Recently, while on my back in the dentist chair having my teeth scraped and cleaned, my new hygienist asked me what I did for a living. I have my pat answers such as “web publishing”, “online media consultant”, “web consultant”, or the traditional and simple “writer”, but this time, a little twinge hit me.
In between the fingers in my mouth I said, “I blog.”
I think it came out “I blog”, which is what “I blog” would sound like with or without fingers in your mouth. Still, he sat back, removed his fingers and sharp instruments, looked at me oddly, and said, “You do what?”
“Blog? Like those things on the Internet? Where people gossip and air their dirty laundry? Gossip, conspiracies, political babble, and such?”
“Um, not exactly like that, but exactly like that.”
“Yes. In fact, I’ve published a book about blogging.”
“Blogging is an amazing industry and communications tool.”
“Really? And what does your husband do?”
“Oh, he just works on airplanes. He’s a structural engineer. A representative of the FAA and specialist in commercial passenger plane to cargo plane conversions, among other things aircrafty. He likes to tell people he’s a glorified hole fixer.”
“Now that sounds interesting. How long has he been doing that? Where has he worked? Has he done military work…” and he was off with 400 questions about my husband’s work.
I never said another word about blogging.
Is Blogging Boring?
I don’t think blogging is boring. When I get together with other bloggers, we can’t stop talking about blogging. It’s all about the content, frustration with the backend of the program, Plugins, Themes, competition, comments, comment spam, content theft, page rank, Google, who wrote what about what and who, and who knows who, and how can we do X, Y, and Z. It’s a non-stop chat up.
Outside of bloggers, I stupefy people with my job description. Even if I say I’m a web consultant, they still find nothing to ask me and little interest in what I do. So I spend a lot of time asking them about what they do and talking about my husband’s more fascinating work.
Is blogging boring to other people? Or do they just not understand it? It is a little odd. You work hard, long hours, tied to the computer, and literally have nothing to show for it. There is no physical product, and for many bloggers, no boss nor office. Paychecks come in bits and pieces, not every two weeks on a predictable schedule. There is no benefits package. No health plans or insurance. We sit in front of our computers in our underwear anywhere in the world for hours on end, and we call it “work”.
When they ask what I blog about, if I say “technology” or “online communications”, that sometimes brings in a few questions, usually with questions about how to fix their computer ills. If I say “I blog about blogging”, conversations quickly end.
So what do you say when people ask you what you do and you choose to respond with “I blog”? And how do they respond?
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.