March 5, 2013

on the current state of things around here...

Would you believe me if I told you I consistently sit down to blog, but can't figure out what to write? It's odd, considering at the end of the day, my head hits the pillow and I'll start penning a few posts in my mind before I fall asleep. Things about how I just celebrated my seven-year wedding anniversary with my husband, things about the joy of living with less (and, on the flip-side, how I struggle almost daily with jealousy), things about body image, things about my daughter and all the crazy-wonderful things she's doing every day, things about being in a creative slump and not really knowing how to get out of it.

I want to write, I do have things to say, but it's just not happening.

I always feel awkward when I say things like this, because it almost seems ridiculous (and perhaps ironic) to put out there in a post, but blogging just seems different these days. I remember reading something last year (on a blog, of course) that mentioned, in a bit of an eye-rolly fashion, how you can't really ever blog for yourself. That when you put something out there for other people to read, it can never be considered something that you're not doing at least a little bit for someone else's benefit (or to draw attention to yourself). I wholeheartedly disagree with that, especially when I look back on the things I used to write more than a decade ago. (Things I wrote before worrying about readership or ads or comments or SEO or blog conferences or the like.) For years I wrote just to write, and not because of any attention I received. I think that is the biggest stumbling block for me now.

Do I write to an audience? Do I write without regard to who may be reading, unashamed of my thoughts and fears and stories? Do I write with the main goal of capturing the moments in my daughter's life before they're forgotten? Do I write with the hope that it will lead to a book deal or to gain the admiration of readers? Do I write about the "fluffy" things, knowing there are people out there who think that makes me annoying and fake—or do I write about the not-so-good moments in my life, knowing that there are people waiting to swoop in and judge every choice I make, or roll their eyes at my grief?

I've always been one to over-think things, and I'm unable to shut that off. Even when it comes to something as trivial as a blog. (But my blog has been such a notable part of my life for so long, that it doesn't feel as trivial as perhaps it should. Hence this post.)

There are days I truly don't understand how "mommy blogging" is even a thing, because how does anyone do it? I mean, mercy. As it is, the only truly free time I have during the day is my daughter's naptime (which can be anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours—usually hovering somewhere around 2), and then perhaps after she goes to bed at night (and let's be honest here: I'm no night owl, and am absolutely exhausted by 9). But I have so much to do during those times that I rarely turn on the computer to sit and write. And let's forget trying to pay any attention to the computer while Eisley is awake. She always does a happy dance because she assumes I'm going to let her sit on my lap to watch Sesame Street video clips (and crumples into a heap of drama when that isn't the case.) I seriously don't know how mothers of toddlers, let alone multiple children, have time to blog. Share your secrets! And your extra Girl Scout cookies because I've already eaten most of mine!

But I digress.

(Confession: I really only use the word "digress" because I used to read a blog where the writer used it all the time and I thought it sounded cool. You can judge me; it's okay.)

Sometimes I feel so guilty because I haven't kept the flawless record of my daughter's infancy that some bloggers manage to do. But sometimes I feel a sense of pride in keeping much of her life to myself. Sometimes I feel so guilty because I don't have time to comment on other blogs, to enjoy the banter on Twitter that I used to, to reply to comments, to be a "good" blogger. But sometimes I think it's better that life has forced me to distance myself from the hustle-bustle of social media and the noisiness of all that happens online.

Since my recent encounter with the not-so-nice people of the internet, I've also done a lot of thinking about sharing my life on this blog. It seems that there will always be those people who treat blogs like reality shows. They think that just because someone writes about their life online that it can be open to petty criticisms and judgements and gossip. I know myself well enough to say that I will never, ever be someone who is able to shrug those things off completely. They're not going to ruin my life, but they will still get under my skin. And although I am grateful to have met some of the most kind, encouraging and genuine people though my blog, I can't ignore the fact that there are some bad apples out there continuing to read (for some reason or another; who really knows?).

I forced myself to write today, not knowing what was actually going to come of it. Which is sometimes a good pressure to put on myself, I think. I still don't know what I'm really going to do with my space here, but I feel like I need to either truly simplify things to a great extent so I don't put so much pressure on myself, or tip-toe my way to the other end of the spectrum and become someone quite fancy in the blog world.

(Spoiler alert: I'm not fancy. So, I have a feeling which way the pendulum may swing.)

