• About Me

    Welcome to my site!

    I'm a 20-something, recently married, runner who recently moved to New York City. Questions? Email therunnerwife (at) gmail (dot) com!

  • Sponsors

  • Advertisements

Identity Crisis

I realize I’m likely the last blogger on the planet to watch “Julie and Julia” but at least I’ve finally seen it now. Overall, I enjoyed it very much. Meryl Streep is wonderful, Amy Adams is adorable, and I could relate to the plot. However, I couldn’t relate as much as I’d hoped. The fact is, I started blogging in May to keep myself accountable for my meals and food choices. I also hoped to keep my training in check while preparing for races, and maybe even make a few friends along the way. Now, as I review many of my posts, I’m disappointed. I have two degrees in writing, and yet, more often than not, I write in such bland, stream-of-thought prose.

Case in point:Β I spent Monday doing all kinds of wonderful things. I finished Once A Runner, made corned beef brisket for The Huz, watched Julie and Julia, ran with Bodhi, tidied our apartment, baked a recipe for Happy Herbivore and blogged. You’d think I could find some way of expressing how nice my day was. Instead of feeling refreshed and satisfied when I sit down to write, I’m frustrated. Yes, I enjoyed my Monday. Yes, it was full of activities I love. But my day wasn’t unique. And I have nothing unique to contribute to the blog world re: my day.

When I first started reading blogs, I was drawn to writers who exhibited behaviors I admired – healthy eating, fast running, etc. In the past year, I’ve realized the blogs I continue to read are those that contribute something unique and different. I love Lindsay’s innovative yet approachable recipes. I love Gena’s passion for, and knowledge of, raw foodism and her unfailingly brave and eloquent posts. I adore the passion Angela has shown since quitting her job to open her own bakery and pursue her dreams. And I am infatuated with a sweet, sweet Pittsburgh couple who has embraced a year-long project focused entirely on the pursuit of sharing new and interesting experiences with each other.

What does my blog contribute? I’m not so sure anymore. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop blogging. However, it does mean I’m going to focus more on quality than quantity. I’m still shooting for 200 posts in 2010, but I want to contribute to the blog world. You’ve been so kind to read my posts, share my joys and sorrows and even explore my new city with me. You deserve to read good writing and to experience something new each time you visit.

What do YOU want to read about? What challenge would you like to see me face? What do you love most about your favorite blogs?


33 Responses

  1. Hi Katie,
    Rhiannon’s mom here.
    I like your blog. I think its well written.As an English Major I do look at sentence structure. I’ve been learning a lot from you. I am learning to cook. I would like your recipe for your corned beef brisket . My boyfriend has been asking for corned beef.

    I also joined stickktoit because of you. I think you are a real inspiration.

    I would like to have my own blog, but I don’t know how to do it. I did make my web site. Check it out and let me know what you think. It does take a lot of time. Now I know why they charge so much to make them. I have taken classes for a year from the Apple store on how to make the web site.
    Well keep up the good work.
    Judy Rieger-Hanley

    • Hi Judy, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I’m always nervous of all your wordsmiths out there who know good writing from the rest. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog and I love that it’s giving you new ideas for cooking! The corned beef was actually bought at Costco, believe it or not. It came with the seasoning packet and all I had to do was cover it with water and simmer for 2 hours 40 minutes. Super simple and it made the apartment smell amazing. Now The Huz has lunch food for the whole week, too!

      I love that you joined StickK and I’ll have to find you on it! It’s an awesome website and I hope you’re enjoying it.

      Creating a blog is super easy. I’d recommend reading about Blogger and WordPress since they provide a lot of preset formats so you don’t have to do much design work. Then you can focus on the writing!

  2. Hey there lady – I feel ya on this post’s topic. I sometimes feel like my posts are just a straight recap of my day and that I’m not bringing anything new to the blogworld. But I also remember that sometimes I read some of my favorite blogs and that’s all they are really writing about at times too.

    I think the blogworld is so unique and I’m drawn to it for the fresh-ideas shared, but also the camaraderie of healthy living. Sometimes reading a post about a person’s day can inspire me to try to eat healthier the next day or give me a great idea for a new recipe. I think the posts where people offer great new ideas and tips are amazing, but I value the day-to-day “ho hum” as well. Those posts reinforce that we are all real people and not super-women (or men).

    I love reading about your races, your recipes, and your challenges. You are very upfront on your blog about the challenges you face (like this post) and I think that is refreshing.

    Sorry for the loong comment. Lastly – I am game for a run this week in the morning. Thinking either 3-4 miles on Wednesday or Friday morning? I have to do 6 miles on Thursday, but that’s prob too long right? Email me and let me know.

