What-the-blog should (and shouldn’t) be blogged about

First off, despite the very misleading title, I am not about to tell anyone else what they should and should not blog about. Blog about whatever you want people. What I actually want to talk about is the way we decided what to or not to blog about. And by we, what I actually me is me.

When I started this blog my intention was to have a space where I could talk explore non-parenting topics. Food, politics, the environment, media and issues for society. And whatever else that took my fancy. I was on maternity leave and wanted an outlet for the part of me that I was missing not being at work. At first, I did blog about food and politics a bit, but as the saying goes ‘write what you know’ and soon this blog became (whisper it with me now) a mommy blog. Not that there is anything wrong about that. I love what I write about and the mommy blogging community is full of amazingly smart, witty and fascinating women.

That being said, I want to expand my writing beyond just the typically parenting topics. I want to write about whatever I find interesting. But here are some of the considerations that are influencing what I write about.

Taboo topics:

There are some topics that are just taboo to me. They may not be taboo to you. But, I am personally a bit wary of the very public nature of the interwebs. I have mentioned before online that I assume it would take about 5 minutes with google for someone to do enough sleuthing to figure out the details of who I am. And if I, I don’t know, decided to run for Prime Minister (not going to happen) or something, I would hate for this blog to come back and bite me in the butt. More realistically, I work in a Career Centre and I work with employers, I know they check out candidates online. What if someone didn’t want to hire me because I spout off online about something they considered taboo?

Back to the point, there are some topics that are a bit taboo. I have thought about writing about the big truck that drives around my city with a very graphic pro-life picture on it. But do I really want to go there on the very public interwebs? Talk about a fire keg of a topic.

Less fire keg, but also kinda taboo- I don’t tend to write much of anything about my job, other then off the cuff mentions of what I do. Because this is a personal blog and I think there is a certain level of confidentiality that should be observed.

And lastly, there are the ‘immaturely squirmish about’ topics. Jen over at the Arblog recently wrote a great review on the Diva cup, a feminine hygiene product I have been using for years. And I felt weird just tweeting it. Which is silly when you think about it, as was pointed out to me.

The same old, same old (but important):

The next category of blog topic influencers is the topics I seem to keep coming back to. These are the ones that keep drawing me in, but are making me feel like I write the same thing over and over again. Breastfeeding/formula feeding, judgment and the mantra the every kid is different and therefore what works for one kid/family won’t always work for an other. These themes dominate my blog. Try as I might to leave them be, I just keep going back. Important messages for sure, but I have so much more to say.

Oh and complaining about being busy. That too has become a theme, much to my chagrin.

Oh my limited brain power (whereby I continue to complain about being busy despite my chagrin):

As I mentioned above, when I started this blog I wanted to talk about all sorts of things. And I still do. But to talk about all sorts of things going on the the world I need to have the time to listen and pay attention to all the things going on in the world.  I used to (pre baby) watch the national news every night. Now I can’t remember the last time I watched a news program or read the paper. My brain power is focused on just running the gauntlet of daily duties, and has little space for musing on all things interesting.

Expert syndrome:

I don’t know why… but I feel pretty comfortable spouting off my opinions related to motherhood with no research into the topic what so ever. I don’t consult the experts (or I do and then I disagree), I just write.

But when it comes to topics like politics, the environment and large societal issues, I don’t feel comfortable writing about them when I haven’t, for example, watched a nightly national news program or read a newspaper in months. I feel these topics need to be researched and, well, I just don’t have time for that.

I have no illusions or intentions regarding this blog. My goal is not to be popular and I am 100% sure ‘amoment2think’ will never become a household name. That’s not the point. But I guess my point is: What do you, as a reader of this blog, want to read about? (This is where you do my job for me and give me all sorts of great ideas and topic suggestions. kthx. ) But also: If you have a blog, how do you decide what to write about? How do you branch out from an ‘established’ pattern? Where are your lines regarding what you will write about?

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13 responses to “What-the-blog should (and shouldn’t) be blogged about

  1. Fearless Formula Feeder June 25, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Well, as I’m sure you know, I’ve been struggling with similar issues lately. 😉

    But we’re talking about you here. And to answer your question, I would want to read about anything on here, as long as you were the one writing about it. I love your perspective and humor and pathos. One of the best parts about my own blogging experience has been connecting with people like you and the other ControverSunday peeps… it’s so inspiring to read the word of such intelligent women.

    I understand where you are coming from on the personal stuff, though. Before FFF, I had a personal blog about my pregnancy and career-related issues (although it ended up being primarily baby-related), and I was careful not to write anything I wouldn’t want my mother-in-law to read. Or a potential employer. I also didn’t use the real names of my husband or future child (not that I have any issue with people who do use real names on blogs, I am just paranoid that way. Which is dumb, b/c you can easily find out what my real name is by googling). Regardless, the blog-as-diary thing just made me nervous.

