Reasons

I’m going to be honest about something here.

I haven’t posted in a while. Almost two weeks, actually. Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you wondered if I was burned out on the sport of writing (partially true), got pregnant (false), stopped drinking beer (definitely false), got swept away by a tsunami (false, unless you count that recurring nightmare), or just plain didn’t have anything on-topic to say, given that I’m not running as much these days (definitely true).

But the real reason I haven’t been blogging is slightly more embarrassing. It’s because I’m afraid of being judged.

Unless you’ve been living under a jumbo-sized jar of organic nut butter, I’m sure you’ve heard of GOMI and the like. Considered by some to be a big ole cesspool of internet meanie bullydom inhabited by the fat and jealous, the site (and its forums) call out bullshit in the general sphere of mostly-female-driven internet journaling: fashion blogs, “healthy living” blogs, running blogs, “lifestyle” blogs, mommy blogs, etc.

I think GOMI is great. I’m a regular reader of the main site and its forums and occasionally participate/comment. The blog world needs a place where readers can voice their opinions and reactions to a post without being censored by its author. Call it a cruder version of letters to the editor.

And of course, most of those opinions and reactions are snarky, critical, or negative. It’s called Get Off My Internets for a reason.

But as I’ve lurked and laughed and snarked, my subconscious has been a little sponge, soaking up a long list of things that people (including me, apparently, as I’m right there complaining too) don’t like on blogs.

The result of this is that I sit down to write, and a little voice in that part of my brain – the GOMI sponge part – shoots down every idea I have.

Your track workout? NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR SPLITS.

Your dinner? PROBABLY LOOKS NASTY BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER. ALSO, YOU ARE NOT A PROFESSIONAL CHEF.

Your weight room session? YOU’RE NOT A TRAINER, THAT’S DANGEROUS.

Your latest house project? IS PROBABLY SOMEHOW RIPPING OFF YOUNG HOUSE WHATEVER, EVEN THOUGH YOU’VE NEVER READ THAT BLOG.

Your outing to the (way cool, BTW) international Farmer’s Market? WHICH YOU DID AT 10 AM ON A TUESDAY, NO ONE WITH A REAL JOB WANTS TO READ ABOUT THAT.

I’ve never (I don’t think) been called out on GOMI. I actually have had a couple of shout outs on the SOMI thread – thank you, whoever you are! But somehow that makes facing the minefield of potential blog-content bombs even scarier. People like you, says that little voice. Don’t fuck it up.

If that voice had a body, it would be a twelve-year-old girl hugging herself awkwardly in the adidas windbreaker that she begged her parents for months to buy her, because everyone else had one. She’d be clutching a three-ringed notebook with a clear plastic cover, used primarily for displaying the folded Xeroxed invitations to birthday parties and other exclusive gatherings distributed judiciously by her more-popular classmates.

It makes me cringe. I’m 31 years old. Why am I acting like a seventh grader when it comes to caring about what other people think?

Here is the truth. There are many things about my life right now that are probably GOMI-worthy. I’m a running blogger who is not running much. I don’t have a real job at the moment and I spend a lot of time at the gym. I take 9:30 AM yoga classes. I devote most of my free time to reading, writing, overseeing major home repairs, performing minor home repairs, undertaking DIY projects, and decorating our (very nice) house.

But I’m different! I assure myself. I’m not a so-called professional blogger complaining about how OMG BUSY my life is while filling my days with fitness classes and iced coffees. I don’t make a cent from this blog. I’m not one of them.

I’m different. Really, though…am I?

My friend Gesina is fond of quoting a Modern Family scene in which Jay speculates about what Gloria does all day. “I’m guessing the gym and one other thing,” he says. Yep, pretty much.

(Of course, this isn’t permanent. I’m still figuring out my grad school situation. Depending on how that shakes out, I’ll figure out my job situation. But I can take my time to do that. I’m aware that I’m very lucky.)

When I started this blog almost three years ago, I wrote every day. Fairly banal musings, for the most part, on my day’s run, inexpensive wine, and whatever meal I’d managed to cobble together in my tiny NYC kitchen. I started commenting on other blogs, and started getting more comments on mine. I started adding the ubiquitous QUESTION to the end of every post. More comments! Oftentimes, the most superficial and banal content + question generated the most comments. I MADE BROWNIES! DO YOU LIKE BROWNIES? OMG, I LOVE BROWNIES! THOSE LOOK SO GOOD!

Nothing wrong with that (who doesn’t love brownies?), but at some point it started to feel a little contrived, so I cut the Q&A thing and tried to focus on making my writing a little better. And a little more me. I’m not sure if I succeeded or not, but I’m very proud of some of those posts, the ones where I branched out and wrote about something I was experiencing or thinking rather than eating or drinking.

But lately, I’m afraid the things I’m experiencing and thinking will be snarked on. It’s been really tempting to go back to OMG BROWNIES.

Deep down, I know that my insecurity over being judged by internet strangers stems from being judged by me. This Real Housewife of Atlanta thing is fun and relaxing but as it stretches on, it’s becoming sort of humiliating. I’m capable of doing more with my day than the gym and one other thing.

In the meantime, I’m trying to get over it and just write.

I hope that you’d like to keep reading.

And that’s why I haven’t been blogging lately.