    • I agree completely—some of my favorite blogs are just day-to-day recaps b/c they do remind me that we’re all human, and that we can all strive to do the most for ourselves, our bodies and each other. Yours inspired me to read more! πŸ™‚

      And yes, I’m definitely up for an early morning run. How’s tomorrow morning for 4 miles? We can just run up the river and back (and this time I can bring the pup and wear him out!!). Shoot me an email so we can decide time/place. I want to hear all about your weekend at home!

  3. Hey! I definitely know how you feel. I’ve been blogging for over 3 years and I’m just now finding my voice with Project NEW-lyweds. Before I had such a scattered approach but then things fell into place. I’m sure you’ll find your stride, just keep at it. I’ll be reading! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Betsy! I’ve really enjoyed reading your adventures with Joe and it’s totally inspired me to be more creative in small ways. I used to think it wasn’t worthwhile if we weren’t doing something big and new. Sometimes the small new things are the best πŸ™‚

  4. I LOVE your blog. What I truly like most about it is that you are just you. I don’t particularily like the scripted blogs. I like the ones where the writer’s personality shines through and you get to see a person for who they really are. I think you do a GREAT job at it. I wouldn’t put so much pressure on yourself to be a better blogger….you are already great! πŸ™‚

  5. I love your blog! I think your personality shines through and I relate to your past struggles with food and stuff. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

  6. i still haven’t seen J&J — so fear not lovely, you are not the last, I am. πŸ™‚ & thanks for mentioning me – you are so sweet!

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I used to get really caught up in blogging — it started as a pleasure and then become a chore. I used to post what I made for dinner every night… and with that I felt the stress and pressure to constantly make new stuff … I felt like I couldn’t recycle a recipe, I couldn’t reheat leftovers… because that was “boring” to my readers. Naturally, that started wearing on me and also, it sucked, because there were a lot of terrific recipes in there that were well worth repeating.

    So one day I said “enough” and went from a food dairy blog to just a place where I post new recipes sporatically. My readership did a nose dive, of course, but it brought me back to the beginning — back to why I started it in the first place: for FUN. for ME. It was never supposed to be about stress, guilt and obligation. A few weeks later, a friend did the same thing — he went from nightly to “when he felt like it” and we both sighed in relief.

    So, for a while, I was posting 2, sometimes 3 recipe entries a week. Then I got the cookbook deal and my blog was neglected… now the book is done and mama needs a break. I need to decompress.

    Of course, I started feeling really awful — if not guilty, for not having posted new material in almost three months… I was getting emails from people asking me if I would ever blog again… where did I go… so I felt even worse.. (which is totally self-inflicted). Needless to say, I was practically in tears over it when I remembered — this is supposed to be a happy thing in my life. Hello, it’s called “HAPPY Herbivore” ! der.

    What I mean is, It should never be something I feel I HAVE to do. I should never force it. I should never slap something up there just to have something up there. If I’m not ready, if I don’t have anything to say or give or contribute, so be it. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, god willing maybe next month.

    Do what you need to do, babe. Write when you want to write. Wait for the spirit to move you. I’ll be here, waiting to read.

    • Your comment gave me goosebumps. You are absolutely right – blogging is supposed to be a joy, not a chore! Posting when you *want* to post is key, and I believe it’s really reflected in the quality of the writing too. And don’t you fret about your readership. We’re all just waiting anxiously for your cookbook to come out so we can enjoy your recipes as often as you do – freshly made or as leftovers! πŸ™‚

  7. I think what people look for is getting to know the blog authors through their posts. I think you definitely have a personality! I think if you try to hard to make your blog world-friendly, it will end up seeming fake and not you. Just keep going! I bet if you look back to your first posts they are so different from what you do now. That is the fun of blogging, its like seeing a new life develop =)

    • You’re absolutely right, Sophie! I love reading through old posts b/c it reminds me that it’s all about the process, not instant results. I used to focus so much on the scale and eating perfectly, but I’m learning to appreciate all the positive changes I’ve made *gradually* over the past 8 or 9 months. No, I’m not perfect, but I’ve made great choices for myself more often than not, and that’s a huge step in the right direction. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. i like blogs that inspire me while making me laugh, thats a hard one to do both.

  9. I really have to disagree here, Diana. I find your blog unbelievably thoughtful, intelligent, and unfailingly witty. And perhaps you don’t see a single “identity” running through it, but to be honest, I do: you’re the brave, if sometimes besieged, voice of self-acceptance, constantly reminding us all not to succumb to demons of self-loathing or social pressure. You talk about this issue better than any blogger I’ve read, and in many ways I think it’s the topic that animates your blog.

