Aug 172008
 

Numbers of phone calls on the machine: 5
Numbers of invitations to barbecues for next week: 4
Numbers of friends who live elsewhere and are in town just this week: 1
Loads of laundry: 3
Loads of laundry before washing machine started acting weird: 2 1/2
Numbers of repaired computers waiting for me in the shop: 0
Numbers of e-mails and phone calls regarding said computer: 3
Numbers of blogs not available for a day: 1 (my husband’s not mine)
Numbers of letters to friends that I still didn’t write: 1
Money spent on re-stocking pantry and fridge after vacation: 170 €
Numbers of e-mails waiting to be answered: 7
Numbers of bags I planned to make last summer, and finally did today: 2
Ounces of roving spun today while waiting for my husband to get up: 1
Number of Legos in my office to keep son occupied: about half a million

Number of unread posts in my feed reader as of now:
crazymumma: 17
liv: 8
meno: 8
nomotherearth: 14
oneplustwo: 5
De: 2
Hel: 9
Mad: 3

Bea: 7
Chani: 1
Flutter: 15
Beck: 14
Her Bad Mother: 15
Rae: 1
Julie: 1
KC: 7
Denguy: 3
Mir: 16

Number of minutes that I spent making music since I came back: 0
Number of gummy bears that I ate since coming back: 5
Numbers of beers that I drank since coming back: 7
Number of short stories that I have to have written until Thursday: 1
Number of blog posts that I had wanted to write the last week, and didn’t: 5
Number of minutes until I have to go to sleep: -40

So, now you know why I didn’t stop by your blogs. I hope you’ll have a fabulous week.

Jul 182008
 

I just spent fifteen minutes on my computer, changing the color scheme of my blog. You might not notice all the work I put into it because just when I had it all set, and when I looked at it in its neutral, white, readable, not candy-colored glory I decided to change it back to the same colors it had before.

In a way that’s very typical of the things I’m doing these days. I agonize about the color scheme, I imagine people being put off by it, resorting to reading it in a feed reader because all the pastels are hurting their eyes, or deciding they don’t like the blog at all because of all these colors, and pictures, and on top of that flash ads. Hrmph. And knitting content, or not enough knitting content, and silly fictional stories, and not enough posts about my son, and being a parent, and whatever.

So for now I declare that I won’t bother with the theme, and color scheme of my blog any further until I either a) have the urge to make a new header picture, or b) about 50 people tell me that they hate it and that it takes forever to load. Which it does. Thanks to the tasty flash animation. Sorry.

I’m feeling a bit down, nothing unusual, it has been raining, and raining, and raining, I have a cold that’s getting better very slowly, my son is cranky and has a cold too, and my period came about every three weeks for the last two months which is a) too much information, I know, and b) highly unusual. I went to see my doctor because of this, and she told me very kindly that this isn’t unusual at my age. I’m taking some herbal medicine and vitamins and hope for the best.

My son is a bit unhappy and therefore quite cranky. His best friend will start elementary school in September and he is already very sad about it. Which he then expresses by telling that he doesn’t want to play with his friend anyway. And for every day that they play happily at kindergarten there’s another one where they are telling each other that they are not each other’s friends anymore. Consequently my son has been either very clingy with me or acting up. Usually he’s clingy when we have to part, or when I can’t spend time with him, and then he shuns me when there would be time for us to be together. Fun!

All that together with the traditional “fight about getting up”, “fight about getting dressed”, “fight about eating breakfast”, and “fight to get out the door on time”, in the morning, and the equally traditional “fight about eating dinner”, “fight about getting into pajamas”, “fight about brushing teeth”, “fight about how long to read before bed”, “fight about when mother can leave child’s bedroom”, “fight about how long mother has to stay in the adjacent room”, and “fight about whether child has to stay in bed”, and “fight about whether child has to sleep at all”, and, finally, “fight about how often child can get up after sleeping time before mother totally loses it”.

I know, I’m the adult, I should be able to stay calm, and patient, and nice through all of this but, well, it’s not easy. If he hadn’t been sick this week I’d told him to just stay up as long as he wants to, I don’t care. Somehow he has to understand that sleep is not some cruelty that I force upon him but something very much in his own interest.

