Someone sent me a link to Dooce when I first became a mom. I was at home with a new baby, isolated in a beautiful suburban home far from my friends and former haunts. I wasn’t depressed, exactly, but I wasn’t as blissed out as I’d expected to be at the arrival of my daughter.
“You have to read this,” my friend said. “This woman is so funny. But she’s more than funny. She understands.”
My friend wasn’t a mom. He was a 30-ish hipster with no intention of ever spawning a child. He wasn’t into babies or in need of a parenting support group. He just loved Dooce, because she was funny and more than funny.
He’s not alone. As her blog turns 10, Dooce is widely recognized as the reigning Queen of The Mommy Bloggers.
Lisa Belkin, the lead author of the influential Motherlode blog, has just profiled Dooce for the New York Times. Dooce, a.k.a. Heather Armstrong, has millions of readers, and earns enough ad revenue to support her entire family in a style I would love to become accustomed to.
It’s not the business side of things that makes Dooce matter, though. What matters is that she, and the hundreds of thousands of women who have followed in her footsteps, are creating a new literature of women’s voices.We’re doing Virginia Woolf, and her vision of every woman having a room of her own, proud.
Go ahead and laugh at the notion of blogging as literature. Then read some blogs.
They may be light or irreverent, but don’t think blogging is casual. Women find meaning in the process of blogging for themselves and in reading the blogs produced by other moms.
We’ve brought our day-to-day experiences out of the shadows of domesticity and into the bright light of written work that is published, shared, talked about and built upon. We’re creating traditions of blogging, classic blogs and posts that are becoming the “canon” of our genre. Bloggers like Dooce bring lesser-known bloggers together. There’s a sense of community among moms who blog.
Photo: Mat Honan