A longtime friend of mine has asked me to blog about politics.
No thanks, I don’t blog about politics, I tell him.
He persists, claiming that since I have been a politically involved person, people want to know what I think.
If I blog about politics, I open the door for an entirely different audience than the one I have now.
Politics is polarizing and divisive.
It can bring out unwelcome hostility and snarkiness in otherwise nice people.
I once posted a link on Facebook for what I thought was a well-written, insightful column.
I immediately regretted it because of the accusatory political attacks it generated.
As I’ve discussed why I don’t want to write about politics on my blog, it’s made me revisit my original purpose for starting a blog.
When I started blogging well over a year ago, I wanted to write for readers, who, like me, enjoy looking at the ordinary things in life a little closer.
I remembered interviewing one of my favorite writers, Jeanne Marie Laskas, who used to write a weekly column called “Significant Others” in the Washington Post’s Sunday magazine.
(I’m still grieving the loss of that column.)
I asked her how she decided what to write about every week. She said she thought about what had moved her that week, and that usually led her to a topic.
I loved her response because it reflected my approach to writing.
I generally try to write about what moves me — from watching my daughter fall to the ground in a high school lacrosse game after tearing her ALC to missing my Grandma in August because that was the month she always organized a family reunion.
These are the small things that have meaning to me, and I believe they resonate with people on a more personal level than politics.
Politics stimulates my brain, energizes my surface emotions, angers, frustrates, and often exhausts me.
Those emotions are not the ones I want to stir up on my blog.
We are drowning in political commentary, and I want my blog to be a respite from the clatter of the political world.
I think of my blog like a yoga mat that yogis consider as sacred space, sealed off from the loud voices in our noisy world.
I want it to continue to draw people to it because it is softer than most things in the world.
I want my readers to keep coming back because they know my blog will offer them a brief mental break.
I want it to be a place where readers can take a deep breath, feel something below the surface, see something a little differently or just smile because my silliness reminds them of their own.
I have my opinions, and I toss them gently around sometimes, but I try to share them in either a fun or introspective way.
The last thing I want to do is lose readers because you hate my politics.
I like you all too much to lose you.
And this recent post I found on Facebook says it all:
- Frustrated With Politics? Here, Read These. (momswhoblog.com)
- How to Keep Friends and Family During an Election Year (prettyopinionated.com)