Thursday, May 27, 2010

Julie and Julia: My reflections as a blogger

Anyone see the movie Julie and Julia?  It's about Julie working through Julia Childs 529 recipe cookbook in a year and blogging about it.  The end result is she completes her goals, get newspaper articles written about her, book offers, a movie and becomes a writer all within 123 minutes.  I know some people say they can't stand Julia Childs voice and not having watched much by her, I love the enthusiasm Julia Childs (played my Meryl Streep) has for food and for living life.   While it could be considered a chick flick, my boyfriend enjoyed the movie and laughed at parts. I think any guy living with a blogger would find humor with this movie.

Julie gets lost in her cooking and her blog deadlines that she ignores her husband.  Actually I don't think he was completely ignored because she made the food and they would share it at dinner and he could always spend time in the kitchen with her too.  But the fact that she had her focus on something else and became obsessed about it became a sliver of discontentment in their relationship.  You can see the insecurity, jealously and frustration woven throughout the movie.  Ever had an argument with your better half on the amount of time you spend blogging?  Even now, I need to jump in the shower after my run; yet I sit her blogging.  Its not really procrastination and I know if I don't get the post done tonight that I won't fail the class assignment yet I want to complete and hit POST. Another stressor  in Julie and her husbands relationship is their life isn't as private as it once was and he doesn't have much control.  Maybe he doesn't want the world to know what they had for dinner, or that Julie had a meltdown.  At one point during an argument he yells at her not to put the fight in the blog.  Where is the line between personal and public personal?

One thing I don't see Julie struggling with is how to fit in commenting on her bloggie friends sites. Does she not  feel the "obligation" to support her supporters? To read what her fellow bloggers blog about? I know for me that I want to spend more time supporting my bloggie friends and that's done through comments.  It is so nice to know that someone feels the same, or they can offer support, advise and friendship.  I feel like through blogging I've made many virtual friends.  Yes, maybe the friendships are surface level and we won't get to cry together over tea (HA. Like I do that with my in-person friends now), but we do share a common bond of running, caring, support and give advice and even the stop your whining comments, which are all meant to be supportive.

One line in the movie that made me pause for thought is Julie's called a narcissistic.  Julie ponders if she really is obsessed with only herself and whether she's a good person or not. Aren't most blogs events around the author and their thoughts and feelings?  Does that make us all narcissistic's?  I hardly think so.   There are many times where I like to post things outside my own running but are running related. And although I don't write my deepest, darkest thoughts in the blog, I use this as a personal journal. I have so many ideas for topics but don't have the time to write about them.  I'd rather be running, reading books, reading blogs or sitting on the couch watching a movie with my boyfriend. Many of the topics I'd like to write on take more thought or even research and so I default to writing nothing, my latest run or posting/answering one of my running challenge questions.

I suppose one thing about the movie is that it makes me aware of my lack of accomplishments or lack of direction in my own life. Julie starts her blog with a goal and gets a movie out of it.  My own blog doesn't have a specific purpose but I do want to be able to help other runners through my own experiences. Will I get a book deal, no...I'll just become one of the many numbers of bloggers out there judging my "acceptance" based on the number of followers and the number of comments. I know a lot of what my comment of "lack of direction"' comes from my own not knowing what I want out of life and not knowing what my life's purpose is.   Perhaps that will be a rambling topic for another day.


Kerrie T. said...

Great post! I saw this movie not long before I started Mom vs. Marathon. I liked the idea of "finishing" something. THat's part of the reason I label my posts Day X. I suppose mine won't be "finished" in a year, but I was hoping to have run my marathon by the end of 365 days. That's not going to happen now, but that's OK.

Anyway, I suppose this movie helped me pick a "niche" to write about. My other blog is all about my baby boy and being a mommy, just like millions of other blogs out there.

ANd, for the record, yes, my husband complains about the time I spend blogging. And I don't post about that. :)

Kim said...

My husband kept saying "THAT IS YOU!" through the whole thing. I wish my blog would go someplace, but it never seems to. I've been blogging for nearly 6 years and I've only just started getting some readers. Oh, well.

Genesis said...

i never really thought of getting something out of blogging except for the occasional freebies, but as for book deals and movies...nah not for me. i write just as a journal. if i am able to reach out to a person and help them, kudos to me, but for me its just to get my randomness in print or in writing and to clear some space up there..

Ewa said...

For me my blog is a fitness journal with occasional ramblings of loosely related topics. I don't go after number of followers, I am not looking to get a publication out of it... OK, I admit, I don't have a goal for my blog. It is enough to make goals for myself. I guess. My blog will remain what it is. Goalless.

misszippy said...

Interesting topic! I read the book and have to say that Julie maybe did come off a bit full of herself, but that's just her. She did one big thing really right, though, and that was to get into blogging before many others had (and have an interesting topic!).

Johann said...

Can't really comment on Julie and Julia so I won't try to.:)

Comrades is run between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. They switch direction every year. Durban is at the coast (sea level) and Pietermaritzburg is 596 m (1,955 ft)above sea level. From there the up/down. This year is down. Down is a bit easier (faster) but hurts a lot more. The route is very tough. The highest point is 766m (2513ft). Distance is about 89km (55 miles). I did the down in 10:41:34. Hope to do the up next year.

Johann said...

Oh, and I chatted to the donkeys about the grass they were eating and apologized for not bringing them a treat...!

Carrie said...

I can really relate to this post. This movie sparked the same feelings in me. And since then I've been on this mission and journey of sorts. The urgency has heightened since reading The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged recently...the idea of purpose and attaining one's full potential in life. I have a ton of thoughts on themes in the books I've just read, especially that of 'selfishness as a virtue'. I think, that as caring people, we seek to be there for others, but forget about ourselves. I never quite thought of selflessness or abdication of thought and reason as a sin, but it is...especially in the hands of someone who uses guilt and manipulation as a weapon of control. It is not a crime or something one should feel guilty about, indulging in something purely for themselves without benefit to anyone else, especially if they are achieving and producing to their highest potential. The people who are doing this in their own lives won't take offense at your accomplishments.

In the movie I find it very healthy and wonderful that Julia's husband is supportive and secure enough within himself to let his wife enjoy success. He almost welcomes it. I LOVED this about Stanley Tucci's character! So SEXY!

But yes, there is definitely a fine balance that I agonize over, which dictates how I operate sometimes in my online life. My husband never really says anything, but I can see it in his look or feel it in his mood when the balance is off. And one time recently we had a candid talk about it, which resulted in cut backs on my internet time.