What a concept, huh?
A year ago I decided to try a little honesty experiment. I decided to write a blog.
Although I had been in the throws of a mad crush on Taylor Hicks and was deeply rooted in the world of GrayCharles.com…my blog was simply going to be for and about little ol’ me. If Taylor or Gray entered the picture…so be it…but the focus would be me and my interests.
And it was going to be as honest as I could make it.
I wanted to voice my opinion…even if it came across a bit callous. I wanted to curse if I felt like it…even if my mother was reading. I wanted to share events in my life with brutal honesty…even if I embarrassed myself. I wanted to call out the wrong-doing of others…even if I got in trouble for it.
I wanted to be totally honest.
But the problem was…I started with a half-truth.
Sure, I wanted to hone my writing skills and see if I could develop my voice. But even more so, I wanted people to read my words…and to praise me…and to return for more…and to bring their friends…and to think I was the cat’s meow.
I wanted to be a Blog Prom Queen.
And for a while, I really felt like a queen. I was praised and lauded and it felt good.
But the funny thing is about the best of plans…
Now, a year later, I don’t focus on how much my writing has improved…nor do I crave praise or adulation. If anything, I see where I have more improvements to make in my writing and…though the compliments have been lovely…I’m more than satiated by the silent numbers that tick over on the hit counter…especially when I see that 200 plus of those daily hits are return visitors.
And even beyond wrangling my ego somewhat over the last year, I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this experience.
I’ve learned that being responsible is more important that brutal honesty. If you were to go back to earlier posts and comments, you would see that I was much looser with my tongue. I felt that being honest meant being free to curse or snark harshly. I felt it made my writing wittier and would draw more people to the blog. But I soon realized that a foul mouth and ugly remarks set a tone for negativity at the site and for other Monkbots. And truth be told, once I started biting my tongue a bit and writing more insightful posts…that’s when the number of regular readers began to grow…slowly…but steadily.
Building on that lesson, I’ve learned that people…all kinds of people…crave to see goodness in the world. Even if that goodness is something as simple as the day-to-day happenings of a silly girl from Mississippi who grows tomatoes and shops at the Kroger and has a sweet little puppy dog named Sadie.
To see that people from almost every state in the U.S. visit Monkbot is enough to make my heart swell with joy. But then to see people from all over the world come here to visit magnifies that joy even more. I routinely see folks from the Phillipines, Israel, South America, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Australia, and the U.K. visiting Monkbot…and I’m humbled.
And seeing all these wonderful people…the comment-makers and the lurkers, alike…has taught me an even greater lesson. There is not a monopoly on this planet by any person or country on the desire for unity.
This gives me such hope and joy and reassurance about all of us who live on this blue and green marble.
Finally, watching and being a part of the microcosm that is the blog world has baffled and amazed me. I will definitely miss so much about it.
There have been so many wonderful people I’ve met along this journey…too many to list, really. But to all who have graced the halls of Monkbot, I thank you. Thank you for opening your hearts and minds. Thank you for putting up with my moodiness and grousing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and time. Thank you for reading my words, listening to my songs, watching my silly videos. Thank you for caring. Thank you.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some special thanks to a handful of folks who gave me counsel and love and guidance and strength on a personal level this past year.
Bamaborntxbred – Truly, “Monkbot” wouldn’t exist without you, my sweet friend. Your silliness and smarts are fierce and wonderful.
Nolagirl – Your candidness and caring are such gifts. When I grow up, I wanna be like you.
Patrickadiddlehopper – You inspire me to be my best. I love you, kiddo.
Bentendo – Thanks for the logo and for believing in me, little brother.
Suzi-Q – Your hair is so silky like a scarf…oh, and you’re the best Mom in the world. Period.
Dr. Bob – You were so often my voice of reason and wisdom. I have such respect for you.
Rowan – I’ve never told you this but, since I’m all about the honesty…your writing amazes me and I’m humbled that you chose my site to be a part of.
Staci – How you didn’t go insane listening to me whine every day…I’ll never know. Oh…and if I had to choose the best Grammar Nazi in the world…it’d be you. You’d make Jane proud.
Ivoryhut – So intelligent and giving and humble and beautiful. I’m so proud to call you friend.
Double D – Humorous, analytical, brilliant…and you look so dang great in person. Shoot. Blow. Holster.
Shrewspeaks – Pass the wine, it’s Shrewbie time! You always knew just what to serve when I needed advice or insight.
Claire, Squeebee, Baby Duck, Texan, Wompuss, Leejolem, Jan – Each of you has made this place all the better because you shared a bit of yourself.
Quossum – What can I say, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal? We’ve talked each other off more ledges than I can count. You’re such a dynamo (and James ain’t too shabby either).
And finally, Gray Charles – I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t admit you were my biggest inspiration…or that you provided the bulk of my readership pool. It took a while, but this young Padawan did manage to learn some important lessons at your feet:
- Be cryptic with a purpose.
- Be aloof for self-preservation.
- Be protective of all your hard work.
- Nothing happens unless you beat yourself bloody to make it happen.
- Sometimes you gotta let go.
- You’re not always going to understand the masses, so don’t make yourself crazy trying.
- Always strive to learn and improve.
- Find the greatness within yourself…then reach beyond it.
And to everyone I didn’t mention…please know you all are so very important to me. This last year has been one I’ll never forget…and I have all of you to thank for it.
But it’s not like I’m retiring and moving to some remote island in the Caymans. I may post here down the road…and probably will. But for now, I want you all to know that this is just the right time for me to kick back and un-commit myself from this part of my life for a while.
Now, I need to take all that I’ve learned and honed and improved upon and mix it with the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met to create something else. My hope is that that “something else” would be a published work of some kind…but I’m not going to place the burden of such a commitment on my shoulders…especially since I’m trying to lighten my load right now. So, who knows what’s next for me…or for any of us, really?
I do ask one thing of all of y’all, though, as I leave the daily grind of Monkbot…I ask that y’all remember the community here…and the Manifesto…
only askrequire that you are considerate of others and that you put heart and thought into what you want to say. This blogLife is designed to stimulate conversations…not just comments. Discussions are a vital part of Monkbot Talkhumanity. We don’t always have to agree…just as long as we respect one another.
Keep the Monkbot spirit alive around the Internets, your home, your office, your world. Be nice…be thoughtful…be clever and funny…but mostly…just be yourself. That’s how I like you best.
Viva le Monkbot!