I started this blog post just before lunch, and now I’m while I’m waiting for my last student who obviously doesn’t come life looks a bit brighter. My dear husband is vacuuming in the background, for which I’m very, very grateful. (He just asked why I’m the one blogging, and he’s the one doing housework. It could be the other way around. Seems I’m a mean chauvinist pig. (I dusted! And did the grocery shopping! And I’ll upgrade his blog on the weekend!)

I have a nice little blog post that I wrote into my notebook more than a week ago while waiting for the train at midnight. I thought that would be the next one to post but then I’d have to type it into the computer. It’s not that I’m completely disorganized. The notebook has been sitting next to the computer for that past week.

I’m still doing more thinking about all the things I should be doing right now and will have to do until the end of the year than actual doing the things I should do. I can tell you that’s really exhausting. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn it. Doing the things one after the other really needs much less energy. I have been making progress, some things have moved and are looking better but I’m still at the point where every heap of stuff that gets done reveals another heap underneath.

This weekend at least we’ll be home, no parties, no visits, well, almost no visits, no vacuuming or dusting or grocery shopping, I bet I can do everything on my list and start a few new projects.

What do you think?

Feb 182008
 

I have been meaning to write about this whole English/German-thing for ages. I had a post all planned out, it had the working title “Does my blog have a German accent?” and I even thought about recording me reading it. So that you could really judge how bad my German accent is. But then, of course, for the purpose of this blog it doesn’t matter how good or bad my pronunciation is.

Another thing pointing me in this direction was a friend of mine who phoned me and said, “I don’t like reading your blog as much anymore because you’re no longer posting in German. Because with the German posts I could hear your voice.” Implying that with the English she can’t. My husband, on the other side, says that my voice comes through regardless of the language I’m writing in. And I tend to agree.

What prompted me to actually sit down and write this post was Hel’s post about English as a global language. That post brought me back to my own dilemma, to why I post in English. And if that is a good or a bad thing.

It feels weird every time I think about it. Here I sit, a German, in Germany, surrounded by Germans, writing a blog post in English. Why? There are hundreds of perfectly good German blogs out there. My German definitely is better than my English. At least I never have to look up words or phrases.

So, why do I write in English? When I first started this blog I wrote my first post in German. Then I left it at that and didn’t write another post for a couple of months. Then I started reading a few more blogs. I found them through blogger’s “next blog”-button. Not the best method but everybody has to start somewhere. And I got annoyed that a) there were so many really dull blogs out there, and b) I couldn’t read a lot of them because they were written in languages I don’t understand. Then I thought a bit and came to the conclusion that, well, there might be quite a few people not understanding German either. And in what I consider to be my first official blog post I announced a language switch to English. Then I thought of the few people whom I knew of who were reading the blog, and how they were all German and most of them considered reading something in English a mild form of torture (I also know quite a few people who consider any reading a form of torture but those don’t read the blog of course. (And yes, I know quite a few weirdos, obviously.)), and I got torn and tried posting everything in both languages on separate blogs.

I don’t do that anymore and so the people I know in real life, you know mostly Germans, who want to keep up with my life have to read the blog in English. This might be more of a problem if I wrote in, let’s say Portuguese or Mandarin, but most people in Germany have a fairly good grasp of basic English.

I really thought that most people knew English as good as I but I had to learn that that’s not the case. I thought that I had learned English in school, and that was that, until I found out that my husband, who learned as much English in school as I (that’s nine years with English as a main subject in the past two years before university), didn’t have the same vocabulary. We found out that a) the English we learn in school is supposedly British English (I’m a bit doubtful if that resembles anything actually spoken in Great Britain), not American. and b) that reading and talking English for about twenty years after school had also made me learn a thing or two. Also I thought about what I consume and found that I live on an almost exclusive diet of American and English books, movies, TV series, music, and lately blogs.

That’s nothing extraordinary by the way, most of what we watch, read, and listen to comes from the US, only the books and movies get translated. But I’m not alone in my preference for the “original” thing (something Germans have always valued). Nowadays when I want to buy an American book I go over to Amazon.de and – click – it is shipped to my home immediately. About 15 years ago I would have entered the local bookshop, got the saleswoman to look through her catalogue and I would have left the shop with the promise that they would call me after the book arrived about six weeks later.

