Monday, January 10, 2011

Offending, Finding my Voice, Why I Blog, and a POLL

If you get bored of this post and just want me to get back onto a topic that interests you, please see the poll in my side bar and tell me what you want to read about!  You can also leave your ideas in the comments or email them to me at contentedlycrunchy@gmail.com

Offending
I had a tense phone call with a family member (I'll call her S) last week.  She was upset about some of the things I've said on my blog that she felt were indictments of her choices, lifestyle, etc.  Being two intelligent women, I think we ended up having a good talk followed by even better/clearer communications via email.  The conversation got me thinking about so many things and, as always, I'm not sure where to begin.  So I'll dive in.  I guess this post is more for context than anything.

One of the issues was nuance - nothing I've written on my blog is really as black and white as it might appear.  And I really do mean nothing.  But until S pointed it out, I didn't realize just how much nuance I was not getting at and how that could result in statements that read as stronger than I really meant them to be.  I'll try to do better, but I also make no promises.  I don't often get more than 20 minutes of uninterrupted time, my writing skills feel rusty, my thoughts about any issues are often interrupted by parenting needs.  It's just the way it goes!

(I'd just like to insert here, for the record, that I just deleted two paragraphs because I am not sure I want to discuss some things here on my blog, though they add a bit more context and nuance to this post....which leads me to the next section....)

Finding My Voice
Looking at every post title, I can come up with a list of things that I edited out for length/interest, or didn't find the time to work into the format of the post or figured I'd save for another post,  or omitted in trying not to confuse the heck out of readers that haven't known me for years.  Or there are even things that are not well-formatted or well-worded but I was tired of paining over them and just wanted to publish already!  In this way, I guess I'm still finding my voice on this blog - still deciding what I'm going to share of myself and what exactly the focus of the blog will be.

Essentially, the blog feels like an on-going project or conversation and every post feels slightly "To Be Continued..."

I mean, I've currently got the project of writing about all the cloth stuff (I haven't talked about troubleshooting and the massive pain in the ass that is yeast in a cloth diapering family, I haven't gotten to how to wash your diapers, and I have only gotten around to writing about diapers - which are, to me, sort of the most banal of the cloth possibilities because I've read about them and used them for so long - though I know several readers are waiting to hear about other things and have even emailed me!)

I spend my days doing a lot of face/hand-washing and ouchie-kissing and meal-planning and shushing and bouncing and nursing and redirecting and explaining (and re-explaining).  And then there's the laundry (which is currently epic in the face of yeast...).  This blog is just my adult thoughts for the day.  They're not springing forth fully-formed, so sometimes I need to work stuff out with other people (like all this commercialism stuff?  Writing and discussion is helping me figure out what is really bothersome, what is worth addressing, what to let go, etc.)

So, I will try to get at the nuances - and I'm sure I will eventually find and really settle on my voice and/or a narrower topic for this blog.  For now, I am glad to be writing again and dusting off my critical thinking skills on a more regular basis.  Even more so, I'm glad to be engaging in discussions with anyone who is willing!

Why I blog
I've had this list as a draft for awhile - it was something I've been musing over.  Nothing terribly earth-shattering, but this seems an appropriate place to put it (and it gets it off my draft list...)
  • a chance to be heard.  My 2-year-old certainly doesn't want to hear about this stuff, and my husband and I sometimes can't make the time or he's not terribly interested in some of the particulars :)
  • it allows me to think through some issues, but I don't have to do it all at once - I currently have 15 drafts that are unfinished....(that's also how I manage to keep a blog at all - I start them and add to them and finally finish them whenever I can)
  • I miss writing.  I have never been much of a creative writer.  I always loved writing papers in college, though.
  • I miss school, and I'm still so curious.  I research everything I think of!  (Obvious from the monotreme post, right?)
  • I have thought about monetizing my blog, but 
    • It's more important for me to engage in discussion - I don't need a business, I need a social hobby (even if it's only virtually social)
    • I don't have the traffic to make it very lucrative
    • I don't have the time/energy to devote to building readership right now
    • I would be so picky about who could advertise!  The easiest way would be to do the Google ads, I think.  But I couldn't approve who could advertise on my blog - only say categories of items that are not allowed to advertise on my blog.  I want more control than that! 
The Poll
I've added a poll (in my sidebar, just under the "About Me" section) that will stay up through Friday.  It's titles of drafts that are started in some form or other.  Let me know what you'd like to hear about next - or shoot me an email at contentedlycrunchy@gmail.com or leave a comment if you have another idea.  I figure I'd rather write what interests the most people, since they're all things that interest me.  I am working on a long post right now that I hope to have published before the weekend...then I'll tackle whatever you tell me to.

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