Thordora authors the 2010 Canadian Weblog Awards winner Spin Me I Pulsate, which placed 2nd in Best Written and 3rd in Family & Parenting.
Why blogging? Why did you start blogging, and what drives you now?
Man, I don't even know why I started anymore. It was a few months after I had my second kid, and I was… not terribly sane. PPD, what I see now as a bad marriage, the usual conflicts between work and family — I just wanted an outlet. It was 2005, and I wasn't really even aware of the whole "blog" thing, but I tried a few platforms and eventually migrated over to wordpress. Eventually, I made a lot of "friends in the 'puter" via the blog and a certain parenting site that will remain nameless, and I felt driven to a degree by the sharing and the genuine sense of sisterhood you could find — so very important when the girls were just little and it felt so insurmountable. I was blessed to meet people who truly care for me, some of whom I am lucky to live near and get to drink with at least once a year.
I've tried to quit. I've felt the urge to shut it down and run away, especially after my little twitter incident in Jan 2009. But I keep feeling drawn back by the immediacy of the forum, the fact that brevity is expected and welcomed, because it lets me speak of things I don't always feel I can say out loud to the people physically in my life. It's been a vent, it's been a lifeline, it's been a chronicle. Now I find I've just found a comfortable rhythm with it, writing when moved to, using it to help me vent the upper level junk so I can attempt to write fiction in the 20 minutes a week I have to rub together. I would love to have a larger presence online in terms of spreading it around, but time. Who has the time? I don't. So sometimes the urge to write gets blocked because of that, and that's usually when I feel like stopping.
I've had a lot of changes the past 5 years. The blog has helped me deal with it because of the people I've met through it.
I am honored that you allow us into bits of your life with your often very naked writing about your life and loves. Has it been a conscious decision to blog so openly, or is it a blogging style that unfolds all on its own?
I don't know if it was a decision like "should I have ham and cheese or BLT" that I made. It just felt "right" to be open. As a consequence, I don't share it with a lot of people I know IRL who I didn't first meet thru the blog. I think I'm able to be more honest because I don't worry about what I'm saying, but at the same time, if pressed, it's nothing I wouldn't say to most people I know anyway. I think you're either comfortable with honesty or you aren't. Personally, I've never found myself honest or anything. It's just who I am. And there's plenty that I don't share. I would like to think that people would organically become more comfortable with their voice, but I think this depends hugely on their audience.
How does blogging affect your creativity?
I'd like to say it helps. But honestly, I'm distractible like a crow and can only write in spurts and blog posts fit "spurts". I have a constant battle with the limited amount of my creativity. It's a dream to be stuck in a cabin with nothing to distract me for months, to see what would come out. It makes me WANT to be more creative, knowing so many people who are so freaking talented and productive. But as a single mom working full time, maintaining a long distance relationship and a house... it's a lot. Real life has a disgusting habit of getting in the way. Knowing so many talented photographers thru the blog has helped encourage me to stretch those muscles, so I do get some creative juices going that way. (My boyfriend lending me his D200 is helping as well.:D )
Where do you find ideas for your content? If you are feeling less than inspired, where do you look for inspiration?
Generally, in whatever either pisses me off, makes me cry or makes me think. Sometimes it's the look in Rosalyn's eye, a question from a kid, or my own freaking guilt. Sometimes I feel so alone with the circumstances in my life, and even if the comments are "I don't know, but I'm here", it helps, and it makes it easier. Other people inspire me, their stories and their dreams. And sometimes, I'm just pissed off and asking Why? in general to the universe. 'Cause it answers me and stuff. :p
It's more about exploration, not inspiration.
Are you open about being a blogger? How do people offline react to your online writing?
Eh... not really. If it comes up, and I feel comfortable, then I'll disclose. But I do, for the most part, "hide" behind my pseudonym. There are people I've known for years who have NO idea, others, I'm cool with talking about it. Oddly, when I first met my boyfriend, I gave him the url almost immediately. I felt really connected, and wanted him to know me, and frankly, like it is with so many others, my blog is a fairly clear explanation. Not perfect, but it fills in the background. The most insightful thing he's said has been that the "me" online, is absolutely not the "me" he knows, and it's true.
Most people don't react, but I find if they know Thordora and the IRL me, they're extremely insightful and keep reading even if they don't comment directly. Not that it's terribly difficult to track me down, but I like making it easier than just googling my rather unique name.
Which weblogs are your current favourites? Which weblogs have been most influential in the shaping of your own blogging?
Honestly, I don't have much time for reading anything lately... Kate at sweet|salty and Bon at Crib Chronicles always challenge me to write better, and I love Hyperbole and a Half, because I literally cry laughing and wish I could write like that. But mostly, I'm reading news blogs, sex blogs, things not particularly relevant to my writing. Sadly, real life doesn't include much time for reading anything.
What advice do you have for new bloggers?
I'm not making any money, I rarely update, and I'm terrible at commenting. I do everything wrong according to "experts" — but I do it for me, and at the end of the day, that's about all you can do.