Everyone always asks me, “What made you decide to start a blog?”
And I always answer, “I have no earthly idea”.
But, that’s not entirely true.
As I kid, I always loved to write and my mom likes to remind me that my writing career started at the age of six when I wrote about a leprechaun aptly named Fred. My father was always partial to the mystery I wrote when I was ten about an unexplained death caused by an icicle that melted. My personal favorite, though, was when I was published in the local paper after winning Honorable Mention for a writing contest. I wrote a piece on what was a hot controversial topic at the time: Baby M. I entitled it “Womb for Rent” and I still have the handwritten letter that the editor of the paper sent me congratulating me on my wittiness.
But, that’s not why I started my blog.
As a young adult, I spent years admiring the work of established writers like Connie Schultz, Joel Stein, Dave Barry and Mitch Albom. I used to devour their columns (and still do) and marvel at their ability to “write life”. I’d read a column that Ms. Schultz would write about her kids and think to myself, “Wow, it’s like she’s reading my mind”. Joel Stein has perpetually had me in stitches with his ridiculous columns about his life, including my two personal favorites: the time he ordered horse meat from Canada because he wanted to say he was so hungry he ate a horse and the one he wrote when his wife had her placenta made into consumable pills. I own all of Dave Barry’s books and I defy you to read one of Mitch Albom’s columns and not be changed in one small way. I’ve always wanted to write like these major players.
But, they are not why I started my blog, either.
As I dated, married, had kids and settled into Mommyhood, I would spend my days with humor in my head. There is real humor in parenting and if you can’t see it at 2 am when you have a half naked kid in the tub with vomit all over the floor, you aren’t going to survive. The lunacy of toddler tantrums, school projects, sex talks, sleep deprivation and Squinkies needs to be discussed. Being a mother is just plain funny on most days. On any given day, you are called to be a hostage negotiator, short order cook, referee, cab driver, activist, play mate, and, depending on the day, Oprah Winfrey or Miss Hannigan (I usually channel the “Kill, Kill, Kill!!!!” scene from Annie at least once a week….).
But, the humor of Motherhood isn’t what made me start my blog.
I started my blog because a friend told me I should.
In early February 2012, a friend of mine emailed me and said, “Hey, do you realize your Facebook statuses are really funny?”. After emailing back the requisite snarky, “Uhm, thanks Captain Obvious” retort, I came to find out that not only did she find my daily statuses on my personal Facebook page highly amusing, so did the local editor of the Nazareth Patch (at the time, a local online news outlet owned and managed by AOL). My friend put me in touch with the editor who told me I was crazy if I’d never considered writing. Clearly, SHE was crazy. As I put it to her, who in God’s name would want to read anything I had to say? Her response? “Just try it. Write one piece. Prove me wrong”.
And so, I wrote a piece called “The Day I Almost Got Arrested At Preschool“. And, within hours of it’s posting, my little story had over 99 “Likes” on the site and I got an email from the editor that simply said, “You are a hit! When can we have your next piece?”.
What the what??
Seriously….what THE WHAT???
Over the next few weeks, I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. Pieces entitled “The Phrase I Used To Hate“, “My Husband Is Having An Affair” and “Forgiving Stupid” had my friends stopping me in grocery stores, Tarjay and at track practice to say, “I laughed my ass off” or “I loved your story about….”. My following grew over time to the point where, on March 22, 2013, I launched my own website, Keeper of The Fruit Loops. And then there was a Facebook page. And a Twitter account. And guest posting opportunities. And business cards. And, in January of 2014, when Jen of People I Want To Punch In The Throat emailed me to ask me to submit for “I Just Want To Be Alone“, I about dropped dead. And, I knew I’d really arrived when I got nasty backlash for my piece, “Mean People Suck“. If the trolls are reading and commenting, by George, you are a bonafide writer.
One of the most surreal parts of this blogging experience was the result of another friend’s belief in my writing. About a month or two into my blogging adventure, she attended a book signing for the first book in the “Pee Alone” series, “I Just Want To Pee Alone”. She came home from the signing with a signed copy of the book for me and said, “This will be you someday, I know it”. The book was signed by authors Bethany Meyer, Meredith Spidel and Stephanie Gies and each one wished me good luck in my blogging career. That event was in May 2013 and the following May, I was with them. To sign books next to them. One year later. And that friend is still one of my biggest fans and was even willing to wear a sandwich board on the corner to drag warm bodies into a poorly attended book signing I had last year.
Over the last two years, I’ve been published in three books (SQUEEE!!), I’ve worked for NickMom, LifetimeMoms, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Club Mid and a myriad of other sites. To date, I have 130 blog posts and I’m still going strong. Even the Today Show thinks I’m funny.
SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE WHAT??????
And all because a friend cared enough to say, “Hey, I think you are funny” and I took a leap of faith.
As I write this, I am humbled, honored, and if I’m being honest, struck with the uncomfortable urge to pee from nerves. I am so glad I listened to my friends and started this journey. And, truth be told, I am grateful they are still friends with me knowing that I might write about them someday….those friends know who they are.