Saturday, September 29, 2007

The State of Blogging

All day I contemplated what I might throw into the mix for my usual Smorgasbord Saturday post. While in the language lab taking a German quiz and test, I thought about how ridiculous it was that my week didn't go well enough to allow me to do that in class. The problem therein, certainly not worthy of the smorgasbord. While driving south of town to visit a friend I thought about how annoyed I was with the weather (snow in Pocatello this morning), but that too didn't seem worthy of the smorgasbord. I thought long and hard, then I read this, and decided today isn't a smorgasbord kind of day.

Blogging can be a futile effort. At times it can gnaw at you all day until you have a moment to sit down and pound it out on the keyboard. Occasionally blogging becomes an enormous frustration and you have to take a step back, get some space from it, and remind yourself why you began the gig in the first place.

d2's post this morning made me take a step back and do exactly that. I looked back at day one of The Political Game and remembered what I was thinking when I started up my own blog. I wanted somewhere to vent, somewhere to let loose, somewhere to show my political colors without feeling stifled. I wanted that safe haven d2's talking about. I wasn't trying to create a safe haven for my readers, I was trying to create a safe haven for myself. I needed something so flexible that I could talk Kennedy one day and spew baseball stats the next. I needed that outlet just as much as I wanted it and as time has gone by (hard to believe it has been three years) I have come to appreciate the place the blog has in my every day life. Blogging can really consume a person.

In addition to the safety zone I feel I have created for myself in this space, I have had the wonderful opportunity of encountering some of the brightest minds in Idaho politics and some of the most gentle, compassionate people around. There are a handful of Idaho bloggers that I do not hesitate to shoot an email to when I don't quite understand something, need a link, or just want to rant about whatever stupid political maneuver occurred that day. The wisdom of my fellow bloggers is not something I take for granted. It is no coincidence that two of Idaho's top bloggers are theblogmother and Sage Word. Both have lived up to those names on more than one occasion where I am concerned.

There may be infighting and unfortunately, we have experienced it a handful of times, but when it comes down to it--bottom line--we're all on the same team. We'll continue to share victories together; upsets together; Bill Sali's stupidity together; and, from time to time we'll share a bit of our lives together.

Yesterday, I sent a fairly personal email to a fellow blogger after becoming fed up with a string of comments I was following on a blog. I don't think before that semi-emotional email, I had realized how it is all connected, it being our lives and our blogs. In my own mind I'd never realized that the blog wasn't this "other thing" going on completely outside of my regular life. It's part of it. And a pretty big part of it. My posts don't come out of nowhere (well, some are pretty random...), but are deeply rooted in the what I believe about certain issues, the way I react to stories and people, and more than anything are rooted in an Idaho upbringing with all that entails.

Last night I realized for the first time that being a blogger isn't like being a stamp collector. It's not this side job that is unattached from everything else. Being a blogger is an identity and one that gets listed with the important titles we each carry. Those titles connected to those we love, our respective religions, etc. I am a sister, a friend, a student, a Democrat, a daughter, a granddaughter, an intern, an historian, and many other things. Until yesterday I'd never thought to add "a blogger" to this list. Looking at the list, being a blogger is just as important as many of the things on that list, though nothing is as important to me as that first identity.

When we can't agree on hate crimes, children's health insurance, what the Democratic Party should do (or not do) about the Craig issue, or the MoveOn ad, we are all still bloggers.

Pie fights aside, I personally feel the state of blogging is in safe hands. And d2, if you're reading this, we've all got your back!

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