While I love it that I have all of this foreign culture at my fingertips it also means that German culture is deteriorating a bit. And German language with it. You can see the signs everywhere. At the train station the signs saying “Schalter 1” have been replaced with “counter 1”. The bakery is called a “back shop” (“Back” refers to “backen” which means “bake”. Yes, I know this is funny.) One of my all time favorites was a poster announcing a New Year’s Eve party saying “Sekt for free!” (“Sekt” is champagne.) And I already ranted about “Cashmere Schal”. It’s disgusting.

So, I like to have my languages a bit more separate. While I will still say “T-Shirt” and “Jeans” instead of “Leibchen” and “Nietenhosen” (Those German words were used only during the fifties, and most Germans don’t know them anymore.) , I will at least try to know which language I’m currently speaking and chose my words accordingly.

Sometimes that’s not easy. When writing this post in my head I thought about how I can use words in German “mit schlafwandlerischer Sicherheit”, and there is really no adequate way to say that in English. Well, I could try “with somnambulistic security”. Now you know what I mean, don’t you. It means that you can do something in your sleep, without thinking about it, and without taking a wrong step.

The fact that convinced me to continue posting in English (apart from the fact that the English blog had about three times the readers of the German one and about five times the comments) was the English-writing mommyblogger community. So far I haven’t found a German blogger community I feel at home with. While German bloggers go all about how they like to write stories and post them, most of them have that kind of blog where you post a paragraph or two, maybe only a sentence at a time. While those blogs don’t take so much time to read I find that I prefer blogs with a bit more substance to the post. (Which you can easily tell by the way this particular post keeps scrolling and scrolling along your monitor. Sorry about that, but then look at the upside: there were only about five posts in January…)

When I started writing in English I was a bit nervous of course. Would my posts be full of Germanisms? Would people laugh at how bad my English was? But then I thought about what I’m reading in both languages and how not all of that was well written either. I know enough to avoid the most common pitfalls, like very German syntax, or using the word “normal” all the time, or writing “handy” when I mean “cell phone”. I tried to avoid the mistakes my English teacher had always marked red, until I realized that that’s the exact same thing I’m doing in German all the time! It doesn’t have to do with me being non-fluent in another language, it’s my personal style! And since this is a blog and not homework I am free to write as I like, and you as the readers are free to go wherever you want. Of course I hope very much that you stay, so I try to make things as interesting as possible, and also stay under 5,000 words per post.

I still feel a bit uneasy about the whole thing. While a French accent is considered to be cute and sexy, a German accent only reminds us of war and soldiers. The one with the German accent is always the bad guy. And I know that I have to have an accent, since all the Americans and Brits I ever met who speak German do have an accent. Sometimes only slightly and sometimes so heavy that it grates on my ears after half an hour or so. But then I don’t want to pass as something that I’m not, I only like to mingle with people I like.

So, in one way it’s a problem and in another it isn’t. What do you think? German accent? Or not? (You see, you should always end a blog post with a question so that people feel compelled to comment. But then you should also make your headline a bit more streamlined like “How to blog in a foreign language” because “How to …” and “x reasons why…” is always good.)

P.S.: My son is much better by the way.

Jan 232008
 

I don’t know if it can be done but I may have to try. Of course I’m reading too many blogs. In fact I have subscribed to that many that there are a lot of posts on these blogs that I’m not reading at all. Sometimes I just look at them in my feed reader, think, “Oh good, nothing interesting!” and click off to the next one.

I started subscribing to more and more craft blogs, nice pictures and not much text. Beautiful pictures to look at. In an attempt to cope with the sheer quantity of new blog posts every day I have sorted them into folders (you can see that on my blogroll). The distinction between “most favorite” and “very favorite” actually should read “blogs by people whom I really like and regularly comment on” versus “blogs I really like but usually don’t comment on any more because I don’t want to spend the better part of my day tending to my feed reader”.

Since I’m so overwhelmed the mere number of posts per week can be enough to move your blog from “to comment on”- to “not commenting on”-status. There are blogs that I love, bloggers whose comments on other people’s blogs (and mine) I love but I just can’t keep up with them. And so I scan most of their posts, read some, others more deeply, and rarely let them know how I think about any of them.

Of course I have become quite hesitant in adding new blogs to my list, and quite ruthless in throwing blogs out.

