Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Why Do You Blog?

Sometimes, a blogger needs a day of rest. Or sometimes three days of rest. Or sometimes a week of rest.

I was kind of bemused, you could say, to get a blog spanking from - of course - an anonymous poster telling me it's "rude" to not post everyday, that people "expect" me to post something everyday.

Well, ya know, sometimes I just have nothing to say. And, sometimes, I just don't feel like it. And sometimes, I like to watch the fifth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm (which I just bought!) instead of blogging. Shit, I think that makes me human.

And, sometimes, I go out of town. Like this long weekend (in Canada) I headed to Scottsdale where the house is finally ready!

I had a grand ole time, and didn't blog. Spank me! Harder! Ouch! Oh yeah, baby.

After getting technologically spanked, I started to think, 'Why do people blog?' I mean, really, tell me why you blog.

A lot of the time, I blog about The Dictator because I need advice or need to know that other people are in the same shoes I am in at present with her developments. (Has any other mother just been told, "When I grow up I want to drive a garbage truck so I can take away your poo?")

Other times I blog, because I am a writer and need to get my thoughts out. I suppose other times I like to talk about controversial things, to figure out human nature, and about things that piss me off. Because it's kind of like therapy.

And, sometimes I think, "Fuck, wouldn't it be nice for someone to actually pay me to do this? Hello? Anyone want to pay me to do this?"

But, honestly, I don't blog just to blog. And I don't want to blog just to blog.

I would blog, just to blog, I suppose, if someone said, "Hey Eckler! I'll pay you $500 an hour to blog every single day for an hour." I mean, most people don't love their jobs, but they work because they have bills to pay.

I love doing my mommy blogger column in The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper.

But, trust me, I've had other writing jobs where it was fucking work.

I had to write because I was getting paid to write. And there was always a pair of shoes my feet just wanted to jump into. Thus, I would write just to write (and cash the paycheck) even when I wasn't fully into writing about whatever.

I'm in a better place now. My fiance says that I've squirreled my money away. And it's kind of true. I mean, for the first ten years of my working life, I would spend like I was a high roller. I wanted a Prada coat, I'd buy it.

But I was never saving anything. And it didn't really matter. As long as I could come up with rent money.

Then, along came The Dictator. And everything changed. I mean, I started to have paranoid thoughts like, "What if The Fiance and I don't make it as a couple and I have to support her on my own?" "What if The Dictator wants to go to an American College?" (or for that matter a Canadian one.) And, "What if she wants to be a professional skater and I have to buy those very expensive uniforms?"

So, yes, I've started to save. And I'm not even saving it for me. I look at Prada dresses now and I want them. But now I'm like, "Whatever." The coat I bought last year will be just fine.

Ok, that's kind of a lie. But now I'll see a coat for $400 and I'll think, "OK, that's so much better than $4000."

The truth is, I don't even look that great in designer clothes. I don't look good in make up and I look better in flip flops, ripped jeans and a plain white tank top when my hair is a mess. That's me.

But I'm getting off topic. I think the topic being I'm also in a better place because I want to like what I do now, even if I'm not making a ton of money.

One woman I know just left a high powered ad job, where she was getting paid a ton of dough, to become a personal trainer.

Other people can't believe this. I saw her last night and told her my thoughts, which were, "It is so fantastic!" I mean, she wanted to be a personal trainer, and she's going for it. I love that. Screw doing things for a lot of money. Do what you want to do, as long as you can pay the bills and give your child a great life.

I always tell The Fiance that the happiest time in my life was when I was living in an attic apartment (With a pet mouse) for $600 a month. Not that I'm not happy now, but the point is, money truly does not buy happiness.

It buys freedom to travel, I suppose. And, yes, I hear the argument, "You can only say money doesn't buy happiness if you have money!"

Well, as someone who suffered from P.P.D in a major fucking way, I know what it's like to be depressed.

And I know what it's like to be happy. I could have had all the medical attention I wanted and/or needed and had the money, I suppose, to buy all the Miu Miu bags a gal could want when I was depressed. But I still couldn't get out of bed.

The best thing having Post Partum Depression did was make me realize that life can be good, if you make it good. (Kind of like telling your children, "Only boring people are bored!")

