Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blogging Identity Crisis


What's my point?

I'm truly wondering. Not "what's the point," but what's mine. A good thing about being a mid-life blogger is that I can decide what I'll be. There's no job description—I'm making it up. The bad thing about making it up is that I know it's made up. (It's hard to take myself seriously when I'm my own imaginary friend.)

So, I'm asking you, my other imaginary friends: if you had a person like me somewhere in your blogging life, what would you hope she'd contribute? I'm not pandering for compliments or validation; I'm really asking what you find worthwhile. (Leave your suggestions in the comments box.)

I just finished reading a book called Creating a Blog Audience. The over-riding suggestion was to find your niche, read other blogs like yours, research the popular keywords so you can write about what people want to read about. Define yourself.

When I googled "Grandmother" I got a whole bunch of racy phrases that weren't my niche at all. And when I scrutinized the blogs I love, I was reminded that I'm not a crafter, a business, or a mommy. That's when this particular identity crisis really blossomed. I have no definition.

I like telling myself that I'm just me, I'm unique. However, another way of putting it is that I don't fit in. After sixty years you'd think that wouldn't matter, and it doesn't on the days when I feel confident and wise. But I have days like today when I wonder, "What's my point?"


32 comments:

kenju said...

Jindi- begone!! I hate spam comments!

Marty, you could talk about the phone book and I'd read it. Don't worry about niches; you are unique!

Katie H said...

I love reading your blog because I think you don't encompass one overall niche. You are a grandmother, mother, writer & organizer. I get more tips & inspiration from you than you know.

I guess you could focus on one of those aspects, but the reason I read your blog is because your interests are varied. I don't know if this helps at all, but I enjoy reading what you're going to say.

(And I feel like I have the same problem - I have so many interests that I never seem to focus or pinpoint one particular aspect of my life to blog about. Ah well.)

Debbie Couture said...

Marty, I like your grandmother and age perspectives. I think you can inspire the younger mothers but also us grandmothers. I am interested in your interests and what kinds of things you are doing at this stage of life-which is my stage of life. Life changes as we get older and I think we have to adapt to it. You have unique ideas and I enjoy that. Keep blogging about what you are doing and feeling. With age comes wisdom and you have it. Take care.

Christie said...

I like reading your varied topics. It's like sitting down and having conversations with you, which is something I don't get to do as much as I would like. Don't stop!

Susan said...

I know why I love to read your blog and it's simply that you are unique and at the same time "every
woman." Your perspective, your insight and adventures are yours alone, but the way you tell your stories touches the hearts of us fellow boomers. I like the variety of topics, your intelligent and often humorous writing style, and what I perceive as your authenticity. You inspire me more than you know by keeping it real. I feel I'm catching up with a friend when I read your blogs. So, thank you and keep on writing!

Hannah said...

I love your blog just the way it is. I have all my blog subscriptions listed by topic. The craft blogs, the design blogs, etc. Yours is listed, along with Marta's, under "Good Reads." These are blogs that inspire me to be a better mom and person in general. They are the blogs that I actually read every word; the other blogs I scan. Keep it up. I love your blog.

audrey said...

I feel that your niche is offering well-thought out parcels of wisdom and the motivation for us to question and reflect on what kind of people we want to be. I love that this is done by example - both the wisdom and the reflection you share come from within and are honest, not necessarily "the ideal", and honesty with ourselves is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves, even when it is difficult.

I loved the themes of your writing seminar and enjoyed your thoughts about those things. I'm not sure you want a structure like that (of course, it would not need to be as time consuming as the class was for you), but maybe thinking about that will help you in your search to find your blogging identity.

Good luck! I am looking forward to hear more thoughts of your thought on your blog.

Kristie Lynne said...

I love reading your blog because it's all about comfort. My mom lives in Massachusetts and I'm here in Utah, and I don't hear from her too often. I like to read your blog because even though I don't know you, you feel like a mom. I don't know, maybe I'm crazy, but this blog provides the comfort that I need so desperately. So thank you. :)

Meg said...

oh, I know how you feel...

I like your blog as is. I love reading your stories and reflections.

Diane said...

Eclectic. That is your niche.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Alisha Stamper | Photographer said...

maybe that grandmother niche "could" be yours. hahahahahah. I'm just glad i'm not the one who found out there was that niche, because then i couldn't laugh about it... only shudder about it.

i read because you bring me back to myself, the goodness that is in me, without making me feel like i am not living up to others standards. you're happily doing your best, and it is honest and NOT competitive. That, my dear, IS a niche. you just couldn't find it because no one else is in it!

FriĆ°rikssonS (and Parents) said...

I LOVE to read the variety you offer. What I love is the way you write and the skills you pass on. I would love if you did another semester seminar on writing - I missed the last one due to circumstances happening with my family. I know it was time consuming - but even if it was once a week. You have so much to offer in so many areas - I would hate to see you pick "one" area. Your blog is "just right" (Goldilocks)

Gordita said...

