Saturday, February 20, 2010

Finding a Voice

I'm a daddy blogger. I accept that now.

It's an interesting thing to be -- especially in the blogging circles where I orbit.

If you've spent any time here, you may have noticed that most -- nearly all -- of those who read and comment on my blog, are women. I'm not really sure how that happened, to tell you the truth. But it did, and it's just fine with me, though I have to admit, being a dad blogger in a vast ocean of mommy bloggers occasionally gets a little surreal. Sometimes I feel like a sideshow freak, that people have heard about, and drop by to see if it's real -- like the world's smallest horse at the county fair. Sometimes I feel like a favorite pet. Heck, sometimes my gender even gets lost in the mix, and someone new to the blog just assumes I'm one of the girls.

Sometimes I feel like Cyrano de Bergerac, standing in the shadows, just out of sight, saying things that women love to hear.

I started blogging because my sister-in-law, Pam, told me I had to.

I didn't know if I had anything to say to the world. I put out a few posts occasionally, and nobody read them. I just wasn't sure what this blogging thing was all about, and why would anyone care enough about what I was writing to come back and see if I had written anything else?

Then one day Pam told me I had to join this new blogging event, hosted by her friend Cecily, called Photostory Friday. And suddenly people were reading my blog, and coming back week after week. I have thrived on that. I began to find my own voice -- and that voice came through most clearly when I talked about my family.

When I wrote about beauty, I was writing about my family. When I wrote about joy, I was writing about my family. Whether the topic was popcorn, or cancer, or Christmas trees, or sorrow, or gratitude, or olives -- the underlying theme always comes back to my family. This little blog has caused me to look at my family -- and the world -- in a whole different light.

I'm not vocally eloquent. I have a slow and deliberate thought process. I feel things deeply, but when I speak, my mouth moves faster than my brain, and I fear saying something that I cannot retract. Words can be unintentionally sharp and painful -- or dull and lifeless. Writing gives me the chance to take the raw word, and shape it and polish it, before I send it out into the light of day. And that's been the real blessing of blogging.

In trying to say what I want to say, I find myself thinking deeply about the relationships in my life. Diving below the surface, I have found great meaning and gratification in my life. I realize daily -- and more than I ever did before -- how blessed I really am. I've learned to write from those depths, and the words you read here are now as close to the way I think, as they have ever been.

I'm grateful for the voice that has emerged on this blog. It is my voice -- the voice of a husband and a father who is very aware of all that he has.

This voice would not have come through without the feedback, and wonderful comments,  of so many friends from so many varied corners of the world. I don't exactly know why you're here, or what I said that brought you back the second time, but I'm thankful for each of the friends I've made through this little hobby. Your lives are so interesting  -- and we share so much common ground, don't we?

Whatever brought you here, and whatever keeps you coming back, I thank you for helping me to find a voice.

Chris

20 comments:

Emily said...

Great post, Chris. Shaped and polished perfectly. And I totally count you as "one of the girls". :D

Aaron said...

I have the burning urge to yell "WHO'S YO DADDY BLOGGER?".....

.....You do kinda resemble a pony....

Mom24 said...

I'm glad you found your voice. I like hearing things from your perspective.

Kelly Deneen said...

Incredible post! You always have so many inspiring things to say here, and I enjoy your posts, photos, and comment. I am so glad your found your voice too. :)

Sheri Stewart said...

Good post, Chris! I love coming here to read what you're thinking.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Whoa. You're NOT a girl?

Ooops...

So many images in my head just flew out the window. I thought you were the beautiful woman in those photos and that man behind you was your creepy husband. :-)

*snort*

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Oh and I love your writing because of the stuff like what you wrote today!

Emmy said...

I can't remember how I first found you.. I think you found me through Photo Sharing Friday, but I am glad I found your blog. Your pictures are amazing and you do write very well and it is just fun to read. So glad you are doing it.

And yeah, like Emily said, you have just become one of the girls ;)

Corey~living and loving said...

another great post. I'm pretty sure I stick around for the food. You make delicious snacks. I dig that.

oh wait....who are you, again? Chris??? Chris who?

oh yeah....you are the one that makes me puke rainbows. That's why I stick around...I enjoy rainbow vomit.

CDB said...

Lovely. I feel the same way about my (main) blog.

Michelle said...

Does it get boring to hear what a great writer you are?

You have a way with words my friend.

When you mentioned your female following the first thing that came to my mind.....I'll bet you are glad that we don't all blog about our periods.

snort!

kris... said...

You're a great writer. A great photographer. And you are very inspirational as you find so much good in the world. I wish I was more like you... other than that whole man thing. You can keep that part.

kaye said...

I enjoy the way you say things--and the way you picture things. that's why I keep coming back. I also like that unusual sense of humor that comes out in your comments. I follow "One Dad's Life", and "Life as I see it" they are both pretty talented daddy bloggers. I also follow a number of men photographers that I enjoy quite a bit. They seem to be a little more detached and give pretty fair assesments of my work. I appreciate their comments quite a bit. Keep up the good work, you're a pioneer :)

ValleyGirl said...

Personally, I've always thought your blog was different somehow from all the mommy bloggers ~ not "one of the girls" at all. It just feels different. (but not BAD different! It's decidedly good!!)

I've always enjoyed visiting here. Even if my visits are often few and far between, I'm never disappointed. Whether it's a written post or a photo post (or a combination), your posts somehow give a sense of counter-balance to all the wife/mom/homemaker stuff. Please keep it up!

Cecily R said...

People come back because you have something to say and you say it SO well. Or capture it so well. Or both. I for one, am very glad you found your blog voice.

P.S. I had a hand in your blog harem...will Sharon ever forgive me??

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

I guess with your name being Chris - I can see how someone might first mistake you as "one of the girls". haha :) But, you daddy blogger, truly have a voice and a talent for capturing the beauty of life through your camera lens that is all your own. That is what draws me back to your blog each week for PSF. I'm sure your family will treasure all of your insights and tributes to them for many years to come.

kaye said...

here's the url for One Dad's Life--I think you'd like his blog

http://www.onedadslife.com/

Momisodes said...

I have certainly enjoyed reading your voice here, as well as viewing your talent for photography flourish.

The Momma Crow said...

Stumbled upon your "voice" today! Really needed a positive and uplifting thought and boom...there you were. My oldest left home about a week and a half ago and this helped bring me out of a slump!

Heidi said...

Well, you may be kind of a freak, but who isn't?
You have such a way of describing exactly how I feel about something. I love blogging for the same reasons. It has really helped me to see my world differently as well.
I have really enjoyed getting to know you through your words and pictures. But I have to admit that I love to watch you and Aaron battle between each other it's quite entertaining.
Thanks for being such a great friend. Sorry I haven't been by to see you in a while.
PS, you're one of my best girly friends.:)