    And I’m an editor, ya know. I don’t toss around writing praise casually πŸ™‚

  10. GA! Katherine!! Not Diana. I just commented on Diana’s blog, sorry. I’m giving my two favorite NYers my post-long weekend love πŸ™‚

    Speaking of being an editor, I should screw my head on straight before I write another word today.

    • Haha I blame the long weekend, not the editor, for the editorial error! πŸ˜‰ And thank you so very much for your kind words. I suppose it’s just challenging sometimes when I don’t particularly like my voice? I’d love to have only positive posts full of personal successes and inspiring ideas, but I guess that’s all part of the process, right?

      • K,

        None of us like our voices all the time. There are days when I read my posts and think I sound preachy, or overly chipper, or just lame. I save myself some self-criticism bc my blog isn’t intimate — the voice is a professional one, mostly, so that’s easy to polish and make pretty. But I do like to think I invest it with passion, too. Sometimes, it’s TOO polished, and I don’t like that. Which is why posts like the quitting smoking post or the falling out of my headstand post have been useful for me to write. I like reminding people that I’m messy, too.


      • I loved your headstand post! I have to say, though, if that’s as messy as you get, I’m even more in awe of you than I was before πŸ™‚

  11. LOL @ Gena’s comment. I was like, huh?! Thought Iw as having a senior moment and had already commented here or something.

    ANYway. Yes, I have to second both Lindsay and Gena’s comments, which were very well put. I would just add a tweak on the nose and shaking my finger at you for being so hard on yourself. The minute this blog becomes a chore or a DISpleasure, that’s the time to re-evaluate and do what you have to do to pull it back in to the pleasure zone. (That sounded dirty.)

    I’ve had to pull back on both posting and commenting in the past 2 weeks since my schedule became busier, and yeah it’s harder to maintain readers that way, but…so what? I have to force myself to say that. It’s not like I depend on blogging as a source of income either–if it was, you can bet I’d be making the time to do it anyway!

    Many moons ago, I wrote on my blog’s little “about me” bio blurb that Soap & Chocolate was a space where I could just post what floats my boat, and that’s still true. May you find your little boat and enjoy the cruise. πŸ™‚

    • Tee hee I definitely chuckled at your “pleasure zone” comment.

      It’s true, sometimes you just have to rein it in a bit and accept that it’s probably better in the long run!

      So far, I’ve enjoyed the cruise immensely. Not only have I learned so much about myself; I’ve also made some incredible friends. Thanks, beautiful!

  12. ive felt similarly bc sometimes my days are SO effing boring, and who wants to read that? i think the one area that i feel is unique to my blog and makes it different from jhust listing my eats day in and day out (even though i do that) is showing people how i pack food for work. since i dont have a normal desk job and i still manage to bring my lunch with me every day, i think its good to show others it can be done. you CAN be vegan, have delish meals, and save $$, and not be stuck with boring salads at some local cafe or work cafeteria. other than that, i read blogs to get recipes, to get music/workout tips, and then to generally just see how my blog “friends” are doing…

    • um, the other thing that sets your blog apart is your awesome writing, girlfriend! i love your blog – your voice and your humor are so unique, and i really love how honest you are. keep it up!

  13. I often feel the same way about my blog! I try not to think about it that much though because right now the blog is one of the most positive outlets I have. I think someday I’d like to have another blog that was a bit more focused, but my current one is just sort of for fun.

  14. Aww i’m sorry your feeling an identity crisis! I really don’t know what’s so great about mine either!

    But I love all your recipes and thoughts on certain topics like when you talked about the raw food diet and body image topics etc!

  15. wonderful, honest post. i like reading your blog because, as others have mentioned, you write well.

    i think you should take the blog in whatever direction you are passionate about- what do you WANT to write about? what makes you excited, what do you want to share? because if you love what you are writing about, then people will want to read it.
    and if they don’t, well, you can’t please everyone!

    i like blogs that are interesting, funny, and out of the box. not just food and health, you know? random shit! haha
    oh, and posts that are short and to the point are nice too…i think everyone who reads blogs suffers from lack of time πŸ˜‰

  16. I like your posts! My favorite blogs are just about life. Life may include food, workouts and whatever else, but they’re a mixture of all sorts of different things.

  17. I like your blog b/c I feel like I can relate to you. I don’t think everyday has to be unique or fabulous. That said, I know exactly how you feel – when you get into a posting rut and you feel like everything sucks. I’ve decided to just not post then.

  18. I think it takes real effort NOT posting when you feel you should but aren’t feeling it! Give yourself a day or two away and before you know it, you’ll be back and bursting at the seams with things to tell.

    • So true! As soon as I feel pressured to write, I can’t think of a single thing. When I give myself a break, I think of a million things πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your support!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: