Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Letter to My Readers

{Santa Monica sky}

Dear Readers,

I realized the other day that I never really explained to you why I started this blog.  Sure, in my very first post I said a little about what I wanted this blog to be about.  But I never really addressed the why, and I feel like I owe you an explanation.

So why blog about my not-so-unusual life?  Two reasons: (1) it satisfies my otherwise repressed creative side that has been gasping for air since I started law school, and (2) what I've seen so far on the blogosphere is mostly not representative of my life, my point of view, and the things that I like to talk about.

The first reason is fairly straight-forward, and if you know me, which I'm assuming 99.9% of you do, then you know that I've spread myself thin trying to edge some sort of creativity into my life over the last three years, leading to an apartment strewn with half-completed paintings, forgotten sewing projects, and an overflowing drawer of costumes.  So this blog is my way of focusing that energy on photography and writing; a creativity funnel of sorts.

The second reason, though, is the reason that I chose this blog over another paint brush.  My journey in the blogosphere started when I was planning our wedding, a beginning shared by many women in the blogging world.  But once I moved beyond wedding-tunnel-vision, I realized that many of the blogs I read daily had not followed me.  So many of those personal lifestyle blogs (like mine) whose writers started off as twenty-somethings planning weddings just seemed to stagnate in the world of weddings and newlywedom, and as a reader, I was bored.  I wanted something more substantial to read everyday, something that inspired me, made me laugh, taught me something, or pushed me to reflect on my own life.

The thing that really got me, though, was this moment I had when I started to identify less and less with my daily reads and I caught myself wondering if I was somehow less of a woman and wife for not caring about "new recipes that your husband will love," or the chronicles of spending weekends indoors with "Hubby and puppy."  Luckily, that millisecond passed quickly as I popped the screws back in my head and realized that it's not me, it's them.  And then I knew I had something to say.

Now let me be clear - there are some blogs out there that I do think are an immensely valuable contribution to women in social media, and some of those are listed over on the right as my "blog crushes."  But considering the growing role of blogging in shaping our cultural norms and social expectations, that is a very short list.

So here I am, making my voice heard in this little corner of the blogosphere.  I'm here to add to that short little list, and to connect with women who value love and relationships and family, but who want more than a wedding, a husband, and a puppy.  Women who are excited about their careers, women who are curious about the world, women with a sense of humor about themselves, and women who value the adrenaline rush of newness more than the comfort of stability.  Women who are real, like you and me.

So though I may blog about the lighter topics in life (like fanciful vacations, delicious restaurantsrandom adventures, and pretty things), I want you to know that there is a real, thoughtful, why to this blog, and it's something I really believe in.  Everything I write is something that I can get behind, and I hope you feel that way too.

This is all a lead up to me telling you that today is the day Newly goes "public."  Maybe some of you didn't know that I have been trying to keep this site relatively private, but it's true.  I've shared this site with only a select group of people so far, maybe because of insecurity, maybe because of discomfort with exposing my life to the entire inter-webs.  But today, I've decided that there's a good reason to take that leap.  So thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy what I have to say (and now go tell your friends about it)!

Love and best reading, from my laptop to yours (yes that's a Paula Deen rip-off),



Lisa P. said...

I'm so happy you made the choice to officially "go public." You have something valuable to add with not just your thoughts, but your incredible photography! Thank you for recognizing that not all newlyweds want to cook and cuddle with the newest furball addition to their nuclear family. While those things are wonderful, there is so much more to life, newly married or not. I look forward to reading for many, many posts to come.

Ashley said...

Yay thanks, Lisa! I'm so happy to have you as a reaader, and thanks for your support :)

Anonymous said...

Great post- very well said!

My favorite part: "The thing that really got me, though, was this moment I had when I started to identify less and less with my daily reads when I wondered if I was somehow less of a woman and wife for not caring about "new recipes that your husband will love," or the chronicles of spending weekends indoors with "Hubby and puppy." Luckily, that millisecond passed quickly as I popped the screws back in my head and realized that it's not me, it's them. And then I knew I had something to say."

Can't wait to read your future posts...

Nicole V.

Ashley said...

Thanks so much for reading Nicole! I'm so glad you can relate and I'm so happy to have you as a reader!!!

Leslie said...

Can you believe it's already been over a month!? You started March 8. I just checked :)

Ashley said...

Does that warrant a celebration? I'm always looking for an excuse!

Leslie said...

Um, totally! Like a trip to the new Marzano's :) :)

CG said...

Congrats on rolling out your voice to the whole world! It's about time :)

There's a new Marzano's? I love their bread.