4.27.2009

Who's That Girl?

I like to write with a clear idea, a strong voice and a consistent tone. I hope I’m engaging, and I hope that when I read back over my posts, I am happy with what I’ve written.

I always draft my posts in Word, allowing for edits and re-reads and more edits. That a post may include a typo – or worse, an honest-to-goodness grammatical mistake – is enough to instill panic.

When I began this blog (well, when I started my previous blog), it wasn’t only to document my experiences as a new mother. It was to award myself the opportunity to write the editorial, lifestyle pieces I always dreamed of writing in a magazine column, should anyone ever offer me a magazine column to write. I wanted to have presence as a writer, and I wanted my readers to mostly know what to expect when they swung by.

It’s been almost 4 years now, and I like what my blog has become. I’m no super-blogger; I doubt I’ll ever hit triple-digit one-day hits, or even triple-digit subscribers. That’s cool with me; I’m not about the fame. I don’t need to make money off my blog – I’m a copywriter by day; I already get paid to write.

But I think I’ve written myself into a corner here. I think I have worked so hard to cultivate my voice and my style, that I have started to limit what I write about because I think it will contradict the image that I have cultivated of myself – as a writer, a mother, a woman.

I think I do have a fairly strong blog ‘persona’ – I am a pretty hardcore attachment parent; I can be a bitch; I eat healthy food; I am sarcastic; I cry a lot.

That’s great. That means that I can write lots and lots about my joy in extended breastfeeding while lamenting the state of my saggy ass and the world in general. I can write about food here and move out of my box a little bit here. I can seriously fuck up crafty projects and attempts at exercising and invite you to make fun of the results. I love a lot of things and hate on a lot of others. I complete you, I’m sure of it.

I like action. All of my tags are verbs. It’s no coincidence. But what happens when the action cannot be categorized by any of my clever little verbs? What happens when life doesn’t just give me lemons, it gives me battery acid? Ok well, I’ll write about the rough patches. Everybody that ever looked at a their stats knows that the blogosphere loves misery.

But what happens when the way my life is going doesn’t exactly correspond with the neat, tidy little image of myself I have grown here? I like to bitch, but I hate to complain. Do I always have to be the poster-mom for co-sleeping and organic food? Are my morals, my image, compromised if I dare to admit that while I love sharing the bed with my children, I don’t always like it?

I refrain from writing a lot of stories, not only because I am a little bit cautious about what I let float into the ether, but also because I think that you think of me in a certain way, and I don’t want to compromise that. In fact, I will probably regret writing that last paragraph for some time to come.

It’s like my body – if I don’t admit that I’ve put on weight, you’ll still think of me as the tiny person I used to be, right?

I put a lot of pressure on myself here, and like many things in my life, when the going gets tough, I tend to check out. Easier to just not write for a while. It’s not writer’s block, or burnout, and it’s not exactly censorship. More of an identity-crisis kind of thing, and how fucking lame is that?

Anyway, I’m going to work it out, and I’m going to work it out here. Because really, there’s no place I’d rather be, regardless of whomever it is I end up being.


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12 comments:

  1. Work it out, baby. Work it out. I don't expect you to be this persona--as much as I love her particular brand of sass and sappiness. I'm sure I'll like getting to know your other selves as well. My daughter cycles through at least a dozen personalities a day with her pretending. I think I am up to the challenge of a little variation in blog voice.

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  2. You KNOW I know how you feel.

    I'm in the process of working it out too, as you know, and I'm looking at it as an opportunity. And if I look at it that way, it's exciting to me.

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  3. I understand exactly what you mean. I write for FE and sometimes--when my life spins out of control and things are HARD--I feel as if I'm projecting a cool, collected, got-it-together persona that's just not real. But it helps me, too--helps me stay focused and in perspective. I remind myself that my blogging/writing life is one facet of myself.

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  4. Yes, go for it! I know what you mean. Now that I'm blogging under my real name, I feel that very strongly.

    (And I'd be so relieved if you admitted that you don't always like co-sleeping, even though you love it. Plus, I always figure people are just lying - to themselves or to everyone else - if everything is always roses.)

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  5. At the risk of sounding trite, just be yourself. We'll only love you more for it.

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  6. Hi, I started following your blog last month and I am enjoying it. And I don't care who you are. Well, you know what I mean. I have no expectations about reading about a poster child of anything. That would be boring. I could read your blog once and then never come back. Where is the fun in that?

    I just started blogging and I am figuring out what I want it to be. Big confession, I started so I could enter giveaways on all these mommy blogs. Kind of sad, but I like free stuff and turns out I also love blogging. Make it whatever you want!

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  7. I don't think you have to be any one type of person at all. Everything you write about is another piece of the puzzle. We won't be able to see the whole picture without all the pieces.

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  8. First of all- As if you are one type of person... you got layers baby. We all do. It what makes us crazy. Women. Human.

    Secondly- Forget about it. (Last sentence to be read with a cheesy attempt at a New Yorker's accent) Forget about thinking that is. It's overrated. Especially thinking about what other people think. Or grammar.

    And as for three- when your stressing about organics... remember that sassy little nymph that hosted me for a week or more by serving me a variety delicious sandwich maker offerings. I don't think I have to remind you how satisfying they were.

    And when in doubt: Lower expectations. For yourself, others and life. Or, do as I do... Buy yourself something pretty. Cut out the size tag.

    Love you.

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  9. your friendly midwifeApril 29, 2009

    that was my favourite entry yet! No wonder I looked forward to visits with you!!

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  10. I like you better now that you've admitted you don't always like sharing your bed. Is that why you think you'll regret writing that?

    I don't even spellcheck my posts and you seem somewhat attached to me so really cut yourself some slack and give us some credit. We adore you.

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  11. I love the way you write-always so honest and eloquent and most often with such a fantastic sense of humor.
    I love that in a blog (and in a person)

    I wish I had such writing skills.
    Lately there is so much I would love to write about but can never find the time, courage or well...the words...
    You always inspire me.

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  12. But aren't we all multi-faceted, and different part shine out more brightly on different days, so why feel limited? It's not like your readers don't know you to be complicated and welcome whatever parts you want to write about.

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Talk to me.