Woman at the Dry Well

November 15, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 11:48 pm   Category: Life

I think the blogging well of Kristen J has run dry. Maybe I should write a dramatic and fabulous post announcing that I no longer want anything to do with all of the weirdos that haunt the bloggernacle. It could be very dramatic and exciting. What do you say? Should I do it?

Actually, I’ve had a lot of difficulty writing lately. I can think of a few reasons why the muse has left me. First, life seems to get crazier as my children get older. There are just more things to be done, more homework, more activities, more discussions with them about life. It can leave a woman just plain tired.

A second and maybe even a bigger factor is that quite a few of our friends and ward members have become readers of the thang. At first I thought it was pretty cool that my friends would be reading my writing but now I’m not so sure. It’s one thing revealing your crazies to a mostly nameless, faceless group of people that I will never have to see in person. It’s quite another knowing that the people you associate with on a daily basis are reading my writing.

For example, how can I write about how boring the gospel doctrine teacher (hypothetically speaking of course) is every Sunday when that same teacher could be reading what I post. I also worry that some of the things I write will come across as kind of crazy and weird. Do I really want my friends to know that I’m a serious closet nerd and not the cool person they all believe me to be? Would they all still love me even though I’m a Battlestar Gallactica fanatic and have become hooked on the new tv show heroes?

Another interesting thing I’ve come across since blogging is meeting thang readers for the first time. It’s almost like they have a leg up on me because they’ve had an opportunity to read my thoughts and stories causing them to know me even before they meet me. Their have been a few times when someone has been really warm and friendly to me (not that that’s a bad thang) and it wasn’t until later that I realized that it was because they felt they knew me already and we were kind of friends, or maybe they just thought I was hot.

Anyway, help me refill the well. What can I write about? Where do I go from here? Or If you can’t help me there maybe you can just give me some good ideas for white elephant gifts. Geoff and I are throwing our annual Christmas White Elephant party and I want our gifts to blow doors off the competition!


  1. Part of it is just a writing thang — knowing that real people who know you (as opposed to the nameless horde of the Bloggernacle) might read what you write causes anxiety. There are people who write entire novels and never let anyone read even a page, so strong can this writing thang be.

    Try getting angry about something. Go to a school board meeting or something.

    Comment by Dave — November 16, 2006 @ 6:46 am

  2. That’s a good point Dave. I’ll have to find something that really makes me ticked off. I don’t think that should be very hard actually!

    Comment by kristen j — November 16, 2006 @ 7:40 am

  3. I had similar problems. It’s one of the reasons I dropped my blog.

    You could do what Geoff and Jacob do and just blog about space doctrine.. That way anyone who reads it will fall asleep before getting to the end of it. Maybe you could even have your middle paragraphs be about your real life, but have a space doctrine lead in and epilogue, It’d be like all the good stuff couched in the Isaiah Chapters that no one knows about because, well, it’s in Isaiah…

    Comment by Matt W. — November 16, 2006 @ 7:51 am

  4. Kristen, you can’t quit. You’re one of my favorite bloggers.

    But I know what you mean about not wanting people you know to read your blog. Every once in awhile I get a panicky feeling at church thinking, “Have any of these people read my blog?” It’s funny.

    Comment by Susan M — November 16, 2006 @ 8:21 am

  5. I often wonder if people are being nice to me because I am hot, as well!

    There is a bit of exposure, this is true. I think bloggers are generally less inclined to be bothered by it though.

    Comment by J. Stapley — November 16, 2006 @ 9:45 am

  6. I was nice to you at church cuz I thought you were hot. Is that wrong? Or maybe it was that I didn’t know anyone else. (smiley)

    Your White Elephant gift should always have chocolate in it, or just complete chocolate. We have found that those are the ones most fought over. Second would be either gift cards to favorite restaurants or family games.

    Comment by Pam Jorg — November 16, 2006 @ 12:07 pm

  7. My High Priest group leader reads my blogs…he never comments on the blog but corners me at church every once and awhile.

    What intimidates me more is knowing that my posts are on my son’s blog and my other two sons and one daughter read it all the time and comment.

    I am more careful at what I say and what I post. As for ideas, it’s hard – the well runs dry quite often. I find myself listening to lessons or reading with the intent on finding something to blog about…not a good learning experience!

    Comment by don — November 16, 2006 @ 12:14 pm

  8. I don’t have any blogging advice for you, but I’m dying to know what you think about the cheerleader Claire’s dad (the horn-rimmed glasses man). Is he really a good guy or just pretending??!!

    Comment by C Jones — November 16, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

  9. you mean we won’t hear poo stories anymore — c’mon kj — keep it up — i’m not a closet nerd, i’m ‘out’ and don’t care if people read my mindless dribble…it’s theraputic for me — it’s my way of writing about how friggin horrible the TSA is without (hopefully) threatening my chances of flying, etc., etc. — your thoughts, your open journal to the world…but if i see a post about ‘those guys around the corner who think they are cool, but aren’t’ — then i’m going to egg your house.

