Paste-approved Twitter personality Kelly Oxford has been blogging since before blogging was cool. Since then, she has developed a steady and numbered following on Twitter, received a book deal and is writing a sitcom for CBS. In the meantime, she somehow manages to maintain a hilarious sense of humor and a sharp wit – all while taking care of her three children.
We recently spoke to with Oxford about the Twitter-verse, her upcoming projects and raising children in age of the internet.
Paste: How did you get involved with blogging? What drew you to it?
Kelly Oxford: As a kid I was interested in having a ‘distant’ audience, like a magazine or a radio show. So I’d have themes on the blog, pop culture, personal rants, funny photos, caption contests. I still kind of do that. I started blogging in the nineties, I liked HTML and the whole concept of having something ‘out there’ that people could find and read. Anything I wanted? Total freedom? It felt amazing to me then and now. I’ve been doing it for 14 years, but it’s just in the last couple of years people have caught on. I think Facebook was the catalyst. Suddenly people I’d been looking for online, were online. Everyone started to use the internet.
Paste: When did you decide to join Twitter?
Oxford: In the Spring of ‘09.
Paste: How do you feel about Twitter compared to blogging?
Oxford: I like the immediacy and brevity of Twitter.
Paste: Do you feel like your audiences (blog vs. Twitter) are different?
Oxford: No, they’re pretty much the same people.
Paste: When did you first notice you were developing a following? What was that like?
Oxford: I came into Twitter with a few hundred people from the 7000 at my other blog (now closed) and I felt like that was a lot. Then Adam Duritz retweeted an entire page of my tweets and told people to follow me in ‘09 and I suddenly had 5000 followers and I thought to myself.. wow, this took a day on Twitter and 5 years my other blog to accomplish.
Paste: Tell me about your CBS show? How did that come about?
Oxford: I was talking to my friend Jhoni Marchinko about how I felt ostracized as a mother, with all of the ‘mother images’ out there that I’ve never seemed to fit, and how I sold my prized possession to this rich lady to get kids trampoline we couldn’t afford and she said “You should turn this story into a spec pilot and try to get an agent” So I did. I gave the sample to some agents at WME and they told me it was saleable, they were right.
Paste: What about the book deal? How long have you been composing the essays that will be contained in the memoir?
Oxford: I have to write them!!
Paste: Which of the two projects are you more excited about?
Oxford: I have these projects and 3 others I’m working on right now too and they are all equally as exciting when I’m working on them.
Paste: How are planning to manage the new projects, as well as your hilarious blog and twitter feed, while simultaneously taking care of the kiddos? Does it make you nervous?
Oxford: Totally. I’ve already started working until midnight every night. I’m sure it will just be more of that. I think everything can be done and that’s probably why I’ve had a flu for the last 2 weeks.
Paste: Do you ever worry about the things you say on the internet? Once it’s out there, you’re stuck to it. I know I worry about this as a writer. Is there anything you’ve ever regretted saying?
Oxford: No. I think I made a decision early on that I’m just going to be totally honest, and if that means some people are turned off, then I guess they’re turned off. People are so busy putting on a good face for everyone, it feels good to just accept that some of my thoughts aren’t palatable. I wrote with a pseudonym for so long, this feels so much better.
Paste: What about your children? How do you think they’ll view the way their life has been chronicled on the internet? A touching portrait, embarrassing or something completely different?
Oxford: So far they think it’s funny. I have conversations saved on my old blog from when Sal was 2 and Henry was in utero (she’s almost 10, he’s 7) and it’s really fun for her to go back and read about herself. I don’t document the shitty parts of parenting. No one wants to hear about that, I mean, I don’t even want to be going through it so why would I put it out there for other people to read? It’s not entertaining. I only want to remember the good stuff.