This was the week I tasted greatness and then was put back in my place. This was the week I found out I was small potatoes. This was the week I realized blogging is a lot like high school— and I HATED high school. This was the week I lost Most Miscellaneous Blog to those bitches ranting in Mommyland. (I kid, check out Rants in Mommyland, they seem like very nice people).
Getting people to vote for me has not been part of my life since, well, EVER. I did not campaign for high school president or try to get elected captain of the cheerleading squad (I wasn't on the cheerleading squad, obviously). I'm a competitive person who doesn't like losing so when it comes to popularity contests, I've always preferred to count myself out.
Little did I know when I started Mommy Shorts that blogging is putting yourself in the biggest popularity competition of them all. Don't like wondering why your best friend hasn't called you all week? Try studying your blog traffic. Every day and every post is an opportunity to make friends or get rejected. Think you are happy with your 200 facebook fans? Try going up against 8000 fans (I'm referring to those Mommyland bitches again). In the blogging world, location, age, social circles— none of that counts for anything. ANYONE can be a reader and you may think you have a decent following but there's nothing like a Vote-Off to make you realize you DO NOT.
Let's get something straight. I was thrilled to be a finalist in the Bump's Best Mommy Blog Awards. I just started Mommy Shorts at the end of August and I am very proud that people have noticed. But I'm also still that angsty, apathetic teenager that thinks getting excited for being noticed is totally uncool. So once I got over the initial shock of seeing my name listed, it took me a second to figure out how to proceed. Happily, I realized I could relax because I didn't have a shot in hell at winning. I would treat this completely tongue and cheek, extra heavy on the sarcasm.
Somehow, over last weekend, that all changed. I shot ahead in the voting and began to believe I could actually win. There was an entire day when I thought I had it in the bag and—wait for it—ALLOWED MYSELF TO GET EXCITED.
I am popular! People like me! The captain of the football team is gonna ask me to the prom!
Sadly, Sunday night, I came back from a dinner where I had just bragged about my up and coming internet super stardom, and saw that Rants from Mommyland had made a play for the Most Miscellaneous category (they were nominated for three others) and had taken me out. As evidence of my massive inferiority to the power of Mommyland, while I have about seven comments under my Vote For Me! post, they have 407. No exaggeration.
OH, I thought. THIS is popularity.
But then something weird happened to me. It was like I had forgotten every angst-ridden, apathetic outsider-y movie/tv character I had ever related to as a teenager (all of them played by Molly Ringwald) and decided if I could just get everyone to vote for me again, then maybe I could win this thing! I emailed all my friends, I tweeted about it, I put it on facebook. I put myself out there in a way that I am usually SO NOT COMFORTABLE DOING.
In the end, when I still didn't win (although I held my ground somewhat, thank you voters) I felt a little icky. It was like I had tried out for the lead in the school play by belting my heart out over the school loudspeaker and then didn't even make the chorus. Or I had tried on the Homecoming Crown before I was even asked to the dance. This is partly why I opted out of the sorority thing in college. I just don't want someone else to tell me that I don't belong. If I had lost and never made a play to win, it would have all been fine.
I went to bed without finishing my blog post for the following day thinking, if this is how it feels to gain a little ground, do I really want to do this?
The next morning I woke up, published a quick caption contest and then set about finishing my post. I hemmed and hawed about whether my post was ready for an hour and then finally hit publish. All the while wondering if my heart was just a little bit less invested than the day before.
And then I clicked on my stats. Huh. My traffic was more than double what it was usually. I checked the caption contest I had posted earlier. There were already a bunch of comments. And not just any comments— comments from the people that I have come to know because they hang around my blog. Plus a few new ones. Those bitches from Mommyland had even posted a comment. I also had a slew of emails from people offering support and a bunch of direct messages from new Twitter friends. Even the Mommyland bitches wrote me an especially endearing note (DAMNIT, they make it so hard to hate on them!) And that icky feeling turned kinda warm and fuzzy. I may have lost the homecoming crown at the big dance but I came back home to a sleepover party with all my closest friends. (Who let's be honest, were always a lot cooler than the popular kids).
So thank you friends for voting for me, for reading my blog, and for being there the day after I took a stupid contest from The Bump a tad too seriously. Thank you for not making me feel silly about my lack of teenage angst and apathy. And accepting me whether I am an insider or an outsider.
