Friday, March 20, 2009

Why Blog?

The concept of blogging never really impressed me. It seemed rather self-indulgent. Like, who are these people who think that they have something to say that is actually worth reading? Then before Christmas I happened to read something which a friend had written in his blog that had been picked up by the National Post. I was completely impressed by his writing and called him up to tell him so. In the course of the conversation I expressed that I would love to pursue a career as a writer, and I asked how to get started. He said that I needed to practice writing everyday and suggested that I start a blog. So I did.

Around the same time I found the blog of a highschool friend, and I was pretty excited to discover that ordinary people can actually have some interesting things to say!!

And so I began blogging as a way of finding my writing voice and figuring out what I might be capable of writing about that might draw an audience. I tried a few different titles from which I might have been able to draw inspiration. The first title I considered was The Thinking Mother but I discovered that someone already had taken it. Then I tried The Heart-Full Mother, and I tried to incorporate the idea of my heart being full of my children into every post, but it seemed too contrived and trivial.

I settled on Jazzy Mama without much additional thought. When Jasmine was still brand new I used to sing her a little song in which she was the 'angel baby' and I was 'Jazzy Mama' or 'Jazzy's Mama'. It felt original and special to create my URL as angelbabyjazzymama, and to assume the online identity of Jazzy Mama. The adjective jazzy has its own connotations of being somewhat with it, which of course I consider myself to be, so I think this title is a good fit.

I had begun some articles in January in an effort to figure out what I wanted to write about, but without an audience I was having a hard time getting the pieces to flow. Also, I was attempting to write in a very academic style, using research and a level of formality that does not come easily for me. Blogging, by contrast, offers me the chance to use my own voice, which I consider to be intellectually conversational. I am never at a loss for inspiration, and I often have a whole piece composed in my head before I even sit down at the computer.

Maybe I'm naive or conceited or both, but I do hope to eventually get paid for writing. Within a year I hope to have enough material in my blog that I will be able to create a few coherent articles about homeschooling or mothering and submit them to some appropriate magazines. I am humble about my blog, and nervous about who might read it, but I am also excited that it is possibly a gateway to a new career (??) Maybe I'm fooling myself. Still for now, the joy is in the hope.

So although I began with the goal of writing something worthy of publication, I have since developed some other good reasons for writing. For one thing, the blog will serve as a chronicle of the lives of my children as they grow up. It is fun to write about their daily exploits, but I hope they will also someday appreciate reading about my journey through motherhood, and my constant striving to do better. For them.

Secondly, I am delighted that some members of my family have begun to read my blog, and it warms my heart that they care enough about me to read my daily musings. Perhaps they will come to understand me better and we will have closer relationships as a result. And it is also nice for them to see how my children are growing up apart from the mainstream and how committed Partner-Guy and I are to giving them every opportunity as they reach their full potentials.

The final benefit to me from blogging has been a deeper insight into myself and my values. Reading my own writing helps me to clarify my own ideas about my future, my relationships, my goals and my authentic self. It is very gratifying.

To my kind readers, I hope you will also feel the challenge to pursue your authentic selves.

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