Joanna Schroeder is a fellow Good Men Project contributor who also co-writes a clever, modern, and sexy sex-and-dating blog called She Said He Said. Check out both her physical and non-physical Blogger Spaces below.
My blogging space is in my mind.
When I’m surrounded by my children laughing, running and playing; when I’m driving down Pacific Coast Highway on my way to a meeting; when I’m out with friends, or in the grocery store. I disappear into my mind, to that quiet little place we writers go, the space that so bothers others who love us. If you’re a writer, you understand that we have to go there, to that dark little corner of our brains. And you understand that we don’t really get to choose when. When the writing begins, it takes us hostage, ever before our fingers choose the keyboard.
My blogging space is also in new technology. It’s on cell phone calls with my writing partner, Eli, for our blog She Said He Said. It’s on g-chats with my friends and collaborators from The Good Men Project. It’s on Google Documents, Google+ Hangouts and in text messages. All these non-physical spaces add up to the very real collection of words, which form my blog writing for both She Said He Said and GMP.
My physical blogging space is everywhere around my house and around our little town — with my pink-covered laptop by my side. The world must know that I actually hate the color pink, but my husband got me this cover when he gave me this laptop: a hand-me-down from him. The pink cover is the sturdiest one you can buy, and he chose it despite the color because he knew this poor laptop stood no chance against the rigor of my days, my kids, and my constant shuttling of children back and forth. It has to survive me falling asleep with it on my lap and closing its lid in my sleep.
The hideous pink cover makes it easy for me to find around our toy-strewn house, or in my messy Cheerio-laden car, or somewhere under eight piles of laundry folded and stacked on my messy desk. As I am a tomboy mama of boys, it is literally the only pink item in our house, so it’s easy to find.
Most importantly, my laptop has an embarrassing little emblem taped to the front, a piece of torn-in-half printer paper where I wrote the words I needed to see every day, multiple times a day, in order to believe I can do this all: my book, my work, my editing, my blog. These words are my own, the phrases which inspire me to do the hardest, scariest work.
This computer and I are attached, we’re conjoined twins, we’re the bestest of friends. We’ve had our secrets, we’ve had our disagreements, we’ve had our good times and our bad. Apparently I’ve abused my dear friend, this laptop, because now it refuses to give me the Wifi it used so readily. I’m not sure when it started holding out, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen that super-sexy black wi-fi fan in the upper right corner light up. My signal strength went from strong to weak, then to nothing at all. Now I rely upon my Ethernet cord. For hours at a stretch, I am tethered to a desk. At least there my old-lady dog, Gretel, can keep track of me. Especially when I’m eating lunch while blogging.
My blogging space is usually littered with books, toys and kidstuff. Right now. Legos, a mounted butterfly on archival paper under glass, two pairs of very small sunglasses, some sort of weapon for a Transformer, a plate holding a single rib bone from my lunch (yes, I ate a leftover barbequed beef rib for lunch!), a box of Wheat Thins, and one of the three editions of Kate Chopin’s The Awakening that I own (usually the Norton). On top of my sex and dating blog, my work for The Good Men Project, my mommying and my family, I am also finishing up a novel: my own take on the themes in The Awakening, were our heroine to have lived now, when women can have everything we want.
And in ways I’m like my novel’s heroine, trying to have everything I want; fighting against the hours in the day, against my body which is tired, against my family who wants more more more of Mama. But I love our blog. It was born out of the work I’ve been doing my entire adult life, trying to define a healthy sexuality for myself.
I didn’t realize it when I was young, but I always saw sexuality as a means to an end. I was never what some would call “slutty” by any measure, but I wasn’t deeply connected to my own body, I never saw it as a thing for me. I knew how to make boys want me, how to make them love me, how to get them hooked. But I didn’t understand the emotional depth with which sex can be experienced and shared.
As I grounded myself, reconciling my brain and my heart with my body, I found an empowering type of sexuality that I wish I’d understood when I was younger. That led to the idea of starting a sex and dating advice blog with my guy friend, Eli, whom I’d known for more than a dozen years. We wanted to answer sex and dating questions from a guy’s perspective and a girl’s perspective. We wanted to share the grounded, healthy sexuality that I find so empowering, and we wanted to share Eli’s awesome, healthy view of relationships.
We also wanted to address the differences in the genders without falling into the trap of gender essentialism. It’s a tricky balance — almost a highwire act — and far from perfect. Fact is, sometimes you gotta go to a woman to know what a woman is thinking, and the same goes for men.
And so you can imagine how much of my blogging is done on the phone with Eli. Cracking up about the goofiness of sex: it really is just two bodies knocking together and making weird sounds. Cracking up about the fact that his mom and dad read everything we write. Cracking up that when my kids are around, we use the code word “billiards” in place of “sex.”
It’s great fun, and we feel like we’re helping people feel good about sex and good about their own choices. And our blogging space, or collection of spaces, all come together to create something that we hope is really cool.
Blogger Space is a series devoted to showcasing the places bloggers choose to write. Wanna show off your digs? Send a photo of your space, a blurb about why you write where you do, and a link to your blog to firstname.lastname@example.org.