At BlogHer this year, I sat on a panel with three other phenomenal bloggers/writers and talked about writing outside your comfort zone. More specifically, we talked about how a blogger goes about continuing to write after their life changes the reasons for their blog.
When I began blogging in 2005, I had an audience in mind. I was not a “Writer” and I was not spinning tales, sharing my prose or even reviewing books I loved. Instead I was in the second year of my struggle with infertility and I was looking for a community that was going through what I was.
Needless to say, as 1 out of every 8 couples is diagnosed with infertility, I found a vibrant and vocal village of women that became my advisers, my “sisters” and the glue that held me together on very bad days.
Then, in the summer of 2007, my life changed. I did an In-vitro fertilization and I got pregnant. With Twins. Thus, my blog needed to change. But instead of scrapping it and starting over; I decided to just keep writing. I didn’t change my tagline or even the name of my space; I simply made room for the way my circumstances had shaped my life.
Full disclosure, I lost some followers.
Many infertile women have a hard time visiting a space where someone is pregnant, so where I gained some new visitors, I also lost some others. I would learn in the eight years since I began writing THE KIR CORNER, that this was expected. As each chapter of my life unfolded (becoming a (working) mom (to twins), being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, joining the writing communities I love so much), I was also adding new ones to the blog that was becoming more than just a diary of my infertile life.
I might have started as an infertility blogger, but by 2010, I was so much more than that. So I used to my blog to talk about all of it. Neatly fitting all the aspects of my life on the page and inviting people from every corner of the internet to read, share and visit my CORNER.
One thing that is very important to keep in mind is that whenever you start a journey you never really know your destination. You may have one tapping at your subconscious but the truth is that you never know where your life is going to take you. I never knew if or how I would eventually become a mother. I was as much a part of that journey to my family as anyone reading me.
Take for example the woman who starts a blog to discuss her upcoming wedding. You (and she) would like to think that she will indeed MARRY, so while you are reading her posts about etiquette, future mother in laws and place settings, you have to be prepared for the day when she shares her wedding pictures with you and begins her posts about heating leftovers, sex that first year and how marriage has changed her and her newly minted husband. That blogger needs to decide if her WEDDING BLOG has now become a MARRIAGE BLOG.
She needs to be ready to lose the readers that aren’t interested in her marriage and she also needs to be ready to welcome in the readers who find her much more interesting now that she is a wife.
I could give you a plethora of examples, that cancer patient who survives the writer who gets published, the happily married that gets divorced, the divorced that finds their soul mate. Everyone has a story and a purpose for wanting to share their words, but the thing is that in “picking up the pen” per se, we are all hoping to find our way to the next phase of our lives.
It’s simply the push and pull that make up who we are as human beings. What I’ve learned is that instead of starting over every time something affected the center of mine, I just increased my space and focus. I prepared myself for the rise and ebbs of people willing to read and I became very comfortable calling myself by many different names.
Infertility blogger, Mommy (of twins) Blogger, Amateur Writer; these are the hats that I’ve worn over the years with pride. Each one of them giving me the opportunity to share parts of myself with my various communities and I never needed to retire my blog in order to do it.
How about you, how do you feel about your own blog and its ability to withstand major life changes? Would you retire your blog if your life changed beyond the scope of it? Have you ever done this?
Tell me in the comments.
Outside of a move to WORDPRESS from Blogger and a header change in 2010, I have never changed the name, URL or tagline of my blog. That is actually going to change this week. I will be changing the tagline for the first time in eight years. I am excited and a little nostalgic, but I know that the new words I have chosen will encompass my journey thus far and take me into the future of my writing.