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10 Reasons I Still Blog

Two weekends ago, I did a show. Not an LTYM show, which I now know how to do backwards and forwards, but a solo humor show. I combined a selection of live-readings from my blog, with a slide show and a bit of stand-up comedy, for an hour-long presentation at The Natural Parenting Expo.  As we entered the venue, my dad joked that I would serve as the “un-natural parenting” portion of the expo. I shushed him because he unknowingly stole my opening line. I already have his face (with a slighter goatee) so I thought at least I should have my own opening line. The show went well, aside from bungling my remote-clicker debut.  The slideshow clicker didn’t work, but I persevered with manual slide navigation, and you may now call me a Stay At Home Slide-show Rescuer. Thankfully, I kept the audience laughing throughout—even those not related to me or otherwise indebted to me laughter-wise.

photo by Deb Nies

photo by Deb Nies

I gave myself zero days to celebrate my first solo humor show, because I delivered the first draft of the LTYM manuscript last week. I forgot to celebrate that milestone, because I also closed some exciting soon-to-be-revealed LTYM business last week, while simultaneously preparing for our second LTYM: Madison rehearsal.  Every single item mentioned in this post—the one-woman show, LTYM business, the book, the manual remote clicking heroism—this all happened as a direct result of my blog. None of it happened overnight, and no one discovered me. These projects evolved because in 2008 Husband did not want a third child, which ignited in me an insatiable need to create, which privilege afforded me the time and support to nurture, and was bolstered by a ton of asking for help and listening to generous guides and mentors.

I want to keep evolving, and blogging seems to help me do that. Here are 10 reasons why I still blog:

1. A conversation with an audience. I don’t write only because I love to write. I specifically love to write because I love interacting with an audience—whether online, on paper, or in real life.

 

2. A body of work. I pulled together my parenting humor show from my archives in a matter of days, and discovered I could also do a marriage humor show and probably a Midwestern inter-married Jewish Girl with 18 Parents Show, too.  I can see what I’ve written over the past five years, and I can use it, build on it, or draw inspiration from it to create new works.

 

3. Good practice. Becoming a good writer demands writing a lot and continuing writing. If I didn’t keep this blog going I might still write, but I would write less.

 

4. My neuroses have a home. One of my writing weaknesses lies in the fact that it often takes me a while to figure out the why of my piece—what it’s about and where it needs to go. Writing is my favorite tool for clearing my head, and navigating my path in this world. I believe that blogging my thoughts brings me a greater understanding of myself and allows me to discover strengths within my flaws and foibles. If I only wrote when I knew exactly what I wanted to say, I’d never write. See? I found a strength, which leads to number 5.

 

5. An antidote for perfectionism. Forcing publish is how I get through writer’s block, THE END. As Cheryl Strayed said “Surrender to your own mediocrity.” This is the special sauce on my pickles-onions on a sesame seed bun. I keep surrendering–letting good enough stand in for great. I keep creating, and cool things keep happening.

 

6. Memory-keeping. My kids love to hear funny stories from their baby days. I have whole conversations documented that I would not otherwise. I can also track my progress (and backslides and missteps) as a writer, as a mother and a wife, as a daughter and a sister and a friend.

 

7. Community-building. LTYM has brought people all over the country into a sisterhood of story-sharing and truth-telling, and bringing towns together to lift up mothering and being mothered. I have friends all over the country due to blogging. Their intelligence, innovation, perspectives, and talents enrich my life and, I believe, make me a more interesting, better informed, and more compassionate human.

 

8. Creative-collaborating. Again, LTYM is one enormous ensemble project, but the internet also delivers endless opportunity for me to interact with actors, artists, comics, entrepreneurs, writers—creative people from all over the world who inspire me and up my game. Madison boasts plenty of talent, but without my online life my creative/professional life of the past five years could never have happened on this scale. All of the blog reading and commenting, even seemingly senseless tweeting and facebook-ing, provide the foundation upon which these collaborations flourish.

 

9. Staying Uncomfortable. Taking on new challenges keeps my career moving forward—whether taking risks with my writing, becoming a book editor, creating a one-woman show, or learning leadership. Staying uncomfortable for me means taking risks, maybe losing face once in a while, but increasing my potential exponentially. At least it has so far!

