Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blog Purpose

When I started blogging, it was to keep a record of our first child's growth. I wanted to do a baby book of sorts, but I knew it would be easier for me to type it than record it by hand in a book, partially because I'm a much faster typist and have terrible handwriting, and partially because I knew I'd never be able to keep track of the dang book, or think of things to write in it when I was away from home.

The first blog was literally only about her with a few current events thrown in for reference. The site I used,, seemed inappropriate once she turned one in July and went from being a baby to a toddler (sniff!). I stopped writing until after the new year when I began a new weblog on Blogger. The premise behind KC BarrBQ Family was for it to be about our family, and I kept it private, using it mostly as a place to keep family and friends updated on our lives. The more I wrote, the more I felt I had to say about things that were beyond the scope of our family; kind of op-ed pieces. I loved creative writing when I was in school, it was my emphasis under my B.A. in English. Even though what I was writing wasn't fiction, it was great to be writing again. So in February, I submitted one of the aforementioned op-ed to Mamapedia, which they accepted! I was thrilled. I realized I needed to have a public blog if I was going to be submitting works, so I created Midwest "Mom"ments. It had identical entries to KC BarrBQ Family, I just changed the names. And omitted a few more personal anecdotes and growth details that I thought wouldn't be very interesting to anyone other than us. After a couple of months of that, I gave up on the family-only one, and redirected everyone to this public site.

So for the past three months, I've been trying to focus on writing interesting pieces about random stuff amidst the family info. I felt that was fine, but within the last couple of weeks, I've been rethinking my process. First of all, I have no subscribers. I know there are a few people who read it (they've mentioned it), but no one I don't know personally reads it. I'm not expecting a huge following or anything, or have grandiose ideas about making any money at this, but I do want people to be aware of my existence in the hopes that more of my submissions will be accepted for publishing. I found a couple of amazing resources, BlogHer and ThetaMom, as well as a couple of blogs, In Pursuit of Martha Points and KludgyMom. At first, I thought I would do a completely separate blog on BlogHer where I would start creative writing again. And then I found some great posts about how to be a better blogger, and it said you should have a specific theme so you can attract people looking for that topic. Hmmm, I'm a mess if that's the case. My posts are ALL over the board. So tried to think of what my "theme" should be. Since then, I've read lots of posts saying it doesn't matter what the theme is, you just have to be real. Find your voice and people will be drawn in. All of those suggestions were helpful, but I still wasn't sure what to do.

I had an epiphany on my lunchbreak. It led to me realizing I already have my theme. Midwest "Mom"ments is: A diary chronicling the joyful, overwhelming, crazy, sometimes frustrating, journey that is parenthood. Part of being a parent is maintaining your own identity while wearing your parenting hat. So those op-ed pieces are still pertinent to me, and therefore, to the blog. And In Pursuit of Martha Points inspired me to create a group of blogs that were creative writing, just for me. And the epiphany that made this all possible, was that as I drove home for lunch I was reflecting as I often do on my own mom. And how she's a fantastic mother, and I am sad to see her memory issues developing, and I don't know how to help, and I wish I spent more time with her. That's when it occurred to me - I should do installments about my mom's "mom"ments. So I'm hoping the blogging workshop I'm going to do with Kludgymom will help me learn how to set up folders or categories or whatever for those three things - op-ed, creative writing, and grand"mom"ments - plus some graphic design stuff . For now, just check out the tags. I'm excited to start this new path with my blog!

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