102 responses to “Reasons

  1. I have to admit that I used to follow your blog but we redirected to it through GOMI! Ha!

    I think I can give you some pretty good reasons why people are getting so OVER the healthy living/running bloggers and you don’t meet the criteria:

    1. Starve yourself all day long, then run 17 miles in the morning and take a few spin classes back to back. THEN, talk about how healthy you are!
    2. Talk about how fast you are, like non-stop. Run 6 marathons in one month and brag about thrashing your body. THEN, wonder why you’re sick or injured!
    3. Blog for a living, demonstrated with pictures by the pool. THEN complain that you are oh so busy and stressed! And, those haters are mean!
    4. Shamelessly plug crappy products or races for free shit. No, I won’t pay $79 for your water tablets.
    5. Every run, every work out is sunshine and roses! Puppies and rainbows! Every run is perfect (Gag!)!
    6. Ragnar, Hood to Coast, Reach the beach: I don’t care about your relay! I’m glad it was fun for you stinking up a van and staying up all night, but I don’t need 17 recaps of it. Just probably one would do.

    Just keep being real. FOR REALZ! Lolsies! #keepitrealshelbyandyouwontgetonGOMI

  2. This is why you’re fucking awesome. Plain & simple.

    I really respect that you’re admitting your fears & discussing how you feel. I’ve felt the same way. I’m terrified that one day I’ll open GOMI & someone will be ripping me to shreds.

    It takes us all time to find our own blogging voice. I try not to be the “OMG BROWNIES!” blogger, but hey, my blog has a lot of brownies on it so it’s hard. I believe in writing with your voice & you definitely do that.

    I think you’re forgetting that you have awareness. So many of those GOMI blogs are so incredibly self-absorbed & have absolutely no awareness of how freakin’ privileged they are. You’re not like that, dude.

    You’ll always be SOMI in my book.

  3. I think there’s definitely something to be said about knowing when to step back a bit and not come up with pointless content just for the sake of having a daily post. Kudos to you for recognizing that – but – your content has never really been pointless or annoying.

    Your blog works and I like reading it because you post about an ordinary topic but you’re funny and a good writer and you add MS Paint pics.

    TLDR: stay on my internets!

  4. this reminds me a lot of a recent post by my favorite band, Pomplamoose. The also sort of disappeared for a little while b/c they got hung up on making the right move and how people would criticize them. In the post they basically said to hell with that. (http://www.natalydawnmusic.com/2012/05/21/is-pomplamose-really-okay/).

    I, for one, missed your posts, especially any updates about beer. I’ve been discovering Ontario crafts (and smuggling delicious US IPAs) and it is awesome to read about another person who does splits and love a tasty brew. I actually go through your archives to read about beer. It’s easy to complain on the internet, where we don’t have to look another person in the eyes when we tell them that they suck. It’s harder to be good. You’re good. Please write more. (Also, I found a four pack of Dogfish head 90 minute, but am still hunting for the 120.)

    • “Nitpicky and paranoid.” That’s a great way to describe it.

      I wish I could get the 120 here, too. Seriously, the stuff that IPA dreams are made of.

      • On the subject of the Dogfish 120 minute IPA, my inlaws have a lovely beach house in Delaware and you can tour the brewery for free! Anyway, they have had trouble reproducing the 120 minute I think, and the last time I saw it somewhat recently in a liquor store it was $50 for a 4 – pack. In good news, Dogfish did just receive a change in zoning permission to expand (they wanted to expand into a residential area and residents of the area fought against it). In September, Dogfish holds a 10k, that is so popular I’ve never been able to get in. This year it crashed the website :/ But, if you ever want to visit Delaware, Rehoboth in September after Labor Day is wonderful, and not only can you do the brewery tour, but there’s also a restaurant where you can sample a ton of the beers as well.

      • It’s about next to impossible to hunt down, but if you find a local bar that’s putting it on tap, I recommend getting there early and getting some. It’s an amazing thing.

        One thing I don’t recommend is waiting in a long line at Weyerbacher (very close to where I live) to try their cask-aged Idiot’s drool. I was disappointed in that one.

        Beer aside, I found your blog through GOMI and enjoy it. Running and craft beer go together well. I’m a relatively new running blogger and have learned so much about how to better structure my content.

    • That Pomplamoose post you linked to has some amazing points in it and yeah…”nitpicky and paranoid” sums up my existence after I discovered myself on GOMI pretty damn accurately.

  5. Personally I think you are way different than the ones that end up featured day after day on GOMI….

    please stay that way. I have a feeling you don’t need to worry though :)

  6. Keep blogging! I enjoy (creepily) following bloggers as their lives change and see how they go through training/moving/changing jobs/etc. How else can I compare them to myself?!? Wait….

    And brownies are OMG DELICIOUS!!

  7. Hello, I have been reading your blog for a few moths now. In fact I only visit about 5 blogs on a regular basis, and yours is one of them. I like that you are real about your life, work outs, beer adventures, and cats. (even though I’m totally a dog person). Plus I love love love your ms paint scenes. They make me laugh, like lol laugh. I personally just like reading about real people and their real lives. I like to read about work outs, because it keeps me motivated. You are a rare gem. I wanted to comment to just tell you I have noticed you haven’t been blogging! And I think you’re awesome. Blog more!

  8. I love this entry. A LOT.

    I stopped blogging for a longggggg time after finding GOMI and I’m way too small to be mentioned. Now that I’ve started again, every entry makes me triple think.

    You shouldn’t sweat it. You’re a fantastic blogger. Just don’t ever post a picture of oatmeal, okay?

    • I have missed your blog too. MORE BLOGGING for both of us!

    • Ditto to this – I absolutely loved this post and you articulated a lot of things I’ve thought about GOMI (where I am a regular lurker) so well. My blog is very small, too, and worrying what GOMIers and people in real life/facebook might think has made me hesitate to hit publish a few times. Realizing that you have the same insecurities when your blog is so great encourages me to keep working at it AND try to become a better writer. Thank you!!

  9. I don’t comment much but I missed your blogging! I hope you’ll fill us in on your non-running workouts as well. I think that while GOMI is great and there are lots of good points made, sometimes bloggers can’t win on GOMI no matter what they do – too thin, too fat, works out too much, doesn’t work out enough, too zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I think the ones that have really gotten hit hard are the ones with zero self-awareness or willingness to listen. And that’s clearly not an issue here with you – and also all the other reasons @EmilyHO posted.
    Also, I like reading your workout splits. You are fast and I find it motivating.

