What Does Your Blogging Family Tree Look Like
By JennaHatfield on July 10, 2014
BlogHer Original Post
During a previous Selfiebration #BlogHer14 Twitter chat, Carter Gaddis chimed in with something that made us all go, hmm.
— Carter Gaddis (@DadScribe) June 16, 2014
Which started me off on a wonder trail: Who is part of my blogging family tree?
I struggle with the traditional family tree construct as it doesn't show my specific family in the way I want it shown, but here at BlogHer, we're free to make our own constructs, right? Right.
So let's start with the truth: I don't know my Blogging Mother.
The afternoon that I started my first LiveJournal account in college, I was reading through the Away Messages of friends on AOL Instant Messenger. I really liken those Away Messages to modern day Twitter. Lots of "I'm at class" or "at the cafeteria" or "Hungover; don't message me," which you can see on Twitter on any given day. A friend of mine who was at class had a link to a friend's new "journal" in her profile, so I clicked it. I liked it. I created my own, and the rest is 13 years of blogging history.
I don't know why I didn't follow (or, on LiveJournal, friend) my Blogging Mother. Maybe I didn't want her to think I was some kind of creeper. Whatever the case, I don't remember who she was or what she wrote about or anything about her—but I will be forever grateful to her for bringing me into the blogosphere.
Next up we have my Fairy BlogFather (FBF) who brought me to my Blogging Husband. As I pressed the random button on LiveJournal one day, I landed on a very random post, commented, and a string of replies began with the FBF and his best friend. Thus began a friendship on the pages of our individual blogs which then moved to AIM which then moved to the phone, to person, to an engagement ring, to a wedding. Now we have two blogging-caused children; the blogosphere causes pregnancy!
I have lots of blogging sisters, the ones who have been with me through thick and thin. And then I have a Blog Wife, which I strongly suggest everyone have. Then, according to Shannon Cate, I also have some blogging first cousins; I believe we're connected by a Blogging Auntie who inspired a slew of us in the adoption niche to write our stories, our truths, our experiences. Some of this feels chicken or egg, but I know that the group of us who blogged daily about adoption in the mid-2000s will be forever connected—whether or not each of us continues to blog.
And, of course, there's BlogHer, which has acted as many parts of my family: the cool older sister that taught me about books and music and sex; the politicized aunt who showed me all different sides of the same coin; the artsy cousin who made me want to create; the loving arms of a mother who had been there, done that; the patient (though sometimes snarky) relative who watched me grow, watches me still.
I know for certain I exist as a Blogging Mother for a few who have come and gone, the saddest part of the Blogging Family Tree concept, I think. My college roommate, one of my best friends -slash- lactation consultant, my daughter's biological father, my daughter's adoptive mom: all blogged at one point or another, inspired by (or forced by) me, and have since stopped. I don't actually know of others that I have inspired to start blogging that stuck with it and are still writing to this day. Maybe I'm their Blogging Mother and they never told me, like I didn't tell my own Blogging Mother. Maybe I'm a Blogging Auntie to them, not necessarily the reason they started blogging but an inspiration, a guide, a mentor, a human being with whom they connect and relate and look to with regard to blogging or writing or parenting or adoption or running or something.
So many others exist in my Blogging Family Tree construct. Those that inspire me about running, those that help me plan my menus and thus feed my family, those that inspire me to be a better writer, those that remind me that I am more than enough. Some have come and gone, some remain, more will come in the future. My Blogging Family Tree continues to grow, to change, to deepen its roots.
If I attempted to make a visual of my Blogging Family Tree, it would look something like this:
Now tell me: Who is part of your Blogging Family Tree? What does it look like? Write a comment below or a post on your own blog and drop it in the Linky!
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