Though I don't scrawl upon my own blog, I still visit others' from time to time. Time to rare time. I read Rookie (which, incidentally, has a whole new look that I'm immensely proud of), I read my mom, I read Rabid, I read Ranger, and Winder and Bird and a smattering of others. (I'd say that I read Cat, but she posts, like, every third blue moon, and when she posts it's not about her--its about other people--so that doesn't count. And I'd say I read private blogs, but that requires rememberin' and I don't do that so good these days.) But that's about it. That's about all I read. At least those are the ones I can recall right now.
However, every so often I land on another blog--some food blog Whit forwarded me or another someone I used to check in on--and some of these blogs display a button or a credo proclaiming that they are ad-free and ding damn proud of it. I have returned today in part to tell you how stupid that is.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting ads on your blog. Nothing wrong with making money from advertising on the space you maintain on el Internet. Why? Because blogging takes time. It takes time away from other things. And if you're blogging regularly there's a chance that you've developed a following--large or small--and that following returns because they are entertained. Whether it be out of delight, fury, or incredulity, they keep coming back to lap up what you leave behind. The stuff you left that took time to create. And when you put ads on your blog you are being remunerated for that time. A little reward for the words you send worldwide. Blogging doesn't have to be a perpetual act of service for your readers.
Why in the world would someone be proud to run an ad free blog? You're proud that you spend hours and hours over the course of time maintaining your blog for free? If that's what you want, fine. Go for it. But don't look down on or decry those who make a buck or two doing the same kind of thing you're slaving at without fiscal yield. In my opinion, they're going about things more efficiently than you are; they're maximizing their time by earning money. It's just good sense is all.
Am I saying that everyone should put ads on their blogs? That if you don't make money off of your blog you're a moron? Of course not. Plenty of people blog for their own entertainment or for posterity or for friends or for . . . or for . . . or for . . . The reasons are many and individual. If what you get in return for your hours blogging is something intangible, something intrinsic, and that's enough, then, well, that's enough. But you're pathetic if you are one who gets enough from your blog without being paid and you boast about it.
I'm ad-free! No kidding. I'm on your blog right now and I don't see any ads. And from that I assume that you don't want any and that means that you are presently fulfilling your blogging goals. Your blog in its present state sates you. Perhaps next month you're going to start feeling that you want more from your blog and you consider joining an ad network. The next time I land on your blog I see that there's an ad, and from that I understand that you have a new goal for your blog and the ad's going to help fulfill it. It's that simple. Proclaiming your ad-free-ness is redundant and self-important.
While I'm here, why not a little update? Let's see . . . What have I been up to since we last cavorted?
• I got a new drug. One to sell, not to take. And it's been a really intense study. I'm not kidding: there was a span when every night I'd see ECGs in my sleep.
• I've added regular Bikram yoga classes as a supplement to my usual power practice. I do power yoga the first half of the week and then Bikram on the weekend. Bikram and power are night-and-day different, but I've found that they compliment each other in maximizing the role in my life that I've defined for yoga.
• I applied to seven graduate school programs. (Yes, seven. Terrified that any writing skill I thought I once possessed had been a casualty of my post-graduation intellectual atrophy, I figured that some law of large numbers had to be in my favor and at least one school would take pity on me and let me in.) When I graduated from college 100 years ago (okay just 8 years ago, but it feels much longer) my plan was to head right into a Masters program. Hah. Life happened. Higher education didn't. I've bitched and pined ever since. Now's the time to stop the bemoaning and hop on it already.
My program of choice: a low-residency MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Not the most common of programs, trust-you-me. Low-residency means that I can apply anywhere and still live here. I spend a ten day residency on campus at the beginning of each semester and then carry out the rest of the coursework long-distance. That works for a writing program.
I decided to do the applying at the beginning of December and needed to have all the applications in the mail by February 15th. I'm telling you, it was a superhuman feat to learn my new drug and get my applications off on time, 'specially since the manuscripts required ranged from 20-40 pages and there were personal essays to write as well. But I did it and lived to tell the tale.
I am immensely grateful for the friends and sisters that read for me while I was in the editing and retooling phases. Without them, I'd never have been able to send off stuff to be proud of.
I've heard back from two schools so far. Both said Yes.
• I did the Rookie redesign. I hated Whitney's blog. It was ugly. She liked it fine, but I, the supposed designer, did not. So I told her it was time for Rookie Cookie to grow up and get a new look. And it did. And I like. For now.
Going back and redoing all the food pictures will take 37 million years, but I hate so very, very, very much the font that I initially chose such that it will be worth all the time it takes. Whenever I finally get around to doing it, that is.
• I've just embarked on working on a blog for my mom's book. Oh yes, friends and neighbors, my mom wrote a book. A whole book! It's called The Mourning Run and it's based on a true story and it will have a blog to go with it.
(I realize that linking to the blog is premature (hope that doesn't bug you, Ma), but it's a work in progress and you should know its location. When it's done, it's going to be a great resource for those who grieve. I'll absolutely let you know when the book is in print--a couple months, we're thinking. It will be a great gift for anyone who is mourning. I already have a couple people I'm eager to send the book to. The blog will complement the book. There is much to explain regarding that, and, as I said, it's a work in progress; to understand, you'll just have to go there when it's done. I'll yell and scream when that time comes.)
• The Soph is well. Perfect, basically. Mom, Mal, and Lo came to visit and brought Dash (Mal's Boxer puppy), Gus (my parents' Westie), and Miles (my dad's Christmas present--a miniature Schnauzer puppy), and my chubby Yorkie lived to tell the tale. Yes, of course she knows how to speak. I said she's perfect.
• The Husband is well as well. He is still a denim snob. (You didn't know he is a denim snob? Oh, he is. My sisters Caitlyn and Mal turned him into a first-rate premium denim whore. I don't tell him when the jeans I'm wearing are from Forever 21--not that he can't just tell by looking.) He is still at Apple. He is still tall. And dark haired with a smattering of grey strays that I find attractive. And nice to me. And aching to see Caitlyn pregnant.
S'all for now, Dear Reader. Do something productive with the rest of March.