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.