So I was asked a few questions by a lovely Norwegian called Soul Princess.
I happened to find one of her blogs because I did a search for bloggers who love Silverchair.
Here are her questions. I think they are really pertinent to me, particularly for my upcoming research on the way blogging helps create a sense of identity and community for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
How much does your online, and blogging life interact with your real life?
Is it a big part of it?
Is it really separate?
Or is your blog a mechanism to improve your real life or your business?
I have been blogging on and off for around eleven years. It’s always been to allow me to write.
My first blog was at Diaryland. I think I let it lapse and now my writing is no longer online, but I have some print outs. I don’t think I used my name in it but I did reveal a bit about myself.
One blog was completely anonymous – it was everything I wanted to say to my first love but couldn’t. It was a bit dark and ‘arty’ I guess. I would write short entries that were either to the point or really poetic. There was a lot of lowercase letters and square [parenthesis].
This was one entry:
~ you threatened to change your telephone number.
i wish i had the means to change the address to my heart.
…if i had, you wouldn’t have been able to enter, steal then break. ~
I don’t think ’emo’ was a coined phrase in 2000, but this anonymous blog was bordering on emo, minus the straightened, side-swept fringe.
I then had a blog where I just put up my poetry.
This was one of the poems:
Would you kindly care
To dislodge yourself from my mind
After all, it has been a while since
You’ve left the store.
Thank you for your continued custom,
There’s really no need to check
My life upon departure-
It’s pretty empty:
Memories have passed their
I would like to purchase
A new set of feelings,
But mismatched memories are
An impulse buy.
Thus, I have overspent my
Ration of thoughts on you
For the day-
I always blow the budget.
I wonder what the going rate is
For a thought-free mind?
Thanks for your continued custom,
It’s embarrassing reading back over the poems now.
And I had one for my new media subject in the first semester of my Masters degree. It was part personal, part academic. I think this subject confirmed my love for new media.
The blog previous to this one is at Myspace. You need to request me as a friend if you want to read it. It was where I got serious about writing. Some entries are neither here nor there though.
I started this current blog, Tune into Radio Carly in December 2009, and it’s taken off far more than I anticipated. I am not sure of my intention when I started it, other than to develop and showcase my writing to a wider audience than Myspace.
It’s allowed me to really focus on quality writing, some research and honing my editing skills.
And it’s also enabled huge interaction with people I know and strangers alike, which is the bit I like best about blogging.
Which brings me back to Soul Princess’s question. How does my blog interact with my life – is it a part of it or is it separate? And is it a mechanism to improve my business or life?
My blog has become a HUGE part of my life. It is not separate to my life like some of my previous ones. It’s not just a place where I ramble from topic to topic in one blog entry. (Though my ‘For all things irrelevant’ tagline may suggest that I do if one does not read on further…) I often wonder, while I am participating in an activity, whether I could blog about it. I might have a conversation with someone and ask them if I can blog about that concept/discussion. It’s a place where I can be an advocate for what I believe in. And many times, I just blog because I have something on my mind and I think people may be interested to read about it.
I am very careful with what I publish on this blog – both in terms of the quality of writing, and choice of content. It’s a folio of my writing, and also of the type of person I am. I guess I do want this blog to promote myself, particularly my writing. As I wrote once, I have always wanted to write creatively/journalistically outside of my day job, and this blog not only allows me to do that, but allows future employers to see my work (through me submitting it to them, and them seeking me out) and ask me to write for them if I am lucky. And I know that people at my place of day job employment read this. It’s a bit like Brand Carly Findlay, isn’t it? So I want to present a good, professional online persona without losing my personality (and I think this blog is a hugely accurate reflection of my actual personality).
This blog has afforded so many opportunities already. I was asked to write for DiVine. My writing was a large point of conversation at the short film making workshop. I ‘modelled’ for Business Chic. I spoke on ABC radio. I am soon going to facilitate a session about the benefits of writing at ChIPS. And my thesis topic is well sorted, ahead of time!
I have met many wonderful people, online and offline through blogging. Lots of people in the ichthyosis community have contacted me to tell me their story, and to say that some of my writing has helped them. What has made me really happy are the responses from the people who never took the time to get to know me better ‘in real life’ and can now see me as a person through my writing. Some of their responses has been amazing. I have come to better know others I’ve known in real life too.
Sometimes it feels like I reply to ‘fan mail’. Sorry if that is a conceited term, but I do spend a lot of time replying to people through the blog or Facebook or emails.
My confidence has grown tenfold. And I suddenly find my calendar full!
This blog allows me to tell my story on my terms, and in my way. It is a tool to not only share what it’s like living with my chronic illness, but to show that I’m more than it. That’s why I enjoy blogging.