Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Blog with No Identity

In a month or so, Chicken Noodle Gravy will be turning one year old. Can you believe it? The last year has flown by. They always grow up so fast, don't they? I mean, it was only yesterday that I was blogging about chicken noodle gravy and spam and all things yummy and good to eat. It's true. For the first eight months or so of Chicken Noodle Gravy's first year, I was a Food Blogger.

As a Food Blogger, I always felt a little stifled, a little trapped by the implications of a LABEL. What if I wasn't in the mood to blog about food one day? What if I wanted to blog about owls or possoms or socks in the door? Plus, just to be completely honest, I sucked as a Food Blogger. I take lousy photos. I never follow a recipe. I can talk about food sure, but let's get real: there are ten thousand other, BETTER food blogs out there, and trying to identify with and label myself and Chicken Noodle Gravy as one of them just wasn't working.

So I dropped the label and blogged about whatever, and CNG became a blog with no identity. Whatever crossed my mind made it to the blog, but even during this period of no label and no identity, I felt lost as a blogger. I didn't have a place. In a world full of Mommy Blogs and Giveaway Blogs and Craft Blogs and Fashion Blogs, CNG seemed to not have any purpose or direction; it didn't fit anywhere.

Source: via jimtown on Pinterest

And then one day it hit me.

CNG doesn't have to fit anywhere. It doesn't have to be a Food Blog or any other type of blog. The only type of blog it has to be is MY BLOG. Blogging for me isn't about fitting in anywhere or being the most popular or the best blogger out there. Blogging is about recording my thoughts and my stories and my poems. It's about connecting with other people, people who have similar thoughts and worries and people who provide inspiration and motivation and support. It's about connecting with friends. Friends who also don't fit neatly into one category. Friends who have come to mean so much to me in such a short time.

I'm a writer. Quirky and weird and unique. A person not a blogger. Blogging doesn't define me, and it doesn't define my words. It's just a way to record them. Chicken Noodle Gravy is a blog, but more than that, it's a safe harbor for bad days, good days, rough patches, and sunlight. It's the place where I was finally brave enough to share my stories and poems with people outside of my family, people who didn't necessarily have to tell me something was good just because they were related to me.

As you make your way across the so-called blogosphere, you'll see a lot of good advice about blogging identity. Finding your place. Finding your audience. But if you find yourself without an identity or a place or an audience, consider this: maybe blogs are a lot like people. Each one is different and unique. Sometimes they'll fit into an easy category, and sometimes they just won't. Don't force the issue. Be yourself, and let your blog be YOUR BLOG.

This was written in response to Dare to Share Link Up: Blogging Identity. Come join us, link up your blogging identity post, and meet some talented writers!

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