I remember when Mad stopped posting in August I felt sad but also relieved a bit. Her posts are so thoughtful and interesting that I felt I wanted to do each of them justice but I couldn’t do that every day. And when she came back I was happy, and even happier when she only posted two or three times a week. Of course, part of the problem is that I tend to like blogs with longer, more thoughtful posts.

Another part of the problem is that almost all of my social life happens through the computer. I have very few real-life friends, most of them live quite a distance away, and over the years with not much contact (because we all live very busy lives) I have the feeling that we have been drifting apart. Having been friends since university is not enough for that friendship to last for decades. Maybe we will get closer again, I don’t know, but for now the people I feel close to – apart from my husband and son – are people that I have never seen in real life. I’m only reading their words.

And while I love to get to know people mainly through their thoughts, something that is very unusual in real life, this kind of friendship does have severe limitations. Writing “((HUGS!!))” is not the same as a real hug. Though right now I’d rather have a virtual hug than none. On the other hand I’m living my life bound to my computer by invisible strands. I think it was Bubandpie who wrote that we maybe are drawn towards these “virtual” friendships because we are on some level not willing to commit to the real thing. On the other hand the feelings of friendship are real, and so is the friendship. It’s only very vulnerable.

As for me, I have the feeling that I really tried to find new friends around me, where I live, and still do try but I didn’t find any. (As for statistics, there were five women I tried to get to know better over the past five years. I suggested going out for coffee to all of them, one of them came to my house once, and that was it.) In this mommyblogger scene, on the other hand, there are so many interesting people writing interesting blogs that I don’t know where to start reading.

I was very relieved when Julie wrote that she is reading here often but never comments because that told me I’m not the only one. And I guess that she’s reading a lot of blogs since I see her comments everywhere and I liked them so much that I go over to her blog on a regular basis, contemplate subscribing, and then shy off. Because how could I read that without wanting to add to the discussion? And how could I add one more “blog to comment on” to my blogroll without feeling drowned in obligations?

So, it is time for the regular weeding of the blogroll. And it’s weird because every time I throw a blog out I’m sad and mostly, a few weeks later, I don’t think about it again. If I do though I will add it back.

So, I’m trying to read blogs mindfully. I won’t be commenting much. In fact, I haven’t commented much these past weeks. I even didn’t comment on De‘s last post which is unheard of. And I didn’t do it because the post wasn’t comment-worthy, I didn’t because I don’t feel like writing much these days. Also I was late as usual. It’s harder to find something to say when there have been a dozen people before you saying something.

Mad recently asked if we had any blogging rules. I seem to be in about the same spot as she (as her? sometimes English grammar eludes me). Here are mine:

  • The computer gets turned off in the evenings at about seven o’clock. It can only be turned on again in case of dire emergencies such as “but I haven’t posted in a week and a half!”
  • I won’t open a blog post unless I am in a situation where I can read it.
  • When I want to comment on a blog post I have to do it right away. When this isn’t possible I can mark it as unread only twice. After that it is done.
  • No blog reading before breakfast. (That’s the one I’m breaking very often.)
  • On weekends I get to read blogs and write posts on one day only. On the other day time has to be spent with my real-life family. Even if this means sitting next to them knitting while they watch soccer.
  • I am under no obligation to read everything.
  • When I’m away, I’m away. I don’t have to catch up on my blog reading afterwards.
  • The world won’t end when I haven’t posted in a while.
  • When I’m sitting in front of my computer and a real person enters the room I will either say, “Not now, I will be getting to you when this is finished.” and then get up from the computer to talk to that person within the next twenty minutes. Or I will turn around and focus my attention on said person.
  • When I spend an afternoon in front of the computer on weekends and such I will get up and look what the other family members are doing on a regular basis. Like every thirty minutes or so. For this I will set a timer. After it rings I won’t continue to sit in front of the computer for more than five minutes.

These are mostly blog reading rules. I also have a set of rules for blogging. Such as not showing pictures of my son, keeping him anonymous, only writing things about people that I wouldn’t mind them reading. Well, not much, anyway, I still haven’t told my parents about this and I didn’t give any student the url. And I have a mission statement! See.

Do you think there is such a thing as mindful blog-reading? My husband says that he couldn’t even keep up with all of the four blogs he was reading. He certainly is a mindful blog reader because I think he never forgets anything anybody ever wrote. While I, insatiable as ever, attempt mindfulness with about a hundred blogs. I’m really thankful that not everybody is posting every day, though.