  10. I 100% know what you mean. I’ve been mentioned in GOMI a few times (thank god, the SOMI portion as well, I don’t think my thin-skin could handle it otherwise) but as soon as it happened it made me so self conscious. I actually just had to stop reading it because it was making me feel like I couldn’t be myself. There are probably at least 5 things about every single post I’ve published that could be ripped to shreds there so eventually you just have to stop worrying about it and realize not everyone is going to love what you do/say. I still don’t really know how to accept that completely, but not reading it anymore has helped a little. I still feel the blood drain from my face if I see any blog traffic coming in from there though….
    Now please get back to telling me what beer to drink, ok?!?

    • I have so many random beer pictures on my phone from beers I’ve been drinking but not blogging about (obviously). CATCH UP TIME!

  11. Awwww this post made me sad because I would never lump your blog into anything I see on GOMI. Even if you wore a sparkly skirt to run in. But I can see how knowing all that would start to eat at a person. Keep writing as you and people will keep reading because you are a great writer with self awareness. And keep posting those splits. You’re Kara Goucer compared to me but since you’re not an asshole about it I like reading them.

  12. First, I’ve missed your posts. I like your splits and your beer choices. Get back!

    Second, since you have read GOMI with some regularity, you MUST know that you would never, could never, have a 20+ page thread devoted to you. Those are devoted to the most un-self-aware. The fact that you wrote this post reveals, as all your posts do, that you don’t live in a bubble of “me me me” and you actually think about how your writing lands on your readers. That’s a good thing.

    Third, what can you do. I’m afraid of GOMI too, but mostly because I think some of the people in there are so cool, funny, and witty that it would suck for them to hate me (and I had to ban myself from reading when some did start to hate me). But it’s impossible to avoid all blog cliches. Striving to always be original and non-GOMI worthy will actually make you bland. See SnackFace. She has become so boring since trying to avoid the wrath of GOMI.

    Fourth, GOMI has its place in the blog universe–I only wish it was less anonymous. Not enough people are snarking publicly through their blogs and calling out crap, or in the comments of dumb blog posts. No more anonymity!

  13. Hi! I found you through GOMI, actually. Someone had posted you as a SOMI with a link to that great article you did about crossfit vs running. I’ve been a dedicated reader ever since, because you are literate and you write well. How you spend your days is incidental.

    Honestly, since you don’t make $$ from the blog and you aren’t doing anything aggressively stupid, I think you are probably safe from GOMI.

    • Thanks.

      The rational part of me knows that I’m probably “safe,” but it’s hard not to get caught up in what everyone hates, ya know?

  14. I always enjoy reading your posts. Don’t let snarky comments (real or in your head) keep you from blogging because you do a wonderful job.

  15. The great thing about the internet is, nobody has to read your blog (or anyone else’s). People who find your posts boring or annoying can go elsewhere, and some people will, because you are never going write comment that every single person in the universe is interested in. And that’s fine. As for anyone who might accuse you of being shallow / privileged / whiny… eh, so what? Yes, you’re not saving the world by running(/eating/drinking) a lot, but they’re probably not saving the world either. And so what? Your blog is a personal one, about your life experiences, your running, your cooking. People read your blog because they identify with your stories, or because they enjoy your writing, or simply for escapism (it’s way more fun to read about running while I eat lunch than to skim yet another bulletin on the dissolving euro), and as long as you keep writing about what interests you, you’ll have readers who appreciates you.

    • This. Times a million. As long as you keep it real in your posts, and don’t try to be someone else, who cares if someone thinks you’re GOMI or SOMI?

  16. I really respect your honesty in this post. This is exactly the reason I read blogs–for honest and camaraderie. I don’t blog myself, but I like reading blogs of other runner/bakers/etc… I, for one, will definitely continue to read your blog. I hope all the comments are reassuring and help you find a renewed sense of self.

  17. Keep blogging, I really missed your posts lately. You are a fantastic writer, and no matter what the topic, I always finish reading your posts with a smile on my face :-)

  18. I can sympathize with your concerns, and I sometimes laugh at what some bloggers consider blog-worthy content. But never this blog! I want to encore what everyone above has been saying. You’re funny! I can tell that every moment of your life isn’t perfect! How refreshing and relate-able. It’s nice to read about things I like (running, beer) in a format that’s casual but still well written. I can’t say that about all the blogs in my feed reader.

  19. I really like your blog… you write very well… keep it up… and those pics of yummy food??? makes me envy your hubs!

  20. Keep at it! I think your blog has always been one of the more refreshing running blogs to read. I think your posts have evolved nicely, even in the short time (like a year?) that I’ve been reading – and I can definitely say your posts inspire me to do more speed workouts. :)

  21. I found your blog through the SOMI forum on GOMI and really like it, so good things do come from there! Ha. I immediately starting reading because we share a lot of common interests, or atleast running, beer, and cats.

    I understand sometimes just feeling meh about blogging and I would much rather a person step back from time to time, then feel like they HAVE to keep postings. So I say just keep doing what you are doing, or what you want to be doing, because it’s a-ok in my book.

  22. I love this post. I only recently discovered GOMI (apparently I was too distracted by my overnight oats). As a result, I occasionally get paranoid about my posts. But at the end of the day, I try to just be myself on my blog and be honest (to a degree, obviously I’m not going to get all LiveJournal on a blog that my dad and co-workers occasionally read). Personally, I think the bloggers who are regularly snarked on GOMI aren’t really very authentic. I honestly think they are trying too hard to fit a certain image. You, however, are hilarious, insightful, a great writer and have awesome MS Paint skillz.

