Flippist World Headquarters, June, 2016
What the hell am I doing?
This thought comes to me fairly often when writing blog-posts. Looking back over the last 12 years at Flippism is the Key, I am struck at how things have changed, yet remain the same. The blogosphere was a wild and woolly place then, with numerous confessional and extremely personal sites where the anonymous nature of this form of self publishing encouraged open expression. Whether any of it was any good, or had lasting value, is still to be determined. One hundred years from now will any of it be preserved? There have been a few notable blogs which have inspired movies, and numerous ones which have been the foundations for books. But there has, right from the start, been a parallel blog-culture of crass and unfettered commercialism: Blogs incorporating product placement in an effort to make money.
Josi Denise was a self-described "Mommy Blogger" who ruthlessly built up a mini-empire around her now-defunct site, The American Mama. She recently wrote an extended piece concerning her activities with the site and why she shut it down. It is long, but worth reading. The article's conclusion is brutal:
What could you be doing instead of writing your shitty mommy blog? Would you spend an extra hour in the morning cuddling with your toddler? Would you read some intellectual books or find a hobby? Go back to school and launch a career? Would you leave your marriage? Would you travel? Would you lose weight and be more active? Would you make some new friends you actually enjoy talking to? What hole are you trying to fill by calling yourself a blogger?
Just quit. Quit now before you get burnt out and feel guilty. Quit before you realize you wasted years of your life writing bullshit about your kids’ childhood and your relationships instead of being actually involved. Quit before you get caught up in some legal mess with a brand contract and your house is cluttered with shit to review that you do not need and nobody else needs either. Quit before you feel like a failure instead of finding the intersection of happy and fulfilled.
Quit because your mommy blog fucking sucks. And it’s not going to get better. There are probably a dozen things you are actually good at.
Find what you love, and what you do better than anyone else, and do that.
A former typical ‘mommy blogger’ whose blog sucked just as bad as yours
At times I have been guilty of devoting too much time to FITK, but not for those reasons. The personal blogs I still read all have a component of being complete in themselves—that is to say they aren't shilling for someone else in an attempt to make money. They usually aren't masterpieces of literature (although Annie Atkins' Pinch of Salt came pretty close), but they do have real value and have given meaning and insight into my life. Many of them have "birthed" books; some have even become successful businesses without compromising their passion.
They're listed on the links in the sidebar, under "People."
My "Welcome" page has this disclaimer:
Flippism is The Key is not affiliated with any commercial, religious or political organization. No money or other tangible asset has ever been received for the mention of or linking to of any product or service.
Just so you know where I'm coming from.