 

10.  Interesting Opportunities: In addition to the projects I already described, within the past year I acted in an award-winning web-series (my episode hasn’t aired yet), I’ve worked with industry leaders, collaborated with  incredible brands on fulfilling campaigns, and I’ve been invited to speak before crowds huge and small. I’ve gotten to travel around the country, meeting other creative people following their passions, and I’ve had the great honor of listening to hundreds of stories that might never have found a stage were it not for this blog and all of the bloggers I’ve met along the way.

***

Speaking of Interesting Opportunities, this summer I’m serving as an ambassasdor for Camp Invention. Stay tuned, because in the near future I get to giveaway a FREE WEEK of day camp to one lucky winner!!

50 comments… add one

  • Kelcey April 9, 2014, 11:55 am

    You are always an inspiration gorgeous lady!

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 12:35 pm

    And you only get funnier and better looking with each kid. WTF.

  • Nina April 9, 2014, 11:58 am

    So much exciting stuff happening over there! I appreciate and totally have also experienced your point that none of this happened by luck or because someone “discovered” you. You worked hard and kept working hard. I have also felt that my blog still “serves me” (annoying expression, but an apt one) because of each of the reasons you stated. Congrats on adding a new skill, slide show rescuer! ;)

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 12:36 pm

    Thank you, Nina. I love watching what you’re doing. You’re a great writer, and maybe one day can navigate a slide-show with the likes of me.

  • Melisa April 9, 2014, 11:59 am

    Love this!!

    I tell EVERYBODY that my blog has been the best kind of stepping stone to other things. THE BEST.

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 12:38 pm

    And had I not met Melisa Wells, I would an even more furrowed brow. I heart you, Small Wonder!! It won’t surprise you that after three years, I just had to correct the spelling of your name (OMG).

  • Wendi Aarons April 9, 2014, 12:02 pm

    Yay on the show!

    Laura Mayes once said to me “start a blog and see where it takes you” or something to that effect. She’s right. I fully agree and relate to everything you said in this post. And I appreciate how you mention that you weren’t “discovered” because I believe that the harder you work, the luckier you get. Maybe Laura Mayes said that, too.

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 12:39 pm

    And you are one of the most prolific talented writers in the biz, my friend. I love how we keep each other moving forward and laughing along the way. Seriously, thank God.

  • tracy@sellabitmum April 9, 2014, 12:12 pm

    Staying uncomfortable. Sing it! You’re an inspiration my friend. xo

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 12:40 pm

    You are someone who takes risks as a writer all the time, Tracy, and I greatly admire that.

  • Shannon April 9, 2014, 12:13 pm

    My only regret about blogging is that I wish I would have started earlier in my life.
    I love this post, Ann, and am so very grateful that you started this blog which led to all of the other things, most especially LTYM. You and your journey have added joy to the world of so many, including mine.

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 12:41 pm

    Shannon, I’m SO glad I got to meet you and watch you perform last year!!! You were fantastic, and I loved your humor. Thank you for adding joy to my LTYM world.

  • michael from dadcation April 9, 2014, 12:23 pm

    Totally agree with several of these! Sometimes staying with it (and starting a new one, like I just did) seems silly after >6 years as a “blogger,” especially with the interactive element (ie, commenting) pretty much gone now, but I can’t get away from #6. I forget stuff I did last year (last night, even), but with blogging, I can look back and recall good memories from my kids’ childhood, my travels, etc. Also, I meet cool folks like you!

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 12:43 pm

    I always appreciate your humor, Muskrat Man, as well as your outspoken-ness (I see that as courage), and especially your MOVES.

  • Laura April 9, 2014, 12:30 pm

    How inspiring! I feel much of this about blogging too. And now I want to go write something… :) Thanks.

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 4:45 pm

    Write on, Laura! Thank you for stopping by. Comments keep me inspired, too.

  • Ellen April 9, 2014, 1:42 pm

    My favorite is #5. I write a lot of my posts late at night and even though I’m a night owl, there are definitely nights where I think, good enough, and hit publish. It could probably be better but it could also probably take a week and then I’d just skip it.

