Can a Blogger be Too Happy?

unicorn_rainbowI have to admit it – I’m feeling self-conscious.

I feel like it’s all sunshine and cotton candy over here.  I mean, maybe I’m a little nuts; I did recently write two rather serious, dark posts about my grandparents vis a vis aging and elder care issues.  Those weren’t especially uplifting.  But I can’t shake this feeling that you, dear readers, are all out there rolling your eyes, gnashing your teeth, and thinking, We know you’re working less and the boys are both in school and you have time to breathe and your kids are calm, happy and organized , and hell – even when they have fits because they don’t want to play soccer they end up flying around the soccer field on the top of the world in the end. How endlessly fascinating!

And who could blame you?

Now, to your credit, none of you have actually said this out loud or been anything but pleasant and supportive, which is really super nice of you, but I wouldn’t blame you if you had.

At the same time, I’m also aware that I may have simply and erroneously internalized the message I heard a couple years ago when I was a contributor to a large-group-of-mothers-blog that shall remain nameless.  The message was, in a nutshell: People don’t want to read about your great vacation or how well your kid is doing – readers want something they can relate to.  So give them your bad day, your deteriorating relationships, your failed parenting moments. That’s what brings in the numbers, ladies! Further, we were informed that we Midwestern mothers were the worst culprits when it came to blogging about the niceties of life and thereby tossing our own popularity and success as bloggers into the crapper.   I promptly quit that blog, crying BULLSHIT! on my way out, not because that message is implausible if you are focused on your “numbers”, but because nobody tells me I have to write about how crappy my life is when things are, for a little while anyway, going great.  Nobody puts Baby in a fake shit storm.

But despite my rejection of it, that theory – fact? – is never far from my mind, especially when things are going well like they are right now and I write a few posts in a row that literally shower my kind readers with too many unicorns jumping over rainbows.

However.  I force myself to assume that my little cadre of readers comes back to hear my honest voice, which I value enormously in the blogs I read.  If what’s going on is fabulous, that’s exactly what I’ll be sharing; the rest of the time, I’ll give you the exhausting days, the parenting mistakes, and the fact that I’m out of wine at a very bad moment.  I would expect the same from everyone else.  Do we have an agreement?

If you have a blog, do you think about this? I’d love your insights.

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11 responses to “Can a Blogger be Too Happy?

  1. Well I’ll turn away when those unicorns start flying out of your…. until then I’m just glad to see that your planning months and months and months ago to have life like this is coming to fruition. Just because happy posts make it seem easy, it hasn’t been effortless. Just you blog happy in a few months when you have to trudge through snow waist high. 😉

  2. well….. personally I think that a blog can be a bit too depressing if it’s full of the problem stuff. Personally I appreciate the honesty, hearing about the unicorns as well as when that huge big truck came and dumped a whole pile of manure in your life (figuratively speaking)…

  3. Good times, bad times, makes no difference as long as the writing is honest and from the heart. Which you seem to have very much covered, regardless.

  4. there are bloggers who share their good, happy times in such a way that it makes a reader want to vomit. Blech. A little too self-congratulatory, pat yourself on the backish.

    Not you, Jordan. Yours is, as Kristen says, honest. And it’s not like you’re saying, “Look what a great Mom I am, I’ve got this parenting thing all figured out.”

    Plus, I LOVE reading when things go well. I remember stuff for when/if I face a similar thing down the road.

    Everything about you (and your blog) is awesome! Keep writing!

  5. Honestly? Good news and happy days are sometimes a breath of fresh air.

    I write about what is on my mind…bringing in blog readers and increasing traffic is not the first thing I think about when writing.

    Write from the heart and what you care about and the rest will fall into place.

  6. For months I have worried the opposite. Why, in a shit storm, do I need to continually throw shit at the fan for everyone to read? But it was all I had and blogging was all I had. I knew not everyone could bear the details of every post, and I just had to be OK with it.

    I think you’re a great writer and a great mother (and a great grand daughter) and I’m so GLAD you’re in a good space right now (even though I personally am not prone to pooing roses).

    Honestly? I think that the blogging platform is interesting. It’s interesting to see who really clicks with your writing and who doesn’t; who comments on most posts but who really pipes up when he or she has something to add or respond.

    It’s your party – be happy if you wanna!
    xo

  7. I have to echo what so many others have written, especially Goodfountain (I keep wanting to put the @ like on twitter! teehee).

    Every post you write, regardless of the “tone” (happy or not), I walk away with something I didn’t have before. Insight. Deeper feeling. New knowledge or a changed perspective. Comfort knowing that I’m not alone and things can and will get better. Hope that the kind of life I envision **is** possible —maybe not this month or this year, but possible if I’m willing to work for it.

    The other thing that I always get from your writing and your friendship is acceptance. Flexibility of thiking. And always, always, a heart expanding to embrace what life brings you.

    So, girlfriend, you just keep on writing exactly as you’ve been writing! Please??

  8. I think you’re fine because you’re balanced. I think that this phenomenon is remarkably like scrapbooking (I know, I know, stay with me). People have a tendency to only want to scrapbook their lovely trips and how CUTE their kids are and the CUTE things they say and the CUTE shoes they wear and the CUTE posed pictures of their kids who are always smiling with those forced cheesy grins. I swear, pick up a scrapbooking magazine and you’ll instantly feel like a crappy mom with a cluttered house and children who need their noses (and other things) wiped.

    I can’t STAND it. I love happiness as well as the next person, but where’s the real life beneath the glossy unrealism? Where’s the struggles that we face in parenting? How about some balance?!

    I feel that scrapbooking – AND blogging – should be real. Nothing more than that. You can be really happy or really bummed out, and anywhere in between – but authenticity is key. No matter what that is at any given moment.

    XO R

  9. I can’t be anything other than what I am…I’ve always been this way. So I blog about funny, serious, confusion, fears and faith.

    Thanks for being open, honest and transparent. No one wants to hide behind masks, but they don’t want to be the first to expose themselves.

  10. I’m so glad you came over to comment and I found your blog again! Never be anything but real, it was always what I loved (love) about your writing.

  11. It makes me happy to see people I like being happy. You write about your life, and if it’s good, then AWESOME. Write it. Honestly, I think it’s pretty easy to skip over a post if you’re irritated by someone else’s happiness.

    But I know what you mean. I have a friend who is going through a really rough time right now. She’s newly divorced, unsuccessfully looking for a job, and really stressed. And I very purposely try not to tell her about all the things that are falling into place in my life.

    I think the very fact that you are conscious about this means that you are sensitive enough that your happiness probably doesn’t bother anyone. And, honestly, it shouldn’t.

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