    I think you’ve always managed to hit the perfect balance here of keeping it “professional” (ie, if you should run for congress one day, it’d be cool) but also personal enough to make it interesting. Just keep doing what you are doing. I see the theme of this blog as “a place where we can all take a moment to think about a myriad of subjects”. Hope that’s what you were going for. 🙂

  2. Ginger June 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I don’t have any suggestions on what to write about–I like reading a lot about a lot of different things, and so I’m not the person to give you any guidance there.
    My personal rules for blogging are pretty simple–I talk about anything that I’d be willing to discuss with my mom, or say in person to anyone. That leaves out a lot: sex, religion, politics, family drama, friend issues…other than that, I just write whatever is on my mind at the time.

    • amoment2think June 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm

      I think the Mom rule is a good one and thinking about what you would say in person. I totally agree with the idea that if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, it shouldn’t be said online.

  3. Brooke June 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    When I started my mom blog it was to move the parenting stuff off my fire blog, which was linked from the local newspaper. I thought about not using names. I didn’t for a while. But the fact that so much was already so public I realized that it didn’t matter much. We have a security system. I try to be careful about writing about us being gone. I try to be funny, and my best posts I usually write in my head for a while first. I kind of feel like if I’m a memoirist that most of what I feel is public anyway, so I write about most everything as long as it’s honest, genuine, and I maintain my integrity.

  4. Amber June 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    My blog was started as a way to communicate with my extended family. So from its very earliest days it was read by my grandmother, my mother and my mother-in-law. I also knew that anyone else COULD read it, including my boss, my friend, my kid’s teacher, and so on. And I’m using my real name and including my photo, so you can’t miss who I am. So when I write I ask myself if I would be comfortable if anyone read it.

    I have only a few taboo topics. Sex. Religion. That sort of thing. Beyond that, I try my best to be considerate of others and consider my topics and treatment carefully. The worst feeling for me is when I’ve offended someone I care about. It’s happened before and will likely happen again. That’s life – we don’t always know how people will take what we say, whether in person or online. But I still strive to avoid it as much as I possibly can.

    • amoment2think June 27, 2010 at 1:26 pm

      I hear you about offending people. I think it is a hard balance to strike sometimes. We have opinions and saying them is part of blogging. I always find it ironic that the posts I am worried about in terms of maybe upsetting people rarely do, but the posts I really think won’t upset anyone, those are the ones that I upset people with. Which I guess means I don’t do a very good job of thinking things through.
      Anyway, I look up to the way you handle the tough topics on your blog.

  5. Perpetua June 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I agree with FFF: it’s not so much about topics as what you, amoment2think, think about them. Kid stuff is always great, but as an American, I’m also interested in Canadian stuff. How’s it going “up there”? 🙂

    • amoment2think June 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

      Oooh, that is a good suggestion. I will totally start working on a ‘how’s it going up here in Canada’ post. I have lots of fodder this weekend with the darn G20.

  6. Cheryl June 26, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I agree with this being “a place where we can all take a moment to think about a myriad of subjects” and think you’ve done that well. I also agree with the major taboos of sex and religion, the big ones. (Though there is a small part of me that would enjoy reading your thoughts on religion, lol.)

    I don’t think it’s any big secret that my blog has identity issues, so I know how you feel. For me, it’s always a matter of how personal I want to get and I’ve said things there I wouldn’t say out loud sometimes. But maybe that’s what I need from it. Your needs for this space aren’t the same.

    You need (I think) to be part of a greater conversation and feel like your opinions are being heard and valued. (Sorry if I’m assuming too much!) I think if that is what you wanted from this, you got it.

    Just like people have said above, I would want to read whatever you have to say.

    • amoment2think June 27, 2010 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks Cheryl. And yes, you hit the nail on the head when it comes to my goals for this blog.

      Ha! You can ask me anytime about my thoughts on religion…. although I kinda touched on them when I wrote that post about going to church. I think religion can be a taboo topic, but I also think it is something that should be talked about, so long as it is done in a positive way.

  7. Briana June 26, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I think I would be interested to hear more about how you are coping with “the juggle” of wife, mother and worker. I think everyone who does it is forced to find some surprising efficiencies, but we also find more struggles than we expect.

    Also, holy cow, I can’t believe how many of my friends are “secretly” longtime fans of the DivaCup (and outed themselves in the comments on Jen’s review!)

    • amoment2think June 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm

      Well, Briana, as soon as I start coping I will get right on that post. *hahaha* No, in all seriousness, this is a good suggestion. I will think about this and see if I have any good tips on ‘surprising efficiencies.’

      And yeah Diva cup! Such an awesome product.

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