Hubby and I rented Julie & Julia last night and watched it immediately (mostly because if we don’t watch a rented movie immediately, we can’t seem to find the time to watch it before it’s due back).
It was a lovely movie. Meryl Streep was outstanding as Julia Child. That voice! That walk! That continually upbeat attitude, even when she was feeling low!
Amy Adams played Julie Powell in a manner that was approachable and real. I especially enjoyed the two meltdowns she had over things not working in the kitchen. I can relate to those meltdowns, only mine tend to be over not finding things that have been misplaced, rather than about cooking. (Hubby rescues me when I have vexing cooking questions.)
I appreciated the juxtaposition between the lives of Julie Powell and Julia Child, how both had supportive husbands, a love of fine food and cooking, and a desire to share their experiences through writing. What really perked me up, however, was Julie’s references to blogging.
At turns the beauties and pitfalls of blogging arose, including the feeling that she was writing into a black hole, where no one was listening; the joy of getting comments; the commentary of friends and family that blogging was a waste of time; the troubles involved with keeping her personal and working lives separate in relation to the blog; the heady thought that her blog was making a difference in people’s lives; the question of which private information she should reveal about her husband; and the notion that maybe blogging wasn’t “real” writing.
If you’ve been blogging for a while, all of these issues come to the fore eventually. The one thing Julie didn’t have to grapple with in relation to her blog was how long to keep it going. By setting an arbitrary deadline – a year for The Julie/Julia Project – she gave herself an out. The deadline also forced her to focus, to create a linear story, which I’m sure was helpful to creating a book and screenplay.
I have given myself no such limitations on my blogs. I started blogging on September 8, 2006, using Blogger as my platform. My first blog was called Filter & Splice. (That link goes to the September 2006 archives page, so you can scroll to my very first post.) After discovering WordPress, I decided to switch over, which happened on October 23, 2007. That’s when The Woo Woo Teacup Journal came into being. Filter & Splice remains online, but has not been updated since I made the switch. (Yes, I am the proud owner of a dead blog.)
I’ve never given myself any sort of blogging deadline, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about a time in the future when I won’t be blogging anymore. Keeping a blog is a big commitment, both to myself and to my readers. It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing this for over 3 years, but can I keep it up for 30? It’s not something I ever considered before starting a blog.
Neither of my personal blogs have a focus, other than whatever is rattling around in my head, so they don’t have a nice linear storyline. They are, however, full of patterns, because my brain does tend to revolve around the same interests and thoughts through time. It’s not that I can’t stay focused on a blog – I do that quite well on the work blog – it’s that I’d rather not because I like having a space where I can examine the varied landscape of my inner world.
If you are a blogger, have you given yourself a definitive time to stop blogging? If so, when, and how did you decide on your deadline? Do you have a specific focus to your blog, or do you prefer to let your heart lead your blogging where it will? (Please do share a link to your blog in the comments.)