Thursday, June 5, 2008

Look, Mom! and What to Expect from Feminist Blogging

Part I: Blushes. A writer I admire likes me back! I know, not because I sent her a 'do you like me - yes, no, maybe' note, but because she gave me an award! It looks like this:

Yeah! I have so many people to thank... This also means that I'm to give 10 awards to other emerging writers I admire, so promote your latest projects in the comments!

Part II: The blogging life. It really is nice to get noticed by someone you read, because it can be a rough, rough world out here in the feminist blogosphere. In case you're thinking of starting your own, here are the steps in creating a feminist blog:

1. Sign up. This is not as easy as you'd think. First, you have to choose a user name. Your first name is taken. Your nickname is taken. Your last name... taken. You begin to realize that you aren't as individualistic as you thought. Try alternate spellings of your first, nick, and last names - but they're all taken. Try plays on words, foreign-language equivalents of you name, names of your favorite characters from films and novels - it turns out that all your interests are trite, and you aren't as witty as you'd like to think either. Finally, in desperation, look around the room and name yourself after whatever happens to be in view - bluechair or tatteredcarpet, perhaps. It is done, set in stone - you have a blog name. You immediately think... 'You know, I don't really like my name much...' This will be your online identity... forever. Unless, of course, you decide to change it. Now, choose a URL. Plan an hour for this, because your first 50 ideas... taken.

2. Post. You will love it. You've formed words and put them into the world. In your eyes, your post is beautiful. You will wait for readers and comments. No one stops by to confirm your genius. Your beautiful post is one of billions of posts, floating unnoticed in the ether.

3. Repeat step 2, repeat step 2, repeat step 2...

4. When you begin to wonder if blogging might be a dumb hobby, go do something else for awhile, resolving to forget about the blog entirely. I recommend playing Wii. Do not delete your blog. After a couple of weeks, you'll want to write a feminist critique of Wii - for your blog.

5. Finally, someone you don't personally know will comment. You'll install Site Meter and realize that you have tens - that's right tens! - of regular readers, plus tons of people coming in through Google looking for... well, this is a PG site, folks, so I won't tell you what they're looking for... The realization that someone is reading will cause two conflicting desires- the drive to work harder and make your blog more insightful and eloquent, and the desire to sit in front of Site Meter all day, not posting, but simply watching what odd searches lead people to you, imagining their bizarre lives. (I get at least 10 hits a day from people looking for 'sexy turkey' - it took me awhile to realize that people wanted pictures of women (or men) from Turkey, not shots of poultry striking provocative poses).

6. Trolls will find you. Some will call you dumb for claiming that sexism exists. Others will use sexist language to abuse you, telling you that you must be stupid or icky because you're female. Most will do both, simultaneously. Do not be tricked into thinking you can save them from their meanness and stupidity with your rational arguments - the mark of a troll is that they don't respond to logic, they just show up to hurl vacuous insults. Every feminist blogger has to decide how to handle her own trolls, but there are a variety of tactics.

7. About this time, though, you'll realize that other, sane people are leaving really interesting comments on your posts, sending you insightful emails, and sometimes even referencing your words in their own posts. This will make you so happy. You've found a feminist community! You'll realize that blogging really is satisfying, even if it never gets you that book deal. (If anyone wants to offer me a book deal, though... I'm listening...) And maybe, just maybe, someone whose words inspire you will acknowledge you by giving you an award.

And then what will you do? Repeat step 2, repeat step 2, repeat step 2...

You'd didn't expect to now get an award every day, did you? Perhaps you should go play some Wii...

(Troll art via, hands via)

14 comments:

Dee said...

Aah this resonated. Right now I enjoy taking a break and reading and commenting on insightful blogs like yours. Award well deserved. Keep repeating step 2.

Casmall said...

HA! Great post. Please.. repeat step 2

Habladora said...

Thanks, ya'll. Dee, I love your blogs as well - I hope it isn't the recent rash of trolls that's got you down?

Site Meter is a dangerous thing... I could watch all day. I just got someone looking for Christmas lesbians... I wonder what they were expecting? Instead they got... a big ol' eye full of feminism!

Kris-Stella said...

Award definitely deserved! And oh so right about sitemeter and random Google paths that lead to one's blog... I get some predictable ones ("sexy eastern europeans") and some that really confound me ("coffee for abortion" is so popular it makes me uncomfortable).

Habladora said...

Ugh... I have no idea what that could mean...

I just discovered another trial for bloggers, though. As it turns out, I can spend hours - yes, hours - playing with Blogger templates, trying to make them look more like WordPress templates by merely tweaking the colors. Blogger... give us sleeker looks! I can't waste another night this way!

OutcrazyOphelia said...

You cannot resist the siren song of Wordpress--it let's you cut posts!

I think your blog is excellent too.

Sally said...

lmao this is SO TRUE! I love it! I'm installing site meter right now!

Habladora said...

Ophelia, you moved from Blogger to WP, no? Was the transition easy? WP does some traffic tracking too, which is nifty. And... so pretty... Changing over would feel like starting from scratch, though. So, I guess I'll hang out with Blogger for just a bit longer. It might not be perfect, but its home.

Oh, and you KNOW I love your site -both content and style. Did you design your own header image?

FeministGal said...

hahahahahahaha this was brilliant!! I especially love #4 because you don't understand how equally addicting the site meter and the wii are for me :) hehe

Habladora said...

I try to stay away from Wii these days - one addiction at a time...

Dee said...

Nope. Son is home from school and I have 2 more blogs and a friend who wants me to help with her business so I needed to take some time off.

Habladora said...

Dee, we'll miss you while you're away, and look forward to some more thoughts on feminism and lawyering soon! Don't be a stranger...

NewsCat said...

Heh, sounds about right. I always tell new bloggers "Sure it's all fun and games until you've gone two weeks without writing anything and suddenly you get blog-guilt abandonment fears."

Flibbertigibbet said...

Lovely! Right now I am stuck on Step 2. ;-)

Keep up the great work!