I’m definitely less focused. My interests are pretty wide-ranging, and so is my blog reading. On the Internet, I’m a bit of a wanderer, but I find that I have two communities that feel like home: the “book bloggers,” and the “mom bloggers.” I launched this blog two years ago today, and it seems to me that much of my second blogging year has been spent building community ties – the above-mentioned Saturday link-fest is my own little contribution to that effort.
Book reviews were my reason for starting a blog in the first place (so I could remember things about what I read, mostly), and at that point, I didn’t even realize how many other people were blogging about books. Slowly I discovered a few, though, and through them, I found more…and more…and others found me. It was a while before I truly felt like part of the group, though, and as is the case with so many things related to the book-blogging community, it happened at least partly because of Dewey, thanks to her starting the Weekly Geeks activities and giving me the opportunity to host a Bookworms Carnival. The other big catalyst for my sense of belonging to this community was participating in Book Blogger Appreciation Week, during which My Friend Amy became a friend of so many of us. Now, I’m part of the team that’s continuing Weekly Geeks since Dewey’s passing, and one of many bloggers who has offered to help Amy with this year’s BBAW.
If there’s a “typical” book blogger, it’s not me, and that’s part of why I haven’t always been sure I should call myself a “book blogger” in the first place. There are bloggers who only post book reviews, reading memes, and book-related news; you can find those things here, but you’ll find a lot of other content too, whether you’re looking for it or not. What I love about being among the book bloggers is that it turns out that a lot of us aren’t “typical” after all, and it’s a very welcoming environment. We’re giving each other stuff to read – how could that be bad?
On the other hand, one of the first sites where I participated after I began blogging was Work It, Mom!, so the blogging moms weren’t a big surprise to me, and I sought them out. Seeing myself in that community was more of a surprise, though, since I’m even less of a “typical” mom blogger than I am a book blogger. My kids are older – one isn’t even a kid anymore – and I’m long past the trials and tribulations of early motherhood, a period which also gives birth to many blogs these days. However, “mom” is one part of my identity that will never change, and I was excited to become part of the Los Angeles Moms Blog during its “soft launch” phase last summer. The LA blog is under the umbrella of the Silicon Valley Moms Group of regional moms’ blogs. It has given me another outlet for writing – some of my posts there have fed some over here, and vice versa – as well as some exposure to the whole mom-blog-marketing thing, with its opportunities and its pitfalls, but the best thing it’s done is help someone who always felt like “the misfit mom” finally feel like she has a moms’ group of her own.
I’ve been fortunate to meet and get to know some of these mom bloggers in person, and plans are afoot for a book-blogger get-together at this year’s LA Times Festival of Books in April. However, there’s more blending and crossover between these communities than you might realize. I know book bloggers who are moms, even if they don’t often blog about their families. I know blogging moms who love to read and talk about books – and not just books for their kids. My favorite bloggers in both groups are probably the ones who, like me, are a bit less “typical” – the ones who can’t help bringing a bit of themselves and their lives into their book reviews, and the ones who have something to say about the world at large as well as its effects on their families.
I read plenty of blogs from other communities, too, and I hope that wherever you come from, you have found a welcoming community here at The 3 R’s. Whether you’re a new arrival or a long-term stalwart, I’m glad you’re here to celebrate two years of blogging with me, and I hope you’ll stick around!