I have this spiffy new blog design and I went to not one, but two, how-to -be-a-better blogger conferences this summer. And I’ve updated my links list and thought about things to sell in my Meltingpot Shop, but something still doesn’t feel right. And I finally figured out what it is. My blog is having an identity crisis.
When I started the Meltingpot way back in 2006, I thought I wanted to create an online repository for magazine-style stories with a multi-culti focus. But, being a memoirist at heart and an embarrassing over-sharer, my real life kept getting in the way. I’d drop a post in here and there about my kids or el esposo or my hair and people would respond. So, I’d write more about my family, but then pull back because I wanted The Meltingpot to be a source for smart news and information from a colored person’s point of view. You know, something like Colorlines magazine. But, Colorlines already exists. And they’re doing a pretty good job, I might add.
So, I went back to my family tales. But then I had to deal with the very real problem of my paranoia. Every time I thought about sharing some cute story about my sons or babygirl, I’d read about some unfortunate blogger who received threatening comments about her half-breed kids and I’d retreat back into my non-personal-information-only mode of blogging. Or I’d tell the story, but only with sweeping generalizations and very little details, to protect my innocents.
So, I feel the Meltingpot needs to find its voice. And I need to find my courage to be myself here. Blogging and journalism are very different things. As a journalist, I am taught to keep myself out of the story. As a blogger, the best posts come from when the storyteller is smack dab in the middle of the action. I know the only blogs I read religiously are the ones where I feel invited into the lives of the writers. I like to see how other folks live and deal with the same issues that I am. Parenting three kids. Parenting mixed kids. Being married to a Spaniard…. I also like to see how people who live the life I wish I were living are holding up in paradise. I see you Arlene in Italy. And of course, sometimes I just can’t help myself and I read about those people who have like 10 kids, live on a farm, make their own cheese and have a smile every day to show for it. I admit it. It’s a bit of an addiction.
A lot of folks are predicting that blogs are dead. And it’s true, for many people, their message is easier told in 140 characters or in a quick facebook post. But I still have some stories to share and I hope you want to hear ’em.
I’m still going to stay true to my mission of using this space to talk about parenting, pop culture and identity politics, but using my authentic voice and by peeling back the layers and letting you all in. I look forward to taking this journey.
Thanks for listening. Until Wednesday.