Yesterday Maddie Grant tagged me in a timely meme: The Gen X-er Meme--Have we sold out? Timely because I had just received a total spanking from the awesomely snarky blog, Ask And Ye Shall Receive. Actually, spanking is too kind a word; double penetration with a large blunt object is a more accurate description. But I digress...basically that review highlighted what I already know: I have sold out as a blogger.
I used to blog out of sheer passion for writing--I wrote about what I wanted and used whatever language I wanted. I didn't care who read it--even when that audience included my mother who would often call to lecture me that I shouldn't be revealing so much of my "personal business" to the world.
Then I started paying attention to the rules of blogging--the ones that say if you want to attract more readers you should stick to one topic. So I started a new blog--this one. I wrote about social media. I stopped using the "F" word--well, mostly. And I'm still writing about social media, along with about half the people on this planet who are doing the same.
In a way, this blog has turned into a job, and has also resulted in professional success. I've gotten speaking engagements, invitations to write for other publications and yes, even job offers--all as a result of this blog. At what cost, though? Well, read what Madame Belllicose wrote about me. Not that she's even remotely close when it comes to me as a person: if there's one thing I'm not it's bored with life or, in my personal opinion, boring. But she is 100% right about my blogging; I am boring now because I see blogging as a resume-booster and not the creative outlet it used to be for me.
Aside from blogging, though, have I sold out? Well, if you go by looks alone--probably. Me, my house and my family would have no trouble at all fitting right in on Wisteria Lane. Definitely not the look I was rocking back in high school and college. But if you go by career success, that would be a definite no. First of all, at the age of 41, the longest I've ever stayed in a job is 3 years. Second of all, the term "selling out" implies that you are actually in a position of some stature, presumably making big money. Neither is true for me--I am nowhere near the top rung of anything approximating a career ladder. Do I care? Sometimes. Money-wise, I certainly care, as braces and college tuition loom in my not-too-distant future. Career-wise do I care? Does it bother me that others my age and station in life are much further ahead of me in their careers? I'm honestly not sure.
Am I still the same person I was 20 (ok 25) years ago, when my hair was a different color every month and I was a creative writing major with a pretty awesome portfolio of poetry and short stories? I like to think so.
Ok--tagging the next victims.
1) Penelope Trunk. If you read this blog you know I'm obsessed with Penelope Trunk and I can't see how anyone who blogs about stuff like miscarriage, abortion and pubic grooming in the context of career advice would consider herself a sell out--but maybe she'll surprise us with a post.
2) Um, aside from the people Maddie and others have already tagged, I can't think of any other Gen-Xer who blogs and used to be edgy. If I think of more I will come add them to the list.