Dec 062007
 

Just a quick reminder to send me or Mad or Hel your posts and nominations for the Just Post roundtable. Please send them until Friday the 7th to diapersandmusicATwebDOTde (If you want to know more about the roundtable click on one of the purple doves in the right sidebar, please.)

I thought I’d be refreshed by now after writing my novel in November but just as I was about to read the last 250 unread blog posts, do the last two loads of laundry and vacuum the house for the first time in weeks, and even thought about mopping the floors for the first time since July or so – my son got sick. Another middle ear infection. So instead of resting and treating my own cold I spent the last weekend with a whimpering child on my lap. Or next to him while he slept. He is feeling much better now after taking penicillin for the first time in his whole life but I had to streamline my to-do-list a bit.

And that is why I want to apologize to all of you whose blog posts I haven’t read or commented on since the beginning of November. Especially flutter, Liv, and Lia. Some of you were even participating in the “posting-every-day”-madness, and so I found the task of reading so overwhelming that I just didn’t do it. As of today my feed reader is blank again. I’m sorry though that I have missed your posts (though I have read them in part). I feel especially sad for not having commented on Lia’s excellent blog since she is not exactly drowning in comments. You should totally go over to her place though. She is living in the North of Germany, originally from Canada, has followed as diverse careers as ballet and engineering and makes the most wonderful collages.

Also I’m very thankful that Liv included me in her enormous link-post. I’ll be thinking about “She’s a Diva.” for ages.

Thank you for all your comments in the last weeks, for following my log to its new home, and returning even though it was completely unreachable last weekend. Hopefully I will be writing more coherent posts, and something along the lines of “7 things about me” or some such for which Joanna tagged me.

And remember the just posts please. They will be turning one year old soon. Isn’t that amazing?

Jul 282007
 

As of now I have zero posts unread in my feed reader. None. Nada. I didn’t know how much it weighed me down until yesterday when through frantic blog-reading I was able to par it down to 25 unread.

Of course, since this is a feed reader and there are such a lot of fantabulous blogs and writers out there this will only last for about an hour or so. And I’m fine with that because it may well be that tomorrow I’ll get restless for some blog-food and then I’ll go and read blogs I haven’t read in years weeks. It’s this pesky little balance things again.

Blog reading and commenting shouldn’t be an obligation, it should be fun. And it is. But not when you’re reading about 90 blogs and have spent the last two weekends attending parties with overnight stays or have gone off visiting friends. With no internet access. And then you come back and you can’t just hit “mark all read” because – there are marvelous posts in there for sure, and there are people you consider to be your friends, and maybe something really important happened to them. So you devote three days to catch up. Three days. And now you’re done. (Well, that would be me.)

But I really don’t like it when I’m that much behind and when I start reading 12 posts of someone in a row. Then I comment on every third or so. But this is not how it’s meant to be. And by the time I’m through the blogroll with reading, I come back and someone else has posted four new posts…

Not me though because I was so busy packing and doing laundry and planning and doing housework and reading blog posts and commenting that I didn’t find the time to write something on my own. But I will. Soon.

Because today is the first day of summer vacation. Six weeks.

(Please don’t remind me that I don’t like summer vacation.)

What do you do to cope with the ever-expanding blogosphere? Of course one could limit reading to a handful of well-selected blogs of interest like my husband does. But then the blogs that I read are hand-picked. I could easily find double or triple the amount of blogs. Good ones. Not commenting is out of the question. Look what De wrote on the subject:

So, any tips?

Jul 062007
 


Well, who would have thought. I already knew that I am a blogger and I’m quite sure about the girl, ahem, woman part, but rockin’? Me? Thank you very much Hel. Usually I think of myself as more of a jazz person, but then, who doesn’t want to rock.

So I tried to find out where this button came from since I was a little uncomfortable with a button that was just for telling other (female) bloggers, “You rock!” and then have them tag five others until every single female blogger in the world carries the same badge. Not that they shouldn’t.

This button doesn’t come with a handy link like the Thinking Blogger Award that links it back to its original creator, but maybe it should. I spend an hour or two yesterday clicking from post to post, and I found out where it began: It all started with a post called “Why not start something?” by Roberta Ferguson. She wrote:

I’m starting something today, right here, right now. You get to be in on it. It’ll be fun and it will build us a community of one sort: girl bloggers. Or, better yet, “Rockin’ Girl Bloggers”. How do you like that?

