Friday, 5 June 2009

I'm In A Competition: A Relay. By. My. Self.

This thing is tough. I'm throwing water on myself. Puffing. Panting. I'm wearing my tracky daks and feeling like I need to tear them off. I am getting that sweaty (and now you know why there's a sweaty man above - that's what I searched for - but I'm not a man - you know?). I can't even talk. I can't even type. I'm bent over, half breathing, half dying.

Here's the question ladies (and any gents that happen to be innocent bystanders): Is blogging a competitive sport?

I feel like I am back at high school and I am trailing way behind. Let it be known, I never excelled at school sport. In fact, during one PE lesson, we were playing la crosse, I cricked my neck and couldn't continue to play. I told my English teacher that my neck hurt and I felt sick. She thought (well she knew I was such a scammer) that I was just trying to get out of the debate I was involved in. Truth be, as soon as that debate was over, I went home, was promptly booked in to the GP who referred me to the physio, who promptly prescribed me bed rest and Valium. Valium does not equal me faking it methinks. It hurt like heck and my muscles were spasming. The moral here is folks, don't punish the PottyMouth.

Anyway, blogging. Competitive sports. Playing games. Sometimes I feel like, you know, are you guys for real? I mean, anonymous nasty commenters - they're just trying to make themselves feel better by taking an OD of nasssty.

I need to tell you now, I am no good at competitive sports. I played netball when I was younger. I was always muchos taller than the other gals, and always got pulled up because of my height. It caused great frustration. And then I just quit.

So some days are diamonds, some days I think.. Why am I doing this? What is this for? It's like the meaning of life. WHY?

One of my bloggy mates questioned this the other day, and I summed it up for myself. I've got nothing to sell. I blog because I like writing. I love writing in fact. I need my blog as a discipline, otherwise I don't write. That makes for very sad, very savage PMM.

Even if you do have something to sell, doesn't mean it takes anything away from your blog. It's about you writing for you. For the record I was wearing short shorts and my favourite pair of spikes, plus a fluoro pink sweatband.

No matter what, you can't deny, there is competition in the blogging world. I for one have to tell you, I find it a little strange. Everyone has an opinion, it's not a popularity competition peeps. There's room for everyone. Write what you want. Write when you want. Don't worry about whether you have a cheer squad. Don't worry if you don't have the right gear. Just write. Post photos. Talk about your favourite music. If you have an opinion, no matter what it is, someone will dig it, somewhere in the world, someone else feels the same way.

Another reason I blog is because when I had my first child I never joined a Mother's Group. My Mother's Group was hideous. And then some. That too was competitive. I didn't dig on it. I stepped back and stayed at home. I was already insecure. I'd just had a baby at 25. My body had completely changed. My boyfriend (now husband) - what was he thinking of me? I was sleep deprived, cranky, my body had changed, I had changed, we had a baby. There is enough insecurity from the every day without having to survive the petri dish that was the Mother's Group. I am still Mother's Group-less 'til this day. So blogging for me, was kind of like being part of a community, but more so like my own little journal. Something. Just. For. Me.

So sweaty girls. And guys. No need to sweat the small stuff. Blog or no blog. You are loved. By someone somewhere. You are great. You do ace things. Believe it. It's not a race to the finish line.

It's not a competition. It's my blog.


Kirsty said...

Fabulous post pmm. I'm glad you're here just doing what you do. You're ACE.

bugmum said...

I know it's not a competition, but I dig your blog...I'm like you, I blog because it makes me happy...even if no one reads it, I love doing it. Have a lovely weekend, PMM...xox

Pip Lincolne said...

Oh wow. Yes. Do you know what? You are absolutely right. Do you know what else? Yours is one of my favourite blogs ever. Do you know why? Because, you don't censor yourself. You're not pitching at anyone except you. You're just talking into thin air about the things that mean something to you. And you can tell.

And when you hit the publish button, I'm thinking that you sort of sigh. Because you got it out. You wrote something from the heart that is uniquely you. You sent some of that you out into the world. I think it's like you're carving a little Lexi notch in the huge tree-trunk of life. And I like to see that. It's real and it's inspiring.

