Friday, August 5, 2011

The beginning

So why my own blog?

To be honest, I'm not sure. I was perfectly content posting over at Minimal Spin Daddy. And I'll probably still post over there sometimes. But for some reason I was itching to try out my own platform, something just mine. A room of my own according to Virginia Woolf.
Woolf's story about a woman needing her own space is a feminist classic that I often referenced when teaching in Women's Studies. I guess it applies to the blogosphere as well. What also comes to mind is the episode of The Cosby Show where Claire Huxtable gets her own room. Here is this fabulous mother who is also a successful lawyer and all she wants is a space that's completely silent! Of course they handled it in a humorous way but the essential point still remains, how do we get our own space?
What's important to me is not the separating from someone or something else but rather the creation of a unique space, reflective of oneself. The space to think, be honest and create. It's so easy for me in this stage of my life to simply surround myself with people and action all the time. I certainly don't have a shortage of things to do! But it's crucial for me to start writing and thinking on my own again.
What attracts me to other blogs is seeing what people do with their creative space. The really interesting and engaging ones are authentic. They give a representation of the individual's unique personality.
For example, Girls Gone Child, authored by Rebbeca Woolf, feels free and open. I get the feeling that she's like that in real life (though I have no way of knowing this for sure). I always look forward to seeing her new posts pop up in my google reader.
Another woman with a different feel is Meghan Francis, of The Happiest Mom. Her posts feel well thought out, motivated and honest. There's not a hint of pretension or showing off. She feels real and pretty normal. (again I have no way of knowing these things for sure.)
These two women are also writers, not just on their blogs, it's what they do for a living. I think that's another reason I enjoy their writing, it's well done.
Maybe I also enjoy their work because it reaches beyond themselves, they note the funny and enjoyable things going on in their lives but with a kind of larger lens that stretches out to connect with the reader. That's a tricky skill. It's one thing for me just document my life and my family but quite another to write something bigger than my own personal experience. Yet I would love to cultivate that skill in myself.
The truth is I'd love to be a writer. But I am horribly insecure about it. So instead I bluster about not having time and being exhausted when Minimal Spin Daddy asks me what I've been writing. So the thing I hear about writers is that they write every day no matter what. I don't know if I'm capable of that but I can definitely do better than I am now.
So this is an effort to create "a room of my own".


  1. Kara, I understand! I not only want to be a writer, I also want to sing blue grass. . . maybe I need to write a song and then grab a mandolin so I can sing it!

    Enjoy writing!

  2. Thanks Mary! I definitely think that you should sing bluegrass- when's the concert going to be?

    I figure since I'm finally done with school/licensure requirements it's time to put some words to paper...