I quick trigger finger published this post in rough draft form. So, if you read this post before I fix it, please use red pen on your screen for errors. Thanks
I began this blog when I decided solo writing was for me. Then, I chickened out for 3 months because I couldn’t think of a perfect first post without someone telling me what to write. I put so much pressure on myself that I couldn’t write a thing and I was deeply regretting my decision to write on my own.
It’s funny because I had no illusions that just because I wrote something, anyone would read it. I wasn’t exactly new to this, but blogging without a safety net was a bit too much.
Fortunately, I got over my fear of writing crap and have been churning it out ever since. And a few people have stopped by to say hello, which has meant more to me than I can express. To think that on occasion, I manage to write something that connects with someone else expands this Grinchy heart 2 sizes and more.
So, without further ado, I give you:
My 4 Most Read Posts of 2011 (I don’t know why, either)
- Breastfeeding Flavors: Thoughts on triandem breastfeeding and the differences between my sons’ relationship to breastfeeding
- A Letter to *Those* Parents: My first foray into CarNatPar. A Madlibs letter that you could use to talk to anyone who parents differently than you might.
- Kid-Dyed Silk Scarfs: One of my few homeschool/crafty posts. It’s a great project and only slightly jarring with the rest of my blog topics as they’ve evolved.
- An Empowering Unassisted Stillbirth: It was scary to share this one because I was afraid no one would understand the raw beauty in such a horrific event. The private emails sent to me in response helped me understand that I’m not alone in this experience.
My Top 5 Commenters of 2011 (Please stop by their blogs and give them your comment love)
- teresa 81 comments
- Kelly 68 comments
- CJ 40 comments
- Melissa Kemendo 31 comments
- mendylady 28 comments
My 4 Most Read Guest Writers of 2011 (These I understand. They’re really good)
- Raging Against Recovery: Warrior Woman, Robin from Farewell, Stranger, wrote this powerful piece on anger and healing from PPD.
- Transforming Reactions into Responses: Melissa from Vibrant Wanderings wrote this amazing essay on parenting from an open, fearless heart for the benefit of a child.
- Guest Writer: CoSleeping: I’m Doing It Wrong. Or Am I?: Katie from Lazy Kate wrote this short and sweet post that touched a lot of readers.
- A Parenting Carol: Being a Christmas Ghost Story: Vickie from Demand Euphoria created a matrix for examining where we’ve been, where we are, and where we will be as parents. I’ve learned a lot answering her questions.
My 4 Personal Favorite Posts of 2011 (These were fun write, and sometimes cathartic)
- Flipping off Your Kids: I never finished this series on gentle discipline because I felt like I might err into giving advice. I may pick this up again in 2012, though.
- Yama Niyama and the Red Pajama Mama, Part 2: Anytime I get some inspiration and write a post in 30 minutes that I enjoyed reading again after, it makes it to this list. This is one that got away from me and ended up being 2 posts. The first part is hosted on NPN, as you’ll see if you read it. I wish writing were always this easy and fun.
- Making Compassion My Hoe: On judgment and compassion. This one generated some serious hate comments that I chose not to publish. I may revisit this issue since it obviously hit a major nerve. Also, has been stolen by content thieves twice. Perhaps, I should have created another list for the top 4 posts stolen?
- Top 5 Ways to Avoid Being Mindful for the Holidays: Yup, entropy is inevitable but I’ll argue mindfulness is like a spoonful of sugar to help the inevitable decline. This post advocates for the high fructose corn syrup spoonful, of course.
My 4 Favorite Guest Posts of 2011 (Proof that even great bloggers have occasional lapses in judgment)
- Just Not On The Same Page at Becoming Crunchy. One of my rare posts about relationship with your partner and handling the strain of parenting.
- Insane-Making Mother Manifesto at Child of the Nature Isle Blog. This was one that had been sitting around forever waiting to be written and was done in 30 minutes once I finally focused. It’s on perfection and expectations that we place upon ourselves. Perhaps, also on how to get free of them.
- Halloween Freedom of Choice at Hobo Mama. I wrote this and wasn’t brave enough to post it on my own blog. Fortunately, Lauren was up for it. A little Nazis on Halloween. Nothing too controversial, right?
- After The World Stopped Turning at Motherhood Unadorned. I originally published this anonymously at Raising My Boychick. But, Cristi’s own bravery in sharing her battles inspired me to share this story publicly. On what happens when life goes on after losing a child.
My 4 Least Favorite Posts of 2011 (These make me cringe. I’d rather you click on the guest writers’ posts, please)
- Get Your Butt on the Mat, Get Your Butt on the Mat, Get Your Butt on the Mat: I still have several unfinished follow-up posts on meditation, breathing, and studying. I’ll get to those when I’m a bit more settled in my body.
- What’s the Anti-Matters, Mama?: This is what I ended up with as a first post. As I figured when I wrote it, I start getting the whinges every time I think about someone else seeing it. But, there it is squalling and fumbling after being born.
- 10 Ways to be a More Connected Parent Today: I dislike writing top 10 lists and I dislike writing advice, so naturally this was one of my most popular posts. It was even picked up by BlogHer. It has inspired several tongue in cheek lists for me.
- The Punishment for Having Sex While Poor: If you want major comment pron spam, then title a post this. The next most popular comment pron spam for me has been posts with breastfeeding in the title.
One of the things I learned this year is that blogging is more enjoyable for me when I’m collaborating with others on projects. I’d like to do more of this in 2012. I’m looking forward to both the firm and tentative projects I’m working on with other bloggers in the coming year.
I admit to adoring blog carnivals. Someone gets to tell a whole bunch of writers what to write about and everyone comes up with something unique. I find reading what other people wrote fascinating. I always think about things in new ways thanks to the other perspectives. And I love being challenged in that way. 2012 will see more blog carnivals for me, both participating and hosting.
I enjoy writing guest posts for other people’s blogs. It’s an honor whenever I’m asked or when someone says yes to my inquiry. It doesn’t bother me in the least when someone passes on my words, either. I’ve even been fortunate enough to have some of the thoughtful bloggers give me some critiques that I found valuable. I may have learned more from those than from anything else this year.
I’m excited about some projects I have in mind for 2012. A few other bloggers and I have started talking about joint projects and carnivals and, of course, I hope to continue with Mindful Mama, Letters to Littles, Birth Reflections, and Spank Out Day this year. One of my other projects is an eBook that is well underway and I hope to share with you in first half of 2012, depending on how much time I can devote to it. I was looking forward to a blog redesign, but that is in flux since the money I set aside for that may go to laptop and/or cell phone repairs/replacements.
I’m also hoping to find time to get my homeschool blog in shape and ready to publish this year. I’ve written little here about our homeschooling because I want to put it on that blog. I’ve been saying that for 6 months, but never find the time to do it. The second blog may bite the dust completely as I focus on these other projects.
I want to continue connecting with other bloggers. I am truly grateful for all of the words I’ve read by others this year (upcoming post about that) and, if the hopes I have for my own blog fall to the side a bit, as they inevitably will at points during the year, I’ll still keep reading deeply and giving good comment love.
Most of all, I want to say thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for sharing a little of yourselves.
The Dirty, Dirty Hippy Mama