I love to blog. But I want to blog when I have something to blog about. Or else you'd all be The Fiance and have to listen to every mundane thought that passes through my mind. Trust me, you don't want to be on that end.

And I don't want to make blogging a chore. What the fuck? I have enough chores to do. Blogging should be fun and helpful and entertaining and supportive. That's why I read blogs.

But, no, it should be anything BUT a chore. Like I said, I enjoy blogging. In fact, I love it. But that doesn't mean I got to do it every day (Hey I also like getting facials, but I don't do that everyday.)

So spank away. Oh yeah baby.


Blogger bubandpie said...

Why do I blog is a big question. Too big. So I'll change it to "Why do I post (on any given day)?" And the answer is that I'm totally addicted to that daily hit of checking my comments and seeing feedback. Responses to my post! From people! Who read my blog!

When the pace of comments starts to slow down, that sends me back to my computer, whether I've got the time or not, to crank out a post and get more of that sweet, sweet nirvana.

11:58 AM

Blogger Laural Dawn said...

It's posts like this that totally make me LOVE your writing.
I think everyone has different motivations for blogging - Mine is more of a journal than yours (cause I'm not a well known writer with a following and really no one cares that much).
As far as everything else you said - I totally know where you are coming from. Perpsective totally changes when you become a parent. And, yes, ppd. When you get through it you do see things differently. So, differently.
Really - I so know where you are coming from. We just had a conversation at lunch about what we want to be "when we grow up" - and what matters and what doesn't when you have kids.

12:03 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight into money and happiness. I'm going through the same problem now. I've become unhappy in my job and want to apply for another, but the money decrease will be significant, so i've been wrestling with the question: money or happiness? Oh the great questions of life!

12:04 PM

Blogger Gabriella said...

I dont' blog everyday either, because honestly most of the time I don't have anything to amusing to say, plus I don't have a huge following like you do (wink wink).
I blog mainly because I enjoy writing, even if I don't write well, and it's a place to record Samantha's years.
I do love reading other blogs. So keep writing your's because it's one of my fav's.

12:39 PM

Anonymous laura said...

I think it is okay to blog whenever you feel the need/inspiration. It's like writing or doing anything else--how good would a poem be if you had to write one every single day? Or, how much would you enjoy going to the spa if you had to go every single day?

Bah, I say write whenever you feel like it and about whatever you want. I don't lead a very interesting life and about two people in the universe read my blog. And if you read it, you'd just see that it was a ginormous bitchfest about graduate school and my latest rant about the rudeness of strangers. So, don't stress! Hell, take a blogger vacation if you needed to.

You know we'd all be here when you got back! :)

12:41 PM

Blogger KnifeSkills said...

Blogging shouldn't be a chore, I totally agree with you.

I'm sorry to hear you had PPD. I'm not a mom (yet--hopefully someday)and the possibility of PPD frightens me. I recently read "Knocked Up" and I loved it! I'm looking forward to reading the follow-up to it.

Enjoy your summer.


12:45 PM

Blogger chichimama said...

Ha! If only the blog police could see my blogging stats. I go a good week sometimes these days. Sometimes life gets in the way.

I got back to blogging for therapy for PPD/PPA. It did its job, and I felt much better when I got back to writing regularly.

Now, I'm not sure why I blog. Sometimes it is because the kids did something cute, or because I need some advice from folks. Sometimes I blog so I can remember something down the road. Like "Huh, I wonder how long A has had her fever - hey! I know! Let me go check the blog!

But yeah, I would write a lot more if someone were paying me for it ;-). I spend a lot more time on the stuff that pays. Because, well, it pays.

1:37 PM

Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

I do it because it's fun. Because I have something to say, and I know there are people who are interested in hearing me say it. Yep, I'm narcissistic, but at least I'm honest about it.

It puzzles me that you were castigated for not posting every day. That's awfully presumptuous of an anonymous reader.

As for blogging becoming work, I don't see blogging that way for myself (not yet), but reading/commenting can be exhausting. I want to pay attention and give input, but I just can't keep up.

7:50 PM

Blogger Paige said...

The first job I ever told my Mom I wanted to be was a garbage man! Seriously, it's written somewhere in my childhood/baby memory book thing.

7:51 PM

Blogger Blog-o-licious said...

