Trying to Find My Blogging Way

I love to write. I need to write. I started this blog because I thought it would force me write on a regular basis. And for a while, it did. I’m constantly composing posts in my head but they don’t always make it from there to here. I think blogging makes my writing sloppy sometimes because rather than post when I have something to say (isn’t that blogging 101?) I start to worry that if I haven’t posted in a while that the 3 readers I have will forget about me so I pull something out of my ass and post it.

I know when I’ve written well. I know the difference between a shitty post, a lazy post and a well-written, well-thought-out, honest post that resonates with other people.

I’m jealous of writers that consistently post great writing. I’m in awe of their storytelling. I’m envious of the ones who’ve found a niche—and an audience—because I’m not always sure where I fit into the hierarchy of the blogosphere.

I just read a post on ABDPBT called One Line Bio and Figuring Out Your Blog’s Story. Anna writes about bloggers needing to figuring what their “thing” is—are you a mommy blogger, a food writer or was there an event that defined your or your blog? Figuring out My Thing is EXACTLY what I’ve been trying to do lately. In my comment to her I said “I don’t fit into any niche—I’m not a mommy, I don’t write about business or a hobby. I’m a 41-year-old, childless, working woman who’s addicted to reality TV. I write about my dogs, my life, and whatever else moves me.”

There are huge chunks of my life that aren’t fair game for this blog. I don’t give details about my job, I don’t talk about my stepsons because they’re adults who don’t really want me telling all their business, and I don’t write about my granddaughters because I want to protect their privacy. So that leaves me out of the mommyblogger category (which is fine because it seems a little crowded sometimes). I rarely write about politics unless I’m really pissed off. I don’t review anything. I don’t have my own kids so I write about my dogs and I’m pretty no one finds them as endearing as I do. I bitch about L.A. traffic, rude people in Starbucks, my love of reality TV and a whole bunch of other randomness.

So where does that leave me? I wonder if my focus is too broad. Or not broad enough. I’ve actually thought about abandoning this blog and maybe starting over. At one point I thought about starting a blog about dogs. I’ve even considered ditching blogging altogether. Which, truth be told, I don’t really want to do.

This is not the first time I’ve mulled this over. It’s been frustrating because I feel like I have to force myself into a niche but I don’t want this space to feel forced or contrived. I don’t want to make up a niche or a topic. I don’t want to be like some of the bloggers who are so entrenched in their niche that they can’t break free from it even though we know and they know they should have a long time ago. I like the freedom to write about anything and everything. I like the idea of this blog being like sitting in your girlfriend’s kitchen—or more accurately, like drinks out with the girls on a Friday night.

I think I’m too self-conscious. I don’t think I’ve mastered the art of putting it all out there—without putting it ALL out there. Somehow I need to figure it all out.

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Comments

  1. says

    There’s nowt wrong with the occasional bout of navel-gazing (I do a lot of it).

    I think there is unnecessary drive to force blogs into categorising themselves as mommy (or mummy) blogs, daddy blogs, writing, etc. The truth is that many of them work well because of it, they have a clear central theme and message and they are thusly more easily understandable. I would also assume they are much easier to write for.

    However, many of the really good blogs are those that aren’t necessarily categorised and where the unifying ‘theme’ happens to the voice of the blogger, whatever the subject matter. The reason I read your blog and many others is because they cover a whole range of subjects and issues, many of which I wouldn’t think of or consider or know about. Underlying all that, of course, is that I am ultimately very interested in the person blogging, and what he or she has to say about everything. People are multi-faceted, and that is what appeals to me.

    So, for me, your voice is strong and clear; I am never really sure what to expect when a notification pops up in my rss reader but I know it will be interesting and entertaining and more often than not thought-provoking. As a description of your blog, that is a good enough category for me.

  2. says

    I went away from Anna’s post and promptly wrote my own too.

    But it’s funny you know, I’ve not visited here before, but I’ve seen your URL on comments at Anna’s and ‘The Daily Snark’ is memorable. It’s how I had you in my mind, without even reading and maybe that’s all you need, you know?

  3. Mary says

    I’m right there with you, my dear. Which is why I’ve been on hiatus. My posts were lazy and forced and boring to even me. I appreciate the 4 people who regularly visit my blog, but they deserve better.