I blog because I love to write so much too. It's sad sometimes when no one says anything, but I feel buoyed by the fact that it's more about the writing then the comments. If I didn't have a blog I would be in a very sparkly strait-jacket.

I think blogging is competitive and a bit bitchy at times. Lord knows I've been the butt of a lot of that! And I know lots of other lovely girls and Mummies who have to. But on the flip-side you get to write the way you want (without an editor), you meet some GEMS of people (like YOU and a few other ace girls who should know who they are!) you can mobilise people in positive ways and you can marvel at how alike we often are. And all that's aside from the wonders of self-expression. If we can ditch the trophies and the steroids MOST of the time, she's apples! I LOVE blogging. Yes I do.

Thank you for lending the soapbox to me - I pass it on to the next commenter.

h&b said...


You're getting nasty anons ? :(
Well that sucks.

For the record, I suck at competitive sports too, but being 5'2" and dreamily looking at clouds in the outfield meant no-one was interested anyway - I never thought of tallness AND non-teamy-ness as a combo, so now I can really see how that would suck.

I still think I must be missing something about not getting the whoel Netball thing. It really took off as a team/workplace/mixed sport in the 80's. Farque. I thought I would freaking lose my job :(

But I didn't.
But I still felt like a High School Fraud.

And OMG on the MG thing. I was considered 'young' MARRYING at 25! It was YEARS until any of our peers followed suit - I can't imagine the comments you might have got with a baby ... wow .. I bet that MG was mean. Sad. I hate the competi-mum thing :(

But yeah, i'm rabbiting.

When what I really wanted to say was:

"Well said"


Linda said...

I hear what you are saying! I agree totally, sometimes I wonder "why am I blogging when so many people are so productive whether they are selling or not and I go sooooo long between projects, but then I remind myself I started my blog for me as my journal, my motivation, because I love to write and because I had to give up a lot of creative stuff (cermaics studio) due to health issues and I felt it would be something I could do no matter what. Sometimes it does feel a bit competitive and their are bloggy stars who you never hear back from time after time, but I try not to be too sensitive and plod along loving the bloggy friends I have made and loving the writing

MummyTime said...

i'm a newbie blogger and a newish SAHM (over a year now). I'm with bugmum...blogging is about expressing myself. don't really care if no one reads it (though it would be nice if someone would comment once in awhile=). but bottom line is i feel really good after every blog post.

willywagtail said...

I began blogging with the idea of making a name for my product to have an edge when I set up an etsy shop. Well, I still haven't and may never do so because I so love to see the look of joy on a friends face when they receive something I make, that I never have the time to go commercial. Eveybody has a different reason for blogging and that is how it should be. I think things like awards, tags, etc give an uncomfortable feeling of competition because there will always be people who miss out, whose names are not big enough to count. That is sad because we are all doing what we can and that ought to be enough. We should all be able to benefit from the positiveness of each other's experience. I think the phrase 'blogging without obligation' sums up my feelings about all of this. Of course, I get a high everytime someone comments but I get the same high whenever a person smiles at me too. I guess the real reason I blog now is to have a visual diary of what I am doing and for the push it gives me (which I desperately need) to do some more. If I have nothing to say I am perfectly happy to do just that. I think that is enough of going around in circles so bye for now. Cherrie

CurlyPops said...

Wow, did some nasty pasty really leave you a negative comment? That's horrible.
I've met the most amazing friendly and inspiring people since I started blogging. After what's happened in my life over the last 12 months, I think I would have been in the looney bin if I didn't have my blog. I don't write about any of the negativity in my life, as my family reads it, but it's a place where I know I can go each and every day and be happy.
Sending you good vibes.

leah1517 said...

I just love the fact you put it out there and respond to your comments. Your lifes little stories feel so real and resonate to a real place. Well done. Keep telling us stories about life, your PIL (my fav stories because my PIL are as annoying) and the kids, don't forget the kids!! I used to belly laugh at your bin stories, take heart that somewhere in the world you have made some one smile, think and belly laugh. Xoxo

Shelley Trbuhovich said...

this is great, thanks for sharing....i arrived here via pip's blog. as i read i couldn't help thinking of that little saying about dancing 'like no-one's watching, sing like no-one's listening....' etc. i am very new to blogging and although i sell stuff, i have adopted the attitude 'blog like no-one knows'. i find blogging a sweet release and reading the thoughts of others so uplifting. i love this community. i don't understand the nasty anonymous thing. it's about them, sweetie. it's so wonderful that through blogging you have found your space, your voice. x

Paper Dolls for Boys said...