As an aside, I also saw just now that she has a music blog, and on that I found a blog called “A Singer’s Life” complete with a Singer’s Blog Carnival. How cool is that? I have been looking for musician bloggers for ages.

So the “Rockin’ Girl Blogger” button is for women and empowerment. So all is good. By the way it was totally meant to be stolen right from the start. I’m still a bit reluctant about stealing memes (or am I?) but Hel totally did the right thing. Because this badge is meant to be stolen. And if you don’t like it in pink because that clashes with your blog, or if you are not considering yourself to be a girl, you might want to look at what Jess did to the badge:


While this award is about power to women bloggers, I don’t feel particularly powerful at the moment. I’m spread a little thin (nice euphemism, isn’t it?) and am longing for summer vacation which still is three weeks away. And I don’t even like summer vacation! So, every time I don’t feel especially powerful I have to remember that the number of dear readers I have now would have made me all giggling with joy just a short year ago. And that there were quite a few people writing and thinking about pink shoes last month because I wrote about it.

So I’m going to tag a blogger or two. Just so they can feel a bit more powerful and part of a blogging community. Because there is such a thing. It is a little weird, it is self-chosen and in flux but it is a community. If you doubt it, just have a look at the Just Post roundtable.

justpostjune2007

Most of my favorite bloggers already are the proud owner of a rocking girl blogger award (and anyone who isn’t, feel free to grab it and make it your own), so I’m going to give one to:

No need to know how, who has all of three blog posts up until now. I found her blog through a comment she left on Christine Kane’s blog. I’m really looking forward to hear more of her.

Then I’m giving one to Sofia of Sofia says. She has about half a dozen blogs or so, but she either doesn’t do memes or she doesn’t get tagged, I don’t know which. (And we’ll find out soon enough.) She’s one of the few bloggers I have met in real life. (Actually I’m going to meet her just tomorrow.)

Then there’s Joanna of Joanna Bags. She already has six blog posts out. She makes gorgeous bags and I found her through the u-handbag flickr-pool. (And if you only remotely like purses I recommend to take a look at the pool too.

Now I have to go and teach another student so I leave it at three. I would have loved to give an award to every single blogger on my blogroll but then I would have had to spend three days writing about them all and you would have had to spend hours reading about them and that’s a little too much.

You know you all rock…

May 062007
 

Well. Does it? You can instantly tell that I was once trained as an academic because my answer is: It depends. (I often identify very much with Agnes Nitt the witch who is always in two minds about everything. She’s also a singer but that’s totally besides the point here. So I add it anyway.)

If your blog is needing a mission statement depends mainly on two things, on you and on your blog. If you have a business blog or plan to become rich by blogging you better have one. If you just blog for yourself and maybe your family of course you don’t. If you are a person who likes to putter along, be spontaneous, and do whatever she likes – no mission statement. If you are like me and require a plan, a system, and a list for absolutely everything in your life – then you need a mission statement.

The thing about lists, plans, and systems is though, that they can be as abstract as you like them to be. So while I tend to acquire goals like other people women acquire shoes I don’t necessarily stick to them. In the last week alone I have started to work towards a brilliant new career as a tarot reader, towards the total de-cluttering of the attic and the garage, and started learning a totally new way to play guitar though I haven’t mastered the old one in any way yet. The vision is always beautiful and then the pesky little details all get in the way. But back to the meta-blogging. (I’ll have to write about my new status as a professional dilettante some other time.)

As you can see I’m really not good at this blogging-advice thing but since I have thought so much about it and since the question of “how do I make my blog attractive”, and how do I get a better technorati ranking interests most of us bloggers I’ll try it nonetheless.

In my post about my current blogger’s block I wrote that I need a new mission statement. I have thought a lot about that statement lately. So I found that my main mission statement still remains the same:

I want to write a blog that I would like to read.

There. That was easy. Um. So what am I enjoying in a good blog? When I started this whole blog thing I found that I didn’t want to have one of those: “And then I went out for coffee and met Claudia.”-blogs. Who is Claudia? Why should I care what you had as a snack? On the other hand this clearly is a personal blog. Not a business blog. And since I’m me and this is mine I tend to write I, me, and myself a lot. When I read that I shouldn’t it only made me self-conscious. There are other parts of my initial mission statement – which by the way never was written down – that still apply:

I like posts that are longer than one or two paragraphs.

