Blog Secrets... Plus a Giveaway!

Image: Ace Covers

So as the blog-clock ticks down on our final weeks at Cranky Fitness, I find myself wanting to indulge in a few more "behind the scenes" posts. (Like last week's peek at weird google searches.)

It's just that this silly little blog has been a huge part of my life over the last few years. Yet when you try to talk about blogging to friends who do not read or write blogs themselves? Their eyes glaze over and they get these cute little frozen smiles on their faces and pretty soon they seem to have a sudden need to freshen their drinks or visit the restroom or call their grandmothers.

Since I have no more "real life" friends left to chase away with blogging tales, you lucky patient folks get to read these behind-the-scenes, Top Secret Crabby McSlacker True Blog Confessions! Wait... where are you all going? Well, at least I've got a bit of a bribe today: 5 copies of the new SparkPeople Workout DVD to give away over on the product page. If you've got a U.S. mailing address, be sure to check it out!

So anyway, for those of you who haven't fled yet, let me share a few shocking, lurid blog "secrets."

1. For a shy person, I'm quite the attention-seeking narcissist. Unexpected links, mentions, and page-view spikes get me WAY more psyched than any normal person should be. And I used to joke about being obsessed by my blog statistics? Well... um... it was never a joke. Even now, I still check every day.

2. Some PR folks are professional, friendly, and awesome, but others are total idiots and/or buttheads. And 95% of the pitches we fitness bloggers get on behalf of major corporations are (1) clueless about what we do and (2) offensive in their one-sided approach to working with us. We are supposed be honored and flattered to write about their products and link to their sites! While they promise to do nothing in return but send us more information about their products. Yippee, sign me up!

The reviews and giveaways can be fun (SparkPeople got a thumbs-up for friendly professionalism, which is why we're doing another one). But a few giveaways we've done have been a nightmare because of extreme sponsor idiocy or flakiness.

3. Blogging makes me feel guilty. All The Time. I don't know how some bloggers do it--writing great posts, replying to comments, emailing, tweeting, updating their blogrolls, visiting all the other great blogs out there and leaving comments, finding and linking to other sites. I used to do more of all that stuff. True to form, I'm a slacker--but, alas, not a carefree slacker. It bothers me that I'm not being nearly as supportive to all the great folks who link and visit and comment here as they have been to me.

4. Bloggers get catty behind the scenes. I've made some great online friendships through the blog, and we bloggers trade emails. You'd be surprised at some of the tacky things we say about PR folks, fitness celebrities, and even sometimes other famous bloggers or clueless random googlers who leave ridiculous or offensive comments on our sites.

5. Reading blog comments is way more fun than writing posts. OK, so this isn't exactly a secret, but I have to mention this again. The quality of discussion on this blog, and the warmth an humor of the commentators, has made reading comments the best thing about blogging. Writing posts, on the other hand... Of course I love having finished them, but the writing process is slow and sometimes hard going. You'd think with my sloppy attitude towards research, composition, and proof-reading, that I'd whip these things right out. But I don't. It's gotten harder as I've said most of what I had to say about health and fitness, which is why it's not a bad time to take an extended Crabbatical.

6. I've never been sure how to handle the gay thing. Regular readers have been so mellow and accepting that this has almost been a non-issue. But it's still weird to try to write a post in which, if I were straight, I'd naturally mention my husband. But I don't have a husband, I have a wife, and this could be confusing to some folks. I know that lots of readers are not regulars here but drop in from google. If I just said "wife" they'd assume I was a dude, and then they'd get all confused when I mentioned sports bras or pap smears. But leaving the Lobster out felt all wrong and closety, so I tried not to do that either.

It's funny that I haven't run into more gay or lesbian health/fitness/weight loss bloggers--or maybe I have and just didn't realize it. Anyway, I appreciate that the folks here have never been anything but supportive. You guys rock.

7. Jillian Michaels mentioned Cranky Fitness on her radio show... but I'm pretty sure she never read the blog. I was totally thrilled to hear that she recommended us, until I actually listened to the program. All the quotes came from the article that Women's Health did on us; some assistant probably just passed the info on. Sigh. Despite her sometimes brutal training style, and the ickiness of her hawking weight-loss pills, I still admire her. Would've been cool if she really had discovered the blog and liked it.

8. There was almost a Cranky Fitness book. This was a bit of a heart-breaker: I got contacted by a publishing company about doing a Cranky Fitness book, and at their request, sent them a proposal. It was enthusiastically recommended by a couple of underlings and sent up the chain for further review, but they ultimately decided against it. Dang! But I guess the upside of not having managed to finagle a book deal? I don't have to write a book!

9. I have quite a few names; many of you do too. I am Crabby McSlacker; I am Jamie Graham... and I also have two other names: the full name that appears on my birth certificate and driver's license, and the shortened version that I'm called by most "in real life" folks. (I'm not actually crazy about it, but retraining IRL folks would be a losing battle). The whole alias thing started because when I still had psychotherapy clients, I didn't want them thinking they were models for characters in my fiction. But I liked my pen name better than my real name, and also liked having a whole additional layer of anonymity when doing Webthings in the scary Webworld.

So I thought this multiple-identity thing was all very bizarre of me until I started doing more giveaway contests... then I discovered I am not the only one. I see folks with a cute name they blog under, who also have an easy-to-discover "real" name which appears under their profile, or is associated with their email address. Which then turns out NOT to be the name their postal delivery person will recognize. It was a relief to find out I'm not the only many-named weirdo on the web!

10. I almost blogged about my bowel habits for 10 days. I once got paid to take a "challenge" which involved eating a lot of products containing bran and other fiber additives and reporting on how I "felt." Fortunately, for both myself and for blog readers, the sponsor backed out, but let us bran bloggers keep the money. Later on, I got another even more generous offer to take a laxative for an extended period of time and blog about it. This time, I was not even tempted. Perhaps the "Cranky" in "Cranky Fitness" makes sponsors think I need a laxative? For the record: nope, I get plenty o' fiber from all those fruits, veggies, grains, and other whole foods. I may complain about 'em, but I eat 'em.

Do any other bloggers or blog visitors have silly internet secrets or confessions? Do spill!

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