Monday, February 15, 2010

What Are We Doing Here?

I don’t mean this existentially (although really, what are we doing here?!). I mean, what are we (am I) doing here, in this blog, week after week?

Because every blog needs a clear purpose. I’ve read enough of them that try to be everything and anything all at once to know this as gospel truth. Underneath all the pretty graphics and cheery Twitters status reports, social media is a vast, complicated, competitive world. If you’re not a blogger yourself, just take it from me: bloggers can spend untold hours worrying over awards, SEO, advertising, stats, and hit counts. If you do blog, you know this is true. And you’ve either opted in to this game, or you’ve opted out.

And I’m not here to judge. I subscribe to many different types of blogs, and as Nora of everyone' beloved Pete's Dragon says, there‘s room for everyone in this world. But as I’ve been around for over a year now (I know, such a veteran!) I’m starting to figure out what I am and what I am not.

I’m an advocate of the written word. At its core--at its very best--The Never-True Tales is a retelling of stories. My stories, sure, but they’re yours, too, if I’m telling them correctly. I want to celebrate the art form I love, whether that be with my prose, or links to other people’s prose, or poetry, or memoir. On the days I get it right, I hope to leave my readers with something that sticks with them…that burrows deep and resonates.

I am not a marketing whiz. I just don’t like it, and I’m no good at it. You will not click on Never-True Tales and find the latest giveaway of a speed boat/Visa gift card/trip to Hawaii/Swiffer Wet-Jet. (Unless there are cookies involved.) Sorry. But there are other blogs which will deliver just that (including my own travel and environmental corners of the world), if that‘s your cup of tea.

I am not an expert on anything. The term 'jack of all trades, master of none' comes to mind. So if you want to know how to bake the best cinnamon rolls ever, or how to plan a dinner menu that saves you money at the grocery store, or how to take the perfect photo of your kid, there’s an app for that (sorry, couldn’t resist…but there are blogs for that.) I have my favorites, and I learn tons from them. When the mood strikes, I’ll promote them here, if I think they’d be of interest to my readers, and even regale you with my attempts at following their advice, to the hilarity of all. I will say--with some reluctance--that I am slowly becoming somewhat of a family travel expert, so over at Pitstops for Kids, it’s somewhat of a different story.

I’m an archivist. Recently at the blog Island Roar, Kristen of Motherese asked whether blogging was the new letter writing. I believe that in many ways, it is. It’s a way for us all to journal the every day…for the every man (and woman). It’s a way for us all to fill in the blanks between the highs and the lows, the big games, the milestones, and the graduations. It’s a way to document the still, quiet moments as well as the chaotic mornings (and evenings, and weekends) we often erroneously believe we’d rather forget.

I’m not a huge fan of advertising. I advertise what I believe in. I promote what I believe in. For the record, I do believe in BlogHer (and you‘ll see its ad on my sidebar). It’s both a community and a media machine benefiting women bloggers, and that’s a pretty powerful combination. And who doesn’t like just about anything that combines women and power? I do not believe in Adsense. I tried it, I didn’t like it, I deleted it. That’s just me. If I have a connection with you and you’re doing something worth championing, then hell yes, I will champion you. (Again, especially if you’re offering cookies and you’re a rocking cool person to boot.) But I do get offers for advertising products and services that don’t mesh with this blog, and I politely pass. It’s about what’s worthy of my time and my readers’ time.

Last week, I’d have said I’m not a ‘mommyblogger’ (which, hilariously, my spell check keeps switching to ‘mommy logger’). I‘m not that, either. After reading Maggie of Okay, Fine, Dammit’s amazing commentary on blogging and the term mommyblogger, I’m not so sure. If you’ve been paying attention, you know I’ve recently been trying to embrace the term ‘SAHM‘, and perhaps I need to do the same for ‘Mommyblogger’. You know: make it my bitch, and all that. Give my inner feminist reason to be proud.

I’m a fan of community. I’ll admit meeting new friends wasn’t my prime motivation for starting this blog, but it’s been wonderfully sweet icing on the cake. We live in an oddly shrinking-yet-isolating world, and I’m glad to share a little piece of it with all of you.

So I think this is what I’m made of, and what you‘ll find here, week after week: one part universal truth, one part creative writing, and one part ongoing memoir...maybe with just a dash of social commentary and self-indulgent wallowing. And hopefully more than a few laughs. If that works for you, I’m so glad to have you as part of my community, on my doorstep, getting to know my reality--the kids tracking in mud, the literary ups and downs, the travels, the goofs, and the burnt dinners--and allowing me to get to know yours.
blog comments powered by Disqus