(PHOTOS) 10 Reasons Why I Started Blogging at Surrender, Dorothy

4 years ago

I started blogging ten years ago in 2004 on my personal blog, Surrender, Dorothy. Sometimes I'm shocked I'm still at it. I've been asked more times than I can count why I started blogging, whether for formal interviews or by a curious dental hygienist. There are so many answers. Here they are—why I started, and how those reasons have changed over the past ten years at the keyboard.

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2004

I started blogging when I was on maternity leave with my only child, known then and now on Surrender, Dorothy as "the little angel." I was tired but wanted to keep writing, and blogging seemed like the easiest solution—
way easier than the short stories and poetry I had been working on in my graduate writing program. Plus, she was an endless source of material.

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2005

I'd had anxiety disorder for years, but new motherhood blew the top off any cool I'd managed to pull together. I worried about everything. Blogging about it all made it seem funnier than it really felt at the time. The more I freaked out, the harder other people laughed, and eventually it started to seem more okay.

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2006

My daughter had a lot of trouble sleeping. She didn't sleep through the night until she was four years old. I would ask my mother, over and over, if I did this when I was a toddler. My mother would say, "Honestly? I don't remember."

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2007

I wrote about being a new mother so that I wouldn't have to say the same thing to my daughter if she ever had kids. If I couldn't remember, dammit, at least I'd have archives.

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2008

As time passed, I turned my stories into a book that I shared with the world and a book I shared only with her.

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2009

As she grew up, I wrote less about me and more about her, then more about me watching her become such an amazing person.

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2010

I realized I was writing because I wanted her to know, always, how much I loved her and how much I loved being her mother. And also about all the other people I was, and I am. Mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, author, editor, aunt, daughter-in-law, teacher, citizen. Her presence shapes all my other roles, and all my other roles shape the mother I am to her every day. Who I am is so much more complicated than I realized when I was younger.

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2011

I wanted her to know what it was like for me to be her mother no matter what. And also, what it was like to be me as a person. I love it when my mom tells me that sort of thing about her. I wish I knew more about what my grandmothers thought of things, but all they left were postcards.

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2012

I write in case anything should happen, if I were to lose my memory or my life. Every year my daughter gets bigger physically and emotionally and intellectually. I've stopped trying to capture it all and now just focus on the snapshots in my mind of that one time when she said that one thing and the universe rotated in the opposite direction for a minute. I want her to know she is capable of that level of rotational change and to use her powers wisely.

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2013

I've watched people stop blogging since I started. I've slowed down, myself, but I never really considered stopping. I can't. I write to say I was here and so was she and no matter what happens in her life, she is the brightest star in mine.

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2014

Why did you start blogging? Write a post of your own and drop it in the Mr. Linky below. Long live blogging!

Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel The Obvious Game & the deputy editor of BlogHer.com. Find more at www.ritaarens.com.

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