Originally, the blog was locked down and only I had access. That lasted a few months, until I realized that another alisondoyle dominated the search engines and there was really no reason for the thing to "hide."
Then, for a long time (in the online sense), the blog had open access. I still did nothing to optimize the writing, used few if any labels and wrote about whatever struck me. I also purposely never hooked up any analytics, so as to gift myself this daily idea that I should and could write whatever I felt.
So, as this thing continues, I can promise you loosely this: when I am feeling raw and vacant I might review books. When my kid says something funny, I will use space as a means for recording that. When an asshole motorist tries to run me off the road, I will verbally lash out against him. And when my heart breaks as it surely will again, this space will become a cleansing agent more powerful than my Swiffer and Clorox Handi Wipes combined.
Here's the shocking part: during all this obsessing and scattered writing people actually began reading the thing. I'd mention to a friend that I'd written about a topic on my blog. My sister convinced me I should perhaps list the thing on my Facebook page. Eventually, I also listed it on my Twitter. My courage grew and thus, my audience grew.
One heartfelt email from you turned into another and then another, each with their own story; some inspired, some sharing their own adventures, demons. Others thanked me for helping them with a new (to them) author, and some simply mentioned that they hoped I'd keep writing. In each an every one of these letters, comments, I found myself lamenting at the courage of the person who stuck themselves out on a line to say whatever they've said, whatever they'd shared.
And so, taking from your lead(s), I resolved to do better at commenting on other peoples' blogs. More emails, comments followed.
I was overjoyed. I was also scared shitless. I am still overjoyed. I am STILL scared shitless.
Initially, "What if's" suddenly became a part of my daily existence: What if my kid's dad read the thing? What if he used it to make me look bad? What if my parents read? What if I pissed someone off? What if my ex- boyfriend read? What if I didn't give someone enough space and another person too much? What if I was perceived differently than I see myself because of the topics I choose on any given day?
Each of these things have become reality.
In the past couple weeks two fellow single mom bloggers who I have follow religiously have been ambushed by members of their own family for the reasons I mention above. In both cases they share about their dating, children, and ex- struggles in a far more open dialog than I do here. I have watched their comments over time as they are cheered, and then as they are chastised by men, women, for their choices, what they share.
Through them, and also through my own readers, I have gained perspective and a great deal of respect for the power of this space. I have also learned that with sharing comes responsibility, vulnerability and a sense for others that they can more readily attack.
My challenge to each of you who pop on to this site to read, zone out, or whatever you do here, is to please, please continue to pass along the sweet goodness that your comments and positive support brings: on my blog, others blogs, twitter and anywhere you see fit.