State of the Blog – 2016

Filed Under: News

When I wrote about my goals for 2016 and wrapped up how 2015 went for me, I said I’d come back to the topic of the blog. This is that moment.

I struggle with trying to strike a tone on this blog. I know what sort of online presence I want to have: one that sounds like me. If you look at my Twitter, it’s all retweets of stuff I find serious and stuff I find funny and random shit about me that I decide to say at any given time. This is basically who I am in real life: a regurgitation of things I’ve read and heard, things I’m passionate about, and hey, do you suppose anyone will notice if I try to climb this thing? (If you look at my Instagram, you will merely note that I’m vain but also painfully cute.)

For some reason, I find that trickier on the blog.

Some of that is that I write to vent and regain some sense of emotional balance when I’m off-kilter. This can be helpful, but is perhaps too personal for a writer blog. It seemed okay back when I decided I was going To Be A Mommy-Blogger back in the Domestic Chaos days. Maybe because I was younger, or maybe because I cared less what people think of me. Or rather, I cared more that they think me quirky and clever and carefree; a certain aggressive openness aids that impression a lot. Nowadays I don’t necessarily need to validate my self-image like I used to, at least not from strangers on the Internet.

There’s also the element of keeping something of myself for the people close to me, and not exploiting their experiences for my writing. One of my major marriage failings is that I didn’t think of things that happened to me within the context of that relationship as stories that belonged to two people — they were simply mine, because I was the storyteller. It’s a pretty fucked up way to take someone’s experience for the entertainment of others. Nowadays if I think there’s a story that my significant dudefriend wouldn’t want me to tell the whole Internet, I ask. Sometimes I think, “Nah, this is entertaining/interesting, but I’m not going to write about it.”

At the same time, my favorite writer blogs aren’t the ones that are solidly About Writing All the Time, but about the writer. I don’t go to blogs to learn about writing; I go to books. I do need to learn how to be a writer, though, because the learning curve is steep and the ideal we’ve built of writers is such a fiction that I sort of want to pick it apart bit-by-bit.

I follow writers who also struggle with mental illness. I follow prolific career writers, new writers who are still navigating the waters (y’know, my friends), writers who still don’t make a living at it, and writers who make real money but keep their day-jobs because being self-employed in the American healthcare system is insane. (Okay, I follow one of those, but I think about that story a lot when I consider where my future as a writer is headed and how I want to steer it.) I follow writers that travel, and writers that hermit. Their experiences are wide and varied, and that’s interesting to me.

I want to be the sort of writer who shares who I am and what I do. I’m still navigating how to do that.

As with my writing, I’m tackling the blog in a goal-based way. I want to write something at least once a week. My current phone notification for this is set on Saturdays, so that’s what we’ll aim at. I want to write more of the following:

  • Bitches Baking, because that is too joyful a title to me for it go stagnant. Also because I want to cook more things this year. I started working full-time in 2015, and my cooking-from-scratch habits fell far, far by the wayside. I love cooking. About once every three months I debate throwing my whole life to the side and becoming a baker.*
  • Stuff about things I’m passionate about. I have a half-written post about smartphone notifications and how they’re helpful for self-care routines. I want to use my “feminist killjoy bullshit” tag more. I care about things, and I want to write about them when I’m feeling passionate.
  • More vignettes about funny things that have happened in my day-to-day life. I am somewhat interesting, and have had somewhat interesting things happen in my timeline. Also, my son is funny as hell.
  • Stuff about my writing. I’d like to get back in the habit of monthly accountability posts, and hopefully if I sell some short stories, you’ll see more news about that.

If this interests you, stick around! Here’s hoping it’s an interesting year.

* This is hilarious and I giggled when I reread the sentence to myself, because my boyfriend’s last name is Baker.

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