Shall we all retire to our garrets and come out only to discuss ART (and, not Assisted Reproductive Technology) like Flaubert and Proust?
I recently ran into a discussion about how some prominent online women writers loathe the term “lady blogger.”
I must admit I’d never heard the phrase.
Apparently, there is a theory out there (happy to email you guys a link to the article but I don’t want to put it up here for a variety of reasons) that women writers are becoming segregated into a kind of world where the only major issues being discussed are related to “Aunt Flo,” weight, appearance, style, children (or lack thereof) and reproductive politics.
This was interesting to me. I suspect (although I am not sure) that a lot of Adoption/Loss/Infertility bloggers also write OTHER blogs. The ALI world clearly is a place where there is a unique community aspect to our writing: we share information about our own journeys and write where we are in our battle to have children, live childless/childfree or parent after infertility. So, yes: we write about mostly this stuff, the reproductive details of our lives.
But most of us vary it up somewhat. I have seen a wide variety of brilliant, general interest posts over the years on many ALI blogs about many different things: religion, politics, science, truly great non-fiction and of course, humor.
The posts I have highlighted I honestly believe could be published as articles in print media, or on a broader online platform like Huffington Post or even in a literary journal like the New Yorker. To prove my point, one of my best writer buddies HAS been published in a print magazine, about her budgeting project blog.
I guess the theory is, by mostly writing about ONE topic and getting stuck in a niche, do we miss the opportunity to gain a wider audience? Or, do you believe that great, universal posts go viral and gain the acceptance they deserve?
I have to say that while I have seen a few posts that resonated deeply go viral, I have also seen a bunch that also shot me straight in the heart not go viral and I think that is a shame. I guess being a writer means that rejection is the main defining feature of our lives (as my dad always says) but I do have to ask the question:
By writing in one category, do outstanding writers miss larger opportunities for their words to be read? I know most of my readers are very modest, but all of you have written a truly great post. Just like everyone has one book in them, I truly believe that each blogger has at least one truly great post in them. I’ve read too many to dispute that theory…