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Sherry's Yellow Underpants

Last week, Sherry Fowler turned 34. In honor of the occasion, she shut down her blog. But even as she did so, she left us with the story of her yellow underpants and what it teaches about blogging.

Fowler is a self-described recovering lawyer, writer, sailing coach, extrovert and insatiably curious woman. She is the blogger for whom Dennis Kennedy names his Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Legal Blog Award, and for good reason. I met her briefly at BlawgConnect.2005, which she helped organize, and have read her blog ever since.

Writing about law became an afterthought for Fowler many posts ago, but her blog never ceased to engage. Over more than three years of blogging and 2,665 blog posts, Fowler's blog brought her new friends and even romance -- "bizarre as that still seems," she writes. So as she wrapped up, she wanted to leave with a thoughtful post summing up the lessons three years of blogging taught her.

What came to her mind was an elementary-school exercise in which she was asked to write about her most embarrassing moment. The story, of course, involved yellow underpants and a wet bathing suit. In the sharing of it, and in others sharing their embarrassing moments, she learned "how writing and sharing could transform your life experience." Over the years, she'd forgotten that lesson, but blogging brought it back to her:

People don't care about your shiny strong moments or the ways you're exactly like everybody else.  They want to read the yellow underpants story, and there's something magical and mysterious that happens from telling it: you feel wobbly and shaky and like you'll be exposed as the gawky unloveable outsider that you are. ... But instead what happens is that you tell the story and everyone else breathes a sigh of relief, because they were sitting there right beside you, in a wet bathing suit, and they're so glad not to be alone with that anymore.

While Fowler is giving up this blog, she is not giving up blogging. She is launching a new blog, where she will "do something different," focused on her photography and writing exercises.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on December 26, 2006 at 03:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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