You get nasty comments? I am sorry about that. The only time I ever thought of leaving a nasty comment was when you were tapping the magical trash bin and I was so jealous it hurt!

But you are onto something about the competitive sport aspect of blogging. And if this WERE a sport, you'd be tops. I'm just sayin'...

Liesl (Hoppo Bumpo) said...

Nasty and anonymous ... says so much doesn't it? Tell them to stick the pointy end of a word verification up their you-know-what.

I wish I could write like you, PMM. Keep doing just what you do best - writing from the heart.

Primrose said...

Hello I came here via Pip's blog. I don't Blog (although I'd love to) I really enjoy reading Blogs however and get quite addicted to them. There are so many talented Bloggers out there and so many brilliant sites. I find it puzzling that people would be rude to anybody. If the Blog doesn't interest them they could just leave quietly. I do write however and I am afraid if I started Blogging I'd never get my other writing done! Keep your Blog going and don't let the jealous ones turn you away from it. (I'll have to return here so I can try to work out why you stirred them up so much!) An interesting post. I'm sure you will get a big reaction to it.

Kylie said...

Wow! OMG I'm following YOUR blog from now on! Thank god someone has said it! There've been times I've wanted to let rip but so held back as I've soooooo been holding back ever since, yes absolutely, having a child and suddenly facing the terrifying spectre that is OTHER MOTHERS! I love blogging - I finally feel like I've got something that's all mine. It motivates me to do things just so I can blog about them!!! (YES, I'm that sad). Thanks for this. Sorry about the bile. K

Emille said...

I am drawn to an honesty of spirit in your musings. Peer pressure! but it seems you have resisted and your individuality appears fortified by deciding to avoid that Mother's Group.

I don't usually reply to blogs or am even moved to comment on emotive and important world events in public forums,but keep writing in your oddly old fashioned yet contemporary style.Perhaps you are just a country girl at heart and it why can't a girl have a baby at 25..Kids have sex at 13!!

Blogs aren't written or directed at anyone at all. If you are in a race to perform, then you may have fallen victim to the dreaded bloggers curse..."Envy".

Not Guilty I say and the envious readers can go to 'pot"Thats an old fashioned saying, invented long before blogging was dreamt up.

I liked the fat man pic.Is that you? What does pottymouthmama mean?

I thought you may have been a writer of sordid filthy stories, but you are a GEM.

Christie said...

*cheering you on & passing water as required!*

i like your blog, you're a funny gal :-)

hate that nasty comments, but I guess it's pretty sad that they feel the need to do that...

I had my 1st babe @ 26, after a whirlwind courtship & marriage, so I hear ya on all of those issues! my mother's group comprised of many an insecure woman & as the youngster of the group i felt very much on the outer. I am lucky that I now have a group of GF's who have kids, I need that support. It's nice to know that someone's hot your back-right!?

Anyway... I'm glad your running your own race, life is far to short not to do what you love. Believe me .

Nanette said...

Pip's on the money here.

I think the best way of viewing nasty comments is to see them as a back-handed compliment. These people feel compelled to comment albeit in a snakeinthegrass kinda way BUT you've got them thinking and reading and staying around and writing. And that, my dear pottymouth, is the sign of an exciting and engaging writer.


TracyC said...

It's hard for me to imagine why anyone would leave a nasty comment. When I find something I don't agree with on any blog, I just move on. Strange. Your post about not getting out much, part 2 made me laugh out loud. Thanks for the encouragement that our blogs are simply ours to do with as we wish. :-)

angelique said...

I don't understand how people put the time and effort into nasty comments. Isn't it far easier and makes you feel better when you say something nice to people. I began my blog because we moved away from home to a far smaller place than I was used to. It started as a tell everybody what we are up to and keep in touch space. It has kinda morphed into something else and I feel good about that. I can't write very well or was I ever good at sports in school. I was a doer and a creator and that is still where I am headed.