I found that blogging is a way to formulate actual sentences. I blog for the practice of writing, to see if people can actually follow what I am trying to impart. I think for the most part my life is mundane to anyone "listening in" but I LOVE my life and if I want to write about it oft times be it. You too, I can't believe some crab-head said you need to blog every day....bugger off to them!

8:49 PM

Blogger Kristen said...

I blog for advice, for fun, and also because my boyfriend doesn't listen very well. LOL.

9:46 PM

Blogger metro mama said...

I started blogging because I sort out how I feel about something by writing. I also wanted to do more writing, and I'm not disciplined enough to keep a journal. I need readership to motivate me.

I've stopped tring to post something every single day. I'd rather do it only when I actually have something to say.

5:23 AM

Blogger Rebecca said...

I blog about twice a week at most. Like you, I only blog when I have a story to tell. I’d rather not post my list of Things To Do or recount the errands I ran today (as some bloggers do) because really, who cares? But don't think of it as a spanking from your readers - think of it as flattery.

6:10 AM

Anonymous Susan said...

You know it's all for purely selfish reasons we want you to blog more often (read: everyday.) I need, not just want, but need, to read what's going on so I feel more normal. It's so I know other mom's spy, that they miss their critters when we're gone and have given up on being the stylish designer self centered ones. The blog is like a drug that makes us feel ok... we're just addicted and need our fix.

7:37 AM

Anonymous mean blogger said...

I'm the anonymous blogger who wrote that comment about you not posting anything in the last couple of days. I only wrote that because I enjoy reading your blog so much. I'm glad you posted something new! And I don't expect you to write something everyday, but when it's been a week, that's kinda long.

7:58 AM

Blogger Ashley said...

It's great to hear from you but I would be ridiculously hypocritical if I said that you should post every day when I'm lucky to pop out one post a week!

I think that you should do it because you like it and not because people are angry.

8:16 AM

Anonymous Grace said...

First time poster - I completely agree with you! It makes it more special when I check back a few times and there is nothing for a few days then tada! there is a new post. That goes for everyone's blog.

Side note - I've been passing this article on to news agencies and friends because I think it may have some validity and is a very serious issue! Could SIDS be related to mattresses in cribs?

Take a peek as a mum and maybe let me (us) know what you think. Worthy of more investigation by a reporter? Anyone you can pass it on to? Tried to send to Erica Ehm too but who knows if she'll get the email...

Cheers! Grace

8:54 AM

Blogger Jennifer P said...

At first I started blogging to keep in touch with my family. Then my mom said my blog was depressing because I was too hard on myself when I did poorly in a race. Now I blog abuot my boobs, because that's apparently what my readers what to hear about. I actually got complaints today that I hadn't talked about them lately.
Blog whenever about whatever you what -- that's the whole reason I blog, and the reason I read your blog.

2:53 PM

Blogger Amanda said...

You go girl! I just LOVE how you say it like it is!!! You blog whenever you want to blog and that is the way it should be. I view blogging as an online diary (hence the name of my blog and why would I write in my diary other than for myself, right?! I do have to say that I do LOVE to read your blog posts and look forward to new ones whenever they come out :)

5:39 PM

Blogger Irish Eyes said...

AMEN, Mama of Dictator.

6:56 PM

Blogger Rebecca said...

Great post! I love your writing too!

I'm with you... blog when you want to, when you have something to blog about. I've been guilty about popping off an "I got nothing" post when it's been too long because I also feel guilty about not posting. And I don't have remotely the readers you do! Can I have a link? ;-) But sure, sometimes I go a while without posting... it's gonna happen and it's cool, no worries.

Heck, I've got one brewing right now that's probably going to be a rant and I'm waiting until I'm a little less pissed off before I post it so it might not even get in for a few days. (or maybe tomorrow) But the long-winded point is, do it when it feels good, when it helps, when it's amusing, and even sometimes when you just need the buzz of comments on the blog. It's yours... use it how you need it.

7:23 PM

Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

I have found that the truly witty and funny blogs are those that only get published every week or so.. there are other blogs that get published every day (mine included) that are more mundane but equally enjoyable. It really all depends on the style and preference of the writer.

