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Jan 12 2015

Blog drift

Blog DriftMy friend Pamela has a phrase that so perfectly sums up what and how I’m feeling right now it’s as though she lives in my head.

It’s…

Hold that thought. Everyone should have a friend like Pamela. Though we live a thousand miles apart and only met in person last summer when we were roommates at the SENG conference, she is one of the best people in my life. She’s not only a “hide the body” kind of friend (and I am so blessed to have a couple of those on speed dial), but a “talk me off the ledge” and “here, have some wine” kind of friend as well (I can only hope I’m as supportive of her). There are a few others in this category as well, they also live only in my computer, but she’s the one to first introduce me to

…blog drift.

I can’t decide if that sounds fluffy like a snowdrift in December or menacing like a snowdrift in February.

Blog drift is kinda like a combo of blog depression and anxiety with a healthy dose of writers block and more than a touch of “have I written all I could say on this?,” over-salted with burnout and maybe a little bit of boredom and a whole lotta “do I even want to continue.” It tastes like flat seltzer water. I’m sure a correction will be forthcoming if I don’t have that quite right.

I’m feeling a whole lot of blog drift lately. Surely that’s obvious, as I think the posts here have tapered off to just a few a month and I couldn’t even get my poop in a group long enough to write on parenting over-excitabilities for the most recent GHF blog hop.

When I first started blogging, nine years ago this past week, I did it on a lark. I’d been reading blogs for a year and finally decided to just do it already. Before I picked up a flute (at age nine) I was going to be a writer. I knew that, I took writing classes, I wrote stories for fun, I loved it. And then I picked up a flute and that became my creative outlet and writing fell off. Until nine years ago. For ages I’d write stuff in my head and it’d evaporate; now I had a place to park it and people read it and enjoyed it. I’d share the granola fight the boys had in J’s crib (there was still granola in the edges of the carpet when we moved several years later), ruminate on current events, write about my love of the library. Anything and everything. Because I was writing about my kids, I started writing about gifted issues, because it was part of our lives. That gradually became more of the focus, and sometimes I’m grateful for that and sometimes I’m not. And sometimes I wish I were still very anonymous (which is how I started out) and could rant and rave and scream at the skies like I could before my name was out there. Over the years blogging became a marketing tool, and I am notoriously bad at marketing myself. (For example, I wrote a book. No, seriously. And people seem to really like it. And I am horrible at marketing it, much to the chagrin of my publisher and editor. Did you know I am writing a second one? Yeah, hard to talk about that one too. Could someone please wave a magic wand and help me get over this? Or teach me how to market myself without deep embarrassment or feeling like I’m bragging?) I don’t see blogging returning to what it was before marketing took over, and I don’t like that. Gah, now I sound and feel old. Get off my lawn.

And so I sit here, nine years later, and make faces at my blog drift. I’m at the stage now where I really should figure out exactly what I want and need to do with my site. Do I take it more seriously and branch out from there? How, and in what direction? Do I make it a landing site for a new career I’ll build (advocacy? parent coaching? writing? something I haven’t thought of yet? all of the above??) or do I tone it down and make it a fluff site for my brain droppings and focus on building my real-life flute studio? It’s getting harder and harder to write about my sons; they deserve privacy as they navigate adolescence, even if some things are epic blog gold and it kills me to not share them. While I contemplate what do I write if I don’t write about gifted kids, in reality I’m struggling with who am I if I’m not a mom? Because if we write what we know, what do I know other than that? Who am I really? And what do I write?

I’ll figure it out. Somehow. Surfing down this blog drift I’ll figure it out.

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  1. Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies

    This is fantastic. I love your thought process and, as I said earlier, it seems that you have a lot of options but the actual deciding part must be difficult. And, for what it’s worth, I saw a lot of non-mom things that you are in that post 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you decide!
    Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies recently posted…I’d Rather _________ Than Fill in Test Bubbles! ‪#‎lesstests‬My Profile

    1. Jen

      I’ve thought of shutting down and starting a new one, completely anonymous. But I don’t think that’s the answer either.

      1. Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies

        Oh gosh, don’t do that!
        Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies recently posted…I’d Rather _________ Than Fill in Test Bubbles! ‪#‎lesstests‬My Profile

  2. Pamela @RedWhiteandGrew

    Reciprocal <3 and support! And I *might* help with hiding the body, if it's the *right* body. Heh.
    Pamela @RedWhiteandGrew recently posted…Grey Hair, Silver LiningsMy Profile

    1. Jen

      I’m holding you to that, Price! 😉

  3. Nicole

    I love it Jen. Wish I had come across your blog sooner. I love how you write and your humor. What ever you decide, I bet it’ll be great, and I want to know about it! 🙂

  4. Paula Prober

    Jen. I think writing about this transition would make interesting reading. Lots of moms could probably relate to kids turning teens and how that changes your role. Your process in finding what’s next for you would be quite blog-worthy, methinks! And that Pamela friend, well, she’s a jewel.
    Paula Prober recently posted…Guest Post on Sensitivity– by poet and therapist Anne AllanketnerMy Profile

    1. Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies

      I agree with Paula!
      Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies recently posted…I’d Rather _________ Than Fill in Test Bubbles! ‪#‎lesstests‬My Profile

    2. Stacey

      Me too! Paula has a great idea! I am terrible at commenting, but I really love everything you write.
      Stacey recently posted…Number PuzzlesMy Profile

      1. Jen

        Thanks Stacey. 🙂 I will figure it out. Promise. Ish. 😉

    3. Jen

      Paula, I think that’s probably what will happen. The whole parenting a G2e through midlife/discovering what I want to be when I grow up thing. Still trying to figure out what that might look like.

  5. Celi Trepanier

    Jen, just like we say about our kids: focus on their strengths. I think your writing is so inspirational and your humor is one-of-a-kind. I envision you using those two strengths mixed in with some lovely flute music and BOOM, the world will be a better place!

    You will find the perfect solution, Jen <3

    Oh, and JEN'S BOOK IS FANTASTIC–INSPIRATIONAL AND FUNNY! BUY ONE FOR YOURSELF AND ONE FOR A FRIEND. I DID!

    1. Jen

      Oh thank you Celi, so much. 🙂 Focus on my strengths. Which ones? 😉
      And were your ears burning yesterday? I was at a homeschool meetup thing and a woman I was talking to brought up a post of yours. 😀 Made me so happy for you.

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