Write What You Know

That’s what they always say, right? “Write what you know.”

Once again, I’m at a blogging identity crisis. And instead of finding my niche, I’ve been writing about everything and anything … I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none.

If I want to take my blog to the next level — a professional one — I’m going to need to really have a niche. And right now, I don’t. Well, that’s not exactly true.

Whenever I’ve been interviewed recently, it’s been about my disordered eating past and how it impacted my pregnancy and motherhood. And while that is a topic I’m comfortable talking about — because I know my experience might be able to help others and I like to view myself as an advocate; someone who overcame her demons — my disordered past doesn’t define me. It defines the origin of my blog, and helped launch my writing career — to be sure. But it doesn’t define me, in the here and now … or even the me since the last time I engaged in any disordered behaviors (March 2009). Plus, if I’m being totally honest, it’s emotionally hard sometimes to go back there, to that dark ugly, place I never want to see again. So I think, “I’m over this.”

But then I think about the readers who have been with me on this journey … you read about the good, bad and ugly.  You’ve stuck by me — lurked, maybe commented, maybe sent me an email or Facebook message. You’ve read about my body image issues, my weight issues, etc. You read because you were a concerned friend or maybe because you found me in a Google search could relate to some of what I was experiencing, on some level. Maybe my story inspired you to seek help … or maybe it offended you — but you read my train wreck anyway.

If you’ve stuck by me, you’ve experienced my pregnancy and now hear me talk about motherhood, being a working mom, raising a daughter, my toddler’s growth and development  …  I’ve been all over the board and it’s time to rein it in.

I know not all of my readers are mothers — but motherhood is a huge part of who I am so I don’t think I could avoid writing about motherhood … In everything I do, it defines me. Even in my career, I’m a working-outside-the-home-mom. That said, I don’t want to be a mommy blogger, where that’s all I write about.

So today I’m turning to you: my loyal readers who have stuck by me as I’ve navigated muddy waters and crystal-clear babbling brooks. Which topics do YOU want me to open for discussion? What types of posts most resonate with you?

Please, please, please with a cherry on top — take this anonymous poll. It will help guide the direction of my blog and, hopefully, a book someday! THANK YOU. And thanks for sticking by me all these years … FOUR, to be exact!

I want to write what I know … I just need a little help deciding the “what.”

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6 thoughts on “Write What You Know

  1. I love this post. I think what you write about is being a woman in America (and, in a sense, globally since you’re very in-tune with international womanhood, too). I know why you say the niche thing and I’m sure it’s true but it just gets under my skin because I think there’s so much more to people than whatever one thing they talk about.

    But, if you do find a niche you like, you can always create a side area on your blog. For example, How Sweet Eats is a food blogger – BUT she has a whole section on her blog called “Crumbs” where she writes about non-food stuff when she wants to. You could have your niche main section but then have a “Melissa on the side” section that posts under the same feed but is segregated on the blog. Just a thought. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your honesty, Candice! I didn’t mention it in the post, but that’s one thing I was thinking of doing–an update of my blog that would break the blog into sections — but I don’t know what my one area of focus will be, ya know? Therein lies the problem!! I definitely think you’re right in that people have more than one thing to talk about. Hugs!

  2. The posts of yours I like the most, honestly, are the ones that deal with body image/disordered eating recovery. Why? Because they are unique. There are so many mom blogs out there with post after post about the challenges of parenthood and how much they love their kids, but I can\’t think of any other blog I\’ve ever read that focuses on disordered recovery as eloquently as yours. Just my two cents!

    1. Thanks, Alison! That means a lot to hear. I think if I go the route you’re suggesting, maybe what I’d do is create a “family” page to still share that stuff about being a mom/challenges, but it won’t be the meat of my blog. I guess the concern about posting about DE/recovery is … I’m 3.5 yrs recovered and am not relapsing … so is it still interesting to readers to hear about how I’m dealing with those types of challenges/trigger situations? Thoughts on how to address that?

  3. I started reading long ago when I was also recovering from disordered eating Behaviour. I don’t read as much anymore because I’ve just not been reading as many blogs lately (busy with wedding planning) but I appreciate that your life has changed. I too don’t want to talk as much about body image when it isn’t really on my mind any more. Plus I think that after time it is harder to go back to that place because frankly it is hard to remember what things even felt like back then. It is different to write while you are in the disordere eating phase than it is to talk about what you remember about disordered eating anyway now that you are recovering. I think motherhood is so much more important to you now it would be far more interesting for you to write about, but I would be interested in how you work to raise your gild to have great self image.

    1. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂 And congrats on your upcoming wedding!! I am still in the navigating what comes next phase of the blog but have truly appreciated all the feedback here, in offline conversations, and through the poll.

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