I swore I wasn’t going to write this post. Blogging about blogging is so annoying. On the other hand, who else cares about the state of the blog than those who read it?
I’ve been blogging for almost five years. Next month will mark my five-year “blogiversary”. With as many as four posts a day at times, I’ve said A LOT over the years (and the people say amen!)
Sometimes I sit down and start to write and get this overwhelming sense of déjà vu. As we cycle through the seasons, many themes begin to repeat themselves. There are only so many times I can complain about the pokey onset of springtime in the northeast or put out a holiday gift guide before people will start to click away.
Sometimes I think I’ve said all there is to say.
Although more often than not, I actually have things I want to say; but when I sit down at the computer, I feel like I’m writing with one hand tied behind my back. Whatever I say, I’m afraid it will offend someone somewhere, or someone will feel like I am writing specifically about them, even when I’m not (and would never do that intentionally).
When I started my blog, it was fairly anonymous. I did share it with some distant friends and family, but most people in my life did not even know about it. Now, just about EVERYONE I remotely know or ever have known at least KNOWS about my blog, whether or not they read regularly — neighbors, school parents, church members, long lost college and high school friends that rediscovered me on Facebook . . . Hello! Yes, I’m talking about YOU!
So many issues that would be excellent blog fodder feel taboo, based on the wide variety of friends and acquaintances who read my blog. It’s not that what I have to say is inappropriate, it’s just that I fear something I write will be misunderstood, or someone will mistakenly think I’m writing a post about or to them. Or sometimes I actually DO want to write a post about something that happened that involves someone else, but it’s not appropriate to discuss it in a public forum.
In the past five years, my kids have changed a lot too. When I started blogging, I had a newborn, a 3-year-old, and a 6-year-old. They were oblivious to anything I was putting out in cyberspace. Nowadays they are 5, 8, and 11. They are very much aware of what I put on my blog. Parenting issues that I’m struggling with are suddenly not appropriate to discuss in this space.
As a result, I’m starting to feel like my content is getting watered down, and quite frankly, I’m losing interest. It’s easier to write for Eat Local Philly or Therapon or All Things Chic — at least those sites offer a service of some sort.
Sometimes I wish I could start over and write anonymously. It would be so freeing to write whatever is on my heart and mind and not worry about someone taking it the wrong way. Does anyone else feel this way?
I suppose I could focus on the more informative type of posts — like the one I did recently on car seat safety, the fashion ones, blogging tips and such — but that’s not the heart of my blog.
Tell me, what do you come here for? Which types of posts are your favorites? What about this blog keeps you coming back?
In the end, I don’t have any plans to change anything, although posting may be less frequent than it once was (as they breathe a collective sigh of relief) and there are a lot of things I will just have to leave unsaid. I just figured I’d share what is on my mind.
106 thoughts on “State of the Blog Address”
i haen’t read all the comments but what i have read seems to echo my own feelings. i can completely understand that after 5 years that the blog and how you feel about it, has changed, like any “job”.
I can’t remember how i found your blog but what draws me to it, is your writing. i’m living in ireland bringing up my kids and trying to make sense of life! to know that the problems/issues/delights can be so similar and yet so far away, is actually comforting.
as for a offending people, well you can’t go on the internet without risking that! i haven’t always agreed with your posts but i’ve certainly never been offended. your style of writing is always what keeps me reading. Also from reading your articles i’ve gone off and researched something you wrote about and made up my own mind.
life in the internet does become more complex when our children (mine are of a similar age) grow, for a whole variety of reasons. my take is if i would be happy to shout it in my kids school playground then, it should be okay on the internet.
whatever you decide to do, thanks for proing me with entertainment/ideas/thought provcation!
Posts like this one are what I like about your blog – you are honest. I also like that you introduce me to random things like the book Born to Run and your Vibrams. (Haven’t bought them yet but when I do, I’ll be thinking, at least the Musings of a Housewife woman is wearing these funky things too!) And the video of carolers taking over the department store – got me all choked up. Your food posts give me a lot to think about. I guess what I most like about your blog is that – while remaining really polite about it all and not going down ugly paths, you seem to speak your mind and continue to learn and grow and better yourself (while dressing adorably, of course). So it’s like a breath of fresh air and inspiration if that makes sense.