I like personal posts, but I like them more when the writer is still thinking of an audience. For example blog posts should be legible even for people who happen to stumble on the blog for the first time. (Hi, all you bag lovers who found me through flickr. This isn’t a crafts blog. I hope you enjoy it anyway.) On the other hand you don’t want to explain everything right from the beginning every time. Again, a balance thing.

I like to read blogs that have both deep and thoughtful posts and shallower and funnier posts. Again, balance.

I like to show how I live as a mother, teacher, musician, creative person so that other people, especially mothers, are encouraged to follow their dreams and do something creative. This I’m teaching mostly by being a bad example but at least you can point somewhere and say, “Well, it might have worked if only…”

So in this I try to reach out and say, “Look, you are not alone. There are other people like you.”
And then of course I say, “Look at me.” Because I like to be looked at as we all do. (And this time “we” means “us bloggers” or “us human beings”. I just say, because my husband pointed out to me that when I write “we” it always means “my husband and I”. Sorry. Or not. Mommybloggers are narcistic and egocentrical. Everybody knows that.)

But when you look I’d like to make what you see as interesting as I possibly can.

Since I have a life outside the computer I tend to post about 8 to 10 times a month. All the bloggers in the know tell you to post at least daily. But I say, “And who can read all that? And who can write that much?” Obviously there are people out there who can and I’m reading my fair share of them but I have to admit that there are several blogs I have stopped reading because there were up to ten new posts daily. Really. Sorry, but that’s too much for me.

So you can see that my mission statement is very unprofessional. But it can be since this isn’t a professional blog. It took me a while to realize this. At first I tried to improve this blog like a business blogger. I started writing magnetic headlines with lots of “How to…” and “Why… headlines. I took the free ecourse on blogging that Wendy Piersall is offering, and it did help me a lot. Until I realized that after all this is only my small personal blog and that I don’t have to follow every advice.

If you are interested in writing a better blog, making money from blogging and stuff, I point you towards problogger, Liz Strauss, eMoms at home, and copyblogger. I, on the other hand, have stopped reading this kind of advice-blog for the moment. (And maybe one can tell.) I have the feeling that the most interesting readers to my blog come through comments I have been leaving elsewhere. So that our blogs really are forming a web.

What about you? (Of course this is what you do when you want your readers to feel good, you address them personally.) Do you have mission statement for your blog? What do you mean, you don’t have a blog. Why? What does your blog want to become when it’s grown-up?

(And don’t forget the Just Posts. There is still time to enter the roundtable until tomorrow.)

Apr 152007
 

Lately I have been a little reluctant to post on this blog. At first I didn’t know why. Was it wrong to stop posting in German too? Was it because my husband started reading it? Was it because I had declared this to be my main creative outlet?

I found the reason only yesterday. It has to do with blogging as my main creative outlet. Following my new principle of acknowledging what is, I had stopped pretending that I wanted nothing but write songs and honored my actual commitment by saying that right now writing words is more important to me than music. My life had reflected on this for months. The blog had been the only thing that I did with any consistency. So why should there be a problem apart from a little hurt pride because I couldn’t fool myself into thinking that I’m really a songwriter underneath all my everyday activities.

But something obviously nagged me. When I started this blog my “mission statement” (I never really had one) was to write about my life, about the struggle to attempt parenting, chores, work and making music. I wanted to inspire other mothers. I wanted to show how one can be creative, be a musician and a songwriter while having a full life on top of that.

It didn’t matter that I failed all the time, at least I tried.

But now I have stepped back from the attempt of having it all, and I’m in the process of rebuilding my life on a new foundation. People first, then one or maybe two other things a day and that’s it. For now.

While this feels exactly right I also feel like I have let everybody down. I’m not wonder woman, I can’t do it all, and I’m feeling much better for it. But somewhere deep inside of me I wondered what I have to offer to the blogosphere.

Don’t fear, I won’t quit but now you know why I have been a little reluctant lately. I think I’ll have to find a new mission statement. You know, this is my blog, I can change my mission if I want to.

How about those of you with blogs, do you have a mission? Or even without a blog, what do you think is the one thing that you can give to the world?

I’ll let you know if I know it myself.