Is this shameless enough for ya?
My site views have bounced recently, due to being linked by love, joy, feminism and Karen Campbell of Relationship Homeschooling. I’ve experienced this before and I know that the bounce is unlikely to last – but I’m asking you, if you’re new here, to give this blog a bit more of your time.
I write for a religion site, I write for a film site, but I started this blog because I wanted a space to write about whatever strikes my fancy. If you go through the archives you’ll see that’s what I’ve done. I’ve written about my children, complained about politics, posted silly pictures, even linked to funny cat videos.
The first rule of blogging is that you should find your niche – figure out a target audience and, well, target them. I intentionally violated that rule, for my own gratification, because writing without boundaries is therapeutic for me. But it turns out that I do still enjoy the community that comes from people actually reading and responding to my posts. It’s the reason I started a blog rather than a journal, I suppose.
And while I still write about anything and everything, my blog has taken on a personality over time, and my writing has become more purposeful – beyond simply catching everyone up on how awesome my kids are and how excited I am about the next Joss Whedon project.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately – why I write, why I invest so much time in something that has so little visible return. I’ve decided that it’s really about who I write for: that’s what keeps me going.
So here’s my humble statement of purpose, as of May 2013:
I write for women in the church who have been sold a theology of gender-as-destiny.
I write for Christians who are afraid to air their question, doubts and frustrations for fear of being shamed or shunned.
I write for people who love Jesus but have a complicated relationship with His Church.
I write for homeschoolers who don’t fit the mold (and who would like to see it thrown out for good).
I write for
women people who are getting older in a world that fetishizes youth and beauty.
I write for people who are still trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up.
I write for people who don’t fit bifurcated political stereotypes, but who don’t want to give in to cynicism or apathy.
I write for women who feel strongly enough about arts and popular culture to wade into male-heavy fandom and geekdom.
I write for mothers who are exceedingly imperfect and undomesticated, but who love their children to pieces.
All of that describes me, but I’ve discovered (partly through blogging) that I’m far from alone. I’ve had friends approach me privately, in tears, about something I wrote. I’ve had people message me, telling me things they wouldn’t say in front of the whole church or the whole homeschool group. I’ve heard that my willingness to say what’s on my mind and heart has made it easier for others to admit their own truths…to keep going…to not feel isolated or dysfunctional.
And that makes my heart sing.
I always wanted my life to count. I wanted to do big, extraordinary things to change the world for the better. So that hasn’t really happened, and I’m well into middle age now, and I am still trying to figure out what I’m here for. I don’t know: check back with me. But at least part of it, or at least part of what I’m embracing as a perfectly good reason to take up space on the planet, is that I have the chance to make it a tiny bit easier for other people, especially those who are coming after me. By speaking. Confessing. Questioning. Poking the hornets nest. Sometimes I’m wrong, and I guess that’s okay, too. It’s embarrassing to me, but useful to someone else, I hope.
All this to say, I’ve started to feel a certain “missional urgency” toward my blogging. So for the moment I’m going to ignore how self-seeking this makes me feel and say, please read my blog. Dig around the archives. If something moves you, helps you, makes you angry – share it. If you know of someone who might benefit from something I’ve said, pass it on. If you disagree with me, tell me. I’ve been known to change my mind.
I don’t anticipate ever being a “successful” blogger, statistically speaking. I’m looking to find the handful of people who will benefit in from what I write. They matter, and that’s enough.