Friday, August 26, 2016

Keepin' It Real In The Blogosphere

   Tomorrow marks the five year anniversary of Menopausal Mother. I've seen a lot of changes in the blog world since I first started; large sites that I never imagined would fold---but have, and smaller blogs that took off on viral posts and made overnight sensations out of a handful of bloggers. I've seen page views rise, fall, and sometimes skyrocket in a 24 hour span when a particular post has hit a nerve. Some of those popular posts introduced me to the underbelly of the blogosphere---internet trolls that harassed me and made me question if I was cut out to be a writer. Fortunately, I learned to develop a tough skin and ignore their insults.

     I've reached goals that five years ago I never dreamed would be a reality for me, and ridden the waves of both success and failure more times than I can count. More importantly, I've learned that I can dust myself off after a fall and climb back onto the saddle of my unpredictable muse.

     The blogosphere has also given me life-long friends who have mentored and encouraged me since the beginning. There have been numerous times when I've considered folding up Menopausal Mother for good, but these lovely blogger friends remind me that there are faithful readers out there who come here for a little lift when the rest of the world is not so kind. I can't argue with that because I need laughter in my life just as much as anyone else.
   
     One of the main reasons I started this blog was to bring joy to women who were experiencing the same, uncomfortable symptoms of menopause that I was facing. But over time, it became so much more. I realized early on that I couldn't focus solely on menopause---I was limiting my audience. So I started writing about my family life, friends, my quirky habits, work, vacations, and my love for all the four-legged fur babies who live in my home. I also opened up about my depression issues and the personal losses I've faced over the years. Although those were the hardest posts to write, they garnered the most comments and gave me the support I needed when sadness was getting the best of me. I'd wanted to keep my blog upbeat at all times, but a fellow writer once told me that she felt I wasn't keeping things "real" on my site, and accused me of hiding behind my humor. She challenged me to write something that made me uneasy; to step out of my comfort zone and share something so painful and raw that I would feel myself bleeding across the page while I wrote it.


     So I did. And as terrified as I was, I hit "publish" after writing my first serious piece, The Box, several years ago. That morning, I closed my laptop and stepped out of the office for a bit because I was too afraid to read the comments I'd receive. But as frightening as it was to take that first leap into non-humor, there was also a strong sense of relief knowing that I'd finally removed many self-imposed boundaries by sharing something deeply personal with total strangers on the internet.

     When I checked back in on the site later that morning, the response was overwhelmingly positive, and I knew at the moment that my writer friend had given me the best advice possible. I still prefer to write humor on my blog, but since that time, I've been sprinkling a few poignant pieces over the comedic posts to add a little boost of flavor to Menopausal Mother.

     My blog and I have come a long way since that August afternoon in 2011 when I published my very first post. I've discovered that the blogosphere is a strange and wonderful place; a great starting point for my initial goal of writing a book, and for sharing articles on larger websites in an effort to spread an important message. Blogging has also been the perfect platform for self-expression and for connecting with others who share the same vision. Over time, I've developed an amazing, supportive community of readers both here and on my Facebook fan page, and it's their enthusiasm that motivates me to continue writing.

     Thank you all for standing by me through bouts of writer's block and for being my inspiration these past five years. I hope to bring you many more years of laughter, and I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you soon. Cheers!



****WANT MORE MENO MAMA? It has been a busy week for sharing blog posts! I was featured  Scary Mommy with "A Mother's Advice to Her Son heading Off to College",  and on The Tribe with "15 Things No Parent Should Have to Say to Their Teen Daughter." Have a look and see what you think!


   

39 comments:

  1. Yay to 5 years Marcia, I've loved reading your posts. The funny ones that made me laugh out loud hysterically .. the sad ones that made me cry.

    I'm so glad we connected through our blogsite, I hope to get to Florida and finally visit you ♡

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    1. Thank you so much, Launna. I would LOVE to meet you one day!

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  2. I always enjoy reading your perspective Marcia. You are a true delight and have brought joy to so many. Keep on doing what you do best!

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    1. You're so sweet! Thanks for always stopping by to read and say hello--I appreciate your support!

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  3. It's always a pleasure to come over * see what's cookin'. It's always interesting, or funny or poignant or maybe all of them. Congratulations!

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    1. Thank you, Carol. Happy to see you here!

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  4. Congratulations on 5 years, Marcia. AND, many thanks for sharing so much of yourself with all of your readers. Sharing our stories lets us know that we are not alone, that other people do know how we are feeling, and that there is always a way forward. Your blog also helps us laugh along the way, which is a true gift!

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    1. Thank you Seanna for the kind words and encouragement!

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  5. Congratulations! And now you can add "and I've inspired others" because you were very helpful to me when I stared my blog. I will post my second anniversary piece next week - thank you. Here's to many more great posts from you! An EBWW friend.

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  6. Congratulations! You were so instrumental when I started my blog two years ago, so please add "and I've inspired others" to your list of accomplishments. Looking forward to more. An EBWW friend.

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  7. Wonderful post. You confirm all the things I love about blogging -- especially the friendships that rise up. Congratulations on your 5 year anniversary! Job well done.

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    1. Thanks, Laurie. I treasure blogger friends!

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  8. You've brought joy to a few men as well.

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    1. Awwwww....thank you so much, Stephen. It is such a joy to read your blog, too!

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  9. Congrats on your 5 year anniversary, Marcia! That's quite the milestone. Things really have progressed on the internet since then. More blogs than ever but your continues to stand out. Keep on, keepin' on!

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    1. Thank you! There really are quite a few more blogs now than there were before. It's hard to keep up, LOL.

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  10. I have lived through a lot of what you discuss as well. I also found that surrounding yourself with good people is the only way to keep going. Congratulations on your 5th blogiversary.

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    1. Blog friends lift you up when you feel like quitting. Even though I have not met you and many others IRL, I just know that we would all get along great if we lived closer to one another. What fun!!

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  11. Reading this made me go d see how long ago I started my blog it was back in 2007 but I had a different blog for a few years before that

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  12. You're amazing and inspiring, Marcia, and I'm so glad that we "found one another" in blog-land. I'm close to entering menopause (I THINK?????) and each time I think about writing about it, I think of you and how none of us need a niche. Thank you for keeping on keeping on! And Happy Blogbirthday!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kristi. Love you to bits, my friend <3

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  13. Marcia, you have always been, and always will be, one of my greatest inspirations. You're the real deal, inside and out, and I will be a friend and fan always. MWAH!

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    1. Awwwwww love you so much, Vikki! YOU my dear, are such an inspiration to us all. You're one of the funniest ladies out there and I've always admired you. BIG HUGS to YOU!

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  14. Congratulations on the anniversary!!!

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  15. Congratulations Marcia on bringing joy to readers for five years. I read your book before I read your blog and have enjoyed both so much. Humor is a calling and I am grateful for the laughter you have brought into my life. And the inspiration to keep going even when times are tough and nothing seems funny. To many more years of sharing your realness in whatever form it takes.

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    1. Oh Molly, this means so much to me! THANK YOU!!!

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  16. Congrats to 5 years of bringing humor and goodness in the blogosphere.
    More years to come! :)

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  17. Congratulations A wonderful accomplishment from a woman has made me laughing longer than I thought I could. Cheers!

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    1. Awwwww....so sweet of you to say, Denise. Thanks!

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  18. Love this post! You have a really wonderful blog, keep up your amazing work gorgeous gal! x

    adelelydia.blogspot.com

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