    Comment by timheuer — November 16, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

  10. Spencer and I love Heroes too! I haven’t seen this weeks episode (we’ve been watching them on-line) but I can’t wait for when they Save the Cheerleader next week!

    I don’t know what you should write about though…I have a hard enough time thinking of things to write about on my blog. I do love reading your posts though and have missed them.

    Comment by Jamie J — November 16, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

  11. Sorry, I’ve been a chaperone at a field trip at the Arizona Science Center all day. Not so fun, mostly I just yelled at kids, “Get back here!” Then when I became fascinated with the lady dissecting the cow eyeball all the little girls in my group felt sick and we had to leave.

    Matt W- That is a great idea. In fact, I think I will just start cutting and pasting Geoff’s and Jacob’s posts at the beginning of mine then when I have gotten rid of all but the truly devoted I will spill the dirt.

    Thanks Susan, you know the feeling is mutual.

    J. Stapley- That is the only reason I was nice to you when we met. I hope I didn’t make your wife super mad!

    Pam-unless I can find chocolate in a bizarre shape then it’s a no go. The crazier the better seems to have become the theme at our party. Go figure?

    Now help me out Don, you strike me as a man who could come up with some good white elephant gift ideas.

    C Jones- it just depends on the week. Right now I think he is mostly good but doesn’t care about sacrificing whom ever he needs to for the greater cause. I think I might have a crush on Hiro the time bending Japanese man though.

    Tim-don’t you know that your “out of the closet nerdiness” is the coolest thing about you? If you knew how much G and I like our neighbors around the corner you would probably race right out and get a restraining order.

    Jamie J-I really wish you and Spencer would quit copying us. First American Idol and now this!

    Comment by kristen j — November 16, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

  12. Kristen:

    I have been taking a Caregie leadership course, and the method they use is public speaking. I think public speaking has similarities to blogging. One of the most important pieces of advice Carnegie gives is to speak on things that you have an interest and passion about. That way it comes out sincere. When you do that you don’t cram to prepare a post, you have been preparing for it for many years. Don’t worry about what others might like, write for yourself. If it has value to you, it will have value to others. Be your best self and that will be more than good enough.

    I admit that there have been times when I have tried to imitate others, or write what I think others will like. I think it often comes off flat. I am going to try to take my own advice here and write about things I like and care about, whatever that is.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — November 16, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

  13. Holy crap… I LOVE Heroes!! I worked with a guy that only watched two shows, Battlestar Gallactica and Heroes. I started to watch old episodes on Youtube and got all caught the day before they were pulled. I got lucky.
    To address your coping comment, it is not a matter of us copying the shows you watch. It is a matter of awesome people being in complete sync with the shows they watch without ever talking to each other about the shows. In other words, you are copying us.

    I know what you mean when it comes to people in your ward reading your blog. I write differently than you by limiting the amount of personal information and experiences I share. By doing this I eliminate the feeling of people knowing about me then I want them to. I most often write about things I find funny or thoughts that I have. You know, the kind of thought that you wouldn’t bother telling anyone because they are pointless. I think that may be a reason not many people read my blog and the exact reason people do read yours. The Thang has depths and feeling. Do I have a suggestion for you, not really. But I do have to say that I loved the posts you have written in the past and hope to see more.

    Comment by Spencer J — November 16, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  14. I also have a problem with people being nice to me because I am hot too. I just say to them, “Your gaydar must be way off today. I am not gay”.

    Comment by Spencer J — November 16, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

  15. Oh Spencer J I love you! As my friend in junior high used to say, “I love you dearly but not queerly!”

    I will save next Monday’s tivoed episode of Heroes for you, kay?

    Eric- excellent points to be sure. My biggest problem, what am I passionate about? Hhhmm…chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate! I will blog all chocolate all the time!

    Comment by kristen j — November 16, 2006 @ 5:52 pm

  16. Kristen: It’s almost like they have a leg up on me because they’ve had an opportunity to read my thoughts and stories causing them to know me even before they meet me.

    Imagine how Paris Hilton must feel.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 16, 2006 @ 6:14 pm

  17. Oh I sooo know what you’re talking about Jacob J! I feel like she and I could be kindred spirits, or BFFs. I’m so thankful that blogging could bring me closer to Paris.

    Comment by kristen j — November 16, 2006 @ 6:41 pm

  18. Kristen:

    I love love love your posts. You are a terrific writer and I always look forward to reading something new that you have written. Please don’t stop. Write about chocolate. Write about cow eyeballs. Actually, I ahve always been so impressed with everyone who even HAS a blog – I couldn’t think of many interesting things to write about, and I’m too embarrassed to bear my soul to people I actually know. Hey, I’ll tell about my first period to a bunch of strangers, but I don’t even let my mom see me kiss my husband! How messed up am I?

    White elephant: What works for us are things usually of a “foreign” nature, although vintage Americana can work too: velvet paintings and wall hangings, gold leafed statues, lamps made out of things that lamps shouldn’t be made out of, anything brass, or basically what’s on the back, bottom shelf of your neighborhood salvation army. Or an old wedding present that you hated. No chocolate. That’s way too good.

    Please don’t let your well run dry!

    Comment by meems — November 16, 2006 @ 8:43 pm

  19. Thanks meems, you are too kind.

    You are right about the chocolate, I’m just going to eat it myself.

    I just need to get over my inhibitions and write about what ever the heck I want!

    Comment by kristen j — November 16, 2006 @ 10:13 pm

  20. Yeah!

    Comment by meems — November 16, 2006 @ 10:21 pm

  21. :::raising hand:::
    I’m one of those weirdos that met Kristen and caused some discomfort there. Still think you’re a cool person, though =)

    And, hypothetically speaking, isn’t that Gospel Doctrine teacher writing here as well? (Maybe he was just subbing, my memory isn’t always that sharp)

    I don’t know if it works like Brigham Young’s prayer suggestion, to blog until you feel like blogging again, but I hope that you will find some rainwater collecting in that well from time to time even if the groundwater has run out for now.

    Comment by Téa — November 17, 2006 @ 3:34 pm

  22. Actually Tea I have no problem with, nor do I feel weird about you reading my writing. It’s just knowing that people I associate with face to face on a regular basis might be reading cause me to pause often and pull back when writing.

    Comment by kristen j — November 17, 2006 @ 6:04 pm

  23. Me? I’m just glad that Jacob decided to sign his comment as “Jacob J”. Maybe you can write about how your co-bloggers all want to be related to you. :)

    Comment by Bradley Ross — November 17, 2006 @ 9:23 pm

  24. I can kinda relate. I’m not a blogger, but I write a monthly column in our local newspaper. So I have faced the issues of how to deal with talking about folks, meeting readers, etc.

    My mother always told me that if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say it. And I do try to follow that. I can’t think that the cost to someone’s feelings ever is outweighed by the benefit.

    I check with my children/coworkers before I use anecdotes about them, even if they are unnamed (the relationship is enough to be identifying, really). Sometimes that is fascinating: My daughter had a totally different outlook on one incident than I did…but somehow the piece got written anyway.

    I’m pretty apalled that people will post on the web about various situations in their real names–I would be horribly embarrassed if I was the one being discussed, and wouldn’t want to do that to anyone.

    If I found Sunday School boring, I might post about how SS could be improved, or ask folks about their favorite SS school classes ever. But I wouldn’t complain about the current teacher.

    I know that most journalists feel no compunction at all to talk about their family members–Dave Barry insists that is how his kids contribute to the family income. But I can’t feel comfortable doing that.

    My experiences with meeting readers have been mixed, with some real negatives where I got the impression that people were disappointed to meet me in person. My editor regularly gets requests from people to meet me, and so I’ve done some lunches with community leaders, etc. On a couple of occasions, the first thing they said was, “But you’re so short!” Because my writing can be strong on some issues, they somehow thought I must be taller.:( But to be fair, there have been lots of other occasions where people recognizing me opened doors.

    As far as the well running dry, for me this mostly happens when I don’t have enough margins in my time, when there is not enough blank time for the Spirit and the muse to work on my subconscious. I have written a lot of columns in my head while lying on my back in the steam room at the gym. Sometimes I can almost see the words writing across the tiles. It’s when I get too busy to go to the gym, which is symptomatic of being too busy to think, that the well runs dry.

    Comment by Naismith — November 18, 2006 @ 10:00 am

  25. Very cool Naismith. Honestly, being a columnist is something that I would love to do. I would also love to see some of your work.

    You have some very good points that i find enlightening. I think you are right about the time issue too. Lately, when I have had a moment I just don’t want to put my brain to work.

    Bradley-those J people! They all assume everyone wants to be like them. They’re just lucky I didn’t insist everyone become K people when I joined the clan.

    Comment by kristen j — November 18, 2006 @ 10:12 am

  26. First, White Elephant gifts,
    Growing up rural, I especially remember the green spray painted cow pie (nicely dry) with a bow and bells. Then there’s the bronze bust of JFK that dh and I saved for years waiting for someone to invite us to an appropriate party. One year I went to the thrift store and bought a lovely collection of self-help books from the seventies and eighties. I loved the nut cracker someone brought back from their mission a primative wood carving that cracked nuts between her thighs.

    As to the rest, I totally relate. I think part of the well running dry from me at least is a natural process of something new and neat becoming normal and drudgery, that’s just life. Also, the passion in me was dammed back for so long that I had a good long while to gush forth as a blogger before I kinda just ran out of stuff, now it’s more work, less passion.

    I also totally relate to the anonimity thing. When I found out people in my ward were reading my blog, it made me self-consious for a while. Now I just don’t think about it any more. I also kinda don’t talk about it in person any more, mostly (in person) I just change the subject. I’m just much more comfortable with this stuff in cyber reality. Kinda a personal don’t ask don’t tell blogging policy.

    Comment by fMhLisa — November 19, 2006 @ 1:43 pm

  27. Those are some great ideas for gifts. I collect nutcrackers, oh how I wish I had the nutcracker you describe!

    Actually, as I was writing this post I was wondering how you handled these things since you are such a prominent figure in the bloggernacle. Thanks for the insight.

    Comment by kristen j — November 19, 2006 @ 5:53 pm