    I find nothing lazy or half-assed about your blog though. I love love love reading about your dogs (and seeing their beautiful faces). And I think you are right to not write about your step sons and grand children – theirs is not your story to tell. I have more respect for you for NOT including them.

    Keep doing what you are doing. Yours is a fun, entertaining blog and it makes me smile when I see a new post from you.

    xoxo

  4. says

    I’ve been going through something similar myself, but you’ve given me an idea: I wonder if we could create a new niche, or, rather, anti-niche, of the slacker blogger.

    We’re in the same generation—post-boomer, Gen-X—what I used to call the Un-Generation because, unlike the boomers, there seemed to be so little to tie us all together.

    So why not go with that? This is who we’ve (uncollectively collectively) have always been. We could call it the ‘dishabille’ style. . . .

  5. says

    I think you’re doing fine. I fit into a niche technically because I have kids, but in general my blog is just whatever I feel like talking about. I don’t want to categorize it too much because then I’m limited in what I talk about, and anything over and over gets boring after a while. your niche is you – and no one else can fill it!

    ps: i totally find your dogs as endearing as you do! I am dreaming of the day I can get my own!

  6. says

    I love your blog…niche or no niche. You are a very talented writer and I also like to read what you have to say no matter the topics.

    Every day when I drive into work I go through a particular section of traffic where other are the mergers and I am simply driving straight, minding my own business…I laugh in my head every day when I get to this part of my travels b/c I recall the blog where you wrote about merging and the associated frustrations. I refuse to change lanes…I was there first. And you can file that under snarky!! Keep up the great posts!!

  7. says

    I’m so glad i found you on the blog frog today….i wanted you to know that you need to just let go and write freely. That’s the beauty of blogging. I blog on Freckles and Fudge where most days are rants and raves about the douches in my life and then i write about the inspirations in my life….i’m all over the place but what i love is that whatever mood i’m in, i write about it…i don’t care what anyone thinks! I’d love to read you on my big screen now:) Go for it!

    http://torijean.blogspot.com

    http://forblogs.blogspot.com

    Also, feel free to jump in our hops…we have no rules and you can meet some similar blog buddies:) have a good night

  8. says

    You over think it darling.

    I could call myself a mommy blogger. But only once in a while do I really talk about them. I’m a single, newly divorced, mom to three. But that doesn’t need to define my blog.

    Write from your heart. Tell your head to get out of the way. You can do it, I know it.

  9. says

    Wow! You guys are awesome! Thank you for the compliments.

    I definitely over-think this whole thing sometimes and I let my head get in my way. I also tend to censor myself at times—I don’t know if it’s because I’m afraid of what you all will think of me (hello insecurity!) or if it’s just because I get self-conscious and hold back.

    Most of the blogs I’m drawn to don’t always have a theme or a niche so I have no idea why I feel I need to shoehorn my blog into one. I love good writing and great storytelling and I definitely look for a strong voice. Some of the blogs I read I go back to because I feel like I would be friends with some of the writers if I were to actually meet them—our stories and lives may not be the same but they just seem like my kind of people.

    I guess I just need to get over it and get over myself and write freely.

  10. says

    I always enjoy your blog posts so I hope you don’t give up on it. I don’t see any reason to label ourselves, or to place ourselves into some set category or blog niche. I don’t fit into a niche myself really…which may be partly why I was drawn to your blog. :) I write what I think. I write what I feel. And I censor myself less and less the more I blog. I figured out that, for me, I am blogging for myself first and foremost, because I enjoy it…because I need the creative outlet…because it fills a space within me that I need to fill. If people like it, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s OK too. Sometimes I post a lot. Sometimes, not so much. But I only post when I want to post, because that’s the only time I’m being true to myself, and to whatever readers or followers I might have.

    Your blog is wonderful…and I’m glad I found it. Happy Holidays!

    • says

      Hey Vic,

      I just popped on for the first time since I wrote this post. I’ve been working 12-15 hour days for the past week and just haven’t had time to log in—forget about writing. But I’m here! Thanks for the holiday wishes. I hope you have a great holiday too!

  11. says

    Mo, You pegged me at least twice (writing 101 and having a niche no matter what). I wish I had your character, and truth be told, your writing talent. So please, keep it up, I need the lessons!

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