You may have noticed in the past two weeks that the look and feel of my blog has been changing. Dare I say “evolving”? This isn’t happening by mistake. Oh, if only good blogs could happen by mistake. Trust me, they don’t.
No, there’s no mistake to it; I’m trying to make my blog better. I want to write, I want to write well, and I want people to read what I write.
I started this blog because I like to write, but writing isn’t something I just like to do. There’s a part of me that needs to write and wants people to want to read it. There, I said it.
When my salad days as Suzie HappyHomeschoolMom
came crashing to an abrupt end, were waning, and I realized that the place where I used to write wasn’t going to be a place I could safely write anymore, I started this blog.
But, immediately, from my very first little blog post, I felt the keen lack of give and take that writing on an active forum provides. On a forum, you write, others write back–reflecting your thoughts back and giving you their new thoughts–you write, they write, lather, rinse, repeat. It’s a conversation. And, as an isolated homeschool mom home all day with children, the thing I craved most, after a brand new pair of soft, flannel pajamas, was adult conversation.
My very first blog post generated one whole comment. ONE. At least it was a good comment and it came from the person who probably was most responsible for my starting to blog in the first place, my friend, Magnolia, a wonderful writer who writes about Perimenopause .
It’s been three years now since that first shaky little post, and slowly but surely, I’ve continued writing about the things that matter to me most: my kids, my faith, my rear-end, and people have stopped by for a read, and I’ve been very grateful. I still don’t feel like I’ve figured out how best to connect to my readers. I get few comments and usually only from my friends who have to comment because they love me. I really don’t know what my readers think or want or feel about the things I say because I’m the one doing most of the talking here. And, frankly, I must admit that I’m a bit conflicted to invite comments because I’ve felt the harsh, heavy hand of criticism before, and it didn’t feel very nice.
So–blah, blah, blah, navel-gazing, navel-gazing, witty remark, soulful realization–let’s save us all some time and fast-forward to today and get to the point of this post; When Worlds Collide.
Two weeks ago, quite by accident, I stumbled upon an interesting fact: While I’ve been obliviously blogging whatever strikes my fancy, Facebook, Google, and Amazon have become like some creepy intertwined science fiction horror movie virus. Innocently touch any one of them, and eventually you’ll find that every area of your life is infected by them all. This is what happened to me and Chloe of the Mountain and, while it scared me to death, it also thrilled me. Maybe it was time for it all to come together.
All the parts that I’d kept more or less compartmentalized: the homeschool mom, the blogger, the facebook friend, the forum friend, the forum dissenter, the sister, the mom, the wife, the daughter-in-law, and the Woman-Who’s-Had-It-Up-To-Here, were all going to come crashing together and, thanks to the magic of the cache file, there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Because….
….The only way to stay safe is to isolate yourself from the world.
I know some are doing that, but I’m just not going there.
Aside from the depressing social isolation and being forced to have sex with a man old enough to be my grandpa, me and the Fun Girls would look terrible in pastel drop-waist prairie dresses.
These are the Fun Girls:
|The Fun Girls|
These? Not so much.
|The Not As Fun Girls|
Whether we like it or not, everything we now say and do is being recorded for all posterity, searchable in a moment with just a point and a click. I warned my own children about this, hell, one of my posts here on this blog is about this very thing, but I didn’t really think it would happen to me. Oh well. It’s what it is.
Ann Lamott, one of my writing heroes who almost single-handedly saved my Christian faith from a life-sucking, soul-crushing abyss, suggests that writers use fiction to safely tell their truths. I’ve been thinking a lot about that and wondering if I could write fiction. But even then the people whose names I might change to protect would know I’m talking about them. And how would I ever change my own name to protect myself? Actually, I tried that, but thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, everyone eventually knows who you are anyway; there is nowhere in this world to hide from one’s critics. Only someone smart like Steig Larsson, who had the good sense to die before his works were published, gets away from their critics. And I’m not willing to go there either.