Guest Post By Marlene Kern Fischer of MarleneKF
My name is Marlene and I am a blogger.
At first it all started innocently enough with a few blog posts on WordPress. Having always enjoyed writing I figured I would just jot down a few thoughts in between loads of laundry and put them out there. I learned how to set up my site and was up and running in no time at all. I shared those initial blogs on Facebook and smiled at the likes and encouraging comments I received. I admit that the positive feedback felt good and I was deeply grateful to the friends who shared my blogs. I checked my stats and marveled at all the people in the different countries who read my posts. I said things like, “isn’t that lovely, someone from Australia just read my blog?” It was just nice to be writing again. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed it.
But all too soon it became apparent that my little WordPress site wasn’t going to be enough. I needed more. I moved on to sending out my blogs to online publications. A dear friend, who I realize now was an enabler, sent me the list to feed my addiction. When the first blog I sent out was accepted for publication I felt heady intoxication. The positive reinforcement became something I started to crave. I was used to snarky comments from my children, not this sudden validation that I still had a brain. It was a rush I couldn’t explain. I also discovered that the blogging community is comprised of supportive and intelligent people. It was a community I wanted to be a part of.[bctt tweet=”‘When the first blog I sent out was accepted for publication I felt heady intoxication'”]
Each day I searched the news for topics to write about. I lay awake at night thinking about my next blog topic—hoping for an idea that would go viral. Friends and family started to shy away from me; concerned that anything they might say in my presence could turn up in a blog post. “Write about something other than us’ my middle son implored. Was there something other than my family I could write about? I considered my son’s request for a brief moment but then realized that I had spent two and a half decades devoting my life to my children and they owed me—it was my right to write about them and their antics. Antics, which, I might add, had probably taken decades off my life. My existence had become so much about being a mom that when it came time to send a bio and headshot to the online publications I couldn’t even find a picture of myself that didn’t include my husband and kids. I finally found one where I was able to mostly crop them out.[bctt tweet=”‘I lay awake at night…hoping for an idea that would go viral.'”]
In my quest to write the perfect blog the laundry started piling up, the breakfast dishes remained on the table and I stopped going to my spin class. Ok maybe I hadn’t started taking a spin class but I had definitely considered it. I knew I would have to get myself under control before I lost it all.
I decided that while I would continue to write, I would do it at a more moderate pace. I allowed my family a modicum of privacy and scaled back on checking the views and clicks my posts received. I even bought a Peloton bike for the house so I could take spin classes in between writing my blogs. This is a cautionary tale for anyone considering starting his or her own blog. Blogging can suck you in before you realize what is happening. Proceed with caution. But if you have a desire to write, do proceed, because it really can be fun and fulfilling.[bctt tweet=”‘Blogging can suck you in before you realize what is happening. Proceed with caution.'”]
Marlene Kern Fischer is a wife, mom of three sons, food shopper extraordinaire, and blogger. Her work has appeared in Kveller, Grown and Flown, Better after 50, Ten to Twenty Parenting and Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop.