Late Sunday afternoon I was flipping through channels and came across Julie & Julia. It was just at the beginning – two minutes in – and so I stopped and started watching. The first notable part of this story is that it is extremely rare for me to watch a movie on television. With rare exceptions, I do not watch movies more than once, and I really have to gear up to watch one. It takes planning. I seem to associate mindless TV watching with short 30- to 60-minute snippets — you don’t feel like you’re committed to sitting still any longer than that, although most of the time I watch three or four of those “short” blocks in a row.
Anyway. I had been wanting to see Julie & Julia (for those unfamiliar, it follows a New Yorker who blogs her way through Julia Child’s 500+ recipe cookbook), and after a morning of errands we were committed to chilling out on the couch for a few hours before we even thought about dinner. So we watched it. It’s really cute, by the way. Anything with Meryl Streep is amazing.
It was a reflective experience watching the Julie character, way back in the stone ages of 2002, start a blog. She was feeling unmoored, uncertain of her place in life or at home, uncomfortable with the fact that she wasn’t chasing a dream or hitting a new goal. It got me thinking about why I started blogging — and how much my answers lined up with hers. Do everybody’s, to an extent?
I was happy, but felt complacent. I’d stalled out at work, my personal life was no longer in a state of engagement-moving-marriage flux, and I didn’t feel like I had a short-term goal to aspire to. I became all jumbled up in my long-term goals and knew I needed something to bridge the years.
More than that, I needed a new creative outlet. Mine is the heard-it-before story of the little girl who filled notebooks with words and drawings, threw herself into her essays and creative writing in college, and then, with the exception of a few journal entries and a failed start to a novel or two, got caught up in life and walking away from what had always centered her before. At the same time, the pace of this city, and having a full-time job, have done a number on my attention span. So I needed something short-form, something that showed results and connected me both with other people and with the spark that once lit up my world.
This blog has been that for me. It’s still not quite sure what it wants to be when it grows up, so I thank you for sticking with this jumble of content and post topics. But it’s grounded me in some way. Now I have a new job and I’m settling into the rhythms of a routine, so I’ve become a bit of a slacker on this writing front. But I have to remember to focus on it more, or these slowly rekindling embers will burn out again.
I’d love to hear your story — why did you start blogging? What draws you to other people’s writing?