I don't want to be Dooce

I've been thinking about this a lot since BlogHer 08. Yes, I do write for BlogHer but no, I did not attend (I've never attended). I followed the Twitter updates and read the blog posts during and after. I read a lot about jealousies, being ignored and not being invited to private parties. And then I read Rita's post, "Jealousy Isn't Always An Ugly Emotion" at BlogHer and all the comments. I simply don't get it. I don't get being jealous of another blogger - not for their traffic, not for their content, not for their income, not for the opportunities their blogs generate. I really don't understand why anyone else is either. And I really don't understand the hatred directed at other bloggers because they have any or all of those things.

Are there bloggers I like? You betcha! Some of them I know either online or in real life but for most I fall into the Fangirl spot. Not everyone is going to be my friend and that's fine. I don't want to be friends with someone just because they are cool or write well. I really don't want to be friends with someone just because they are popular.

I can clearly remember the day that I decided that.

I was in ninth grade and I hovered on the edges of the popular crowd. I was really too bookish and well, to be honest, too poor to be cool and popular. I didn't wear the right clothes, I didn't watch the right movies, I didn't listen to the right music, I didn't have cable, and I liked books far too much. If I were to classify my position in that group I was a pawn - I moved only in a few directions when commanded. I was the weakest link and easily expendable. One morning before homeroom I was sitting with my back against the lockers surrounded by the cool crowd when I looked around and realized that I had a decision. I could stay there and be the pawn that lives on the edge, frequently ignored except when needed for one of their games while waiting for the day they permanently cast me aside. It would be a life of insecurity. Or I could be the pawn that increased their power and to do that I had to leave. I could be in command of my own movements. I stood up, I walked away and I never looked back. I never regretted it.

It's probably one of the few truly smart things I've done in my life. That and when I stopped getting my hair permed (especially the bangs, OMG the bang perm! *shudder*).

No, I don't want to be popular/famous/whatever like Dooce/whoever's name you want to put in this spot. Sure the income would be nice but the hate mail wouldn't. The hate blogs wouldn't. The threats wouldn't. The scrutiny wouldn't. The having people wanting to be your friend just because you are famous wouldn't. The people thinking that they are destined to be your BFF because they see a tiny portion of your life wouldn't. No, I'm not jealous of the popular bloggers one bit. I don't hate them. I have a great deal of respect for them but I don't want to be them. I won't put them on a pedestal nor will I treat them with contempt.

Yes, I do make money online. No, it's not enough to live on. And, no it's not directly through this site. And yes, you bet your ass I consider myself fortunate for the money I do make. But I work for it too. I have deadlines to meet and if I don't do the work I don't get paid. It's work that same as my day job is. Or rather what my day job will be when I'm back to working. In case you've never been here before, I'm not working right now and it's not because I'm rolling in online dough. My personal circumstances changed and I quit my job and relocated to a new city (so yeah, being out of work right now my student loan lenders really like my online money). I can make a damn good living in my industry and when I'm working and my online income pales in comparison.

I occasionally get books for free from publishers/marketing/PR folks but I don't do them in exchange for money nor do I promise them a good review. I've only once been offered something other than books to review and I declined (it was poorly pitched).

No one is handing me money just for being here. No one is paying me money to write this. I don't run ads (I have considered it - I might someday after I switch servers). I blog in three places. I write here for many reasons but mostly I write for myself. I write here for many reasons but mostly for myself. I write here and partcipate in this community for many reasons but mostly for myself.

Yes I have writing envy sometimes. There are bloggers who are able to communicate and write in ways that I can only dream of and work towards. They push me to be a better writer and better blogger but not because I want to be them or be like them. I don't want to imitate them. They push me to be a better version of myself - a more open, articulate, and sincere form of myself. The most that I hope for is that someone responds to my writing and my voice.

I think that when we get jealous of people we focus on what or who we're not instead of what or who we are. In a blog people respond to what you write, how you write and mostly who you are. Jealousy only diminishes that. Somedays I wish someone would explain to me why anyone would want to be anyone but who they are but even if they did I don't think I'd ever understand it.