Changing Direction to Lifestyle Blogging
I’m No Mommy Blogger
I’ve spent years online, writing and networking for one reason or another. Over that time, I’ve built a large network. I used to think that network was just to get the word out about my books, but I was wrong. When I couldn’t write books because I was too engrossed in surviving and then just living, I blogged about it. A friend of mine kept trying to encourage me to start “Mommy Blogging” (this was years ago). That phrase felt like a round hole to my square peg.
What did I know about mommy blogging? I wasn’t one of these wealthy, stay-at-home, Eddie Bauer moms who lived to take their kids to soccer practice. And when I left my husband because I couldn’t have my children growing up thinking that our marriage was a healthy one, what did I have to offer all these well-adjusted mommies about mothering? So that title didn’t draw me in. I didn’t even try.
Blogging for Kicks
When I did blog, I blogged for kicks about things that affected or interested me:
- My newfound joy in baking Ezekiel Bread at home out of financial and physical necessity.
- Hot guys with guns who inspired stories I’d write someday.
- Recipes I created with tequila or sugar-free recipe alternatives.
- Books I read and movies I watched, some I enjoyed and others I didn’t.
- Adventures (and misadventures) in homeschooling my kids.
- My continuous struggle with living a healthier lifestyle and my attempts at losing weight.
Most of the time, I didn’t feel worthy enough to post blogs on any of these topics. Who wants to read about my stumbles and missteps and dreams that may or may not come true? I don’t have happy, joyful days every day and people won’t want to read the raw realities that I might write about. And what if they just criticize me when I’m down? What if they think I’m bragging when I’m up? These are all thoughts I had about blogging what was actually going on in my life. These were all my fears, beating me up every day. So I didn’t put myself out there.
Funny thing is, when I did occasionally find the strength to write the raw realities, I did get criticized, but I also got ten times more of that in support, praise, and camaraderie.
It was like cliff diving on a hot day. It takes forever to get up your nerve to jump. You spend all day sweating on the rock. You finally decide to jump and you practically piss yourself in fear on the way down because it takes SO LONG. Then you land in the cool water below and it is glorious! Then you surface only to find the sun has gone down. The next day you get on that cliff to do it again and realize you’re just as scared and it takes you just as long as the first time.
And you call yourself a chicken, go home, and eat a cookie.
The Evolution of a Lifestyle Blogger
Over the years, and much more recently, I’ve been reading more and more lifestyle blogs. These people don’t have perfect lives. They have kids with allergies, tiny budgets, homes that need fixing, muffin tops, dogs that vomit, dreams that haven’t come true and more. But they’re trying and they’re blogging the realities of their lives.
And they’re brave.
I want to be brave. I’ve met more than my fair share of challenges in life. Most times, I’ve thrown my shoulder into them and pressed on quietly. These are the experiences that built character (but not much fortune). Well, if I’ve got all this character stocked up, I might as well throw my shoulder into writing about these challenges.
I always say: If you’re going to growl, be a bear.
So here it is. I won’t just be writing about my books or social media. I’m switching gears and I’m going to exercise my writing muscles to write about the challenges, the roller coaster of life. I may get some criticism, but maybe some of my reality will help someone else face theirs. If I can do that for just one person, it’ll be worth it.