I really do love writing Mommy Shorts, more than anything I've done in a long time. (Shhh— don't tell the baby). And hopefully enthusiasm is a sign of growth and not a sign that I am headed for the empty table in the high school cafeteria.
Editor's Note: I wanted to use a picture of Molly Ringwald up at the top. But then I looked at Rants from Mommyland last night and they used a shot of Molly Ringwald in their fucking post about this thing. WTF? If they are Molly Ringwald in this scenario then who the hell does that make me?? I've got their stupid panties in the bathroom, that's who.
Good to see you in the blogosphere, and I love your blog and so relate to this post. Especially because I wrote a Mommy blog, but I’m more of an Ally Sheedy type.
Not only is that one of the best posts you’ve ever written, it’s bold, honest, and makes me wanna give you a hug. You kick baby ass, honey. Oh, no wait, Mazzy, I didn’t really mean it like that, honest….
You’ve at least captured the key male, over 30, single, no kids annd jewish demo.
I love this! Awesome. You are awesome and I would have reacted the EXACT. SAME. WAY!!
You will always be a winner to me! Now go put on that cute little top-hat headband – who the heck needs a tiara when you have flapper flair??
Honest and intimate, and I’d say that last sentence is the best you’ve ever written.
Also, if it makes you feel any better, we usually get like 1 or 2 comments on our posts, and we’ve been writing for over 3 years! For me, the blog is for me and Puppy, it’s cathartic to write and if people enjoy it, that’s just the icing on the cake that Jake Ryan makes you.
I feel wrung out after reading that. So raw and honest and so self-aware. It’s our neuroses that make us so interesting – much more so than those white bread popular types, huh? Good for you for putting yourself through this and coming out the other side. From someone who spends too much time writing silly tweets rather than creating something solid, I take off my hat, booties and cute little baby jacket. Don’t stop, it’s great stuff.
I was actually sometimes mistaken for Molly Ringwald in college.
So, I’ve got that going for me.
But I’m still bitter about you being a “miscellaneous” blog.
Cause you are so not.
Ugh, speak the truth sister. Tonya (co-ad hoc MOMster) and I were just talking about the same thing yesterday. How can something so good feel so bad (blogging, of course!)so much of the time? I think my spirit was broken this week when I finally realized that my husband really doesn’t read the blog and he might never read it. Ditto–family, friends, etc. But the worst offenders–those that do and don’t admit they do! Come on people!!! Anyway, congrats on your near win and you are doing an amazing job!
I so relate to this. It’s funny, I work in marketing and yet when it comes to marketing myself (or my blog), I just can’t do it the same way. It’s more intimate and more personal and feels…weird.
I’m glad I’ve found you, for whatever that’s worth. A good read is better than popularity for me any day.
Is this Texas Stefani? See— I didn’t even know you were paying attention. Good to know:)
It’s ok— I kicked the baby’s ass earlier.* She’s used to it. Thank you for your kind kind words.
*for the purposes of this comment “kicked the baby’s ass” means “showered with kisses and zerberts”.
Awesome. That’s what I was going for. Wanna take me to the dance?
Birds of a feather and all that…:)
I left it at the wedding. Must get it back! Mazzy would totally rock that shit.
If this was high school but high school was actually some sort of Fame school for funny people. YOU, my friend, would TOTALLY be Jake Ryan.
Thank you Graham. I really appreciate that. Now go be British and write some sort of pun about waffles and David Bowie.
I looked up synonyms for miscellaneous and I got “motley”. I looked up antonyms and I got “uniform”. I’d rather be motley than uniform. Although other synonyms for miscellaneous were “confused” and “promiscuous”. So now I’m not sure what I want but I’m going to go on Nerve.com to find out.
My husband didn’t read it at first but now he does. I melt a little every time I catch a glimpse of it on his laptop. The friends thing is tough. Because initially all my friends were reading it because it was brand new and they were curious. But I’m not always sure who has stuck around. Unless of course they comment! Come on people!!!
Now following you because Kate & Lydia at Rants from Mommyland told me to. THAT’S how awesome they are. They tell me about other awesomeness, like you.
