Why How What - A blog defined...

Today let's get a little more personal than we usually do here on My Life at Playtime. I was nominated by my talented and amazing friend Jen of Classic Play to share in a blog hop focused on answering the question of why. So let's delve into the whys, hows, and whats of what I do here on My Life at Playtime, shall we? 

Why Do I Write?

I write for many reasons. I've always written. When I was younger, it used to be runaway letters to my parents explaining to them the injustices of a particular situation and my need to pack my bags and leave home. At 9. True story. Several times.

Or in high school being the editor of our school yearbook, for a school with over 2000 students. I kept journals all through my teenage years, documenting every friendship and relationship I had. Writing was my way of letting out what I no longer could just keep inside my head. I was quite dramatic too. I look over my scrapbooks and my journals and think cringeworthy thoughts about my melodramatic take on phone calls and conversations, boys and heartache. But I had to write about it. And somehow still to this day I have a little bit of that "have to write-ness" in me. Hopefully I write now with a little more perspective and maturity. It's great I don't feel like the world is going to end quite so frequently!

I also write because it's become a way for me to help support my family. I won't deny that's a great motivation to write. As much as it's an outlet for me it's also a business choice now. I keep content on my blog current so that when I apply for positions as a contributor elsewhere they see what my "voice" is like, my style of writing and what I can share or offer them. 

Why else do I write? I write because no matter how many blogs or books I read, websites or magazines, I've never come across someone who is me. And that's because there isn't anyone else just like someone else. My voice is my own and I don't ever feel the pressure that someone else is doing me, better. Bloggers often fall into a comparison trap, where they can get down on themselves about someone doing a post or a photo shoot or an essay better than they could.. But I'm a firm believer that no one can do you better. And no one can do me better. That's just it. The end. 

What Am I Working On?

I'm working on keeping up with my writing commitments at the moment. Being a contributor at Hello Natural began with a two post per month agreement and it's slowly migrated into a 4-6 post per month gig. I'm working on making sure that I balance my own blog content with my work elsewhere, such as on Classic Play as well as Hello Natural. I might not be able to post here quite as frequently as I used to, but I still feel like I'm here often. And often enough to keep myself happy and readers too.

I feel like writing about health and beauty is a true blend of my online and offline life. Being an esthetician and not really being able to share much about my knowledge on skincare outside of my daily work has finally blossomed into this awesome partnership. And being able to share this information with readers who really appreciate it, is simply pretty awesome. 

How Does It Differ From Others Of It's Genre?

That's a tough one to answer, and maybe it'd be better answered by all of you instead of me. I can answer more easily how I'm different as a person, so let's start there. 

I feel like I'm often a walking contradiction. A lot. I'm dedicated to my family, but not at the expense of anyone, including myself. I firmly believe my kids benefit from having a happy mom, but I'm balanced and realize that being a mother means sacrificing things I truly love.

Being a younger mom I have a unique relationship with my kids. I learn right alongside them. I openly tell them when I make mistakes. I openly share that I don't always know what to say or have the right answer. Sometimes if my kids are having an especially hard time, I just tell them it sucks, and give them a hug. There isn't always a resolution. And I try to avoid the need to "fix" everything in their lives.

I find I read a lot less blogs now than I used to. I enjoy them less. I am tired of seeing the same thing on so many blogs, week in and week out. The same sponsored articles, the same aesthetic, the same clothes, the same pretty photo of a drink stirrer. Maybe my taste has changed, or maybe the blogs I used to read have all evolved to be too similar, but I miss the days when blogs were extensions of people's lives. I like 'blog blogs', not 'magazine blogs'. 

I sure hope what I do here is still a 'blog blog'. Glimpses of my real life, my real kids, my real clothes, my real tips on keeping us healthy, and so on. Sure, I don't feel comfortable sharing all my kids' stories as they get older because I don't own those stories. But I also don't paint a picture that isn't real. We are a real family, my kids fight, my kids make me laugh, my kids keep me sane and cause my insanity. 

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How Does My Writing Process Work?

I'm not all that organized to be honest. I write as things happen in our lives. We get a great book haul from the library, and that motivates me to write a book post! We explore a new adventure, I write about it! When it's something more personal, or an essay, I occasionally have Aaron proofread it. But I usually like for him to read it along with everyone else who visits this blog. 

My favorite part of the writing process is the aftermath. For instance, my Nana reads this blog religiously and sends me the absolute best emails. She doesn't know how to comment on the blog, so I get these amazing emails instead. They are heartfelt and encouraging and just all around what my grandma is. I love you Nana!

I am definitely more organized when it comes to my other writing gigs. I usually get my Hello Natural theme topics 4-6 weeks in advance and like to work on them slowly. Research, write, edit, write, proofread, submit to editor. My art lesson or tween/teen articles for Classic Play are usually done the week before they go live. Jen and I talk about different topics and then when we decide on one, I get to work. I submit it to her about 4-6 days before it goes on the site and that way she has time to add her lovely artistic touches to the photographs. 

And there you have it! The ins and outs of how and why I blog! 

Now I’d like to nominate a blogger that just began her blog about a year ago. Remember when I expressed how I prefer blogs that are extensions of people, that’s what The Inspired Mommy is, an extension of life with four little ones. Stephanie shares ideas and tips that have worked for her family of three boys and a girl, and a dog, and a husband, and a house. I miss the days of finger painting playdates and fun toddler crafts strewn about my dining table. So I get my fix through Stephanie’s blog of life with babies and toddlers and kindergarten. And somehow she manages to plan fantastic kid parties, have themed learning weeks, and sneak in time for herself.