Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Why Do Women Blog?

Recently, I stumbled across excerpts from a New York Times piece that was critical of mommy blogs.

Originally published in January '05, the article offers up criticism of what the reporter, David Hochman, refers to as "baby blogs." Hochman talks about the self-absorption of the parents who chronicle the daily trials and tribulations of parenthood, saying that the blog is really a means for the parent to bitch about her own life.

Today's parents - older, more established and socialized to voicing their emotions - may be uniquely equipped to document their children's' lives, but what they seem most likely to complain and marvel about is their own. The baby blog in many cases is an online shrine to parental self-absorption.

Well, duh! With the exception of a very few political blogs, are there any on-line journals that aren't devoted to the self-absorption of the blogger? Don't we all just write about the things we feel most passionately about? If we're professional writers (as many bloggers are), aren't we just using the medium as either a means of expression or a tool to sharpen our skills or both?

I'm not all that critical of what Hochman actually wrote. I, personally, don't want to read a blog that chronicles every diaper change and bottle of someone else's child. That said, I do like the sense of knowing there are others out there like myself who love their children dearly, but hold on to the hope they can maintain some sense of their unique spirit, and not be swallowed up entirely by parenthood. I like knowing there are other people out there like myself, who aren't perfect, but who continue to strive. People who are willing to share their experiences in the hope of helping another mom or dad, just doing the best they can.

Of course, I have been thinking about why I write this blog since I created it. Why I wanted to do it in the first place. It actually took me a long time to commit to writing here even after I set up the account.

Oddly enough, today I came across this article that discusses how female bloggers are changing the face of the medium and affecting other types of media, as well. No real insights there, but the writer discusses some of the reasons women blog. Again, nothing really earth-shattering, but it did help me to admit to myself why I blog or to at least clarify the idea for me.

I am a writer. It's who I am, as much as it is what I do. I've wanted to write for a living since I was 14 years old. And I've been pursuing that aim for the entirety of my adult life. From college newspaper editor to PR flunkie to ad copywriter and Director of Marketing, I have pursued jobs that allowed me to use the one real talent I have.

Now that I stay at home with my son, I miss that. Part of who I am was made redundant, as the British like to say, when I became a mother. Oh, I have the occasional freelance job, but there's nothing like writing every day in the hope that someone will hear what you have to say and quite possibly be helped by something you've said.

1 comment:

ITS said...

You know that the majority of blogs are pure crap though. I have serious doubts about my own.

The thing is that nobody gives two shits about every detail of a stranger's life. And the majority of blogs do just that. "I got up, I did laundry, I cooked waffles... "

It's hard to be interesting. It's hard to have something intelligent to say.

Good luck with your blog!