Blogging

The Unappreciated Value Of The Mommy Blogger

“What am I doing?”

It’s a question I mumble to myself throughout the day, after I find myself mindlessly putting the milk in the cabinet, or re-snapping the baby’s onesie without first having put on a clean diaper.

More than parenting snafus, it’s one of the many questions my husband and I ponder regularly when trying to make giant, life-altering decisions, while we both navigate and attempt to avoid the rat race we currently find ourselves in. Where should we live? What should we do? What are we doing?

More recently, it’s been a question that pounds in my head with every tap of my keyboard, as I sit and write out things for my blog. With so much on my plate, finding time to write has been hard, but more than that, I constantly question what the purpose of my writing is. What am I trying to say?

A few weeks ago, a fellow blogger went on a now super-viral tirade that said, in essence, all mommy bloggers suck, and nothing we say has any value because it’s all sunshine and rainbows and lies.

This struck a chord, and the already dull ringing of constantly questioning myself bloomed into a full on clock-tower-at-noon sort of chiming. What am I doing?

Some of you may already know this, but (thanks to my writing) I have a job. This job requires me to scour the webs, looking for content to share with the eager, kind, and interactive fans of another much bigger site. I read SO. MANY. BLOGS. Every day, I read through story after story, looking for things that tug at my heart or make me laugh, things that teach me something, or make me nod in agreement as I silently mouth the words “YAAAAASSSSS GIRL!”

Sometimes I read something that seems insincere, or something that seems falsely inflated. But most of the time what I read is pure gold, pulled word by word from the heart, and woven into a story that in the end, more often than not, spells out the same message: You are not alone.

It doesn’t matter what the topic of conversation is, from conceiving or birthing troubles, to body image and toddler drama, and everything in between, the message is almost always the same. You are not alone. We have all been there. You will get through this.

And equally as unifying are the comments. “I needed this today” and “Thanks for sharing this, I didn’t know anyone else felt this way,” show up in just about every single thread generated from these posts.

With each one of these comments, the ringing in my ears becomes a little less, as I talk myself down from quitting blogging once again, and instead try to shift my focus to answering my question.

What am I doing? What are we, as “mommy bloggers” (or just bloggers, really) doing with our words and our stories?

The more I think about it, the clearer it becomes. We are throwing a lifeline, made out of tiny little strung together words, a rope anyone can grab and use to pull themselves up. We are leaving out a string of twinkle lights to follow through the choking fog they may find themselves in. We are sending up smoke signals, and graffitiing the walls, and shouting from the rooftops, and flying those planes that write messages in the sky, just to make sure everyone gets the message: You are not alone.

You are not alone with your fussy newborn, or your frustration and confusion. You are not alone with your miscarriages, abortions, or empty womb. You are not alone with your longing, your anxiety or your depression. You are not alone in your deepest darkest sorrows, or in your unparalleled joys.

We are spreading the word. And hot damn, does it feel good.

I may not know what I am doing when I put the milk in the cabinet, or what my husband and I are doing big picture with our life choices. I may not know what I am doing as a parent, or an owner of a fancy plant that seems intent on dying. But with every post I read, and a few of the posts I’ve written myself, what I’m doing as a blogger gets a little more clear.

We are messengers and story-tellers. We are weavers. We are glue. We are builders and maintainers of a beautiful community. And there is immense value in what we do.

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Didn’t I Just Do That? A Memoir

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It could be said that writing this blog has actually been a little too fun for me. I really love it. But a book? For now it’s a joke. For now…

 

Well Hello There…

Hello!

Emily here, extending a warm welcome to the lovely bunch of new followers who are here after reading my Dear Ovaries post that was recently featured on WordPress Discover.

I just wanted to take a minute and tell you a few things about me and my blog, Hold Me, Don’t Hold Me.

I started this blog about a year ago, with intentions of regaling folks with humorous tales of parenting, and making boatloads of money. I will leave it up to the crowd to determine if I have succeeded in telling a funny tale or two, but I can confirm with certainty that the boatloads of money have yet to find my dock, or even leave their original boatyard for that matter. (more…)

How To Write A Blog Post In Just 32 Short Steps.

To mark the 6 month anniversary of me starting Hold Me, Don’t Hold Me, my wildly mildly popular parenting blog, I thought it appropriate to share my secrets to success, namely how I generate my incredibly unique and extremely relevant topics to write about. Now, don’t kid yourself, kids, writing a blog is a tough business. But with a little work, even you can become an internet sensation force your spouse and parents to read things you write.

With that I present to you: How To Write A Blog In Just 32 Short Steps.

  1. Think of amazing topic during an inopportune time, like at 2am, in the shower, or in the middle of a conversation with your very nice, but odiferous neighborhood homeless gentleman.
  2. Forget topic completely.
  3. Remember topic! Sit down to write. Get text from friend. Start texting. Check Facebook. Check NPR. Check Facebook. Get hungry. Make awesome joke to friend that reminds you of original topic idea. Decide to eat something, then write.
  4. Eat something. Decide to clean the kitchen to hide evidence of second breakfast, and first and second lunch.
  5. Sit down to write. Notice battery on compy is low. Stand up and plug compy into outlet at counter. Applaud yourself for standing and working because it’s better for your back. Sustain multiple attacks directed at your bare ankles from cat who doesn’t like you standing at counter because he is an angry asshole cat.
  6. Think of major downfall of once amazing topic. Decide you can no longer write about that topic. Wonder if you will ever think of another good topic.
  7. Think more about it and begin to question if you’ve ever written anything worth reading.
  8. Think more about it and convince yourself you’re a crap writer who has only ever written crap.
  9. Think more about it and decide you shouldn’t ever write anything again.
  10. Wonder if there is any way to completely delete everything you’ve ever put on the internet.
  11. Feel temporary sense of relief at prospect of no longer blogging. Wonder what you will do with all your free time.
  12. Consider taking up new hobby, like crocheting, or perhaps becoming the world’s leading expert on baby corn.
  13. In the midst of contemplating the origins of baby corn THINK OF BEST IDEA YET.
  14. Decide not to give up on blogging.
  15. Sit down on the couch, far from the reaches of angry asshole cat, with partially charged computer to write out first few lines of BEST IDEA YET.
  16. Reword them.
  17. Reword them.
  18. Reword them.
  19. Think of major downfall of BEST IDEA YET.
  20. Completely give the fu*k up. Delete everything.
  21. Shut off compy.
  22. Get in shower.
  23. Think of ACUTAL best idea yet.
  24. Get soap in your eye.
  25. Yell to husband to come in the bathroom so you can dictate the ACTUAL best idea yet.
  26. Husband doesn’t hear you.
  27. Become horribly frustrated with husband, and in a fit of eye-burning rage, think of 67 other topics you could write about.
  28. Realize ideas come and go. Feel strangely at peace with this.
  29. Get out of shower. Write whole post.
  30. Wonder if new post is crap. Wonder if you have a broken crap-gauge.
  31. Make husband read post while analyzing his every facial movement. Ask him repeatedly if post is funny. Ask him if your crap-gauge is broken. Ask him where baby corn comes from.
  32. Decide to just post it at the risk of further diminishing your chances of ever making friends, or obtaining any kind of real job where someone may look up your internet paper trail and decide you are stark raving mad.

And that, my friends, is how you write a blog post in just 32 short steps! Easy as pie. Now get to work!

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Get to work, but just don’t try to work anywhere near me…