I started my first blog in January of 2007. In the nearly seven years that have come and gone since, the blogging world has shifted, grown and changed in ways I never could have imagined. It used to feel like we were all sitting around a kitchen table (a magic one that could add leaves to reach around the country or the world) and sharing our lives. One would offer a recipe, another something interesting gleaned from a good book, and perhaps a third would just share her hard day, and a hope for a better tomorrow.
That illusion of a virtual homey space, shoes kicked off, sounds pretty quaint now. As the blogosphere exploded in size, as stats and better blogging conferences and target audiences and product placement and book deals and recognition of blogging from other, more established forms of media grew, I slipped quietly out the back door. I just felt too daunted.
Maybe that sounds like sour grapes. Truly, it isn’t. I never mastered a posting schedule, or learned to follow the statistics and search engine optimization that helps a blogger drive traffic. I’m coming to realize that I’m just not called to that sort of professional self-promotion. Many bloggers have worked very hard to make their blogs work as a source of income, as a platform for speaking and writing careers. I’m called to quiet, to home and family, to making and baking and writing poetry and shooting photographs and trying to learn to listen.
But I’m still here at the kitchen table. I’ve made lots of false starts back into blogging, but always drawn back. I’ve asked myself what the point could be in offering my voice, given how it all feels now, so busy and loud and alien.
But there’s always a point to good conversation, to sharing a recipe that, against all odds, the kids gobbled up. There’s always a point to writing about friendship and aging parents and the beauty of nature or a perfectly baked pie. There’s always a point to putting more beauty, more joy, more questions and challenges, more wonderings and gleaned wisdom into the world. There’s space still, I trust, to share a good book’s title and a blessing. A wink and a smile.
So, what would I tell my boys, if they came to me with something they wanted to do differently than others pursue it? I’d ask them if it was still possible to do the thing their way. And if it was, I’d tell them to go for it. I’d tell them to open their hands and male something old new again.
I’d take my own good advice, and hit publish.