Motherhood & Words

On Monday night, I had the opportunity to be part of a panel of local folks talking about blogging. The meeting was hosted by the Twin Cities writing/networking group Eat, Drink and Get Published and moderated by Jason DeRusha, who writes Jason’s DeBlog on The panelists included Stephen Regenold of The Gear Junkie, Kay and May of the StarTribune’s Cribsheet (I finally got to meet them!), and Justin Piehowski, who writes Minnesota Blog Cabin on MinnPost and produces Sheletta Brundidge’s Emmy-winning blog. And then there was, ahem, me (with the smallest blog of the bunch).

It was so interesting to hear how the other panelists got started. Some were motivated by money, but most were motivated simply by passion. We are all passionate about our subject matter, whether it be supporting new parents, writing about blogs, testing the newest mountain bike, or creating a space for motherhood literature to be taken seriously. Passion is the thing that birthed our blogs and passion is what keeps us posting.

According to Universal McCann, 184 million people worldwide have started a blog, and in the State of the Blogosphere, Technorati says that bloggers are:

  • Not a homogenous group: Personal, professional, and corporate bloggers all have differing goals and cover an average of five topics within each blog.
  • Savvy and sophisticated: On average, bloggers use five different techniques to drive traffic to their blog. They’re using an average of seven publishing tools on their blog and four distinct metrics for measuring success.
  • Intensifying their efforts based on positive feedback: Blogging is having an incredibly positive impact on their lives, with bloggers receiving speaking or publishing opportunities, career advancement, and personal satisfaction.

I’m not sure how savvy I am, and I’m certainly not able to post as much as I’d like, but I do know this: this small space on the Internet has definitely had a positive impact on my life, and it’s because of all of you. Two years ago (today), I began this blog to create to a place where writing by women about motherhood would be taken seriously as literature. I also wanted to develop a readership for my book. But I didn’t expect to become part of such a rich and varied community of mothers and writers living and mothering and trying to get words on the page. I am so grateful to all of you and to your words. Thank you!

I’m interested in hearing why you started to blog and how your perception of blogging has changed (if it has) since you began.


p.s. I am taking the advice of the other panelists and uploading a picture of myself. I guess I didn’t realize it was so important. Is it?

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I have been teaching creative writing for almost twenty years. Reading about other women’s lives and experiences has expanded my world. To be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, whether it’s for a moment or an hour or a few days, is an incredible gift, providing me with insight into the human experience. It takes courage to write your truths, especially if it doesn’t seem as though anyone cares, as though anyone is listening. Let me tell you: your stories matter, I’m listening, and I’m here to help you find the heart of those truths, to get them down on the page, to craft them, and to send them out into the world. Together, we will change the world, one story at a time.


  1. Elizabeth on January 30, 2009 at 1:50 am

    I had turned my nose up at the idea of blogging and then fell into it through a very hilarious friend. I also took the advice of an agent I had met who said it “was the thing to do.” What I’ve found is a rich community that reminds me of what it might have been like to be a part of a “salon” in bohemian times. I am continually galvanized and inspired by others’ stories, especially of those parenting children with special needs. But I am also LAUGHING more, reading some very, very funny stuff. And I’m finding that my own blog is a source of inspiration and comfort to some AND aggravation to others! Sigh…

  2. Shawna on January 30, 2009 at 3:04 am

    i had a blog way back when in high school, for who knows what reason, when they weren’t even weblogs yet. i’ve always written in a journal, and i found when i had my daughter that time was running too fast and i didn’t make time for myself to write. so i decided to kill two birds with one stone, get my writing out and keep a record of memories for my daughter. i had no idea the blog world was booming on without me, and while i have no intention of catching up, i’m thoroughly enjoying many of the established blogs and the connections i’ve made so far.

    i have to say i agree with the photo thing, though i don’t think i have my own photo up… really, my blog’s just for me and i’m not detail-oriented enough to think of those things for my own space. :O) i suppose i should go find out!

  3. Ines on January 30, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I love the picture idea and the picture too. To write more I feel I really need your course….and I will wait until you can do it.

  4. Leightongirl on January 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    And I love that photo.

  5. kyra on January 30, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    oh! such a beautiful face!!!

    i’m so glad you’re blogging!

  6. gillian on January 30, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Great to see your face, Kate!

    I am glad you have this space!

  7. Laura on January 31, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    When my daughter was born, I did not have many friends with kids. I spent a lot of time on parenting websites — looking for information but also for a sense of what others were experiencing as parents. I quickly discovered a social pressure for mothers to emphasize the positives and downplay or ignore the frustrating moments of parenting. While I cherish the positives, I wanted to talk about the times that drove me crazy, too! I started blogging to record the whole experience, from my point of view, and I was thrilled whenever I found other bloggers doing the same thing. Mother Words has been a great source of inspiration and pointed me to more great reading. Thanks, Kate!

  8. kate hopper on February 2, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Thanks, ladies. I really do love to hear what gets people started on a blog.

  9. ann marie on February 4, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Your blog name captured my attention.
    I blog because I’m raising four kids and homeschooling 2 of them and I’m trying not go insane along the way. I’m passionate about writing, but not because I’m good at it (although I am envious of people like you who can write well.) I just find that it’s the easiest way for me to express myself and it’s all mine and when you have children sometimes you just need something that is all yours.
    Anyway, I read through some of your posts and I’m glad I found your blog.

  10. Kara on February 6, 2009 at 10:20 am

    I blog because you told me to:-) And I don’t know why I waited so long. Best unpaid writing job I’ve ever had. Actually more fun than the paid ones too since I get to write whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want. I completely underestimated how fulfilling being connected with a like-minded community would be. And, I love the picture Kate! I have a picture of me on my blog but you can only see half my face. Does that count?