BlogRhet asked, and I (and ever so many others) have answered.
1. Go back to your first or early post. How would you describe your voice back in those early days? Who were you writing to? What was your sense of audience (if any) back then?
I’m incredibly embarrassed to admit this, but I was under the delusion that my posts would be appropriate tools for science outreach, and that I would find a following of moms looking for such a thing … or, later that month, for activities to do with kids while on bed rest. I assumed a voice that was somewhat stilted, if honest, partly due to this less-personal nature of my goals. The other inhibiting factor was a fear of being “outed” with writing “on the record” in this town where often the best qualified candidate for a job in public sevice is she who has written the least.
Later, I simply wrote blog posts to my friend and fellow mommyblogger, Canape.
It wasn’t until the extended bed rest (7 months!) nearly broke me that I shed all pretension and simply wrote from my heart.
2. Do you remember when you received your first comment? What was it like?
My first comment (besides Canape) was from Mrs. Chicken. I had commented on her site, and she commented back on mine. It was nothing less than thrilling. It was a validation — I exist!
3. Can you point to a stage where you began to feel that your blog might be part of a conversation? Where you might be part of a larger community of interacting writers?
For me, it was early on, when I joined Crazy Hip Blog Mamas and treated it as a writing group, diligently completing assignments as long as they fit with my voice and goals.
4. Do you think that this sense of audience or community might have affected the way you began to write?
Sure. But it wasn’t the major factor. The major change for me was internal. I was in a bad spot. As had so often happened before in my life, I suddenly needed to write. When people started responding to my completely honest admissions of failure — ah, that was big. And for me, empathy spawned honesty. I just hadn’t realized before that anyone would want to read about a mom who struggled, and it took me a while to let that part show.