Is Blogging Your Compulsion? @ Yahoo! Video
Hello, everyone. My name is Donna and I'm a Compulsive Blogger.
And judging from the company in this room, I am not alone. I am one of a couple of hundred contributors to the Silicon Valley Moms Group, most of whom also have personal sites, where they write about what's on their minds.
We all have different experiences and points of view - but the one thing we have in common is a desire to chronicle our thoughts and share them with others. For me, (and Kim Tracy Prince, who also appears in the video above... and a lot of other women I know) it's not just a desire, but a compulsion.
Apparently, I was born a writer. I'm socially awkward in person, but give me a notebook and pen and I know how to shine. I have an autograph book signed by my second grade teacher, who said she expected to see my plays on Broadway some day. I used to look forward to exams with essay questions, because I could tailor the answers to what I did know (as opposed to multiple choice, where anything I failed to study could be made glaringly obvious). And my first paying job out of college was staff writer for a nationally syndicated radio show. That's right, I used to be a professional.
Aspiring writers are always advised to keep a journal, because it's always best to "write what you know." This is something I attempted several times over the years, but was never able to keep it up. I was busy. I was tired. But many years later - as a stay-at-home mom planning a family vacation - I started a blog with the thought that it would be the easiest way to share our journey with friends and family. The exercise of writing out the experience proved to be so enjoyable, that I continued the practice when we got home.
That was six years ago. I still write about our travels (when we leave town), but I also write about my family, my friends, my daughter's school, the PTA, local events... basically, whatever is on my mind. That journal my teachers were always nagging me to keep is now a reality, but with one major difference: It has an audience. My readers share experiences similar to mine, and let me know when they like (and don't like) something I've written. There's more to this than the affirmation of immediate feedback -- I've forged very real friendships with dozens of people through the words we write to each other and on our blogs.
And I no longer need to force myself to write, because I'm addicted.
Original post for Silicon Valley Moms Group by Donna Schwartz Mills, who also writes about life and family in Southern California at her personal blog, SoCal Mom.