To blog or not to blog…that is the question

Hi kids,

Last time I posted, I mentioned I was having some deep internal debates about my blogging to you two. Following on from my post before that about our last FS visit, I was left feeling that I needed to gain clarity in my own mind about this blog. Why am I blogging, how often should I blog, what should I blog about, should I keep it open, or take it off-line, what is the future of this blog??

So, lets take these one at a time – a nice and logical approach which I like to think is just so typical of me:

Why am I blogging? –  I started this blog as a way for me to clarify my own thoughts and feelings about this TTC journey your mom and I are on. I’d discovered through the Fertilicare Forum, that writing about things forces you to analyse your thoughts/views/feelings/attitudes about each facet in a structured way – well it does if you want your writing to make sense to anyone else!! As a typical guy, analysing myself isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I’ve mentioned before that I struggled to understand exactly how and what I feel about certain things, but that writing about it helped me to clarify my own thoughts. So that was one of the main reasons for me starting this blog – to help me come to terms with myself, to understand my own views and feelings, to consciously analyse, crystallise and verbalise exactly what I think and feel about everything to do with the situation we find ourselves in.

Then I felt like it allowed me to talk to you guys – our someday-kids, to record every step of the battle to get you two into our lives – a diary of sorts, a historical recording of the trials and tribulations, the thoughts and feelings, the highs and lows in our quest to have a family. But something you guys could read when you’re old enough, something that would give you an insight into our struggle, the decisions we made and the reasons for those decisions. The reason this felt more important than it would for most prospective parents is the realisation that our journey would involve some pretty tough decisions…decision to do with things like the strong possibility of using sperm donor(s), IVF, and maybe even adoption…all issues that could well cause you kids to feel like you want answers, feel like you deserve to know the truth about your conception, genetics, biological parents etc. I wanted a way for you guys to be able to understand what we went through to have you, why we made the choices we did, and gain a sense of how important you are to us and for you to get all these answers (well, those that we can give you).

It has also turned out to be another method of communicating with your mom. We’ve always talked about absolutely anything and everything…something to do with us being such good friends before we became lovers. We’ve always been open and honest with each other – there was no subject we couldn’t talk to each other about. But this infertility is difficult. It’s intensely emotional and devilishly complicated. It’s too easy to say things in haste that can hurt the other person, and so, being able to sit and think things through, compose my thoughts and put them down in a logical manner has been a useful aid in communicating some of the more difficult issues we’ve been facing. We still talk about everything, but it allows us to broach awkward or sensitive subjects without risking hurting each other with a poorly thought out sentence or an overly emotionally driven response. So, it’s been good for your mom and I too.

Lastly, since we’ve been TTC’ing and been actively using the Forum and the net to investigate Secondary Hypogonadism, male infertility and all things fertility related, I’ve noticed that there are very few guys out there talking openly about these issues. There are a million women posting on blogs and forums, but finding a guy blogging about infertility is like finding rocking-horse shit – it’s just not there (okay, there are one or two, but it’s literally in single digits!). I don’t know if guys are not into the blogging thing, don’t wish to discuss issues that are so personal, emotionally charged, embarrassing or what, whether we as a gender are so wrapped up in our own masculinity and self-image, that we can’t face admitting things to others…I don’t know. All I know is that something like over 40% of infertility is supposedly male factor, but we’re certainly not eating up the bandwidth posting about it! So, there’s this (incredibly conceited I’m sure) part of me that thinks that maybe just maybe, my blogging about our situation, our issues, our discussions, our feelings and our decisions, may actually be of some use to some of the many many people out there fighting the same shitty battle.

So, those are some of the main reasons I decided to start blogging or feel like it’s worth continuing to blog…but these also answers some of the question of whether I should continue to blog openly, or take it off-line. If it was just for us: you guys, your mom and me, I could take it off-line – just start typing it up in Word and saving it…but there’s a strong suspicion that if I did that, that it would quickly peter out and come to an abrupt end…and I feel like that would be a pity. Also, unlikely to be of any help to anyone else out there.

