Saturday, July 17, 2010

For two weeks, I was a travel blogger

I kept a blog for my family when Meg and I were in South Africa.

I started it a few months before we left, with information on how I was planning the trip, how we got tickets, where we were going: really general things that I wrote just to have some content and give a little background on our trip.

While I was there, I tried (unsuccessfully) to blog every day. But I usually woke up a bit before Meg every morning and I'd fire up my laptop and pound out a few paragraphs on what we'd been up to.

At the time, I hated what I was writing. It was so bland to me. There was no creativity to my writing. It was all very we-did-this-and-then-we-did-this-and-then-we-had-dinner. It was lacking spark, I felt, but I didn't have the time to sit down and pull something glorious together every morning. I did my best.

And then I'd upload a few pictures to distract people from actually reading.

Even though I wasn't (and am still not) thrilled with what I wrote, I'm really glad that I took the time to do it. I haven't even been home for three weeks and I'm already forgetting little details. One day blends into the next. What day did we meet the Brazilians? Where was that restaurant? I'm glad that we have a fairly detailed, if not exquisitely written, account of our adventures.

So, I suppose that the blog was just as much for me as it was for my friends and family.

I was pleasantly surprised, actually, by the reception that our blog got. I expected that I would email out the link, and everyone would just check in once or twice and sort of forget about it. (Except for my mom, maybe, since she thinks that practically anything Meg and I do is stellar and excellent and otherwise perfect.)

Our cousin Liz told us that she thought our blog was just hilarious. She read the entire blog over and over again. And then she made her boyfriend read it. ...while she hovered over him, lauging at the funny parts before he got there.

And one of Meg's friends told her that she adored our blog and thought that I was such a good writer.

(Such a good writer? Girl, that was crap! You should see the emo drivel I spew all over my blog on a regular basis!)

My grandma called me on the day we got home and gushed and gushed and gushed. "I read it every day," she told me. "And I would print it out and give it to my friends for them to read!"

Grandma went to Chicago to visit Aunt Louise and Uncle Ed during our time in South Africa, so she showed them our blog. "They say that you should write a book, honey," Grandma told me. "I showed it to them and that is what they said. That you are such a good writer that you should write a book!"

(I'm just waiting to get that lecture from the two of them, never shy to tell you EXACTLY what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.)

"You should write a book," my mom said when I told her about the comments from my aunt, my uncle and Grandma.

"Writing a book is not like writing a blog, Mom."

"You could do it. Write a book like a blog. A blog book!"

Oh, if only it were that easy, dear Mother. If only I had a story. And the dicipline. And the time. And the agent. And the massive advance that would let me quit my job (just the full-time one; I'll keep the 'brary gig).

I don't share my writing with my friends and my family. And I don't think they'll be finding my novel on the New York Times bestseller list anytime soon.

It was just nice to be recognized for a hobby that I quietly engage in almost every day.


Kar said...

You could totally write a book -- and your writing on the travel blog -- awesome (as usual).
Maybe you could start writing travel pieces or sports pieces for local media??

Anonymous said...

Do share!

my life is brilliant said...

I agree -- you're a great writer! I want to read your travel blog now.

Your writing style is just honest and real. It tells a story without getting too wordy, which I'm afraid I do from time to time. In fact, I feel like my blog is (was) always just spitting out details.

Guess people sometimes just like those!

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