Monday, October 27, 2008

Blogging Meme!!!

Lynet has tagged me for the Five ways blogging changed my life meme. I've taken my sweet time answering this one because the change has been so dramatic that I hardly know where to begin. But I'll take a stab at it:

1. New Skillz: 1.(a) Writing, obviously. Regular writing exercise for a few years is bound to have an effect.

1.(b) The new skills that surprised me most, though, are the social skills I've developed. I've always liked parties (and especially holding dinner parties for friends), but aside from isolated social events I'd always though of myself as a shy, aloof, anti-social, introverted person. The kind of person who doesn't make friends quickly or easily.

Now, through blogging, I feel like I know everybody. I have gotten to know an astonishing number of fascinating people around the globe through their blogs, through their books and manuscripts I've read, and through email and chat conversations. I've even had the fun of meeting a few of my blog friends in person, and I hope to meet more. It's amazing!!! And I never would have guessed or predicted this would happen.

2. It eats all of my free time: I'm starting to think that blogging is a form of O.C.D.

2.(a) I get up at 6 a.m. every morning so that I can have time to check my stats and reply to comments before work. I'm proud to report that my hit counter has recently passed 500,000 hits, half-a-million. (Note that that doesn't include hits on my articles on other blogs, but I am including every click on every page of Exmormon. I figure that if after reading one page the reader liked it well enough to click to the next page, that should count for something, at least in my own personal accounting. :D )

2.(b) Even though I I only post a few times a week, I still spend all my free time on it. When I'm commuting on the train or just walking around town, I'm generally composing blog entries in my head. Or reading a book (which I will no doubt review on my blog). Or reading a fellow blogger's book or manuscript and contemplating it (which I may or may not blog about, depending on the author's preference). Then, to relax when I get home from work, I grab a beer and skim the hundred or so new blog entries that have shown up in my google reader since the day before, selecting a few of them to read carefully and reply to.

Actually, even before blogging came along, I used to analyze different subjects and ideas obsessively and compose elaborate essays in my head. But I never used to bother to write them down because who's going to read them? I'm glad that blogging has given me the motivation to write.

2.(c) Naturally, the things I used to do with my free time, I don't do them anymore. I would be spending an hour or so a day on German verb drills, but that's an hour or so that I just don't want to cut out of my blogging time. Also, I'm less ambitious at work these days: to be the star requires a certain amount of thinking about problems from work on your own time at home, and I just don't care enough anymore to think about work anytime except when I'm physically there. Also, there are fun arts-n-crafts things I'd like to be doing with my kids (like making up puppet shows like my mom did with me as a kid). I haven't done as well on that as I'd like to, but I'm planning to make an effort to do better.

I probably shouldn't be posting all this since now everyone will think I'm insane. Next thing I know, people will come and stage an intervention. ;^)

Then -- by coincidence -- UneFemmePlusCourageuse tagged me for the Where would your eight homes be? meme. I imagine the idea is to tell you where my eight fantasy homes would be -- if I were to stop wasting all my time blogging and make some money instead. ;^)

1. Paris, France. I know it's cliché, but it's a really pleasant city, and incredibly convenient for visiting friends. It's so central for train and plane travel (and tourism in general), that it's easy to get people to visit if you have an apartment in Paris to invite them to.

2. New York, NY, U.S.A. Same reason.

3. Bordeaux, France. This was the one place in the world where I most felt at home, and (after seven years there) I was sorry to leave.

4. Zurich, Switzerland. My job is here, and so is my husband's, so it's rather convenient to have a home here. Also, it's an incredibly beautiful city and a nice place to live.

5. Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A. That way I could see my family all the time, and my kids could see their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Then those guys could organize all the arts-n-crafts and puppet shows for the kids, etc., and I could stop feeling guilty about it. ;^)

6. Provo, UT, U.S.A. Haha! Just kidding!!! :D

After that, I'd just like to tour the world -- not necessarily settle anywhere else. I'd like to visit India and other parts of Asia, Africa, various islands, more of Europe, and everywhere else! We'll see how much of that actually ever happens.

I don't feel like tagging anyone in particular today, but if either of these memes interests you, please go with it!!! And if you do the first one, don't forget to link back to the originator of the meme.


Anonymous said...

You crack me up! I can barely be arsed to write one blog per month, I'm not a writer at heart. I'm more of a reader...

It's true about the Paris thing -- I go there to visit my friend who lives there, quite frequently. It's a nice place to spend a weekend.

Why did you feel so at home in Bordeaux? Do you feel at all at home yet in Zurich?

- wry

Aerin said...

Provo - not even for the scenery?

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Wry!!!

It's mostly because I don't speak German, neither Swiss German nor standard German. In other words: my own damn fault. But also there was some hard-to-pin-down way I felt like I "fit in" in France right from the beginning, while I don't really get the Swiss culture in quite the same way. But I'm starting to get used to it, and it's getting more and more familiar.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Aerin!!!

Like many places, it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Lynet said...

You're making me feel better about my own 'blogger's OCD'. I'm not quite that bad yet :-)

Mason said...

And hey! and thanks for keeping me on your exclusive Outer Blogness list even though I don't post much. It helps me feel elitist and "special".


C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Lynet!!!

It's terrible -- I'm on (at home) vacation this week (taking care of the kids because my husband has an important conference), and I can't believe how much time I've wasted reading blogs. And I'm still not done with my responsibilities: I have to write an abstract for a Java lecture and I'm planning to get back on track with a new strategy for trying to find a publisher or agent for my second manuscript...

Hey Mason!!!

Of course -- I'm happy to have you on the list, and I'm glad you got to participate in Signing for Something!!! :D

King Aardvark said...

I have no free time, so blogging doesn't eat up much of it. Then again, it means I don't get much blogging done either.

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey King Aardvark!!!

That's too bad. How can you have no free time if you have no kids?