I’m feeling a heavier and heavier pressure to monetize, professional-ize and expand-ize this blog.I talk to lots of people who want to help me make it bigger, get more sponsors and start the hype machine going. And I get it, I mean I hear that Siren Song. I’d love to have millions of people talking about my brilliance and sharp wit. I want someone to publicly declare me a Super Slayer Wordsmith. I’d not say “No” to major corporations begging to hand some cash over to me, just for mere association. I’d love to have Matt Lauer sitting across from me with his puppy dog eyes, asking me something to which I cross my legs and casually say, “Well, that’s a provocative question, Matt. Let me tell you the scintillating answer”.
I mean, who doesn’t want to be celebrated for what they do?
But I fight against it and I decline opportunities that could lead to Pistols + Popcorn becoming a “BRAND!” Not because I’m a purist or hardcore against selling out. Just mainly because it’s uncomfortable for me. I don’t want people to count on me for their regular distraction from life. But I enjoy it so very much if I happen to put something out there that people respond to. The difference? Just that one is expected, the other is delivered on my terms.
My approach is basic: if something works, then do it. If the reason you write is to document your days with your kids, and that feels good, do it. If the reason you write is so that you have an outlet that has nothing to do with your kids, and that feels good, do it. If the reason you write is to be noticed by advertisers who will give you free things, and that feels good, then do it. Right? I mean, there’s really no right or wrong, except what feels right or wrong for you specifically.
But still – I cannot help but be a little grossed out by some of the sites I come across, ones written by people who are probably awesome but don’t necessarily come across that way to me. I find that so many (let’s face it) women bloggers are hell bent on becoming the next Pioneer Woman or Dooce that they seem to be hardcore selling each and every post, like it is a used car they need to get off their lot. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT! I’M GOING TO A CONFERENCE! I’M OVERWHELMED! I’M A NAUGHTY MOMMY! I’M THE BEST MOMMY! I’M A DRUNK MOMMY! I’M TWEETING EVERY MOMENT BECAUSE IT GETS ME MORE FOLLOWERS!
And I find it tiresome. It exhausts me to imagine being under the kind of pressure to write something genuine, in such a sea of brand-building-follower-getting-money-and-noteriety-chasing noise. Yet there are some that do it well, and they are a treat to read. But for the most part? It just seems so desperate.
Maybe that’s a reflection on me. Truthfully, I swim around in this grey area where I refuse certain products or review opportunities just because it seems uninteresting. Then there are the ones that are interesting, but the group pitching them to me is one of those institutions, who like to make up what I think are stupid names involving a play on the word “mom”. I mean, how many ways can you prostitute being a mother? Apparently, countless ways. I just can’t work with those pimps.
I don’t know – I suppose I just want to remain authentic and so I’ve become a little more guarded in accepting things or agreeing to be associated with brands. All the grabbing hands around me give me pause, as a member of the “Mommy Blogger” community. I don’t want to be one of them. I do however, enjoy about every twenty-fifth pitch that comes my way and agree to participate, review or link to.
As a reader, a friend, or a stranger that reads this site – what do you think? Do you hate reviews? Do you feel like you’re being advertised to on the sly? What about interviews (which up to now I’ve only agreed to do I think once). Not what you’re here for? Or does it matter at all? Ultimately, if something seems like a good fit in my life, I’ll probably always say yes.
I do love it when new readers find me, encourage me and I love to hear from them, even as I know older readers are moving on. It’s liquid, this Pistols + Popcorn. It ebbs and flows and isn’t one thing that is static. Which I suppose is another reason I don’t respond to some opportunities, even ones banging noisily on my door. Everyone wants to know where to file me. Mommyblogger? Lifestyle? Parenting? “What do you write about?”
Hells Bells I do not know. I have no mission statement, no pithy phrase that sums me up. I refuse to print business cards, and I will not write nice reviews for products I do not like. I have in the past year decided not to court votes for awards, nor will I ask to be nominated for anything. It’s just so…the same feeling as Homecoming Queen in High School (which I surprisingly never won.) And also at the end of the day, they end up just being meaningless. So you bugged all your Facebook friends to vote for you? And then what? You got a badge? (Yes, like the ones over there on my sidebar…) (Guilty.)
However, I will answer emails, and I am honestly honored that anyone takes the time to read me more than once. I have stars of admiration in my eyes for the women I have met in this industry - many of who live in my neighborhood, who do seem to have it all figured out, and who are leagues ahead of me in writing skill and promotional ninja skills.
Whatever. I’m Jodi, this is Pistols + Popcorn, and together we are a moderately known blog with medium to high traffic. I tweet infrequently, do not actively collect followers and have a difficult time taking myself very seriously. Still. I love writing for you more than almost anything, and am thankful that you will read what I say.