2013 marks my fourth year of blogging, and when I look back over how this blog (and this whole website, and my career and my whole life while we’re on the subject) has evolved during that time, it’s a little amazing to me.
But what may amaze and delight me may be confusing to my lovely readers. As in, I’ve noticed a lot of new subscribers in the past few months — and a lot of new un-subscribers. Ouch… except I understand why. People often come to my site because they’ve read a specific story that I’ve written elsewhere — and then understandably get bored or turned off when they realize that I don’t blog 24/7 about that specific topic. (Be it MLM marketing scams or lighthouse renovations or what have you.)
So I thought it would be helpful to all you readers, new and old, if I sketched out a clearer mission statement for this blog and kept it posted right here on the top of the blog page, always and forever. (Or until everything about this site evolves again and that no longer makes sense.)
This blog is — and always has been — a writer’s notebook. When I started it as Beauty Schooled back in 2009, it was my notebook for one specific reporting project. It was a story that I was dying to tell and I hadn’t sold it as a magazine piece (those came later) or a book (that didn’t), so a blog seemed like it would be my best medium. It so was.
But since that project wrapped up, the scope of this blog has broadened considerably. It’s no longer the place where I’m telling one specific story. Instead, this is where I explore many different stories — about how women relate to beauty, about the intersections of beauty, obesity and health, about the influence of socioeconomic class, work and poverty on all of these things. And just like a pen-and-paper writer’s notebook, my ideas here aren’t edited, polished or even fully formed. I jump around a lot from story to story, or I follow one subject intensely for a few weeks, then abandon it for something else.
I also use this space to talk about the business of writing, whether that means telling you about work that I’ve recently published, or The Freelance Life series where I’m outlining exactly how to run a freelance business (or at least, how I do it). That may seem really out of left field for those of you who are not writers or otherwise self-employed. But because freelance careers are women-dominated and all too often, underpaid and under-respected, I think it’s an important part of the larger conversation happening around here.
And sometimes, I just go rogue and write about the books I give as baby presents (the eternal number one post on this blog!) or, I don’t know, kitchen renovations. Because it’s fun — and if it’s happening in my life, odds are good that it will show up in my writing in some way.
Last: I no longer post on any kind of regular schedule. Back in the Beauty Schooled days, this was a religious daily commitment, which I loved — but it sure got in the way of doing enough paying work. Then it devolved to three times a week, with my Never Say Diet gig, and then it became pretty random.
These days, my rule is that I have to write something that lights my creative fire every week — but the medium is flexible. Most of the time, that’s happening in the form of my work these days. Which is awesome, except that it means less creative energy left over to burn on the blog. So I’m enjoying the freedom to post just once or twice a week or more or less as the mood strikes.
But I realize that can be super annoying for readers (and it’s certainly not the way to proceed if you’re trying to turn your blog into a full-time paying gig!). Solution: Subscribe via email or RSS Feed so you never ever miss a post. (Those links are also always on the upper right hand corner of the blog home page.) You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter, if you want me to be playing a bigger role in your life. (I mean, of course you do.)
Well then. I hope this official statement on the unofficial nature of this blog was somewhat helpful. I sure feel better. And I hope you’ll continue to read, comment, argue and critique as the mood strikes you — because getting to engage directly with readers is the number one reason why I blog this writer’s notebook instead of keeping it all stuffed in a drawer somewhere.
Thank you so much for being here.