17 comments :

  1. I don't have anything fancy to say, just that I love you, however you show up. Also, I sang out loud to Creed (obvs in Scott Stapp voice) and felt very close to you last week. I miss you, my friend. xoxo

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  2. i have to say, i'm a newer reader and love your blog. something about the way you write is so genuine. it's sad that others would swoop in and judge, but i know what you mean about the blog world. some of these mommy bloggers set the bar prettttty high, but who knows what goes on behind the scenes. i understand only writing about the good things so you can look back on them fondly, but i do think there's something to be said for acknowledging the occasional hardships. i don't readers can relate to someone whose life is just macaroons, top knots, and lattes all day every day! (not that there's anything wrong with those things, i just mean that sometimes their lives seem unattainable.)

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  3. Hey, girl, I was just going to email you when this post popped up (really!). I have been feeling the same way lately, and I just want to give you a fist pump and a hug. Being a "good blogger" is overrated and unnecessary. Your priorities are in place, and you're sticking to them. You are already a good person, a good wife, and a good mom, and the rest is bonus. I love that you have secreted Eisley away; the little winks we get of her are that much sweeter. Keep it up, lady.

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  4. Kerri, friend, I have loved your blog for a long long time and it's because of who you are, not because of what appears on this blog. Whether your posts are lighthearted and casual, or deep and meaningful, I feel like your heart comes through in all of them. Your honesty draws me here, and will continue to draw me here, however you choose to proceed with this online space. Xoxo, reader for life.

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  5. like k8te, i too am a new reader of your blog and i'm typically really picky about the blogs i read! lately, when i sift through the countless blogs on bloglovin, i'm very put off by a blog with nothing but photos. i personally don't need to see pics of your breakfast or what you wore today in excess, unless you're really going to supplement them with something good to read. this is why i really love your blog! you posts photos (but never too many; always just the right amount), but you always write something that goes along with them and i really like reading what you have to say. even your wordless wednesday is great. the pics you post are beautiful, but i really like it that you don't go overboard to the point where i'm scrolling and scrolling and there are simply no words!

    you give us just the right amount into your life and your daughter's and i think that's fine. we don't need to know all of it. i personally think it's better that you don't chronicle your daughter's entire life on your blog. those moments when they're young are entirely yours and don't need to be shared with everyone, esp. strangers. it's fine to share a few moments, the ones that stand out, but as for the rest, you should keep those as yours only.

    you are a great writer and i feel that you can always simply blog for yourself. i'll read it regardless, because i really like hearing what you have to say about things, even things that i'm too young to know about (esp. in regard to motherhood), but it's still very insightful and as i said before, you're a great writer. i enjoy reading your blog.

    there will always be those people who have nothing nice to say or think you should blog this way or that. i say, do whatever you feel is right for you. some people may not like it, but so what! who cares!

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  6. I feel like blogging has become something so different from what it used to be. Now it seems like a lot of bloggers are only writing for an audience, for advertising, for hits. They've created Facebook pages for their blogs, and try to pin blog entries on pinterest to get people to read them. I remember 5-10 years ago, blogging was about creating amazing friendships. I still have a lot of those friendships, though some have gone away because of changes we have all gone through in life that may not coincide with what's going on in my or their lives.... But it's hard these days to make real blog friends anymore. It kind of sucks. That's what I most enjoyed about blogging.

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  7. Nothing fancy to add either except I love seeing your blog pop up in my reader. I also understand when it doesn't because it's just nice to live life offline sometimes. And seriously I don't know how people can blog so much with little ones either, it's baffling and I don't even have kids yet, ha.

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  8. I have a very similar post musing about why I blogged that was supposed to be a break but I just haven't gone back. It's freeing really, especially with a toddler; right around when my son turned one I was very burnt out about what/how much I was sharing and whether my motives for family outings were to show off or capture memories for us and the lack of time and inspiration. I don't spend time on the computer or even my phone during the day because you nailed it, babies latch onto those opportunities and then are very loudly disappointed when it's not for them and during nap times I sleep too which makes for a much happier mommy. After bedtime I just wanna hang out with my husband not schedule posts and wait for comments.
    I don't know where people find the time with multiple kids to blog either but I know I can't do it with one kid and honestly, I don't miss it all that much. I'm glad it was a part of my life when I was into it but I've moved on and it makes me a lot more present for real life, to enjoy things in the moment and not worry about not having good enough pictures or content for the blog later.
    I guess I'm just saying I get you and I have for a lot of your recent posts about mommyhood, so you're not alone!

