My memoir writing class started up again last week after about a six week hiatus. During that time I kept up with my writing but it was for my blog. One may assume that the words I churn out about my family and my dogs could be also what I write about in my memoir class, since they are, in fact, my life these days. The writing is not the same. It is actually quite different. In my class, we are given prompts to stir up memories. The blog is basically free choice, up to me, whatever happens to be on my mind, hopefully finding some connection to our aussiedoodles or motherhood. In my posting of stories out on the world wide web, I tend to show a little restraint when it comes to fully exposing my private life or that of the members of my family; at least I never refer to the humans by name. In the safe space of my memoir class, sharing sorrows and joys through detailed descriptions are exactly what I signed up for. I love listening to others read their pieces as much as I love telling my story.
An interesting bit of feedback was given to me today in class by someone who I believe reads my blog on occasion. She said my memoir class writing for today sounded more “memoir-like” and less “blog-like” than it sometimes sounds. Hmmm. I wondered. Is that a compliment? Is my blog needing more detail and feeling? Has my memoir writing started sounding more like my casual blog?
The tricky thing I have learned in the eight months I have been blogging is that you cannot win. The wider my focus is the more people I may turn off. Dog-lovers may be bored with all my references to my four human children. Mothers wanting to relate to stories of childrearing may feel like “enough of the dog stuff, they are dogs, get over it.” The book that I bought before beginning to blog warned me of this. “Choose your lane,” they strongly suggested. Some people blog about antiques, some about low carb recipes, and others about raising alpacas. But you will be hard-pressed to get a follower who is eating paleo, collecting old tools and wants to know different ways to use sheered alpaca fur.
It takes me back to my initial reason for my blog. I love the journey that motherhood has taken me on, and bringing home these tiny two puppies last June is something I wanted to document. Their rate of growth and development is much faster than my human children, and so it’s an opportunity to pay attention to the details of the stages (without repeating 18 years with another human baby). I find myself drawing many comparisons along the way.
So if I happen to lose your interest on a given day, stick around. I am bound to get back to what you came to my blog to read about. Aussidoodles and family. Not a memoir, but a blog.