  23. <3 The main difference is that you're a good writer, and we like you, so you can get away with shit.

    I've had similar reservations about writing things about my baby and my new mom existence because I feel like everyone hates mom bloggers and hates babies and doesn't give a shit what new amazing thing my kid did today. (Which, in their defense, is how I feel about everyone's kid but my own.) And I also can't run for shit anymore and there's only so many times you can get excited for your internet friend who ran 3 miles…again.

    http://www.someecards.com/reminders-cards/online-internet-rude-comments

    • I MISS your blog posts!!! You always made me laugh. Please see my comment below on why you should keep on blogging! SAME reasons! I am nosy and you make me laugh out loud and seriously give a great take on having a kid!!

  24. I’ve missed your blogging as well! I’m a (very) frequent lurker on GOMI and agree with most of what they say, but you most definitely do not belong there. SOMI!

  25. I’ve TOTALLY noticed the infrequent blogging. And because I save your blog for subway entertainment, I never comment – I will change that. Miss your snark.

  26. Just so you know, you write the most reasonable, relatable, and well-written blog I know. And I’m not alone in thinking that, thus the constant “SOMI” thoughts people have :).

    I live in fear of gomi too and have shown up there a time or two (probably because I’m friends with the bigger blogger crowd). The negative stuff didn’t feel good, but oh well. Not everyone has to love me, and constructive criticism can be helpful.

  27. I have missed you, but completely get it. It’s better to write about something than nothing. And when you’re a little tired, it’s good to step back. I think it makes for better writing when you do get back.

    Oh and GOMI terrifies me. I stay away. Because sure, there are things pointed out and laughed at that I would make fun of, too. Cliche hlb trends and whatnot. I’m not above making fun of myself. But when the comments start to get a little too personal? I’m scared of the day that someone makes fun of my writing style or voice. Because I can’t change it. And I don’t want the enjoyment to be taken away!

    • Some of the comments on GOMI are far too personal … like, stalker-level personal details about someone’s life. It kind of scares me. And any time there is discussion of someone’s body or possible eating disorder … my feminist side dies a little. Like, we’re still doing that? Aren’t we adults?

  28. As long as you acknowledge your privilege (wink), I doubt you’ll ever be a GOMI target.

    After a thread about the ridiculous photos bloggers post, I cringed at how often I’ve done the same. I’m sure every single blogger, just by virtue of having a blog, has posted something that can be picked apart on GOMI.

    More blogging about the mundane track session and MS Paint (or the Mac equivalent) drawings, please!

  29. I’ve spent my fair share of time on GOMI, heck, today I checked it just to read the responses to the Oiselle {or however you spell it…} Olympic trials fiasco – it keeps my bored little mind occupied! That being said, I think the fact that you are self aware, down to earth and humble about who you are makes a huge difference. You aren’t so self absorbed you think they are all bored bitches, you know they are legit blog readers who have opinions. You’re honest and you are a runner…a runner who admits that sometimes running isn’t the only reason you get out of bed in the morning. This here post proves all of that. And I respect all of it.

    That being said, I wouldn’t complain if I had to read about a few of your DIY endeavors, see a few more cat photos or see some of your home decor. Of course, that is as long as you don’t got all “hey y’all I’m a profession, look at me”… :)

  30. I totally noticed you not blogging and it was pissing me off. :-) I am also a GOMI reader and while I love me some snark and a dose of reality instead of puppies and rainbows all the time, I find it’s best to keep that as much in balance as anything else.

    Seriously, you are a gifted writer and I look forward to reading your writing. It’s that simple. You have a great sense of humor, know how to form a sentence without half a dozen exclamation marks (!!!!!!) and even when you are not running you’re still better at it than I am, so that makes you aces in my book.

    Hell, I haven’t blogged since February but don’t consider that I’ve “quit” — I just don’t think I have very much that’s interesting to say right now. So instead, I read what others have to say, including you. Back to more blogging please?

  31. de-lurking – you are totally not GOMI worthy and I found you through SOMI thread! Why?

    1. you blog about your life, the good, the bad, the boring
    2. you have kick ass MS Paint drawings
    3. you don’t claim to be a professional runner, “Pin” your work outs, or offer up not asked for advice
    4. you eat more then plastic cheese and egg whites and smoothie bowls
    5. you don’t attend stupid Reebok all expenses paid trips and pimp out shit you don’t use
    6. you drink delicious beer
    7. you dont claim to be an “expert” on anything

    I love GOMI and I stopped hate reading blogs because of it. No way am I giving my precious clicks away! I love reading blogs because it is a little snippet into someone’s life, and I am nosy, GOMI blogs are ones that seem inauthentic. Blog on sista! Blog on!

  32. I’m a regular GOMI reader and sometimes commenter (those catbitches scare me!). So, I understand what you are saying. It’s why I do not have a blog. I’d be eaten alive.
    I run and we are similar in speed so I *love* the splits and time talk. If people aren’t interested, they’ll skim right over.
    Also, I’ve bookmarked your post “Your body called…” from 3/16/11 (so sorry, so stupid to post a link, but so not very fat) to read every so often and I’ve shared it with many people. You, my dear, better SOMI. Keep writing. Please.

  33. I’ve missed your blog- Your “realness” is something that is lacking in the blog world. I also enjoy your splits bc you’re ZOMG FAST! (And one day i hope to be fast like you!) … but I do understand the GOMI paranoia, and i’m just a teeeeny tiny sliver in the blog world and MOST of the people on GOMI have no clue who I am..thank the good Lord. GOMI has made me more aware of what I post, or things I say, (although I do still post really stupid pictures) and for that I’m thankful, but I would probably cry if I saw my name on there. I’m such a puss.