Personally I like to write every day -- or even several times a day -- but I've long since given up trying to constantly be witty or funny.

You are both extremely witty and funny. I think you're blogging speed is just right.



9:17 PM

Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Until it DOES become a job and someone is paying for it, you are the boss and you get to do it when you want to and how you want to.

I blog because I love to write and like you its a bit therapeutic. I also love the blog community ... which to be honest I didn't even know existed before I started the blog ... I thought it would just be a fun creative outlet.

Your blog is great which is why your commenters are begging for more ... but don't put pressure on yourself or it won't be fun any more.

5:34 AM

Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I blog when the muse hits, and when there's time. Usually about every two days, weekends off. Once it stops being fun, I'll stop.

I spoke to Heather Armstrong (Dooce - oh yes I did! I'm not above licking the feet of a blog celebrity) about whether blogging as a living reduces one's joy in writing. Short answer: yes. Long answer: it provides much that is good, but it is often, often crushing, the pressure to turn out perfect posts and keep one's readership up.


The lesson: blog when you like, as you like. Blog because you love it.

7:35 AM

Blogger jess said...

dude- you are writing for free for fun. that is pretty amazing even if you only do it once a year.

it is way hard to do the same thing that you do for work in your spare time

thanks for your posts

8:41 AM

Blogger Annie, The Evil Queen said...

As though anyone has a say in your blog but you. I thoroughly enjoy your blog but would hate to think you are just sticking stuff on the web to have an obligatory 800 words a day. I write my blog to keep my family and friends updated on my life. But it goes up on my timeline. Sometimes that is every day, sometimes it is once a week. C'est la vie.

9:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I blog because the voices in my head make me.

OK seriously, I blog because I want to share the experiences I'm having with others. (I'd love to say I seek advice, but with limited traffic and one comment that would be a misnomer.) Sometimes the catalyst is some event we've experienced (trip, a cute anecdote) and others I just get an idea and want to run with it.

And in a moment of pure naked honesty, I blog so that maybe, just maybe, another parent will read my site and benefit from it.

9:52 AM

Blogger Jenn said...

I *could* blog every day - but some days are just not blogworthy. And besides - I don't need to put the mundane-ness of my life into a public forum. I blog when there's something amusing that I want to share with people, and if that's not often enough - too bad people - that's what TV is for - get a life!

10:30 PM

Anonymous anonymASS said...

i'm glad you blog about what you want, when you want, and how you want. that's why it's YOUR blog = YOUR rules.

1:30 PM

Blogger primetimetvaddict said...

I totally agree with you - blog only when you feel you have something to say and if you enjoy doing it. Otherwise, why bother? Life is too short.

Why do I blog? Good question. In general, I started a blog because there seemed to be more people online who liked the same shows I did than in my "face to face" life. And also because I love to write, but have neglected it the past few years while I finished grad school and started a business. And what really got me was when Everwood got cancelled in favour of bringing back 7th Heaven (don't even get me started).

In the summer months it's harder for me, since most shows are on hiatus, so I write only when I feel inspired.

Long answer to a short question. Love your blog by the way. Read your columns all the time at "the other paper" and continue to buy "Knocked Up" as a great gift for friends. Can't wait for the next one!

5:26 PM

Anonymous Much More Than A Mom said...

I originally started blogging to keep family near and far updated on my pregnancy. Then I had my first comment from someone I didn't know, followed her link and I was hooked. It's still primarily for people who know me, but I love the networking.

I've moved to

Come on over and check out my new look!

10:18 PM

Blogger Haley-O said...

I try to blog Monday to Friday. For me, it's a practice/exercise in writing. "Write a little something every day" is what great writers often say. So, my blog is my writing exercise.

My blog also enables me to write for an audience and, by extension, to develop my confidence as a writer writing for readers. It's one thing to write in a notebook or journal, but it's quite another to write for actual readers.

I will be blogging for $$ come September, and I totally considered the possibility that it'll become chore-like. But all "work" is a chore. I'll just approach it as "play" that I happen to be paid for. Awesome! I just have to enjoy it. Enjoyment is the key to writing well, for me anyway.

1:34 PM

Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

Tell anonymous poster, if they want to send you a check for each blog post, you'll write as many as they want. The nerve of some people...

11:09 PM


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