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  9. Your haters are so few compared to the number of people who adore your blog (and they probably felt mortified and remorseful the moment you called out their nastiness). Don't be influenced for a second by the opinions of people who don't care about or do anything for you.

    Everyone loves how you write about your everyday life, whether that means posts about your daughter, lotus bowls, emo thoughts, street sweeping tickets, or whatever! You have such a sweet, relatable personality and are an absolute pleasure to read.

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  10. Kerri, I admire you so much for not going along with the crowd and trying to "keep up"--it's given me so much freedom with my own blog. You have always been my favorite blogger because you're so real; so easy to relate to. I'm a new blogger, but I'm learning to set boundaries and not pressure myself to be like everyone else. I want to write for the sake of writing, like you do, and not to be the next big blogger. Anyway, thank you for keeping it real!

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  11. I will always get excited to see posts from you - however often you decide to do that. :)

    I used to think a lot about if I blogged for myself or others. I do in the sense that I LOVE to look at my blog as a record of my life. What was it like to be pregnant? I forget. So I look at my blog. What was it like to have a 2 month old? I forget, so I look at my blog. Where did we go last year in April? And so on.

    BUT, I once read that bloggers want to be read, otherwise they'd just keep a private diary. And I think that's true, too. And so, I realize that it's a balance of the two. You can't truly blog like no one's reading because you are blogging precisely BECAUSE people are reading (or you hope people are reading.)

    And I blog at work. ;) Sooooo. That's how this mama does it.

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  12. That's one of the things I love about your blog. You're not constantly blogging everyday just because your 'readers' expect you to, and you don't post photos all the time of your daughter(which I personally really respect, but it's good to keep most of her life private if that's what you want), and do many of the other things other bloggers do just to have more awareness in the blog world.
    I think you should keep doing what you're doing. Your blog is for you, and you're doing a great job. I really love when you post, because you write thoughtful posts like this, and it's great to read. And a lot of what you write reminds me of myself, and that's refreshing to see in the 'blog world'.

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  13. please don't stop blogging just because you don't know what to say. I love your blog (and your etsy shop - I want an Eisley necklace and am gonna order one!!!). You are REAL. That is what I love about you. You blog about your trials, tribulations and joys. That's REAL LIFE. And I love it!

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  14. Congratulations on your seven years with Jay! You two really inspire me. As you know, you have helped me through so much over the last (four?!) years- when I had a blog and didn't, I loved knowing my fellow Felicity-loving friend was there. Even though I'm a college graduate, I still listen to the "freshman mix" you made for me often. I am so happy you've continued to blog through it all and I know when you're not blogging its just because you're busy being an amazing mama to Eisley. Keep on being you.

    -Brittany

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  15. This. This. This. All day long. I took a several month break from blogging after my first baby and I'm struggling with the what and why do I do this? There is entirely too much fakeness/competitiveness/look at me around and I get pretty beaten down reading those types of things. But when it comes time to write, that's all I can seem to muster up as well. And sheesh, I don't even have to worry about ads/sponsors! I don't know how you do it. But whatever you do, do it for you, because thats what's the best. We'll be here - judgement free - and ready to share in the ups and downs.

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  16. I relate to all of this so well. I want to write what I want to write without worrying about who is reading! Good thoughts and thanks for being honest and open!

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  17. "Do I write without regard to who may be reading, unashamed of my thoughts and fears and stories? Do I write with the main goal of capturing the moments in my daughter's life before they're forgotten?" <--- This right here? These glimpses of your true self, genuine snapshots of your life? Those are the blogs I love best. It's the "rule" I keep for myself. Because ultimately, I am blogging for myself. And if someone wants to read, wants to see these pieces of my life? They're there but I won't pressure myself to deviate from what I want to capture. And I don't share it all (I actually blogged about that recently) but I like that, like a living photo album, it contains windows into my world. People will judge me if they want, whether it's on my blog or in the grocery store or at the office. But I won't allow their pettiness to define me or my life or my decisions. I carry on. I am a positive person, so a lot of my blog is upbeat, but I have my occasional rants too. It's an accurate representation of what anyone gets when they know me in person too, which I guess is my barometer of the authenticity of what I share on my blog. I won't link to it, but there is a blog I really enjoy called "Under the Sycamore" (it comes up when you Google it) and I find the blogger so inspiring in a thousand different ways. Reading what she shares encourages me to keep being myself when I blog. Just keep being yourself, share what you're comfortable sharing, when you feel inspired. That's what makes your blog such a beautiful piece of the internet.

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