  34. hell yeah i’ll keep reading. jeez.

  35. I found you through GOMI and I’m definitely adding you to my google reader. It took me a long time to go there because on the off chance my name came up I would be devastated. Of course, I’m way too small to get noticed (I hope?) but I made a deal with myself that if I did show up on there that I was take it as constructive criticism.

    Like others have said, its a place where you can call out the BS that happens and won’t show up on blogs. There are things that I don’t agree with (i.e. if you think someone has an ED, saying they are fat and tearing them down probably doesn’t help the situation).

  36. I really appreciate this post. I’m not a blogger and never will be (I’m too thin skinned and private), but I’ve noticed similar trends in my own life. When I’m really hard on other people, I end up being hard on myself. I agree with everyone else who had written here to say you seem like an incredibly self aware person, so I think as long as you enjoy laughing at other people, I think you know that you can’t judge anyone who wants to rip you apart, fairly or unfairly. I think you should keep writing exactly as you do, and but maybe think a little bit about how much you want to be involved in GOMI. I really like your blog, but I’m not writing here to tell you that you’re some how safe from ending up a target because we all know that is bullshit. People get on that site for all sorts of reasons from jealousy to just wanting to feel smart or important and you can not write in a way that will protect you from having something someone else wants or from being someone who threatens someone else’s idea of themself. I personally don’t see why there “needs” to be a place where people get “called out” on the internet. I have briefly visited GOMI and there seems to be a culture that practically encourages cyber bullying. I know most people are joking around and some of it is funny, but I don’t buy the idea that just because someone has a blog it is some how ok to openly bash them.

  37. So I love GOMI, I am definitely a regular reader, and I LOVE your blog. I am sad to say that I am not the most regular reader though, but it is because I am a big lazy slacker, not because I don’t like you. Every time I come over here it makes me laugh.

    Anyway, re: GOMI. It completely changed how I blog. This is why I mainly stopped posting about what I eat, and my silly little 5k runs that no one cares about (although non-runners tell me it inspires them, so who knows). I find blogging a bit harder now because I judge myself and I’m all “well how are people going to react to this?” I am the first person to make fun of myself, but no one likes getting snarked on. Though I am actually a bit excited for the day it happens to me because that will mean I’ve made it. And I too surprisingly had a shoutout in the GOMI!

    Anyway, don’t let the GOMIers change your blogging. You are awesome. And you know what I say? MORE CARTOONS! Though they are time consuming little suckers, I know this.

  38. OMG.
    1. I had to stop reading when I saw where you were going…I have missed your posts!
    2. I have been anxiously awaiting your posts and your move on draw with friends!! I’ve been concerned that you fell and hurt yourself during a hot yoga class or cat barf!
    3. Please don’t let ass-hats in the interwebs influence you! Write and blog for YOU! (and me, but I don’t want to seem like some crazy cyber-stalker or anything).
    4. I think you rock and totally love your posts. Period. I win. :)

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  40. FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS STFU BITCH

    But seriously, as long as your face is never on a TV shirt/you’re not queefing about stupid ass shit and showing off your 10,000 watch (THAT YOU HAVE TWO OF!)…I think you’re gonna be fine across the board.

  41. Please SOMI more often! My three favorite running blogs are yours, Angry Runner’s and Rose Runner. You all say it like it is, have kick ass running times but not too kick ass (i.e. are relatable), and aren’t OMG so awesome look I drink nuun! A lot!!!!! And wear oiselle and lululemon!!! :) omg! I wish you and angry runner posted more often, as I often resort to reading the other blogs because I do love running that much. But kudos to you both for only posting when you got something to say!

  42. Ok, actually, I am going to comment, and I’m not going to read the 54 previous comments to see if this has been said, so soOoOrry if it is redundant. But here’s the thing about the GOMIers – they will never be happy. Ever. The board (which is entertaining, and which I read on occasion) is based on the assumption that if something exists, it is worth bitching about. I mean, the entire premise is that everything sucks, unless someone makes an argument otherwise – note the threads that start off “So, [such and such] blog – a GOMI?” And then you are a kiss-ass if you disagree (I generalize, but only slightly).

    I would say not to read it, but that’s unrealistic. But as a writer, you owe it to yourself to do things that improve – not stifle – your voice. And if reading page after page of anonymous snarkers does more harm than good, then maybe reconsider your reading habits.

  43. GOMI is interesting because it highlights a wide range of things people grow to dislike about blogs. There are a lot of things some readers love, and some hate. It’s true you can’t please everyone, but a place like GOMI can be helpful to point out major no-no’s like blogging three times a day when you have nothing to say, promoting yourself shamelessly, and being smug.

    I don’t think you have to worry too much, because you already have what most of those featured on GOMI do not have: self-awareness.

  44. The nice part about not being a professional blogger is that you can (and should) be writing for yourself. Coincidentally, I love reading about your bizarre thoughts, your splits, and your food. I read blogs for inspiration for my running and everything else. Your bad days and your good help inspire me to keep on, even though I just lurk. Thank you for that! I have a strange feeling pretty much everyone else reading it feels about the same.

  45. I think that as long as your writing about things that matter to you in a way that feels natural and authentic, that’s what your readers will see and love. Blogs get boring when the authors are clearly striving for content or just phoning it in with repetitive content day after day. As a lot of other people have said, keep it real and we’ll keep reading :-)

  46. hate to admit it, but i love reading GOMI. it also makes me feel like a shitty human being, but ehhh… i’m no longer blogging so i have one less thing to feel shitty about? hah. if i were ever more widely known/read i’m sure i’d be on there for my (self-)indulgent shit. but you? you’re golden. keep on doing your blogging thang. YOU’RE DIFFERENT, OKAY?! 😉

  47. Meh. I like reading about your splits and your dinners and your yoga and your brownies. Screw GOMI.

  48. Dude. You’re one of my favorite bloggers ever. Maybe because my life is similar to yours right now? I don’t know. Anyway. I love beer. You’re awesome. You do you and GOMI can go DIAF.

