If I’m going to write for 31 days for the love of writing, it seems only fair to start with a little history.
When I first started writing, I didn’t even have a blog.
I wrote blog posts in forum discussions. I wrote them as comments on Facebook. I wrote them in emails. I orated them over lunch with friends. After about the 100th time someone told me “you should really get a blog” I took the hint and started blogging.
(OK, technically I started writing before the internet was born. I used to “help” with college papers in exchange for beer. I kept a journal off and on for years. I wrote notes to friends and passed them in the hallways. I scribbled abysmally bad angst filled poetry on my book covers. Work with me.)
For several years, I wrote a food blog that a few friends followed with amusement.
At least, they said they enjoyed it. I never asked too many questions because in truth, I didn’t care. I enjoyed the process of writing. I got a kick of out food photography for a time. I wrote with no real goal beyond my own enjoyment. It saved me from the tedium of raising two preschool boys and gave me a creative outlet.
Even then, I struggled with the dichotomy of blogging life.
I was creating posts filled with mouth watering food photos on a daily basis, yet my kids wanted nothing more than a steady diet of cheesy eggs, pb&j, macaroni and cheese, and refried beans. I carefully cropped the dirty dishes out of each photo (or at least digitally blurred them in an artful “out-of-focus” way) and photoshopped the tomato spatters off my kitchen backsplash.
My posts became more and more chatty as I discovered that I had more fun telling the STORY behind the food than actually messing with the recipe. After a time, I just quit writing. In part, it was because I needed to focus on my children’s weird eating habits. In part, it was because I was just bored to tears with the whole food blogging thing.
I quit writing.
For a time, that was fine. We had a house to remodel. I had other stuff to do. I honestly didn’t have anything interesting to write about. (I shudder at that thought. In retrospect, I was probably a boring person for a few years. I recall not having much to say in conversations during the same time period. Sorry friends.)
And then… partway through my remodel… I couldn’t stand it.
I had so many words in my head that I couldn’t get them onto paper fast enough.
I grabbed a free wordpress blog address, marked it private, and started spilling my guts. It was like my brain had the mental equivalent of rotovirus… the words just couldn’t come out fast enough… there were spasms of pain as they demanded to be set free.
For a few weeks after that, the words were more… um… regular. For a time, I wrote things that were well formed and stuck together. And then, the words slowed. I strained to get the words out. It was the mental equivalent of constipation.
(Thankfully, that blog remains “private.” The posts are filled with depressive thoughts, baseless rants and my subcontractors, self pity, grief at the loss of my hair, an increasing obsession with yarn, and worse. To extend the metaphor, they deserve to be flushed.)
Over the next six months, I fiddled with the idea of blogging again.
My love of writing runs deep. Even when my life gets crazy busy, eventually the words just fill up my head and demand to spill out.
I researched URL’s. I investigated various formats. My husband begged me to open an online store to sell enough crocheted hats to at least fund my yarn habit.
When I realized ThisHappyMom.com was available, I grabbed it. I didn’t even have a plan for what it would be. I just liked it. No research. No checking to see if it resembled a competitor. No extensive branding thoughts. I think there’s a 20 item check list of things you’re supposed to do before naming your blog. I did NONE of it.
(True story: I was so clueless that the first week I had a Twitter account, I tweeted to ZERO followers. Not even the creepy kind.)
I transferred a few dozen posts from a free wordpress site and started the process of figuring out what in the world I wanted to do with my blog.
- Idea#1: Make Money. At least enough to pay for my writing hobby.
- Idea#2: Help People.
- Idea#3: Become Famous for Something. Ideally just for being me, because I’m amazing.
If you’re reading this, I hope you’re laughing right along with me.
The honest truth is that I stumbled into this blogging thing the same way I get myself into a lot of things. I get a big case of the feels, jump in over my head, and then find out if I can swim or not.
I fell in love with telling stories.
I discovered that people thought I was funny.
Much to my delight, I realized I could swim just fine.
You can follow my whole 31 day series on the love of writing (and wherever else this takes me) by following this link or clicking on my graphic: