Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Princess Wishes Herself a Happy Anniversary

I began blogging on Fallen Princess on April 9, 2010, and now that I have been blogging for two years, I kind of feel like taking stock. So bear with me.

I didn't have any real plan for Fallen Princess. I started it on a whim after submitting an essay to The New York Times and receiving an automated response. I knew blogspot would be any easy way to get my writing out there again; it is so user friendly that even a technophobe like me can figure it out. So I threw the essay up as my first post and put it on my Facebook page. A friend, Jeff Johnson, linked to it on his blog, and some blogs picked it up. I realized that blogging could be a creative outlet for me, even if for a small audience, even if on a very unprofessional level.

I started out posting frequently, almost daily. Some of those early posts were really crappy. Some of my later posts were really crappy. Maybe they are all crappy. This is what happens when you have no editor. Certainly, although I have enjoyed a warm reception on the internet, there have been detractors, one of whom said I was like Andy Rooney with weaker rhetorical skills. That really hurt, as I have been a huge Andy Rooney fan my entire life, and we even went to the same college, where I received an A in the Logic class that I took. Another hater said simply "Woof." I flushed with shame, reading that alone in my office.

 I write about whatever pops into my head, and this may be a problem. The most successful blogs probably have very distinct focuses. When my father-in-law asked me what my blog was about, I stared at him in silence. Taking pity on me, he said, "Is it the perspective of a woman who used to be an editor, and now she is at home with her kids?" Yeah, that sounds good.

The post I had the most fun with was this May 2010 one about my Fresca obsession.  The post I wrote on the 20th Anniversary of my father's death meant the most to me, and I reposted it last year on the 21st Anniversary. I even had some guest posts from Mayim Bialik! I've written about my struggle to stop using profanitymortality,  pop culture, and my hatred of thong underwear. Body image is a frequent preoccupation, as is parenting (I like this one about my tooth fairy mishaps). I compared myself unfavorably to Tina Fey. An invitation to join AARP inspired a post. I published two items that were rejected by xojane--probably with good reason--just because I could. I did all of this without earning a single cent.

I slowed way down after three months. Part of it was due to the circumstances of my life. It was summer, the kids were home, and the room where I blogged was broiling hot. Part of it was because I am moody, and I get writer's block, and doubt my abilities, and sometimes I think I have cheapened myself by writing a blog as a hobby, when I also try to write for pay.

I thank you for reading, and for coming back, and for commenting. 

P.S. The New York Times eventually published a shortened version of that first post in the Complaint Box. I was not paid for that either.


  1. Happy blogoversary. You will always be one of my favorite writers on whatever you choose to write about.

  2. Happy Anniversary! I love that you have this blog but I understand the conflict. I think you're being way too hard on yourself though. I haven't read a lot of what you've posted here so I won't comment on the blog in total but stuff like 'I Park Like a Jerk' and 'I Hate Costco (but we still shop there)' is why I come back. I like your take on things and your style, so it doesn't take groundbreaking prose to make it worth my while. Thanks for continuing to make your writing accessible even if you're not at place in your life right now where you are willing or able to dedicate the time and effort it requires to have a professional writing career.

  3. I like blogs about people's lives; a good writer makes the random humdrum of daily life interesting! And you are a fabulous writer.

  4. Happy anniversary! I always get excited when a new post pops up in my Google Reader.

  5. The worthlessness of great writing is much like the worthlessness of great music these days. The mass media is in a strange phase of useless crappiness driven by least-common-denominator research results, rather than leaders with vision.

  6. Yay, Christina. We love all your writing.

  7. Happy anniversary, Christina! You've kept me entertained with your writing for many years. Love you!!!

  8. I think you write because you must. That is enough. Keep at it.

  9. Happy anniversary! Your blog may not have a distinct focus but I think this is one of the reasons I like it so much. It reflects your life and its many different aspects, and the roles that you have as a person (mother, writer, wife and so on). I also like it because you're one of the most ironic and grounded bloggers I know. Your love for expressing yourself through writing is something so precious, that cannot be compared to what can be found in other blogs. Keep up with the good work!

  10. Happy Anniversary Christina. I have enjoyed reading your blog and miss it when you don't post very often. Have you thought about going back to work full-time? You seem to feel that your professional life is not going as you wish it would and I wonder if you would feel a better sense of validation if you had a job that challenged and fulfilled you. From your writings, I'm not so sure that being a stay at home mom is really what you want. You are an excellent writer and your posts the last few days have been very fun and entertaining. To me, it seems the more you write, the easier it is for you. There just seems to be a sense of sadness or resignation in your blog postings, and I always end up feeling bad for you. It must be difficult to have had a fulfilling career as a writer at a major magazine and now you are home with 2 kids filling out permission forms & congratulating friends who have books that are being published. It's like a cautionary tale for women who are thinking of giving up their career to stay home & take care of their children. The best thing for the kids, maybe. The best thing for you - not so much.

    1. Peggy, thanks for your concern. But, ouch! A cautionary tale? Maybe if I had written a blog during those five years when I was a working mother, I would have seemed like a cautionary tale for mothers thinking of going back to work. I sure had complaints then too. But no time for blogging.

      I express ambivalence about being at home, because that's the kind of person I am. I was ambivalent at work about missing important milestones in my children's lives, about feeling burned out and exhausted. With either choice, whether you choose to work outside the home or strictly in the home, you give up something precious.

      But for me, right now, this is the right choice.

      Unless, that is, you have a job offer for me?

      And also, I do more than fill out permission slips and congratulate my beloved friends.

  11. I've just recently discovered your blog - love it, and now I'm off to pour through the archives.

  12. I love your blog! What you say your blog lacks in focus is made up for in sharpness of perception and humor. Also, I compare you favorably to Tina Fey. She laughs at her own jokes too much, whereas you don't (at least, you don't seem to). Keep blogging!

  13. Well, I think you're funny.

    And...the writer John Robison uses "woof!" all the time - AND IT'S A GOOD THING. So take that "woof" as a compliment.


  14. Fresca is the best. Especially in the summer, as you say, but I confess to drinking it in the winter as well sometimes.

    So glad that you are still writing, Christina! :-)

    Why don't you start another Sassy yourself?