Honestly, I come here to find out what’s up with Jo-Lynne. I’ve been reading your blog for I about 3 years and you were one of the FIRST ones I branched out and started reading (via Nicole from As Many as Were Given). I think I’ve always seen you as a pioneer of “mom blogging” and like to keep up with you and your family. Plus, you are a little ahead of me as far as the kids go so it’s nice to see/read what your up to as you blaze the trail with a little bit older children. If there’s anything specific that I do like it’s definitely some of your posts about your new food/diet/eating ways. But really, I just like YOU and what you have to say. 🙂 I certainly hope you’ll continue…
I try not to censor myself based upon who I think may be reading my blog but I have been confronted about things said on my blog so I try to thing about things before I say them. I still feel like I am very open and honest though.
My favorite posts of yours are your fashion posts.
I realize I’m jumping into this pretty late in the comments, but I really wanted to throw in my two cents, although probably not so dif from the others left before me.
I think you are totally rad and your blog is a big part of why I started my own. You connect to your readers by being authentic and by the natural ease to your writing style. I love hearing about your kids or your journey through the gluten free experience or your opinions about mini vans or fashion tips.
For me, blogging is about finding a connection in this crazy whirlwind of a world and using screens as a positive form of connection instead of the typical portrayal of people disconnected from others by their tech. I think you connect with your writing and you make us readers feel included even though we have never met you and likely never will.
I do understand the desire not to cause misunderstandings or step on any toes, but as for not being understood in the comments – how much does it matter? Are they seeing something else in your words or are they disparaging you and calling you out? Everyone has their own spin on things and like any other art form, the written word is up for interpretation. As long as no one is being hurtful and you can explain your intent to those you truly care about the opinions of, it’s all good.
All that being said, if it doesn’t give you joy then let it go. But you will be sorely missed.
I very much enjoy reading your blog. I think you are smart funny and right on point. Write about whatever you want, it is Your blog, your thoughts and feelings. Those who are offended often enough will eventually stop reading anyway and that will leave you to open up and write about whatever is that’s on that smart brain of yours.
Your feelings are totally understandable! Some of the things you said are reasons why I cannot seem to post regularly on my blog. I get a blog post going in my head and then I think those same thoughts about who will read, will it cause controversy, etc. My DH jokes that I am Switzerland because when friends get into things I won’t take sides, I am the rational middle man. But I so want to let it all out, tell it like it is.
I hope you continue to blog here if it works FOR YOU. It is nice to hear other mom’s perspective on things, not to mention the reviews & informative posts you write. It is nice to have someone you relate to when you read their stuff.
I so get what you are saying. I too HOLD BACK when I blog for fear others will be hurt by my words. I have also run into this problem: I may say happy birthday with a picture for a family member and leave someone else out. Oh the drama. So NOW I feel the pressure if I do it for one, to do it for all. Sigh
I get it too. I’ve always come here for your opinionated (never did I think it was ever offensive) take on stuff – from fashion to parenting to food. I’ve always liked your style of communication – fun, honest, say-it-like-you-see-it. Some bloggers have the gift to start conversations and you have it. I’ve loved watching how you’ve grown as a blogger, branched out in new directions, and seem to enjoy the perks of the profession. There is a reason you’ve seen success! So I hope you keep going on MOAH because people love to get to know you.
I am so with you on this one and I am so thankful that you shared your heart on it. I say a couple times a week – sometimes a couple times a day – “I wish I had an underground blog” 🙂 Looking forward to what you decide to do…
I happened upon this blog by accident 2 months ago. I have no experience with blogs and have never followed one, but I did a google search for a wheat bread recipe (I think, don’t quite remember now) and you came up in the results. You immediately had me, your honestly is wonderfully refreshing, everything you write is real, and I was intrigued by your whole foods journey. I have always wanted to feed my family heathly food but was always under the impression that is was a pain and time consuming. You have tought me that is it not daunting. I have begun to like cooking a litte, I used to HATE it. You reminded me of myself, that may sound a little wierd but that is the way it was. Keep writing, I am hooked!!
I found your blog last year when I googled “coconut oil”. It is the first blog that I followed. I’ve enjoyed your whole foods journey and that is what got me to thinking about the dietary changes that I needed to make. I enjoy reading your blog no matter what topic you are talking about.
Thank you for sharing your life. Our family is now eating whole and healthy food including fresh milk and it started here at Musings.
Thanks for writing this. I come to your blog because you are funny, smart, stylish, thoughtful…and I like you. 🙂
I definitely like your “personal” posts most – your opinions, your everyday life, and your pictures. I also really enjoy your Fashion Friday column.
Best wishes as you wrestle through this new season in your life.
I’m having struggles over at MM too – trying to figure out how to blog, when to blog, and what to blog as we settle in to life on-the-road.