My history with blogging is long… Very long.
I’ve always been a diary person, logging my thoughts, hopes, dreams, lists, whatever in a personal journal.
I was an early user of personal computers. I learned in about 1992, in a summer school word processing course, that I was able to get my thoughts out quicker, and easier, when I typed. I got my first PC around that time as well. An Apple IIC+ that my mom got me for free by opening a bank account (the latest in the “Free Toaster!” type of marketing). So, I started keeping my thoughts on floppy disk, instead of handwriting them in a paper notebook.
I was eventually able to upgrade my PC, and was able with one of those AOL CD’s you got in the mail, to connect to the internet, and the world opened up to me. I thought have my diary online might be interesting, and in stumbling around, found others doing the same thing. These were “online journals.” Coded in basic scratch html, in notepad, and uploaded to your server space (I got some free space with my AOL account). I hand coded every bit of it. I don’t remember what I called it. Probably Keeargo’s space or some such – I remember Keeargo was my online handle at the time – I think. Sparksfley, and Sparks and Butterflies, both definitely came after marriage, because they were a byproduct of a conversation with Jay. Eventually the evolution of sharing your life online included “web logs.” Note: Online journals were longer diaries with your thoughts. Web logs were shorter, more bullet point type things. Eventually the language changed and “web logs” turned into “blogs.” I remember people were very definitive about web logging and journaling, and the difference between the two. Eventually as online software progressed, the two worlds merged to use the same technology and vernacular, and “blogging” became a verb.
I’ve been writing online since about 1995. My current archives go back to May of 2000 – my oldest, Joseph was a month old. (I lost all the older archives in a fried computer incident before I learned the words BackupBackupBackup and save.) To put that in perspective, that child is now 15 years old and a sophomore in high school.
I was a part of the first wave of “mommy bloggers.” I HATED that term for a couple of reasons. The title seemed to say that I only wrote about my kids and/or parenthood. That wasn’t true. I had been journaling online before I even met my husband. So while I continued to journal into my parenting years, I was blogging about my life, not just one aspect of my life, so it felt like an inaccurate term. The term also felt dismissive, like being a “mommy” somehow reduced the amount of brain cells I had, or somehow negated my opinions. Regardless, I was caught up in that momentum. Marketers were taking notice of both the technology, and the market of mothers. I had advertising. I went to conferences. I did paid reviews. I monetized. I was a part of blogging communities and lists and online events and social media advents like Twitter. The whole.nine.yards. Kit-and-kaboodle. The whole shebang. The whole enchilada… You get it.
But things started getting complicated. My kids started getting older. I had to make decisions on what to share, what not to share. My kids started having physical, emotional, and behavioral special needs. Opening up about those things also opened me up to a whole lot of judgement. My mom’s health declined. I was needed more and more. My son’s mental health was going downhill. It was all so crazy that I quit a job I loved to work from home, because I essentially needed to be geographically located there to help my dad deal with my mom, help my mom, handle all the IEP meetings, and conferences and medical appointments and evaluations.
In addition, the blogging community felt as if it was changing. It was no longer about the freedom of expression, and having a place to vent, and holding a space with others, knowing you weren’t alone. It became about clicks, and visitor numbers, and page views, and Google rankings. It became a high tech version of a junior high popularity contest. In order to keep up with all that you had to churn out (well written, well researched, potentially popular and/or controversial) content to remain relevant or you were punted to the curb, and didn’t get to participate in the goodies. While my priorities were in the right place with my family, I still had a ton of anxiety of the fact that I couldn’t keep up with what blogging had become. I started writing less. You can only say “life sucks right now” in so many ways.
Mom became sicker and sicker. Home care was eventually needed. I was my Dad’s respite worker.
My oldest had tons of medication changes and was in and out of mental institutions.
My husband was out of work for a couple of years and eventually had to change careers entirely.
My younger son needed care and attention with all this going on.
I still had to build my at-home business, because we couldn’t live on Jay’s income alone in our Los Angeles suburb, but I HAD to be available to everyone for everything.
Then mom died.
Then my blog was just gone and sold through no fault of my own.
There’s a reason I developed ulcers, is what I’m saying.
I’m back on a slightly different URL. Maybe I’ll get readers back, maybe I won’t. But you’ll notice the blog is very bare. It is just my thoughts. No advertising. No sponsoring. I’m going back to my html in notepad days in terms of mindset. I’m scheduling time in my planner for writing out my thoughts. Hopes, dreams, rants, raves, tantrums, loves.