I’m officially out of hibernation, and, I might joyously add, so are many of my fellow bloggers in recent days.
I’m tired of living with survivor’s guilt. I am wildly, wonderfully happy to be a mother. Having my son only further articulates that tangible for which this community strives: to parent and to be supported on our paths to parenthood – physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, legislatively, medically.
With the arrival of Spring, it’s time to plant the bulbs, dig up the roots, weed if need be. Behind the scenes on my beta site, I’m working on a new site design. Yes, I throw myself into CSS coding and spend hours selecting fonts because it helps me from facing the real issues that kept me silent for so long. But in doing so, I’ve got a clearer sense of purpose about what I want to do with this space. Because no matter what, I just can’t abandon it…
And here’s why:
1. I’m stubborn.
2. I crafted this space and everything in it with a lot of love, blood, sweat and tears. It would be like tearing down a house I built with my own two hands. Can’t do it.
3. At heart, I’m a fixer, a helper, a healer (helixer?). I do what I need to do for myself but when I see that someone needs help, that something needs to be fixed: I’m there. I extend the hand. It’s just my nature. The Jewish concept of tikkun olam (the act of repairing a broken world) lies at my moral center, and is one of the many things that drew me to convert to Judaism almost 7 years ago. Teaching others to heal, to cope, to get through those absolutely awful days of infertility: this is just one way I can repair the world with my innate strengths and talents.
4. I need to remember why I created this blog in the first place.
That last point is what brings me here today, as I realize some of you may have only recently joined me. But those who remember my very first blog (and a VERY select few who knew me on LiveJournal back in the mid-00s) know that it looked nothing like this. My voice was all over the map; for a long time, I was merely a public diarist.
“Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed” started from a crisis of faith, and truly, an identity crisis. Who was I going to be if I couldn’t be a mother, as I had assumed all my life? How had G-d forgotten me? At its heart, my infertility blog started as a way of slowly reclaiming and redefining my identity as a woman with POF.
HWSL also served a more functional purpose as well: as a tool for information and understanding for our close friends and family. What y’all may not know is that, even though I started blogging under a pseudonym, I wrote an email to ~30 of our closest friends and family at that time in 2009, simultaneously informing them that I had been diagnosed with infertility and that Larry had just been laid off a week after my diagnosis.
(2009 was a banner year.)
I also shared my blog link and that is be blogging anonymously, but that I wanted to share it with them so I could educate them about what we were going through. HWSL started from two points: identity reclamation and knowledge sharing.
What I discovered, as I continued to write through those two entry points, was a path to personal healing and empowerment. I found myself while helping others. And then it just grew and grew, especially once I started blogging publicly after the release of my “What IF” video .
It’s time to get back to my roots around these parts: sharing knowledge and reclaiming my identity as a parent after infertility, as a wife living with depression, and as an advocate with a message.
I need to be candid: my time is stretched very, very thinly between all the various aspects of my life, from other freelance writing gigs and caring for my son. Plus I need to make sure I put in the efforts of being a good wife to my husband and especially taking time for self-care. And since I’m no longer actively trying to get pregnant, I won’t have near-daily posts. But I’m committing to at least a post a week, most likely Fridays right now.
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I’m hoping to finish all the pretty design stuff by the end of next week. And it will be a radically different look around here, but I think you’ll like it to make things easier for folks to find. Over the next month or so, I’ll be resorting and uploading a lot of new and old content for a brand new, totally organized comprehensive resource library. I’ve been collecting infertility resources around the web since day 1, and as part of the knowledge sharing, I want to open up my treasure trove of personally curated resources and goodies.
You know what is conspicuously absent here from my new plan?
I never started a blog to make money. Once my redesign is live, you’ll see a lot less ads around here. I may still engage in some sponsored social media posting for BlogHer and I’ll promote events and affiliate opportunities with which I am directly involved, but only those that I know and trust and typically in an editorial context rather than sidebar ads.
I’m happy to write sponsored content; again, I’ve got to get to know your brand. And it’s content that I write, not just a copy/pasted press release. I will always include a “you will totally know this is sponsored content” disclosure so there’s no confusion. I should be more clear: it’s not like I’ve got a dozen sponsored posts lined up; I’m just establishing my new advertorial policy.
That said: I’ll still continue to sell my eBooks in my shop here . These are each intense labors of love crafted with much care, such that I just can’t afford to give them away for free. I’d like to think I charge a fair price.
So there you have it. The lay of the land and how it will unfold. I’ll stop apologizing for who I am and start embracing my new identity instead. I’ll continue to share my resources and knowledge. I hope to bring in some new voices from time to time. But mostly, I’m not giving up on this space.