Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I Learnt About Blogging From Julie and Julia

Late last year, Duncan and I watched Julie and Julia (I am definitely a Meryl Streep fan.  She is the most versatile actress ever!).
While this movie is predominately about cooking, it's also about blogging.  I found myself much more engrossed by the scenes involving Julie Powell and her blog, rather than Julia Child's rise to cooking fame.  I have no interest in cooking shows, blogs or books whatsoever.

Watching this movie was timely since I have been considering the future of my own blog recently.  I'm coming up to my sixth blogaversary in June, but I've been wondering whether it's time to stop.

Here's what I learnt from this movie:
  • While blogging can be a fun hobby, you need to be careful it doesn't take over your life.  What started out as a great suggestion from Julie's husband, came close to an obsession for her.  She began to worry if she didn't stick to the strict blogging schedule she'd set for herself.  She began agonising over comments.  She got into an argument with her husband over it.  Until you become a blogger, it's probably fair to say that you can't really understand why anyone would blog.  What's the point of it all?  I've found blogging to be both exilerating and depressing.  Recently Duncan has found me in tears or really down in the dumps because of my blog.  He's glad that I enjoy writing, but he doesn't really understand blogging (even though he had a short-lived blog called Beyond the Black Stump).  He doesn't get why I find it so important.  To be honest, neither do I.

  • You need to work out who you're blogging for - yourself or an audience.  I think it can be a bit of both, but I find myself swinging between the two.  At times I'm quite happy to just potter along here and not really care whether others are interested in what I have to say.  But then I see people swarming over other blogs and I get a bad case of blenvy.  I start thinking that I'm the biggest loser in the blogosphere.  I remember the scene in the movie where Julie is elated over receiving her first comment, only to discover it's from her mum!  It is foolish and dangerous to find my identity in blogging.  My identity is found in Christ.
So, Julie and Julia has given me lots to ponder as I consider my blog's future.  Do I enjoy blogging?  Well, yes I enjoy writing, but I'm not sure that's enough.  I need to do what's best.


bettyl said...

I thought it was an ok movie. And, what you gleaned about blogging is so very true. It's your blog--blog what you want!

Meredith said...

I love that movie!! One of my favourite ironing movies!!

And I think you are right with point two - you do just have to work out why you are blogging. Over the course of my "stopping blogging to smell the roses" and "I'm not blogging anymore" phases I came to realise what an excellent filing cabinet blogger is! If I didn't blog, where would I store all those great quotes and thoughts? I'm over bits of paper and notebooks. And I love the labelling function that makes accessing things in the blogger filing cabinet down the track so easy.

And so I realised that I wanted to keep my blog going to keep a record of said quotes and thoughts. That has taken the pressure right off to perform (in my writing and also in my life so that I have something to write about!), to post consistently in order to maintain an audience and has freed me up as to what I think I ought to be writing.

You might find a break is a good thing. Then blogging will either drift away or you will realise you really want to do it and come at it on your own terms, whatever they may be for you. It actually didn't take many weeks for me to realise the latter.

Go well. Mx

Kipp said...

Visiting from Best Post of the Week...I think everyone that has a blog needs to watch that movie. :)

Although it was not my intention to watch it. My wife burst out laughing and ran into the living room to pull me to the bedroom to "watch this scene"...I ended up watching the whole movie.

Afterwards I posted about it. If you get a chance...

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I loved that movie!!

Since then, Julia Child has been my inspiration :)

I did write about her somewhere in the past

Sarah said...

Thanks Meredith. I'm thinking that taking breaks from blogging when I go on holidays or are extra busy might be the way to go rather than taking an extended break. I'll probably blog more about it later. :)

Welcome Kipp and Perfectly Imperfect. It looks like that movie has given a few bloggers quite a bit to ponder.