This brings me round to readership/comments. As much as I try to write for just the three of you (Jed, Jade and you my gorgeous one), I’m aware that others are reading this – not many, but there are a few people out there who are reading and commenting. And as much as I don’t want to be too caught up in the readership, it is great to know someone else may be reading it and finding it useful or interesting and/or hopefully occasionally amusing. It’s super to get comments and I really do value them (sounds trite I know, but when someone takes the time to comment, it feels like the post was worthwhile for more than my own selfish reasons). Comments and readers are great, but they’re not my driving force behind this blog…. I really don’t aspire to one of those blog awards that seem to be floating round (cos they do seem fairly inane and pointless – and that’s not sour grapes honestly). Besides which, you probably have to post religiously, be an avid blogger and (if it’s like some of the other forums I’ve been on) a serial commenter on other blogs to be noticed or to increase your readership. And that’s not me.

That brings me neatly onto my next question/issue that I’ve been mulling over…How often should I post and what sort of style should I employ?

Many people seem to be able to post on an almost daily basis. Then there are those who have months between posts…where should I fit in. My decision is to post when I feel like there’s something to say. I don’t want to get into posting every day, because then the posts will, by necessity, be short and shallow. I don’t think I could post on a subject in just 100 words- it’s just not how I am, or how I write…I’m more of a waffler, a rambler, someone who wants to express themselves fully when they’ve decided to say something…I’d prefer to write 1,500 words on the subject and feel like I might have done it some justice – and there’s no way I can afford to take an hour or two every day to write up a structured and hopefully thought out blog post. Because that’s my chosen style…with any luck it comes through in my previous posts…it’s not just a brain dump…I try to write it a bit more neatly than that…(although I’m not sure that this post will qualify!!)…and that takes time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I think I’m crafting wonderful prose, I don’t think I’m some budding Hemmingway, but I do want what I write to make sense and be readable. I really don’t want to feel obliged to post every day, discussing the inane aspects of my daily life, unless they happen to be amusing or interesting (to me anyway) or in some way relevant. I want to post when I have something to say, something to share, something (hopefully) of worth…so that’s that…no more apologising for gaps between posts – if nothing’s happened, I won’t post…and that’s that!! ….. Well, unless I feel like it….

Lastly, I want to be honest and open. Bearing in mind the main reasons for me writing this blog, there would be no point if I felt like I had to censor myself. I want to write this blog like I want to be a father (and like how I hope I’m like as a husband) – honest and open, happy to share my emotions, my feelings my views and theories, my thoughts and opinions, what makes me laugh or cry, happy or sad…without needing to sugar coat it or be politically correct. I want to discuss sex (which seems to have less importance in fertility than one would hope), religion, politics, ethics, humour, the weather, masturbation, taboos, pets, relationships, news…whatever comes to mind…all in an open and honest manner…these will be my views and thoughts, how I see the world, my take on everything. So I’m bound to upset/alienate/offend other readers out there – and if I do…tough… I will never set out to upset or offend someone, but if you choose to read my blog, you take the risk…I will make no apologies for that (and I’m happy to hear your views/opinions even if they are counter to those I express here – I like to think I’m adult enough to accept others’ viewpoints and acknowledge their right to and the validity of their own opinions even if I don’t agree with them).

So that’s it then…it’s sorted…that’s the nature of this blog settled then…so I guess the answer is:

‘To blog’, but on my terms and you can like it or lump it!!!

~ by HopelesslyTTC on 06/11/2009.

3 Responses to “To blog or not to blog…that is the question”

  1. Given you an award my love. See my blog for details

  2. This is just wonderful. I am in tears about how much thought you have put into this. I think on your timing- you just write when you feel like you need to talk to your future children. Sending good thoughts your way.

  3. You do run the risk of readers checking on you less often! But writing only when you have something you feel is worth saying seems like good common sense to me.

    I must say that I do love your format of writing to your kids to be – so original and touching!

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