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 4:46 pm

    It could always be better. It’s never good enough. But it exists, and by its existence propels along our way. Thanks, Ellen.

  • Arnebya April 9, 2014, 2:23 pm

    Oh, numbers 5, 6, and 7 YES. Absolutely. The mediocrity (but published!). The memory (it seems to fail more each day. Even as I am witnessing the youngest learn new things each day, I forget the day after). The people I have met and continue to meet are just a small part of why I continue to write. I have things to say and I want to engage others whether they agree or disagree because maybe we’ll both wind up enlightened.

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 4:48 pm

    Arnebya, your posts tend to enlighten me–even while I’m doubled-over with laughter.

  • Kimberly April 9, 2014, 3:39 pm

    Ann? This totally and completely RULES. I love this list. And YES to a home for our neuroses and the antidote for perfectionism. Yes, yes, and HELLS yes. Yes to community and yes to staying uncomfortable. I love your writing and this post affirms that.

  • Ann Imig April 9, 2014, 4:49 pm

    Kimberly, I love LOVE your writing, your storytelling, and the way you give your heart through your work as a physician and as a writer. I hope we meet someday.

  • Andrea @ Maybe It's Just Me April 9, 2014, 5:16 pm

    Oh, #4……sometimes it does get crowded and some need to be set free, but yes, you have to figure out exactly who they are first. (Don’t want to kick out the good guests who might’ve brought snacks)

  • Ann Imig April 10, 2014, 6:22 pm

    And they all have a place to kick off their shoes and dance!

  • Anna Whiston-Donaldson April 9, 2014, 5:34 pm

    This was great, Ann! As far as the memory-making goes, I used Blog2Print to make a book of my blog for my family. Okay, it was for me. Took about 10 minutes, start to finish! I love having all the posts so easily accessible. I had forgotten a lot of what I wrote “before.” xo

  • Ann Imig April 10, 2014, 6:22 pm

    I need to do this, Anna!!

  • Alison April 9, 2014, 5:47 pm

    Ann, thank you for this post. I’ve not been feeling the blogging/ writing lately, and you’ve just reminded me why I do want to keep on keepin’ on. You rock.

  • Ann Imig April 10, 2014, 6:24 pm

    Alison, isn’t great when you feel inspired? Not always easy to come by. We all need to give each other a little boost once in a while. Thanks so much.

  • Lea S. April 10, 2014, 2:42 am

    That’s a great summary of why bloggers blog. As a new blogger, I share a lot of these reasons already – that is, especially the personal ones! As for the rest of the reasons (interacting with readers and building community, opportunities), I hope to grow into those as I build up my blog!

  • Ann Imig April 10, 2014, 6:25 pm

    Lea, if you keep reading and commenting it will happen (and most important, writing). Best of luck to you!

  • alexandra April 10, 2014, 11:53 am

    You’re going to make me stand up, proud, even though I’m home alone for no one to witness. Oh, wait, I AM SOMEBODY. Thank you, Ann, you know how much blogging has done for me. Given me a place to share the stories I never want lost, thank you for the support and encouragement of you, your blog, and LTYM. THANK YOU.

  • Ann Imig April 10, 2014, 6:26 pm

    Not enough thank yous for you Alexandra. Never enough. You should feel at least 9 feet tall by now, Grand Slam Storytelling CHAMP! xo

  • injaynesworld April 10, 2014, 5:02 pm

    Ann, you were one of my first readers when I first started my blog in 2009, and you chose two of my posts into the “Funny, Not Slutty” anthology. I’ve stalked, I mean tracked you ever since and watched how you’ve developed your brand out of your humor and, most important, your humanity. I couldn’t be happier to have crossed paths with you and had the opportunity to watch you grow. Congratulations on all the good stuff and success you’ve manifested. You are a lovely lady and most deserving.

  • Ann Imig April 10, 2014, 6:27 pm

    Jane, you are such a class act. I had forgotten ENTIRELY about the FNS anthology and that I had anything to do with it. Man, my memory is crap! I always admire you, your writing, and your kick-assery. Thank you for your kind words and support. xo

  • Anne Flournoy April 10, 2014, 6:12 pm

    YO. IMIG. Thanks for the (hyperlinked) shoutout!! And yes, “Writing is my favorite tool for clearing my head, and navigating my path in this world.” And the bit about force publishing being an antidote to perfectionism. Amen! I love your sense of humour.