  49. Ditto to all the above comments! I have been proud of you so many many many times in your life, and this blog thing you do ranks right up there with the very best of those. You are indeed gifted in so many ways, including your writing skills. And you are brave to write about yourself in such an authentic and interesting way. That’s why your readers, including me, enjoy your posts so much. We can relate, and we learn, and are entertained. Hope to keep reading them for a long time.
    Love, Dad

  50. I love reading about all your experiments – running, beer, wine, writing, paintshop, cooking, and now the house. I have sent a few of my (male) friends to your page to look at how awesome women runners are! Although I am way far away geographically (in India), and in terms of pace (lets not go there), I really enjoy sitting in front of your page with a cup of coffee. Please don’t go away! Pretty please!

    [Is that really your dad up there, awww is that a cute comment or what!]

  51. You are, by far, my favourite blogger. Sure, I read the big blogs (and GOMI, FYI) and I find that you are relate-able and down to earth. And, no I don’t care about your splits, because they are in miles and miles make my head hurt. Kilometres is where it is at.

    So, please blog more often!

  52. Everyone else mostly covered it, but I must say… I need a little more MS paint (or Mac equivalent) in my life.

  53. OK, there are way too many comments already for anything I could say to be new or meaningful, but I agree with everyone else! Primarily, I love your blog bec you are a superlative writer, no matter what the topic is. And yes, LOVE the MS Paint pics! Not sure if you’re going to track these days or not but I hope to be back in a couple of weeks. See you at the ATC 4-miler? xLisa

  54. I’ve noticed you were MIA and missed your blog! It’s real, and I enjoy your writing style no matter what you’re talking about. I have mixed thoughts about GOMI – entertaining, yes. But what exactly is the point, one, and two, who on earth actually has the time to dedicate not only to reading blogs they hate, but then talking about them endlessly on an anonymous website. Keep writing, because your blog is great :)

  55. Hey! Yeah, everyone else said what I was going to say, but I still wanted to comment to say SOMI! SOMI! SOMI!

  56. To be honest I had never read your blog until GOMI wrote about this post today (on the oual thread if you’re curious).

    I think the things that make blogs GOMI worthy is when you stop writing on your voice and start writing what you think people want to read or set yourself to a schedule “OMG, I always write 3 times a day, but I have nothing to write so I’ll put this mumbo-jumbo up and call it a day” sort of thing.

    I do a lot of things that are GOMI-worthy — I don’t have a job (call it a very lucky life-situation where we moved temporarily to Asia and can afford to live in one income), I travel all.the.freaking.time (no, seriously, we went to Brunei last week, off to Malaysia this weekend, and this is how our time here has been going — it’s awesome!), I barely run anymore (but when I did I was super-duper slow, wore running skirts, compression socks and took pictures for the blog!), but you know, I live my life and write about what I want (and I know, my blog is tiny, no one on GOMI knows it exists), but all those things I do/did was for me. I’m so glad I have pictures of runs from DC that I can visit once in a while since running in Manila sucks. I’m glad I wrote all those posts so I know that wow, I really did run a couple of marathons, that wasn’t my imagination, or wow, I really was getting faster, and etc.

    So write for YOU. And the snarkiness won’t follow, or if it does, you won’t care, because you’re writing what you want to write.

  57. I started appearing on GOMI in the last 6 months, and now have a regular thread devoted to me, which has made me cry and swear to give up blogging on multiple occasions. There are so many things that GOMI gets wrong – not picking up on sarcasm (to be fair, maybe a fault of my writing), not understanding that I’m unwilling to write about work and therefore they won’t get the full rationale behind certain things, etc. I try to take what they write as constructive criticism, but sometimes it’s just plain mean and spiteful. I try to avoid mentioning friends/family in my posts now after seeing how GOMI snarks on everyone, not just the blogger – it’s so cruel. I’m now just like you – scared of every post I write and how it’s going to be received.

    It’s hard to know how to deal with GOMI. If I change something in a blog post based on what they’ve said (because I see their point and agree), that gets jumped on. If I respond to my GOMI thread and try to (politely) defend myself, that gets jumped on. I agree when you say that you just can’t win. I had hoped that keeping my comments open (I don’t delete any comments except spam) and taking time to think about critical comments and thoughtfully responding would save me… but that doesn’t seem to help. More than anything, I wish the people on GOMI could meet me in real life and see that I’m not a monster.

    Good for you for writing this post – I’m way too chickenshit to write it myself.

  58. Wow. I read your post when it had 16 comments and wanted to gather my thoughts, and when I came back today you have 71 comments!

    So, I used to read through GOMI and found it fairly entertaining. But when I became the subject of a thread after a marathon DNF I saw it from a different side. It was clear that the criticism was coming from people who never read my blog, but wrote in an authoritative tone as though they knew what they were talking about. Every single piece of criticism was blatantly incorrect. It was so absurd it would have been funny if I wasn’t so sensitive. From saying I didn’t train (false) to saying if I did train I would have learned I had the “problem” that prevented me from finishing (false) to saying I took a spot away from another runner who would have finished (false) to saying my GI issues are a result of me being thin (um, false).

    I was very lucky because people on there who actually did read my blog defended me, and I got more defense than most seem to on there. But for the criticism — it was just people saying things they clearly knew nothing about.

    Ever since then, I haven’t really been able to take the threads seriously because people just spout off whatever they want with no basis in fact, so I stopped reading.

    My point is, write what you want when you want and try not to think about what people are saying. They will say what they say whether it is true or not, and it’s just not worth your energy to stress over it.