Thank you very much. Sincerely. I work in advertising and feel the same way. It’s a lot easier promoting someone else’s brand other than your own. So much at stake!
Very bold post…I love it! That friend thing that you mentioned above, I have to agree, has me stimied also. Go figure, your best friends never comment. I know that some of mine read, because they make comments alluding to the fact that they do. Never once has any of them commented…guess they are blog shy;) Would rather just stalk it than be part of the fun:)
They ARE awesome, aren’t they? Sucks when the popular girls turn out to be cool and deserving.
Thanks for the follow!
My comments tend to be from other bloggers. I think other bloggers are the only people who understand just how important comments are.
I have felt so good about blogging for the past three years. Love the people I’ve met. Have loyal readers and commenters.
Then one day I submitted to the evil ego suck that is Twitter. I got no High School vibe from Blogland until I joined the Twittosphere.
It is actually not all evil as I’ve gained a few new readers and discovered a few great blogs.
I still don’t like it though, and save most of my Tweets for inappropriate drunken thoughts. I think last night I announced I was gonna go smoke some crack.
Prom Queen I was never and never will be.
That’s actually really interesting because when I started my blog the only way I knew how to get people to look at it was by going on twitter. I’m a big fan of funny and to the point so I’ve really come to love it. I like the puzzle of getting my thought across in 140 characters. It’s an acquired skill. But it is also a lot of look at me! Read me! Like me! And you get your yes or no answer right there in real time. Harsh.
My question is: how do you get a readership otherwise?
I am a follower of Rants from Mommyland and they actually tweeted about you. I love your blog by the way and I am happy to be a follower 🙂
I know— we’re pals now:) Also- congratulations! Your comment marks the first time I have to click “show more comments” at the bottom of a post to see them all. Total blog milestone!
Glad you like the blog. Hope you keep reading..
Oh Ilana, you my dear rock mah socks in my little corner of the webiverse…is that a word? I don’t care…and I love you so much that I added you to my wall of blog flair. Consider yourself stalked.
PS. You are hotter than Molly
I’ve chosen you for some awards… check out http://themeditativemom.blogspot.com/2010/11/ive-been-awarded.html to accept them.
I’ve chosen you for some awards… check out http://themeditativemom.blogspot.com/2010/11/ive-been-awarded.html to accept them.
Blogging brings up the most complex range of emotions I’ve felt in ages. Like high school, like dating, like the SANDBOX for heaven’s sake.
But, like you, it’s also the thing I’ve enjoyed most in a long, long time. So. Onward and upward.
(I like the honesty over here.)
Thanks Kimberly! Love that I’m part of your blog flair!
Molly is not looking so hot lately- have you seen her? Or maybe someone just really dislikes her at Wikipedia…
Thank you! I’ll take what I can get:)
Thank you. The worst is when you feel like no one is paying attention. This coming from someone who has tried to fly under the radar for years.
But a thick skin is good to develop I suppose.
hey cutie, sorry i missed all of this madness. thought i’d offer just a touch of support… i’ve been blogging since 2007 and just this year got recognized by a newspaper blog award nomination thingy. it was sweet and for a moment i was all “I’VE ARRIVED” but then i realized how horrible i am at pimping myself and over the 2 week span that people voted, i kept my mouth shut, thinking my purist ways of “if i’m REALLY that good of a blogger, surely the votes will happen.”
meh. no dice. but i really dig the community and i’m not going anywhere.
congrats on the nom.
Thank you. I’m not nearly as broken up about it as the post might lead you to believe. Or at least I am very much over it now. I’m busy working on growing a thicker layer of skin:)
Your best friends may never read, but your “random friends” do. Oh yeah, you will never live that down. 🙂
Well at least I’ve gotten you to reveal yourself. How on earth would I know that you read the thing anyway???
I just found your blog not that long ago and its now become a daily ritual for me when my babe’s asleep for her morning nap. I love your your sense of humor, cute videos of Mazzy, and fun pics. My hubby and I watched Mazzy say “daddy” over and over again and couldn’t stop laughing. Keep up the blogging and know that you’d have my vote for the prom queen! 🙂
[…] first post you read on Mommy Shorts? I found you through Rants from Mommyland…I think you were in competition for an award. It was super early on. If you could #saymore with a box of chocolates, who would you send it to […]