December 2010 will mark my tenth anniversary as an official blogger. Before I set up shop at Blogger.com*, I was doing fairly regular updates of my Geocities website about news of the day, how the Chicago Cubs were doing or just how I was feeling. But marking that day when I first “blogged” ten years ago is important and causing me to reflect on how things have changed. Yes, we have evolved from ranty blogs (that’s where I started) to topic-focused blogs and mega-blogs like Feministing. But I also scoff at the professionalization of blogging.
Just about every "blogging 101" session I've ever attended has someone tell the audience to find a niche, create a brand and feminism just never seems small enough for those "experts." Narrow...narrow they say. Unfortunately for them, my mind doesn't work that way. If you ask me for advice on blogging, I will always tell you that I usually break all the rules. Write from your passion points, write what you know.
I will always be grateful for being asked to contribute to the AWEARNESS blog. While I was asked what my angle would be on that blog as we can’t all cover the same issue like green living. I wasn’t asked what my niche was and told to stay there. I was also given the opportunity to show how feminism is my niche. In other words, while I am not an expert in everything, I do have the ability to look at issues, topics and policies and reflect on how they may impact women and girls in a different way. Thus, I can write about pay equity, health care, sports and travel all from a feminist perspective.
I haven't had time to properly reflect on the closure of the AWEARNESS blog until now. I will miss the AWEARNESS blog and the flexibility we were all given to write about what moves us, why it should move you and what we can do about it together. But most importantly, it made me write for an audience. While I know others are reading this, my stats are lower than most people assume. But I knew that the AWEARNESS blog was getting some good hits. It made me stretch my writing, my skills and my abilities. The gig was tough at the beginning because we were supposed to be more fact and less opinion. The last nine months we had editors who were more hands on about how posts flowed. The entire time it made me stop and think, "How do I write for a not-so-feminist audience about an issue I want them to know about?"
So while I spent a few years writing for a brand, it helped me cement my feeling that I am not a brand. I am simply a woman with a blog and a lot of opinions.
*This blog was begun in 2007, but from 2000-2008 I wrote at a different blog that is no longer accessible. I occasionally repost pieces from that blog here.
To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!