My name is Marlene and I am a blogger. At first it all started innocently enough with a few blog posts on WordPress. Having always enjoyed writing I figured I would just jot down a few thoughts in between loads of laundry and put them out there. I learned how to set up my site and was up and running in no time at all. I shared those initial blogs on Facebook and smiled at the likes and encouraging comments I received. I admit the positive feedback felt good and I was deeply grateful to the friends who shared my blogs. I checked my stats and marveled at all the people in the different countries who read what I had to say. I said things like, “isn’t that lovely, someone from Australia just read my post?” It was just nice to be writing again.
But all too soon it became apparent that my little WordPress site wasn’t going to be enough. I needed more. I moved on to sending out my blogs to online publications. A dear friend, who I now realize was an enabler, had sent me the list to feed my addiction. When the first blog I sent out was accepted for publication I felt heady intoxication. The positive reinforcement became something I started to crave. I was used to snarky comments from my children, not this sudden validation that I still had a brain. It was a rush I couldn’t explain. I also discovered that the blogging community is one that is comprised of supportive and intelligent people. It was a community I wanted to be a part of.
Each day I started searching the news for topics to write about. I lay awake at night thinking about my next blog topic—hoping for an idea that would go viral. Friends and family started to shy away from me; concerned that anything they might say in my presence might turn up in a blog post. “Write about something other than us’ my middle son implored. Was there something other than my family I could write about? I considered my son’s request for a brief moment but then realized that I had spent two and a half decades devoting my life to my children and they owed me—it was my right to write about them and their antics. Antics, which, I might add, had probably taken decades off my life. My existence had become so much about being a mom that when it came time to send a bio and headshot to the online publications I couldn’t even find a picture of myself that didn’t include my husband and kids. I finally found one where I was able to mostly crop them out.
In my quest to write the perfect blog the laundry started piling up, the breakfast dishes remained on the table and I stopped going to my spin class. Ok maybe I hadn’t started taking a spin class but I had definitely considered it. I knew I would have to get myself under control before I lost it all.
I decided that while I would continue to write, I would do it at a more moderate pace. I would allow my family a modicum of privacy and scale back on checking the views and clicks my posts received. I even bought a Peloton bike for the house so I can take spin classes in between writing my blogs. This is a cautionary tale for anyone considering starting his or her own blog. Blogging can suck you in before you realize what is happening. Proceed with caution. But if you have a desire to write, do proceed, because it really can be fun and fulfilling.