Today, the 13th of January is my one-year anniversary of my blog. When I “jumped into the water” of blogging, I had no idea what awaited me- how many, many wonderful fellow bloggers I would meet and what an amazing community there is “out here”.
I learned about blogging when Mom-Not Otherwise Specified was a blog that I found and loved- I depended on- I listened to. In the times of dark days, I read her blog, her words of wisdom and her feelings about what was happening to her and her son. She wasn’t speaking to “me“, but her words spoke “to” me. I read her blog for several years as part of my regular morning routine. I certainly never posted- that would be breaking that “barrier” I had imposed. After all, I could learn from her, but there wasn’t much she could learn from me. Heck, I couldn’t even find my own words- we were too lost in the mists of identification, coping, struggling, finding a “new normal”. Her words were a lifeline that I was not alone. But I had no time for joining the conversation.
I learned more from Kristina Chew and Vicki Forman– writers who seemed to value- like me- a balanced, scientific view of autism; who wanted to know more. Their words presented a strong counterpoint to so much of the hysteria that I read- hysteria that I was keeping at bay in my own life.
I started the blog for two reasons:
- to respond to questions that some folks had had about my book– I wanted to give the “rest of the story” as well as have a chance to elaborate on some pieces of the book that may not be interesting/pertinent to the broad readership, and
- to reach out to those who had been struggling like I had- to be that voice of integrated scholarship and mothering that I can provide. I had discovered my “voice” when writing the book- and I wanted to keep talking; I wanted to keep listening- I wanted to keep the dialogue going. About education. About parenting About twice-exceptional children. About autism. About giftedness. About the intersection of all of those things.
But since I’ve been blogging, I’ve learned that I’m not just reaching out to those whom I wanted to help- people like me who were drowning in the Space Between, but that I’ve made new bloggie friends. People whose blogs I read, who comment on mine and whose I comment on (See the list to the right). Blogs that are compilations of some of my favorite posters. There are even edited blogs. I’ve learned that although I am a very small speck in a very large blogosphere- there are corners where you can find each other, you can find friends.
There is an incredibly rich blogging community out here- a community that I observed when I was on the sidelines, a community that, as a professor, I had no idea existed. It is a community that is largely ignored by the professional world, but that impacts lives immediately. When one person posts, others respond. When an issue arises, there are numerous perspectives on it. I’ve added my blog as part of my professional curriculum vitae-it’s become that important to me.
There are those who say that blogs are dying– being replaced by Twitter and Facebook. However, I think that blogs are an in-between… in between the in-depth monologue of the book (even the e-book), and the quick, light, surface dialogue of Facebook and Twitter. Blogs provide an opportunity for asynchronous conversation that can be thoughtful, funny and in-depth. Not as in-depth and insightful, perhaps, as wine and a face-t0-face conversation, but those require being in the same space and time- not resources always available to everyone who want to join in the conversation.
And, at the very least, after a year of blogging, my mother and friends have a better idea of what’s happening in our lives. And what I’m thinking about- which is probably the most personal part of all.
So, after one year.. I like this place! I look forward to new friends- reading new blogs, meeting new readers. I hope to contribute to the blogosphere in my own way- that I have some insights that others might find interesting. I want to learn more from others. Heck, I even want to meet up for wine and some conversations with some of the folks I’ve met here.
I like this pool… Thanks for having me!