One week ago I hit a milestone anniversary and, true to course, totally overlooked it because 1) I suck at memorable dates unless I’m married to you or pushed you through the lady bits and 2) please see item number 1.
January 8, 2006, So Why A Blog?:
Really, it comes down to “why not?” Yeah, blogs are trendy right now and mommy bloggers are the hot news item, but I don’t think that’s why I decided to do this. I’m far from trendy and certainly not hot (though my husband would argue that point; love that man!), it just sounded like something I could have fun with. I’ve been reading blogs for close to a year, and have been so inspired by so many bloggers out there. So here I am, spending what little free time I have doing more on the computer, and loving it.
I started blogging ten years plus one week ago. Originally called Never a Dull Moment, I dove into online writing just because. Because it sounded like fun, because I could write out all the little personal essays I’d been composing in my head since I was a child, because I wanted someplace to be ME, because being a mom is invisible and difficult. At first I just slapped up little snippets of writing and online quizzes, much like what you’d find on Facebook these days. Gradually I eased into writing more thoughtfully, getting a little recognition from other bloggers (I’m still proud of the post I wrote about our little library). I wrote about whatever came to mind: politics, bicycle helmets, that time I nearly ran over a cow. Then as I found my voice, I discovered I was writing more and more about giftedness and parenting and the difficulties of gifted parenting. That led to a book, then a contract for a second book, and recognition from the gifted community; apparently people liked what I had to say.
And say I did. Like that time I railed at the Today Show. Or when I shouted that not all gifted parents are bragging about their kids.
I’ve met so, so many people through blogging these last ten years. Most of them I still only know through my computer, but a few I’ve met in real life. Some have greatly influenced my life, changing its trajectory and those of my sons. All of them I call friend, none of them I would have met if I hadn’t taken the leap ten years ago.
But blogging has changed in a decade. It’s nowhere near what it was when I created Never a Dull Moment on Blogger on a cold January night ten years ago. You can’t just write about what’s in your head, you have to have a focus, a niche. You can’t just slap up an amusing post, you have to optimize for SEO and have a pinnable image and cross-promote it. The community is on social media now, very rarely do people comment back and forth on blogs. A lot of the lighthearted fun is gone. The fun is on Facebook, the back and forth conversation is on Twitter, the pictures are on Instagram, and long-form blogging for the love of words is…flailing in the breeze. It saddens me, and it’s been harder and harder to write here over the last few years. I still love to write, I journal every day in Day One, but the glee of writing a blog post and reading comments (if there are any) is greatly diminished, because the community is gone. I love playing with words, with taking an absolutely shittastic situation and crafting the description to make people laugh in empathy. I’m a trained musician, and we get instant feedback at concerts; I got spoiled by the instant feedback blogging allowed. I continue to hope that the pendulum will swing back towards long-form writing and that I’ll be here waiting to grab hold, but in the meantime? It’s hard to write for a medium that provided instant feedback and no longer does; it’s hard enough to be solitary enough to sit down and pour out the words.
I never expected to be where I am today, ten years ago, but I’m grateful for it. In 2006 in never occurred to me that I’d have a book under my belt and another one in the works, with some fiction ideas tickling my brain. It never occurred to me that people would listen to what I had to say about gifted kids and parenting (I still can’t believe they do, talk about Impostor Syndrome). It never occurred to me that I’d still be writing, ten years later, and still enjoying it…when I finally do sit down and do it. There are so many interests in my life, all demanding my attention (especially those tween/teen boys who were so, so young when I started blogging), and unfortunately writing has been shoved to the back of the closet (see: instant gratification…I have to practice my flute or I’ll pee down my leg in rehearsal every week, that takes up valuable writing time).
After ten years, part of me thinks I should hang it up, because if I can’t do it to my high perfectionist standards maybe I should direct my attention elsewhere. Try something different, a new blog, a new focus. Write some short stories, let the guilty stress of not writing here just go. Yet another part of me acknowledges that this blog has been an important part of my life for nearly a quarter of it. Hard to give that up. So I don’t know.
Happy Blogaversary to me and Laughing at Chaos. It’s been a hell of a decade.