A couple of weeks ago I received an interesting email. Although I realized right away that it was a generic questionnaire, most likely to evaluate if my blog was interesting enough to feature in a little profile piece (which it probably isn’t), I enjoyed replying to the answers and was flattered by the attention.


from: Steve Faguy
date: Feb 20, 2007 4:41 AM
subject: Questions about your blog An Unexamined Life…


The Gazette is doing profiles of prominent Montreal blogs, and we’d love if
you could answer some questions about you and your blog. Feel free to
elaborate as much as possible and include any information that would help
our readers to understand your blog and what makes it unique.

Thank you.

1. Tell me about yourself (your name, age, hometown)

I maintain a somewhat anonymous blog. I’m swan_pr. That’s my name here. I’m 36, born and raised in Montreal (mostly). I moved to the suburbs in 1995, became a housewife for a few years, before going back to work full time in the transport industry. I have two teenagers (that do NOT know about my blog) and just separated from my boyfriend (and father to the kids) of 20 years. Everything I’m telling you here I’ve written about in one way or another on my blog.

2. What is your day job?

See 1

3. Why did you start your blog? When was the first post and what was it about?

I started a blog after reading other peoples’ for a while. I could remember I used to write as a teenager, and figured this would be a good way to help me figure out where I was at in my life. Like a conversation with myself. Besides, I was completely isolated, my family life having taken over all aspects of my life. I guess I was lost, was changing, and couldn’t really bring myself to seek help or talk to someone. I first posted in August 2005 about this. My first post.

4. What do you write about? What makes your blog unique?

I write about me! My feelings, my reflexions, observations. I did a lot of soul searching, criticizing. Writing about the doubts I have about myself and my capacities and aptitudes as a mother and an independent woman. About pain, loneliness, isolation, hopelessness. About sexual fantasies, lovers. A little fiction, mostly in French, poetry. Basically, it’s a very intimate blog, but I let people come in and share, and most readers can find themselves in my writings, men and women. Through time it helped me tremendously, realizing that I was not alone in these feelings. In that I don’t feel my blog is unique, because everyone goes through rough times, hard introspective journeys. The only really unique thing I can see, is that I write in French and English, and alternate but without any kind of order. I don’t decide or choses a language ahead of time. When I sit down and start typing, it just comes out in a certain language. I guess some readers are put off by that. But surprisingly, not that many. I have regular readers from New Zealand, Australia, th UK, the States, none of them speak French, but they come to read the English posts. Same thing with readers from Québec, France or Belgium. I’m glad they can find something they like and can relate to.

5. Do you have a favourite post or series? One that got a lot of attention?

I don’t have series. And as far as attention getters, I don’t get sudden surges either. I rarely stray out of my usual style. No specific reason. I just write whatever I feel like, and it happens to always be about the same things…

6. What do you not blog about? What do you have absolutely no interest in?

I rarely blog about my everyday life, or the tv programs I watch, or news stories. Not that I NEVER do it, but very very rarely. And I don’t read blogs that do that either. Chit chat I can have at the office, I’d don’t see the point in reading that. I really do hate bloggers that never look at themselves, seriously, but constantly criticize others, the ones that go for the sympathy vote, the emotional manipulations. The ones that basically live through blogs and comments, have a clear dependency to their readership and the “blog life” but won’t admit it. If you’re going to live your life on your blog, at least do it responsibly, at least take the time to examine who you are, where you’re going, where you’ve been. Blogs are a fantastic way to rediscover yourself, and for once in your life you should grab the opportunity to be true.

7. How has the blog changed since you first started it?

Hasn’t changed really, as much as evolved. I had very very low points in the last year. Times when my heart had been broken, or stepped on. Times when just waking up in the morning was somewhat of a feat. In the last few months, where I was going through my separation, the allegories and fictions took the back seat, as I needed to sort my thoughts about the reality of separating, walking away from 20 years of “vie commune”, in all its aspects. I think inevitably the change will be permanent, although I still want to write fiction and poetry, but later. That’s one other thing I learned through blogging. At first it was an escape, whenever life was too much to bear, I could run to my page and just live there. Now I have changed, realized my weaknesses and strengths, learned to embrace reality in order to progress, instead of hiding and being afraid all the time. This will surely be reflected upon my writings in the near future.

8. Who reads your blog?

Different people, from all walks of life. High end execs, housewives, artists, lost souls. And in many ways, as different as they may seem from me, they represent a little bit of who I am. And I hope I represent a little part of themselves as well. I do like that sense of community, in the universal sense, (not the fake blogfriend sense). What I write, the way I write it is in no way exceptional. But I am doing something I love doing. And who ever stumbles upon my page and stays makes me happy. And I hope I can make them happy (or miserable… depends on my mood!) for a little while.

9. What else should people know to understand your blog?

Well… I don’t think I did understand what my blog reprensents to me before answering your questions! That was quite an eye opener… So I guess your readers will have to live with the previous answers.

That’s great post material… Let me know what you intend to do with this, and if I can use some or all of it to post on my blog.

Thanks for the interest.

6 thoughts on “Profiled”

  1. Actually, though the questionnaire is generic (guilty as charged), the interest isn’t. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now. Not sure when the profile will get published (there’s quite a backlog right now), but I’ll let you know when it is.

    Interestingly enough, though I’ve sent out quite a few of these questionnaires, you’re the first person to have blogged it before an article was published.


  2. swan_pr says:

    in retrospect, I wish I took my time to answer… I don’t really like how I sound, reading this. it’s like hearing a recording of your voice.

    but as I said, I did enjoy the exercise and that’S why I posted this. I hope you don’t mind!

    thank you for reading, and again, thanks for the interest 🙂

  3. DAVE says:

    Heh getting profiled. Sounds cool.

    Wish I could get profiled 🙁

    Makes me feel all left out 🙁


  4. swan_pr says:

    awww, here Dave: < < < hug > > > (mr BlogCriticsRottenTomatoes)… thank you 😉

  5. Chris says:

    Jeeze….the cops around here get in trouble for profiling (ha ha).

    I liked this Swan. I have read your blog for at least a year but I learned something directly today, that I had inferred. I was mostly correct on what I had thought, except age. I thought you were much younger (mid to late twenties).

    I like the fact that you write in French sometimes, even though I miss 90% of what you are saying. I’ve got to get my French texts out and re-learn it.

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