Four Years Of Writing On The Internet

March 10, 2015

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Next month will mark four years of writing on the Internet. Four years since I sat down at the computer and tried to write something worth reading online. At first it was awkward and unpleasant for everyone, like having sex for the first time. No one knows where to put their hands or when to stop pretending to be someone they’re not. Then, as time went on, I fell into a rhythm and tried to create a space where we can share our parenting and human struggles while also laughing at Jimmy Fallon videos on YouTube.

Blogging has changed a lot over these four years. Personal narrative blogs have been replaced with niche blogs, affiliate links, Instagram, Buzzfeed, and what I call “worldview pieces.” Readers, including myself, skirt to and from blogs so quickly that it’s hard to continue any sort of story, making it necessary to compose essays that can stand alone.

None of these changes are inherently positive or negative, the landscape of the internet will always change. The difficulty lies in recognizing when it’s time to change.

Popular blogger Sarah Bessey touches on this in a post about changes to her site. She writes, The hard thing is trying to figure out when to “change with the times” and when to stand your ground in the place you’ve establishedFor instance, I still love to tell stories about the daily life and simple joys, even though those don’t get the page views or comments or shares of other posts. I won’t stop telling those stories or writing the way I love to write because it’s not popular. But there are other aspects that I need to embrace – running ads to pay for the upkeep of this site which has become prohibitive, being aware of the power of social media some people taking advantage of this using instant instagram views to get more clients and conversion, creating regular content that is relevant, and so on.

A few weeks ago I submitted a pilot for HBO via a fellowship for diverse writers. Along with the actual pilot, the application also required a personal statement. The writing prompt was simple, “What influences your writing?”

As I fumbled around trying to come up with an answer, all I could think about was you. The community of women I’ve found through writing for an audience. When my post about being tightly wound went viral last year and recently again this month, so many of you wrote to me about the struggles of parenting young children. If you read through the comments on that post, what sticks out to me the most is the overwhelming desire to be heard. For someone to acknowledge that while this is all so very wonderful, it’s also really, really hard.

No matter how blogging changes, I hope we can continue to create a space to be honest. To be heard. To laugh over our three-year-olds talking about sperm with the grocery cashier and cry over our complicated relationship with thighs. A place to stand together and say, “I want more,” even if wanting more is simply time to eat a sandwich alone.

Our best chance for motherhood, for being human, is to lift each other up. To walk beside each other and say, “This is my truth, what’s yours?” My writing is influenced by you. The relationships I’ve formed with women who walk beside me and share their truth, no matter how dark the valleys. Our most important work.

Thanks for walking with me.

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22 thoughts on “Four Years Of Writing On The Internet

  1. Caitlin

    Congrats on your blogiversary! Love your writing, Kate. Although I’m single and childless, I so relate to your words. Best of luck on your pilot and book! Write on!

    Reply
  2. catwatson8

    Have really enjoyed your writing and am so glad I randomly came across you when googling sleep training tactics:) As a non-published, kind-of-floundering writer that also happens to be a mom like yourself, you encourage and inspire me to keep at it. Thanks:)

    Reply
  3. Lindsay M

    I love your blog. Here are a few thoughts I have:

    -Your blog is one of my few “daily newspaper” sort of reads. I love it.

    -When I was about to give birth back in October I reread your post about the terrible first post-labor poop. It gave me courage and made me feel prepared. ;)

    -I had a dream the other night and among other random things, I came to your house (yes, across the country) to ask to use your bathroom while mine was being used. That made me laugh. Thanks by the way!

    -If you wrote a book I’d buy it and read it and love it.

    -Your writing makes me feel a little more prepared to raise a son.

    Thanks!!!

    Reply
  4. ashleegadd

    Your blog is one of the only ones that I read regularly. I always find myself nodding along and wanting to be friends with you in real life so we could drown our potty training drama in a bottle of wine and a bowl of popcorn. Fingers crossed you get into the HBO fellowship! Cheering for you, always.

    Reply
  5. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad

    The best kind of blog. I’m new to your space and I have to say I’m loving your words and your relaxed candid perspective. That needs to be kept. It feels homely. Others focusing on hits and riding the ladder does not and that’s why I don’t read their little spaces so regularly. Good luck with your HBO pitch!

    Reply
  6. Ashlie Swicker

    Reading here is a lovely part of my every day. Congrats on writing a pilot, I can’t wait to hear what happens, and no matter the outcome, please tell us more about it!

    Reply
  7. Tamara H

    Good luck on the pilot! I love reading your pieces, including the day to day little stories- that’s what connects with me the most I think….we’re all the same. Its always comforting to hear that you (and others) go through the same crazy emotions, toddler tantrums, relationship stuff…I also love the music to go along with it all, and the inspiration I get from all your stuff. So thank you :) xo

    Reply
  8. Sara

    I love your blog! Please don’t ever stop. You give me hope with my almost 3 year old. My sister and I always say “Did you see Kate’s post today?” like we know you and are friends! LOL I can’t wait for your book!

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    I generally dislike blogs, except for yours. They’re too shiny or pretty or boring or have no savvy and go on and on. You’re at your best when you lay it all out there because that is the nerve you’ve struck. Voicing the secret feelings and shame and joys and sorrows, so that all who stumble across you feel less alone and also feel they’re not crazy after all. It’s a gift. Also, if at some point it’s ever taking more out of you than it’s giving, it’s ok to transition away. We’d miss you greatly, but you know best what season of your life you need to be living in.

    Reply
  10. Elizabeth

    I just love you, Kate, and I am so proud of all I’ve witnessed you accomplish over my years of reading. Your honest and humorous reflections on life as a mother and woman are a breath of fresh air. I’m so thankful that you blog; I’ve learned so much from you and have been given so many things to think about. Thanks for doing what you do!

    Reply
  11. kara

    kate! i’m new to your blog – i just saw your “tightly wound” piece when it had its resurgence this month, and being an expectant mother and blogger (and just a normal human woman), i LOVED it. i’ve been devouring your posts since then, and i’m SO looking forward to reading more. hooray for badass female writers! hooray for moms! hooray for you!

    Reply
  12. Laura

    I’m so glad you started writing 4 years ago! Though I am not yet a mother, I have learned so much from you over the years of reading your blog, and you’re also pretty hilarious which is a plus. Thanks for sharing the nitty gritty details and being honest, and thanks for being inspirational to women and being a voice for us. The world needs your writing!

    Reply
  13. Diana

    Thanks for making me laugh, think and relate to motherhood. I really appreciate your perspective and voice during the days of juggling my life with kiddos. Keep writing and I will keep reading!!

    Reply
  14. xanthe

    hi, first time commenting. I only recently came across your blog. It has quickly become my favorite! I think you’re awesome, and I really like the balance you strike in being positive and funny, but being real and honest, too.

    Reply
  15. Lauren

    I just found your blog yesterday and I feel so at home here. I spend too much time feeling like a less-than mom and wife which quickly turns into feeling like a crap person in general. I think I must follow too many of those everything-in-my-little-world-is-perfect-and-wonderful kind of people online. Seeing so many perfect pictures and happy posts makes me feel like a shmuck. So thank you for being real without being a pessimist. This is just the sort of stuff I need to read. You’re awesome!

    Reply
  16. sarahhartleyblog

    Even though I just found your blog exactly two days ago, you have already been added to my list of must-reads because with everything you write, I feel like you’re speaking right to me. You are a beautiful writer, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to go back through four years of posts.

    Reply
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