Monday, January 19, 2009

Blogging along

I have to admit that I was basically oblivious to the blogosphere before The Divided Heart was published. In fact, to continue this confession, I was as guilty as the next Luddite of assuming that blogs were the domain of narcissists and ego-maniacs (is there a difference?) with way too much time on their hands.

That was before I discovered the possibilities for genuine sharing and positive communal musing that blogs provide. It has been a revelation to me to discover what an ideal forum it is for talking about the issues raised in The Divided Heart, and the book has benefited hugely from the support it's received through those networks.

The best of the blogs I have seen, epitomised it seems by those who are attracted to my book fortunately, are those that show a creative and thoughtful approach to living. If anything, the only fallout for me, personally, is feeling a tad inadequate by comparison to all the incredible people whose blogs I follow and who have been kind enough to follow mine. Talk about "the good life"! And by that I mean of the humble, nurturing Felicity Kendal/Richard Briers style, as opposed to the Paris Hilton buying 41-dresses-and-a-bikini-in-40-minutes-flat mode of existence.

I have just been saying exactly that to a freelancer from Mothers Matter (yet to have its own site), who asked me what the blogosphere offers mothers. (Let me know if you spot that mag in a maternity centre or library somewhere--I don't know if I've seen it.) She wanted to know if I think blogs are significant in helping mothers avoid isolation and providing a creative outlet.

So far I've managed to avoid stumbling across the kind of bitchy and rampant celebrity-chasing sites that give blogging a bad name. That was until Genevieve's great blog sported a link to the 2008 Weblog Awards. Phew! After a bit of surfing through that list, I was very happy to arrive home, back among friends whose blogs I can actually relate to (though there were a few sparky ones amongst them).

I remain blissfully unaware of blogging etiquette and so there's still plenty of scope for public embarrassment, but I've been enjoying the discipline of wrenching a few thoughts into some kind of coherent rant. Mostly, I love that people have found their way to this blog because The Divided Heart has meant something to them.

I have been overwhelmed by the care and intelligence that has gone into the letters I receive. Last week, I got an incredible email from singer-songwriter Mindy Sotiri (thanks again Mindy), who said she felt the book "had been written specifically for me to read at exactly that particular point in time. I caught myself nodding, and making small noises like I was actually having a conversation with someone else. And in a way I really felt like I was."

How lovely is that? I couldn't have begged for nicer feedback. Also fascinating (and I hope I'm not embarrassing her now) was Mindy's comment that: "The quest--or struggle--to create art and look after children suddenly seemed like a totally legitimate area of contemplation and discussion. Much more than just the ‘god I need more time’ bit of the motherhood package. And suddenly all those nights drinking beer and talking about this stuff with my women friends in similar situations, and all those ‘how did you do it?’ texts to my own mother seemed to be part of a larger, much more interesting picture."

It is part of a larger and much more interesting picture, and thank God I finally managed to convince a publisher as much!

Anyway, I have added one of those new-fangled "Follower" widget whats-its. Please add yourself if you feel so inspired. Hope I'm not the last to find out they're considered completely naff...


katiecrackernuts said...

Like you I am pretty new to the blogosphere - haven't yet notched up a year - and keep clicking on things to find out what happens. I changed my profile because I realised by adding things, like interests, and clicking on it I found other bloggers with similar interests. I clicked on where I lived and found I'd stepped into some alternate universe and felt very much like I'd entered a sci-fi conference, or a death metal pit at the wrong festival. Eeek. 'Twas nice to run back to my own blog "community".

little red hen said...

I started to blog a little over a year ago- I started out just looking then I was overcome with a desire to make a comment and in order to do so you need to have your own blog. I have a friend who has much younger children than I do and although we live only half an hour's drive away her timetable and mine vary greatly. I tend to stay up until some ungodly hour in the morning before going to bed- she on the otherhand has to be prepared for her littlies to wake with the sparrows. We communicate via the computer sharing our projects and ideas on flickr and ravelry. I can make a comment on her site at 2am and she can reply while I'm at work when the kids have a nap. I can also keep in contact with friends interstate, and around the world. I've even met one of my online friends so she has become a real friend. So yes blogs certainly make you feel connected. I felt very isolated in kalgoorlie with no car, no family and two babies and an absent husband, I would have loved to be able to have had a blog then.

Home Girl said...

reading TDH inspired me to put more effort into my blog (am also hoping to document my journey back into making art there as well)! i think mindy's comments mirror my own reaction to reading it too - you really asked all the questions i would have asked if there. sorry to sound a bit gushy - its exciting to be a part of this exchange! btw jen interviewed me for MM and i put her on to you. also winter is starting at sunrise nxt week (u bec & i will have to do coffee)such a small world

Anonymous said...

So pleased to have found your blog (and book). I am constantly juggling the issues of motherhood and my creative heart. My own blog keeps me sane.

Anonymous said...

I've been blogging for years, and yes I would say the blogosphere can definitely help with isolation. Though I haven't felt terribly isolated as a mother as such - I joined a new parent's group when Liam was two months old, and it seems to have been one of the few that was really very functional, staying together as a playgroup until the children were all in school - but as a writer-mother: that's a different matter.

Nikkers said...

Blogging is new to me too. I like seeing what other people are up to and what they're thinking about. I found out about TDH through blogs and the more I come to know the more I want to read it. I will soon! While I don't consider myself artistic or creative I do find your perspectives on motherhood resonate with me.

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