AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: Blog Interviews, Part XVI DATE: 2/24/2005 09:03:00 AM ----- BODY:
Sheila of The Sheila Variations, a "kindred spirit" and one of my personal blogging idols. How did you get into blogging? Andrew Sullivan and Rachel Lucas (now blue-eyed infidel) were my inspirations. Somehow I stumbled over Sullivan in 2001 (I think he had a piece in the NY Times that I loved and through that I found his blog). Through Andrew and Rachel, I discovered the whole blog world. I was a bystander for about a year before finally throwing myself into the fray. What do you think was your best post ever? Oh, shucks I don't know. Probably this one. Let's just say that story is one of my favorite stories ever, an acknowledgment of one of my best friends ... and I'm so glad I could share it on the blog. People really seemed to get a lot out of it. What is your favorite blog, other than your own? I don't really have a favorite blog. All the blogs that I read serve different purposes for me. Right now, my favorites are Veiled Conceit, Overheard in New York, and Go Fug Yourself. I'm into humor these days. Make me laugh. NOW. Does your blog have a main theme or goal? The goal has evolved. At first, I needed to express my rage about what happened to this country on September 11. My early blog on blogspot is one long diatribe of rage and grief. I was out of my MIND and I needed to GET IT OUT. And so I did. In post after post after post. Now, though, my blog serves a different purpose. It's not that I'm any less outraged, it's just that my need to express it in public has changed. I want blogging to be FUN. So now I'm into sharing all my obsessions (the Cary Grant obsession, the Founding Fathers obsession) because I feel less insane when I realize how many others out there share the obsession. There are other more personal goals, too, in terms of my writing itself. It's good for me to try to write something interesting every day FOR AN AUDIENCE. I rarely have writer's block anymore in my offline writing, and I credit the blog with that. My audience has gotten noticeably larger in the past year - and I've had bouts of shyness with sharing certain things, I feel hesitation at being vulnerable, etc. It's a different ballgame (at least it has been for me) when you have a ton of people visiting you every day. But I keep reminding myself: er, when you get right down to it - it's my bandwidth. If people like to visit me and participate in the discussions, then that is awesome, and I am grateful for each and every one of my readers. But I'm gonna write what I want to write. Do those in your personal life know about your blog? Why or why not? Some do, some do not. Oddly enough, I'm really a private person. I've got two sides to my personality: the really reserved person (I'm almost Victorian at times in terms of what I think is appropriate), and then the total exhibitionist. I am perfectly fine with straddling those two personalities, I have done so my whole life - and I'll leave it up to the psychiatrists to figure the contradiction out. And for whatever reason - I'm more comfortable being an exhibitionist with people I DON'T know. In general, do you think blogging has a greater social value? I think it's great that people from different backgrounds, lifestyles, countries can connect in this way. It's really cool. Lastly, what do you think of my blog? I found you through Dan at ObscuroRant who linked to your amazing Red Sox blog Cursed to First. That is my favorite of all of your blogs. You write about baseball and you are able to capture how personal it is, how deep it is, how much it means to those of us who are fans.