Let’s face it: You’re a mommyblog addict. Right now your breakfast is getting cold as you read this posting. Being a fan, you’re naturally tempted to create your own mommyblog. Woohoo! Are you in luck. Yours truly — who garnered a rave review as an “Alpha mommyblogger” from Lifehacker and who’s been blogging since well before the subprime meltdown — is here to help. Visitors read my hilariously indiscreet postings about Zack, me, and the kids, and it all looks like fun-fun-fun. What they don’t appreciate is how hard I’ve worked to thrive in the mommysphere by bringing real literary values into my blogging –something that critic at Jezebel missed when she called my writing “illiterate diaper rash.” Are you ready for inspiration and guidance?
KNOW YOUR COMPETITION! Don’t be fooled: cyberspace motherhood is anything but warm and fuzzy. The lice your kid picked up at the day care center refuse to go away? Robert Bernes or however you spell it covered that territory two hundred years ago. You’ve decided to support the Child Leash League? Surprise! There are gazillions of blogs on that theme, too. In my case, I’ve established a loyal readership by focusing on the special uniqueness of my own kids: Lysette’s 6-and-under-beauty-pageant career, straight out of Louis Carroll, and Caleb’s record-breaking diagnosis as a borderline Aspie at only three hours old. The occasional sidebar about keeping my man Zack’s ego up as he logs 80 hour weeks managing the local Wendy’s is a special bonus!
KEEP IT HONEST! It’s no longer enough to rhapsodize about unconditional love for your children or post a surefire recipe for Broccoli Jamboree Salad. You need to score with stories that will make your postings timeless and retweetable. For instance, like Checkoff, I don’t try to conceal the tensions between Zack’s sister Aurora and me ever since he and I defaulted on our final mortgage and moved in with her. Gosh, Aurora, not all of us can be so lucky as to land a cushy government job disbursing local stimulus funds!
KEEP IT UPBEAT! You don’t think Target and Toys ‘R’ Us want their ads popping up on some sourpuss’s site, do you? You don’t want to depress your readers until you write your first literary novel. Even if you got an A+ on your paper about Samuel Beckket in college like I almost did, this is not the time to emulate his style. Insider tip: Putting a few “Woohoo!”s into a posting when you’re feeling bitchy will persuade almost everyone you’re a sweetiepie or like Hunter F. Thompson. Maybe even yourself!
DECORATE, DECORATE, DECORATE! Get to know the funner fonts, emphasize the pink-and-turquoise color family and go just a wee bit more into debt to commission a jazzy, carefree logo. And be ready for some in-house resistance. When Zack complained that I’d gotten to know WordPress better than our own kids, I read to him from Wikipedia about how much Leonard Wolf supported Virginia’s writing.
REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE DOING IT! There’ll be times when the tots are tugging at your bathrobe and the hubby’s rattling in the kitchen. You’ll need to dig deep and remind yourself that posterity needs your next posting. Just the other day Zack started in again, insisting I get what he called “a real job.” The oafster sometimes needs to be reminded that I’m doing this for the kids’ place in history. “But you’ve made a grand total of $18.16 so far!” he yelled. Here’s how I handled it. I resourcefully wrote my next blogposting about how wage men don’t understand what it takes to get a home business up on its feet. “Take notes!” F. Scot Fitzgerald advised. Or was it Delia Efron? So, that’s enough for now! The coffeemaker’s belching smoke, like something out of Carl Sandberg (take that, Jezebel!) and Caleb is drawing on the walls with Lysette’s new glitter lipstick! Come back tomorrow for tips about the challenges every mommyblogger hopes to run into: digital rights management, Lifetime TV movie options, and the anthology offer from the Modern Library. Oh, and Aurora? Leave another snarky comment and I’ll never empty the dishwasher again. Woohoo!
Polly Frost is a playwright whose humor has appeared in The Atlantic and The New Yorker. She can be found on the web at http://pollyfrost.com.