Today, as I sit at my corner desk looking out at the Vancouver rain, I struggle with the words for my latest blog post. It’s been five years now. A big anniversary. My blog is five years old. That’s years younger than my children, but it’s also years longer than I imagined I’d be writing a blog.
When I first started, it wasn’t even my idea. I was teaching memoir writing for moms and one of my tech-savvy students suggested I needed a website and a blog. When she saw the skepticism cloud my eyes, she offered to create one for me – for free. I was so grateful, but I was also pretty worried about the work involved in maintaining a regular blog. A busy working mom with about eight different freelance contracts, I couldn’t imagine carving out the time to write – for free.
But amazing things happen when you talk to women about writing. My students started offering to help. They saw the blog as an opportunity to get published and to connect with a larger network of moms who write. I saw it as an opportunity to create a new and vibrant community of moms who write around the world. Plus, it meant I didn’t have to write it all myself.
That was a huge relief. And it meant the blog could offer a multitude of voices and points of view on mothering. It organically evolved into something very much like an online anthology. And an anthology is how I got into teaching writing to moms and creating blog in the first place. Kismet! Gotta love when that happens.
So, five years in, there have been stories about family life after divorce, about what it’s like to adopt children with special needs from overseas, what it’s like to be a blind mom, a grandmom, a working mom. It’s sometimes a lot of work to collect the stories, edit them and make them shine, but it’s the kind of work that has filled my soul and it led to a brand new opportunity – teaching moms how to create, envision and write their own blogs.
By teaching them online how to write stories that stand out from the crowd, I’ve helped them find their voice and I’ve helped them see the value and the validity of their stories. That can be hard in a world with 5 million mom blogs and only a few standouts. So that’s what I’m going to write about for my fifth anniversary blog post: when you give, and when you start talking and sharing your stories, you start a journey that will surprise you with its gifts.
For more information on Cori’s Online Blog Writing Classes for Moms, click here. Her new session starts in May.