  • Ann Imig April 10, 2014, 6:45 pm

    Anne, I love yours right back!!! xoxo

  • Phyllis April 10, 2014, 6:15 pm

    Thanks! You have inspired me to keep going on my blog. :)

  • Ann Imig April 10, 2014, 6:47 pm

    Phyllis, that’s good b/c I’m probably at least partially responsible for your blog absence :)

  • Jenn April 10, 2014, 8:25 pm

    Now I totally get how the show is like a 3rd kid. Because, yes. Today I forgot to send my 5-yr old with 10 plastic goody-filled eggs because I was doing show stuff, even though I had the darn eggs on my calendar.

    Loved this post. My favorite is definitely #5 because I was there with you when we heard Cheryl give us those words of wisdom which I have since learned to embrace. Congrats on your solo show!! Will it ever go to YouTube? I’d love to see it.

  • Rebecca Einstein Schorr April 11, 2014, 2:53 pm

    These are great reminders for those times when blogging might feel like a “have to” rather than “want to” activity.

    I too can attest that most of the opportunities that have come my way are a result of my blogging.

    But most importantly, I love the interactions and relationships that have been forged on my blog.

    Can’t wait to see what happens next with you!!!

  • Amy Bridges April 11, 2014, 3:40 pm

    Love this! Inspiring and funny!

  • Liesl Testwuide April 11, 2014, 6:57 pm

    Congratulations on the one-woman show! Just when my blogging interest is beginning to wane, you reignited my passion for continuing that thread in my life. You are living proof that you just never know what is just around the corner! Thank you!

  • Liz @ ewmcguire April 11, 2014, 9:05 pm

    Nodding my head at every single one, Ann. You are such an inspiration…like “tattoo your face on to my bicep” kind of inspiring!

  • erin margolin April 12, 2014, 9:46 am

    you are a FORCE.
    you’re someone I admire, respect, and aspire to be more like every day.

    thank you for letting some of us tag along via your blog & virtual coattails.

  • Nicole @MTDLBlog April 13, 2014, 5:24 pm

    I’ve actually never been by your space here on the internets – shocking I know! Because I know all about LTYM (I adore so many of your hosts! Fantastic choices).

    It’s funny how certain reads come as you might need them. I am at such a crossroads with my work. Blogging has brought me to each and every opportunity and I am like you, I need something to focus on and to feel creatively tapped . I love the connection that the blogging world brings, the camaraderie, the knowing that we are all on our own individual paths yet still on the same one. I can only hope I figure mine out…I am just in limbo for a spell. But, your post has given me a bit more confidence to be ok with the decisions I make and to jump into whatever I decide. Vicki from @uppoppedafox shared this and I thank her for that. Much needed. :-)

  • Jack April 16, 2014, 8:03 am

    I think it is great you are still blogging. Bloggers who don’t grow and evolve tend not to last. It really does sound like it suits you.

  • ruchi koval April 20, 2014, 12:29 am

    Oh this made me happy. Because sometimes I feel like continuing to blog is like riding a dead horse. So thanks for reminding me and inspiring me!

  • Sarah April 20, 2014, 12:54 am

    I couldn’t agree more!

  • YOUR BOBBIE April 20, 2014, 2:59 pm

    PANNIE, YOU SPEAK TRUTHS FOR NOT ONLY YOUR CALLING BUT FOR ALMOST EVERY CREATIVE ACT IMAGINABLE. IN JUST THESE FEW WORDS, YOU CAPTURE THE EXCITEMENT OF CREATING, THE KEY TO GROWTH AND THE PAYOFF FOR FOLLOWING THE PATH YOU LAY OUT. I THANK YOU, LOVE YOU AND ROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, ADMIRE YOUR MOXIE AND WISDOM.

  • Pam April 21, 2014, 1:16 pm

    Great post! This might even inspire me to… post something on my dusty old blog! Seriously, I love everything about this. I feel like I should print it and post it in my writing corner. (“Office” would make it sound much fancier than it actually is).

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