Darcy had a chat today with one of the big thinkers in the blogosphere about what blogging is and where it is going.
This guru said it is two things:
1. It’s a way of connecting with a like-minded community.
2. It’s a way to become an advocate or influencer about a topic you are passionate about.
I got the shivers when he told me this, as obviously the second point is one I have been pondering in depth.
But let me begin with the first point. In my boring, conformist suburban life, it’s doubtful I would have ever “met”:
1. A cool girl from Maine, who rocks the romantic look so hard, Rachel Zoe should be taking notes. Girl is seriously stylish.
2. A yoga model, whose crow pose in the snow is crazy amazing. Vote for her!
3. A children’s writer and illustrator, whose goal to not buy anything new for a year (except for necessities) rivals projects like “No Impact Man”.
4. A woman who in the last few months has met the President of the United States and published a best-selling book.
5. A local-food enthusiast who lives her activism by supporting local CSA farms and cooking drool-worthy healthy chow.
6. A stylish and clever SoCal lady who can walk in 5-inch heels on the hilly streets of San Francisco and writes like nobody’s business.
7. An acerbic, funny Canadian whose tart take on infertility should land her a book deal.
8. An Israeli filmmaker and writer of hilarious criticisms on the endless remakes in Hollywood.
9. A modern-day heroine taking on the Goliaths of infertility on our behalf: public ignorance, unfair insurance policies and the local and federal laws which don’t support us.
10. An advocate for children and champion of the bullied.
11. An Indian woman whose lofty career led her to meet top dignitaries in her country.
And then there’s Calliope, who I haven’t “met” but I just found out that she was in the music video for one of my favorite songs.
How cool are all of you? (And that list is cursory: everyone I’ve met seems to have an important and unique story.)
But beyond the “cool” factor, y’all GET IT. Like no one in my real life did.
So, deep, deep breath, it’s time to address the second reason people blog: advocacy and influence. I’m not a fighter like Keiko or an influential politico like Mel. I’m just little mousy me. Like so many people, I love the Harry Potter books. My favorite character is actually Neville Longbottom. J. K. Rowling makes a big, anvil-shaped point about the importance of bravery in the series. But Neville is a shy, awkward boy with none of the skills of Harry, brains of Hermione or guts of Ron.
Yet, spoiler alert, Neville too makes a significant contribution to knocking off Lord Voldemort.
I don’t mean to be grandiose, and I certainly respect those who don’t want to or can’t give their voices to the NIAW campaign (I agree with Mel: those who don’t speak are to be just as respected as those who do.) I am in a place many are not: I have children, thanks to infertility treatments. I finally feel up to facing those who don’t understand the pain and suffering the ALI community endure.
Darcy and I had a long discussion tonight: why do I care so much about infertility? Why am I not off bonding with the “mommy bloggers”? Why do I connect so much to the ALI community? The honest answer is “I don’t know.” But I do. So I’ve decided to lend my voice to the Resolve “Bust a Myth” campaign. I really hope not to get the “don’t repopulate the earth, you barren misfit, adoption-shunning jerk” comments. They will hurt, a lot. But if I do, I do. I’ll try to think of Neville, when he heard the Death Eaters belittling his poor parents, who were driven mad by their evil. But mostly of the brave, strong women and men who are unable to lend their unique voices, who are enduring hell on earth.
I’ll do it, because this community is so important to me. And we can fight and win. And so I’ll help, as best as I can.
Do you agree with the guru about what blogs are for? Why do you write your blog? Is the advocacy angle necessary to blogging?