog and tell everybody in their real life, but I am like you, I definitely think the motto should be "proceed with caution", even though I call myself an old fuddy-duddy for saying that!

  3. I figured your real name wasn't Annie Oddflower - but I like the name.

    I think we always take a risk posting on a blog. Most people in my real life don't show much interest in my blog and surprisingly I have found that there are others in my real life who have been reading my blog and I didn't even know it.
    Very interesting and thought provoking post.

  4. Annie, I've always liked to have fun with the kids. They are so brutally honest. I would tell them jokes with no point to them (like "why are frogs green?" and then laugh like crazy)and before too long parents would be coming to me asking about this joke their child had told them. One little girl I called "Sally" and she kept informing me it was NOT her name. After a week or so, she, too, just began answering to the moniker and nearly 30 years later still gives me privilege to so address her...

  5. What???? You mean your last name isn't Oddflower???? I'm shocked.
    :-D You raise some good points. I am very careful about what I say on my blog, never talking about work and seldom, if ever, mentioning family by name. It IS uncharted terrain...
    Now, I don't keep it from the DH (darling husband) but he doesn't read it either. I figure he gets enough of me in the real world. The dear daughter reads it only occasionally. My parents and sister, however, are faithful readers, and that's pretty cool.

    signed, Linda (...really, my name is Linda. I didn't think to change it... darn.)

  6. Cathy It is my guess that most people who do not blog think those of us who do are slightly nutty for doing so! They don't know how much fun it can be! And I agree, blogging is always a little bit risky.

    Oh Jim I just know you are a character in real life! "Sally" would probable agree with me! Funny thing about my boss, he argued with his wife about how to spell my name. She was right, and when I told him so, he asked me if I was sure! His wife cracked up when I told him that it had been my name for a long time and I probably knew the correct way to spell it by now!

    Linda I agree, it is pretty cool that your parents and sister read your blog. My husband is not much of a computer person, most definitely technologically challenged (but he is learning a little)!

    My sister's real name is Linda (but shhh, don't tell anyone!).

  7. It's just that I have good *blog friends* who are often saying they have something they really wish they could blog about because they know their close blog friends would probably have some insight that would help, but they don't because the issue they need help with involves either a family member or close personal life friend who also reads their blog. I look at mine sometimes as a diary or journal. Most of the time things I write are just every day happenings that I want to write about. But sometimes it's venting or something more personal. I understand the aspect of *opening yourself up* in this way but sometimes you just need the privacy this affords. We here who read your blog feel we *know you* but it's still not on such a personal level as those in your family or others who see you on a daily basis.

  8. Annie - I have two blogs; one is 'private', that is, for the bloggings friends I made over the past two years. Anything goes there, and it's a great place to vent and work out things that I'm not sure I want to process out loud IRL. I created another blog that welcomes all - including family - but nobody IRL seems very interested!

    So I just keep writing for ME.

    Speaking of gratitude, I am so thankful to see this outpouring of posts from you. I love your art and the way it speaks to my soul, and I'm so glad that you are writing more. It's been the highlight of my day thus far to catch up on everything you've written in the past few weeks!

    Be blessed today....

  9. Yes, I know your real name isn't Annie Oddflower but if we ever meet in real life you're gonna get called ANNIE! ;-)

  10. Well, I for one am grateful that we have crossed paths on this world of blogging...and you know what I mean, and I can say that you are not only an inspiration to some of us who often times choose not to confront those private issues we all face, but you do so with honesty, grace and integrity. I do, count you as a good friend, cyber or otherwise. And I am grateful for that. I think you are a tremendous blessing to all who read your blog, including those Fat Tuesday butt shots you now are famous for. (Lord, I miss it when you miss the parade and we don't get those butt shots.)

    And you can sign me just Ayekah (and no that's not my real name either)

  11. Flutterby I agree with you. You can't be as open if you know someone you deal with daily is reading everything you post and if one of the purposes of your blog is to have a place to vent a bit. I do cringe a bit at certain people in my real life finding my blog, but I kind of think that once the novelty wore off, they would probably lose interest.

    Grace I do think, ultimately, that is what I need to remember, that I do this for me. Others in my real life might not understand, but they don't have to. Sometimes acceptance my own quirky differences from those close to me is an important task for me.

    I think yours is a great idea, to have two blogs. I have thought of that, but I don't think I can pull it off!

    I'm glad you are around Grace, glad you are catching up.

    Jules And I would answer to Annie! It's one reason I chose the name--I was already somewhat used to answering to it! Wouldn't it be fun to meet some day?

    Ayekah So glad to see you around these parts! Thank you for all your kind words. I'm not sure what I would call you in real life--you have not heard me butcher the pronunciation of Ayekah yet! I know I don't pronounce it right.

    I do need to get out more, and to find a few new butt shots, don't I?

  12. Annie, this is one of your best pieces. I love this and I love your reasoning all though out. It has been a pleasure to go though anything with you! I feel the same about the journey you have been on with me.

    I am out on my blog. There are times that I wish a few people did not read what I write but they do so I curtail a few things. Later, I realized that what I would have said would have have been kind. That has kept me from posting some negative things. Things that I do not want my readers to associate me with. You blog is an inspiration.

    And, I know your real name and love it just as much as I love Annie Oddflower.

    You are such a blessing.

  13. Princess Mindy I just left you a comment but the comment box must have eaten it! Anyway, thank you! It's been fun getting to know you through your blog and getting to experience your generous spirit.

    So you survived being "out" on your blog? I think most people who do not blog don't stay interested in reading blogs for very long. I think maybe I can stay nice at least until they stop reading!

  14. It's easy to tell which bloggers are introverts and which are extroverts. Come on in, Annie! The water is fine!

  15. If it helps you to consider ramifications of a blog, I had to register my blog with my Commanding General and my posts are on a time delay before it actually posts online so a screener can verify I do not violate operation security.


Don't just sit there staring, say something!