This is not a compliment, just the truth: your posts are thought-provoking, insightful, and as Debbie said, you inspire people (at least me). I want to be a better writer when I read your blog. I want to be a better person. I aspire to be a good mother (when that time comes, if it comes). That's your niche. I save reading your blog for when I have a few moments for thought.

Kay Dennison said...

Why do you need a niche? Just keep on being you!!!!! Niches limit you -- and you are a multi-talented kind of gal!!!!

polly said...

i agree with all of the above. keep on doing what you feel like you want to write about. it's always interesting!

the wrath of khandrea said...

marty, marty, marty. i think you sell yourself short. perhaps variety is your niche. you can't please all of the people all of the time. but by telling your story, you can influence somebody most of the time. and that's a worthy endeavor.

diane said...

When I think of you three words come to mind. Witty, wise and wonderful.

I think you should travel south and we could go to lunch.

How about a blog book club?

My word verification is dedblogr. Hee hee.

Mrs. Organic said...

Ive reading about other people's lives and their viewpoints. I especially enjoy getting to know people.

Clair said...

I love that you always have wonderful stories that are inspirational. You are fair and I like that. :)

First50 said...

Your niche is you. This is a great niche and you are the only person who can fill it. You don't need to fit into any other niche than your own.

~Kristina said...

like many of the prior commenters, you can write about anything. Your blog is a smattering of everything and your penmanship is intriguing and captivating.
I love the variety that your blog offers. Your tid bits of everything offer a wisdom and an insight that take years to accumulate.
Keep doing what you do.

Rebecca said...

I love the perspective and wisdom that you give on your blog. I loved your writing class that you taught. While I didn't turn in any assignments, it got me thinking about writing again.

the wrath of khandrea said...

here's another thought. (since i've spent the past evening mullng this over)
when you post about the crazy stuff your kids did when they were little, or how you felt overwhelmed, and then i look at how amazing they turned out to be (well, mostlly gab, since i only know her... but i love christie too, so her husband must be pretty great) then it gives me hope that my kids will turn out okay.
is that weird? unrealistic? perhaps. but i take hope in any form i can find it.

the wrath of khandrea said...

and if all else fails, i'll still pop by from time to time and critique your racy, naughty skanky grandma blog.

Jenibelle said...

Late to the party, as usual. What's your purpose and niche? To bring warmth to so many. I read your blog and am inspired to do better, to be better. I can't really put my thoughts into words but I imagine your life as idyllic. Oh, I realize that is not so, but it brings warmth to me. Don't stop ever. Your memories and musings are beyond wonderful to me. I also need a grandma mentor!!!

Heffalump said...

I read blogs that are written by humans. Sure, I have some types of blogs I read (crafty, cooking, etc.) but what really sets a blog apart for me, is the human element.
I have stopped reading some pretty popular and big name bloggers because they stopped seeming human to me and became impersonal and started thinking about their niche, and how to become more popular. I like getting glimpses into people's lives, and hearts, and that is why I still have you on my feeds list. I don't think you need to be a certain kind of blogger. I like versatility, so I say, keep it up!

Heather @ Alis Grave Nil said...

I have been feeling the same way, and it has been bothering me. The funny thing is that when I see it on your blog, it doesn't make sense. You do have something that brings people back to your blog again and again--thoughtful, well-written, intelligent posts about your life. I look at blogs as a window into someone's story. You clearly understand the value of history and family and you use this to tell your story. I don't think you have a specific category, but you provide the best grandmother/travel/reading/life blog I've ever read. I also don't even know a lot of grandmothers who have this thing figured out, so that makes you unique. I too have a set of blogs that I read faithfully every single day because they're worthy and seem to value my time and intelligence. Yours is at the top of that list and I read it without fail. Don't get too caught up in trying to be something other than what you are. You're fabulous. :)

Misty said...

I should just say "amen, amen, amen!" to all these comments. And we're not trying to compliment or validate you, it's just matter of fact. You're amazing! You don't need to read a book about creating a blog audience, you already have one. And you've created that audience by just being you. Thank you for being so funny, wise, thought-provoking, inspirational, honest, and real. Even posts like this, when you blog about being sixty and still having slivers of self-doubt, make me feel better about my own lack of definition.

And now I really want to google 'Grandmother.' I'm not going to, but I really want to.

Tiffany said...

In the words of the great Billy Joel, I love you just the way you are!

I have found your blog so inspiring and motivating and interesting, no matter the topic. You share many wise words with your readers. Don't change a thing!

GretaB said...

If you find a golden answer, you could sell it! ;)

I really have no advice or suggestions for you. I blog for myself to record random bits of my life I might otherwise forget. All I can say is make sure it's something you enjoy. If you don't enjoy it, it's not worth it.

ELLOUISESTORY said...

Marty, your blog is as special as you are because you are so willing to share yourself and your wisdom. I love the blog just as it is. I keep coming back because you are the friend I wish was living next door.

Rhonda said...

Marty,
We're having the same issues...can't really be "categorized". Our blog also talks about mid-life...check it out, and let me know what you think. Best wishes to you...looks like you're doing great! :)
Rhonda
rchaney.midlifecafe@gmail.com