  59. Runblondie26

    All blogs are a from of narcissism. Your writing is clever and witty which is what sets you apart and keeps us coming back. We can laugh along with you, not at you.

    Now that you’re a “local” I love your blog even more. You give me the inside scoop on city happenigs that I miss out on living in the burbs. Keep the posts coming!

  60. I’ve not seen anyone called out on GOMI who doesn’t generally deserve to be there. And they don’t appear there for one self-absorbed post, which is forgivable, but for months and years of posts lacking self-awareness, originality or any sense of how ridiculous it is that their breakfast photos get “You inspire me girl!” comments. Those bloggers who bask in the glow of suckup comments to empty content start to believe their own bullshit, so they replicate it, become caricatures and voila….GOMI stars.

    You, on the other hand, are self-aware, appropriately proud of your accomplishments and realistic about mistakes. You write posts about the kinds of minor dilemmas that plague many of us lucky enough to have an education and jobs (running, wedding attire, what kind of $9 beer to have with dinner) as much as more pressing concerns like “what good am I creating out of my life?” It’s not all fluff and it’s not all Kierkegaard and that’s why I look forward to reading EDR whether you blog daily or weekly.

    If the fear of being judged makes you hesitate to write publicly, though, don’t let it stop you from writing for yourself, since that is clearly an important way for you to think through things that matter to you.

  61. Runblondie26

    Anfd just to be a little creepier…Whenever I’m out walking near my office and see a runner go by, I always do a double take now wondering if it’s Shelby going by, lol.

  62. Love your blog, don’t you dare go away or be intimidated.

  63. Hello my long lost friend! I have always loved your blog, but I have to be honest, I forget to read it unless I happen to see it posted on Facebook. (Not that I don’t want to read it, I just don’t read any blog regularly and forget.) Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that you were always one of my favorite people to talk to back in the day, and when I did read your blog on the regular, I always loved it. You always manage to crack me up (even when talking about brownies) and I love your style of writing. I know it is scary to be criticized, but instead of worrying about the haters and listening to your inner 7th grader, I hope you remember instead there are a lot of us out there who think you are fantastic and love reading what you post. Do it for us instead of the haters. And if it makes you feel any better I’ve been working from home for no pay, and until a week ago didn’t even manage to get my ass motivated enough to say I did one thing PLUS workout. I miss you and hope we can catch up soon! xoxo – The Donkey Bride

  64. Just keep in mind there are a whole slew of us out there (me!!) who come to your blog specifically to read about your track workouts, beer suggestions, random laughs, etc. Sure, there are probably lots of people out there who don’t care about that stuff. And they shouldn’t read your blog. But there are lots who do care (me!) which is why I come back. This is the same reason why I don’t read fashion blogs, because I don’t really care about what they have to say.
    Keep blogging, we miss you!

  65. I don’t understand the need some people have to slam a particular blogger – if you don’t like what a blogger writes, don’t read it. Seems pretty simple and straight forward to me. I choose to read your blog because it is funny, inspirational, well written, and interesting. The world is full of haters – don’t let them get in your head and intimidate you. Write for yourself and the people who enjoy reading your blog.

  66. You have self awareness, which essentially means that you’re not fodder for GOMI. Granted, there are exceptions to that rule, but you’re also a fantastic writer. You have lots of readers (myself included) who miss your regular blog posts! Also, if you wanted to start throwing some more MS Paint pictures up, I wouldn’t mind…just sayin’. 😉

  67. I guess I HAVE been living under a jumbo sized jar of organic nut butter…I had never heard of GOMI until this post. Went to the site and, frankly, I don’t get it….seems a little pretentious and I did not want to waste any more of my time on it.
    And I agree with Kenny, nothing better than sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading your page!
    Love it all, the good, the bad and the ugly!
    You keep it real, girl!

  68. Oh, GOMI.

    I also experienced the same paralysis when it came to writing you described, and that stemmed directly from reading GOMI. It’s odd though — it didn’t really stem from what was being said about me and I can totally see how even though they like you, you still internalized what was being said about other bloggers, and it got to you. I think because you’re so self-aware, Shelby, that you internalized it so much. I know that’s why I couldn’t just be all “OMG HATERZZZ” and let it go. Well, no, because that’s what the people they are mocking DO, right?!

    I feel like the forums had a lot of value when they started going after “healthy living bloggers” — it was snarky, funny, mean but still harmless in a way — but then it suddenly changed and it became clear that anyone who ends up as a GOMI is damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t (and members of the GOMI community — not even white knights! — who try to say as much get ripped apart). Reading what was being said not about me, but about other people — people I don’t even fucking LIKE — always ending up making me feel awful about myself and my own life. I think it’s similar to hanging out with people who gossip and talk shit about others. At first it’s fun to feel like you’re a part of it and on the inside, but then you start to think, “So what do they think of ME?” and it loses its appeal very quickly.

    Personally, I feel like GOMI’s helping me improve as a blogger/writer/person has a bell curve. Some criticism was so helpful and SO what I needed to hear, but there came a point when it just left me so frozen with self-doubt, I couldn’t post a damn thing. So I took the main — and totally valid — themes from all the threads (don’t post about nothing, don’t be an asshole, be self-aware) and then I went cold turkey. I trusted myself and trusted that people who actually give a shit about how I blog would tell me via the comments if they had a problem with me, and I’m pretty sure that is when my blog truly improved.

    I’ll echo all the other comments that said your blog is one of the best out there and you’re a great writer, and it’s because of that that I really appreciated hearing how even for you — someone GOMI actually likes, someone who knows BS when she sees it, and calls it accordingly — reading GOMI still brings out your poor inner 7th grader. I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse about things, but I still am glad to know it.