I loved ready all the other comments from all those lovely ladies. Some I know and some I don't. Another thing I have found a whole lot of new friends(can I call them that even if I haven't met them in person)in far of places that if I ever get there I will visit them.

Keep on keeping on is my motto.


Megan: The Byron Life said...

So well said.
You keep running your own race Lexi and we'll keep trailing along with you!
I came over here to your blog when you were dumper diving!I though it was the most hilarious thing I'd read in ages, and I've been hooked ever since... You have a unique voice and it is always inspiring to read your words and thoughts. So honest and warm and moving.

Poo to anon nasties. Please don't let that stop you.


MIss Lady Finger said...

Wow! You are on the money ;) xxx

Leonie Guld said...

Here to that!!!! I'm raising my glass (well cup-pa, its 9.00 in the morning) to you. thanks

Nikki said...

I didn't realise such nastiness was so prolific - so sorry to hear that you're copping that.

I've found blogland to be very warm and fuzzy - my nice safe place where people are actually interested in what I do or write about (those who aren't interested can choose NOT to read it... as most of my friends and family choose to do) - and blogging has tipped over into forming real life friendships, which is lovely.

Anyhoo... I love your blog. I

cristy said...

Great post. I have occassionally struggled with having to remind myself that I blog for myself and not for anyone else's approval. I have been lucky enough to mostly escape negative comments. However, years ago I posted about finding pregnancy quite challenging and the post got reprinted on Online Opinion. Oh the bile that I received from right-wing men who were furious that a woman would have the gaul to complain about pregnancy. Some even suggested that my baby should be forcibly aborted if I have going to be so ungrateful. It was pretty awful and I considered never blogging again, until I reminded myself that I would never ever gives these hare-filled people the time of day in real life and there was no reason to pay them any attention online.

Anyway, sorry for rambling. Great post. Take care. (ps arrived here via Pip's)

cristy said...

Typos courtesy of my iPod. Hope it still makes sense...

lisette said...

i hear you on so many levels with this post - especially the competitive stuff, the too sick to play sport, the poisonous mothers' group and it especially tapped into my anxiety about "does anybody read my blog and if they do why don't they comment, if they don't comment it must be crap......"

i blog to get things out of my head - along with my creative stuff blogging stops me going mad and establishes my identity as me, not as wife/mother/worker/daughter/sister/friend

thanks for a brilliant post

Michelle said...

Yet again, you've summed up the feeling of so many in one very excellent post!

Blogging IS a competitive sport. It shouldn't be. Recently I saw a very strange post which was almost one-upping someone else who is supposed to be a friend. Pretty strange behaviour, if you ask me. Everyone has different reasons to blog (as Bug&Pop's post's comments reveal). But no one has the right to leave nasty comments, anon or otherwise. I've received them, and they made me physically ill.

Keep doing what you're doing. I think you're tops. xx

vintagefabricaddict said...

You know I really really needed this post now! I was about to either quit or make my blog private, I feel so guarded when i write there... like I am being judged for being so ....uninteresting! but you know I don't want to read about 'perfect' lives so it makes sense that neither might others. If i can work out how I might link to your post so I can read and re-read that for help in the scary times. you are a champ!!xoxo e

My Love is..... said...

awesome post. thanx.

Mel said...

I'm with Kylie above - I am a first time visitor to your blog (via Meet me at Mikes) and jumping on to the PMM fan club right away!

Everyone has already said it I guess, you have really captured something in this post ... something that floats around my head sometimes too but I could never have put it into words like you just did!

And the negative comments - good lord I live in fear of receiving one since I poked my toe into the blog waters earlier this year. I just don't get the thought process behind them? Like you I started a blog for connection and I'm sure a negative comment would just be a massive kick in the guts.

Oh and by the way I am soooo not sporty either - I once got hit right between the eyes with a softball because I was daydreaming instead of fielding (or whatever). One of THE most embarrassing moments of my life!

Anyway blog on lady - you're awesome!

Lindy! said...

Oh my god Al, you are so famous. And I know you! You are a trailblazer, you have fans. I am deeply impressed with your words and hang off them daily. Just ask Sarah, she can tell you I do groupie really well!!

MelbourneVintage said...

A really interesting post. I think people who leave nasty comments are bitchy because they're jealous. As much as you blog for yourself, as something to do for yourself, you're still putting it out there for others to read. And when you get many many people reading it, and other awesome bloggers giving you the thumbs up, others get jealous. They are the sort of people who feel they are losing out in popularity contest - it's like high school, really.

No one really reads my blog but I don't care - it's just for me to journal how I'm discovering Melbourne (I've only just moved here recently from overseas). And some of my favourite blogs aren't read my many people, either! Just delete the comments and keep doing what you're doing.

Sarah Jane said...

I stumbled across you're blog a few weeks ago and read quite a few previous posts...

You're writing put me into fits of rip-snorting laughter! I love it and as long as you love writing all is just fine and dandy.


Lark said...

I am so anti-mother's group. I hate mother's groups. And parent's associations. And any kind of committee thing. For me having a blog means I am not reliant on a mother's group for friends, support and inspiration, and I can just ignore any resentful, competitive people and do my own sweet thing, and meet lots of other girls who would never join a mother's group even if they were held at gunpoint! Thanks for posting this, you do a great job!

Allison x

kitty said...

Great post!
I just don't understand nasty comments, why don't they just click somewhere else.
There are clearly alot of us who read what you write & find topics close to our hearts too.
I write my blog to keep a journal of my life. It's satisfying & I like the visual aspect too.
I'm with you, keep writing & ignore the crap.

misskit said...

Everyone else has already said it but your post is so true!
I've just started blogging because I miss writing in my life. And not writing for a purpose, just writing because I want to. I've been feeling so uninteresting when compared to the other more famous pretty blogs!
So thanks for this post and for your blog, it made me feel all gooey and nice.
(And that picture made my boyf laugh very very hard!)
xo Miskit

Monique said...

My my miss potty mouth you have fired so many people up with this one. My heart goes out to you that you received a negative comment. It would gut me. What nasty small minded, big time mean hearted people they must be!

Keep racing your own race. Your spectators love you. You make the rest of us feel ok because sometimes we are all doing the same everyday things and you make it sound just so darn exciting. In a way it validates what the rest of us are doing, the humdrum of what being a mother is about these days.

Keep smiling

JustJess said...

I LOVE readingou are one talented writer; engaging, hilarious, and spot on. I too was the youngest in my MG however we had a 'splinter group' which still drinks too much wine 7 years on. I can't believe you get nasty comments - I think you rock!

Jasmine said...

Judging by all the love you've received in these comments, I reckon that you have a pretty heavyweight cheersquad!

I for one am a fan of PMM. You make me larf and help me get some perspective on my days farnarkling round with the young'uns. xx

Loz and Dinny said...

Sorry to hear about the negative anonomous comments - I am so surprised! I became of fan of your blog during the 'bin raid' period of PMM and the amounts of giggles and fits of jealousy at your booty scores alone keep me clicking back over here - because you are a beautiful writer who captures little snapshots which resonate x

Gem said...

Well I tell you what I hated competitive sports, any sports for that matter. Disliked mothers group and never went back. A hey I get the nasty comments on my blog too. Insecurity I say of the bad people who waste their energy on nasty comments. Bad karma to them, even if their anon. As they say "what doesn't break you makes you stronger"! And you know, you are so much better than them!

Bek said...

Heya, I read this yesterday and just started nodding. As a little blogger myself, just doin my thing, I really appreciate this post, and so well written as per usual. I feel validated in the bloggy context. Thanks!

Alexis said...

You said it all so well! I always figure that the people who like what I have to say will read my blog, and the people who don't won't. I'm not going to change what I write so that more people would read. What would be the point?

I think my new motto will be "Keep On Bloggin!'"

Miriam said...

this is the best post I have read, ever, you are so right , well done :)

Carrie G said...

I must have 50 blogs bookmarked. Yours is second on my list. Every day. Yes, every day.

You crack me up and you inspire me.

Carrie G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zofia said...

I love your blog.
Honest, funny, sincere!
Keep writing pmm, there are a lot of us reading.
You make my day whenever I drop by!

Sunshine said...

What a fantastic post! Thank you for saying what I'm sure many people were thinking.