Thursday, January 16, 2014
It's About Blogging
I knew it was about cooking, obviously, but it's also about blogging. More about that in a minute. First a bit about the film.
God, Meryl Streep was annoying as Julia Child. I watched an episode of the real Julia on You Tube afterwards. Streep mimicked her brilliantly but with enough exxageration to make her irritating in the extreme. The real Julia Child was slightly softer round the edges I think. However, it was her mannerisms that were irritating not her character. And it was Meryl Streep - you can't not like Meryl Streep. So I made myself like her.
There's a bit near the end though when I hated her with impunity. I had to reason that by this time she was a 90 year old who hadn't spent the last almost two hours getting to know the lovely Julie. And she knew nought about blogging, that's for sure.
Which brings me nicely back to the blogging. This was an added and unforseen bonus to the film. I identified with every step of the blog birthing process. From getting your first comment - from your mother so it doesn't count, to realizing that people out there, whom you don't even know personally, read you. Of course I haven't replicated the scene where she finds 65 telephone messages on her answer phone from publishers, literary agents, tv stations, film studios, magazines, etc...
I came away with two lessons from Julie's blogging experience. As I approach my 3rd Blogiversary on Sunday it feels like a good time to learn, adapt, and share.
1. There is always the big debate at blog conferences - to niche or not to niche. All the guest speakers (who are usually writers but not bloggers) say you need to stick to a specific niche. Then all the experienced bloggers strongly object. Most of us started out with a blogging niche in mind and then felt perfectly comfortable writing about anything and everything that came up along the way. After all, even if I write about car mechanics or interior design I'm still a midlife single mum.
But I can't deny that it was the niche that made Julie's blog successful.
2. Julie sat down and wrote about her days like she was writing a diary. Every day, no great issues to grapple with and no attention grabbing titles. Just a simple account of what she cooked, her day, and how she felt about it all. And the readers read and they loved it.
I've been slacking in the blog department recently. Some of it is to do with blogging for three years - this Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, etc... isn't really much different from last year. I've told you all about the Jewish festivals and Israeli celebrations. I've described my weekends on my friends' kibbutz and at my cousins who live overlooking the Mediterranean. How many times can you cover the same topic?
So my plan for 2014 is to blog the niche a bit more. Everyday I am surprised about the things single motherhood presents which are vastly different from parenting with a significant other. I'm five years into it and I'm still realizing the reality of being a single mum with no back up. Being an expat my situation is rather extreme but then so is cooking 524 recipes in 365 days.
See you tomorrow for some more simple thoughts from a midlife singlemum.