  69. I MISSED YOU!!! (as commenter 85 ish, I bet you probably stopped feeling insecure about yourself 32 comments ago, but hear me out)
    You are fantastic. I love reading about running and beer and wine and trips to Vegas. It’s the best part of my internets because it’s actually USEFUL. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done something or said something or tried something or connected with something you’re saying on this blog (For example, I now call my new herb garden “Terra Cotta Garden Empire” even though it’s in the middle of my backyard and nothing is in a terra cotta pot) I don’t think you have anything to worry about GOMI wise. you’re not posting stupid shit like “SHOPPING OMGZZZ I BUY STUFF HAHA” and while this has always been a running blog, it can also be an excercise blog, because it’s also sort of a life-living blog. that’s okay! that’s not a GOMI offense. I love your writing, and I love how you try to keep your readers updated.

    Tell us about the Yo-god-help-me-ga!

  70. It’s pretty clear from the comments that we all enjoy your blog and want you to post more. I need to know what’s going on with your cats? Are they okay?!

  71. Regardless of what some other blog thinks, YOUR blog makes my day. And I do care about your splits. And your daily workouts. And your musings. So keep writing- you make my day!

  72. I never heard of GOMI until now, and I’m kind of glad, because I’ve never worried about it. :)

    Also, who cares about them. *I* want to hear about your splits and beers and RealHousewives Atlanta dinners & DIY projects, because you actually make them funny & interesting to read about! (What I’m saying here is it’s not about the subject matter; it’s the writer & the presentation.) I miss you. Please blog about these things more. 😉

  73. Keep posting! I like your writing style, and you are funny and entertaining :-)

  74. I am an infrequent commenter but I read every single post and really enjoy them! In fact, your blog is one of the few (Runner’s Kitchen and Girl In Motion are a couple of others) that I have read for over two years probably–not exactly sure but it’s been a while anyway. I read LOTS of blogs but my typical habit is to follow a blog for maybe 6 months to a year and then get tired of it. I guess it’s your topics, writing style and voice that I love. Plus you’re a mean MS Painter!
    I mean, not that it really matters what I think but just wanted to give you my feedback!
    I think it’s just stupid that people have forums to complain about bloggers–do people have nothing better to do?! If they don’t like a blog, how about just not reading it?

  75. SOMI. I am a regular lurker here, and have not ever commented. I got hooked after your post about listening (or not) to your body. Not sure how I found your blog it but I did. I run, eat, and drink (although not necessarily in that order), so the general thrust resonates with me.

    You are right, if pushed, I must admit I do not really care about your splits, your beer, found, or home purchase. You live thousands of miles away, have never met, and our running times/distances are so far apart that I am not sure we participate in the same sport. So, why should I care?

    However, your writing is very good, and your MS Paint is inspired. I enjoy reading your posts and at times even found some of them insightful (see comment of listening to your body). So screw GOMI and keep writing if you want to write. I will keep reading.

  76. We are like the same person. But you are a more interesting, better-writing, faster-running version. While I’ve had more time than ever to blog over the last few months, I find that I’m doing it less for fear of sounding like some privileged housewife — which is not the real me at all. I sadly quit my job at the end of January to move across the country for my husband’s job, so I guess I’m a Real Housewife of near-LA now, and not proud of it. I was unemployed for 3 months, and I have something part-time now, but I’d consider myself severely underemployed while I continue to look for a job in the field I actually went to school for- which is hugely impacted by budget cuts right now. Right after we moved here, we went out with some of my husband’s coworkers and someone asked me what I did that week…I was embarrassed that the answer to that question was: running, grocery shopping, cooking dinner. Shoot me now. I’m 29 and before now, have never not-worked since before the age of 15. I hate it. And I see myself in all the GOMI complaints I read except for the fact that I don’t make money off my blog and I’d like to think I am not as much of a braggart as some of the GOMI targets.

  77. … reeeeee-lax and keep it real – you’re perspective on the mundane is extraordinary – and yes, I missed you!

  78. … oops that was me keeping it real – meant to type YOUR

  79. GOMI is such a strange concept to me. I’ve visited a few times and gotten totally sucked in…because at times it is on point and hilarious. But then I realized that people spend time reading blog posts then spend just as much time tearing them apart. If we don’t like someone’s point of view….why pay attention to them! It’s so weird.

    Meanwhile, I have to say that I love your blog. I gave up on most HLB’s because they really can be cringe-worthy. The reminders that “this isn’t ALL that I eat guys!” and BS about training can drive me nuts. Everyone tends to have that same story about losing 15 pounds and how it was so life changing. Sometimes I want to just tell these girls to get real! I really loved your post where you talked about “listening to your body” and kind of called the blog community out as using that phrase when they just didn’t want to work out.

    I’ve actually gotten a lot of inspiration from your blog. I’m currently a consultant who moves around a lot, while trying to stay healthy and somewhat sane. Your little anecdotes about the places you’ve lived, the miles you run, and the sports challenges you’ve set for yourself are a fun break in my day at the computer. Keep at it!

  80. Your blog is great, Shelby. I totally understand why you are feeling the things you are feeling – which are versions of insecurities that we all have about our various hobbies and life pursuits…or at least all of us who try to stop and be introspective once in a blue moon. And while I think there’s great value to stopping and reflecting on what your “value-add” is, just please don’t stop writing and sharing with us, because I very much enjoy your wit and perspective.

  81. Cynthia (It All Changes)

    I actually found your blog on GOMI in the SOMI threads. You are real in how you present life instead of being über perfect. Thanks for writing what many of us have been thinking.

  82. Here from GOMI. I love you for writing this. You are fabulous and your blog is fabulous. That is all.

  83. I read a quote recently from Cheryl Strayed (who wrote the great book Wild) that she has learned that her job is to write… allowing others to do the judging. I think it’s hard for even the best writers!