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Where I’ve Been

I've been a bad blogger lately.

There are several reasons behind this, but even they're good ones I still feel like I've got some work to do, some repairs to make, maybe even some apologies to write.

This past June marked seven years since I've been blogging. That's a long time! When I first started writing here it was this huge outlet. I'd been out of school for a year and wasn't doing much writing anymore. I was living in a new city and my father was dying. I had a lot to write about, and typing these words out into some anonymous void felt incredibly cathartic.

The next seven years of blogging ebbed and flowed. Some years, some months or days this place was my only refuge. Sometimes it was less dramatic than that, simply becoming a place where I've been able to spin out thoughts, or keep track of things. Blogging has opened strange doors and allowed wonderful and interesting people to walk into my life. Blogging has also been difficult sometimes and felt like a burden.

These days I have a hard time figuring out what to do here. There are so many people from so many different eras of my life who read this blog, and as much as I wish I could, I can't always write as freely as I'd like to for fear of hurting or offending some of them. But that makes me sad and it makes me wonder what the point of it all is.

This place is for me. It's simply a place for me to write about my life and to untangle the thoughts in my head. I feel honored and grateful that some people enjoy the things I write about, but above all I don't want to lose sight of the original purpose of this blog.

You've probably noticed that over the last 6 months I've been doing a fair amount of reviews and give-aways. Hopefully they're not too annoying. That kind of blogging actually pays bills and for that reason, I just can't turn it down. But that said, I know that if I'm going to post reviews and give-aways I need to write even more of the real stuff here.

This brings me to my point. One of the main reasons I've been so absent here, aside from the TODDLER and from the studying I've been doing for my state licensing exams (I passed!!), is that I've been writing. A lot.

Just not here.

I'm working on my book again, and it's going so well that I actually feel like I can tell you about it. On and off, over the last 6 years I've been working on a memoir. The version I'm now writing is actually the third version, but I feel utterly confident that this is finally the one. I can't tell you how thrilling that is to say.

So, in my spare time — what little, little spare time I have, all of it eeked out here and there during Veronica's 1 hour nap sessions — I write. I started writing like this in March and I now have more than half of the book completed. I have the entire thing outlined and figured out, and it all just feels so right

But because I use the little periods of time that I have each day to work on the book, this place, my blog, has really come to suffer for it. Sometimes I try to blog at night, like I'm doing right now, but usually I'm so tired that I can't even think clearly, and worse than that there is usually laundry to put away or emails to return, bills to pay and freelance work to finish up.

All of that said, I really do vow to work harder on keeping up this blog. I miss it and I really value the place it's been in my life, everything that it's given me and all that I've given to it. Hopefully you'll see a lot more of me, the real me, here in the coming months. 


  1. i am sure you will receive a million comments on this post, claire, but i would just like to throw in a little CONGRATULTIONS!!!!!!!!!!! good job on passing the exams. and yes…we do write for ourselves, i think, but that changes a bit once someone starts reading what we write..!

    Comment by tony davis on July 12, 2010 at 8:04 am

  2. Aw, thanks Tony! The exam was intense…Im so happy to have passed!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 12, 2010 at 9:27 am

  3. Congratulations on passing your licensing exam! Feels like I will spend the next 9 months prepping for mine. Your blog is so uniquely you and it has evolved as you have over the years. I enjoy reading your words here and look forward to reading them in a different form in your book in the near future!

    Comment by Wendy on July 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

  4. Aw, thanks for your kind words Wendy! (And you will be so relieved when your exam is over!)

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 12, 2010 at 11:01 am

  5. Your writing is great but the pictures have always been worth coming back for. :-) She’s a cutey and I finally got stickers for the walls in my grandson’s room. he helped out them up and was thrilled.
    I had built my blog to the point of receiving offers of things such as giveways then was sick 4 months last winter and did nothing more than go to work and come home to bed. Lost most of my few readers. Had been blogging for 3 years.
    The Chicago cop that was killed last week is my neighbors’ brother/son.

    Comment by Helene on July 12, 2010 at 11:20 am

  6. You were/are my inspiration for blogging. I know the feeling of censoring what you say. What would our mother’s and mother-in-laws think if we wrote what we REALLY feel during those intense moments? Or our friends? Or the friends we’ve lost but still read our blogs? I have always found your blog to reveal some beautiful layers of reality on so many topics. I look forward to seeing more of your posts since you are now a LICENSED Superstar! And the memoir will sell like hot cakes peddled by shirtless firemen!

    Comment by Zora on July 12, 2010 at 11:24 am

  7. Ha….I like that last line. A LOT.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  8. Glad you like the photos! (And so sorry to hear about your neighbors tragedy.)

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  9. Hi Claire,
    We don’t even know each other, and I found your blog through another blog through another blog. I just wanted to say that I really enjoy reading it, really no matter what comes up. You have a way of putting together words that feels very genuine, and flows so naturally. Your honest way of speaking about raising your first child is inspiring for all of us future mothers. You also have such a beautiful way of writing about your family. My best friend lost her mom at 19, and I passed on the blog to her. I know it helped her feel less alone, even 10 years after her mom died.
    So, keep it up. The giveaways don’t bug me. You helped guide me in starting my blogging process (which I am VERY delinquent with right now), and remind me to always get back to it at some point.
    Anna Gove
    Rochester, MN

    Comment by Anna on July 12, 2010 at 6:57 pm

  10. ” Blogging has also been difficult sometimes and felt like a burden. ”
    -i agree with that but sometimes it felt like a blessing too.

    Comment by nursing gowns on July 12, 2010 at 9:32 pm

  11. I know the feeling you’re talking about with blogging. And I don’t even have anywhere near the readership (or other responsibilities) that you do. Thank you for writing what you have, and I hope that you’re able to work out how/whether to continue writing here.
    And what fantastic news about the exam and your book! I look forward to walking into a bookstore some day and coming across it :)

    Comment by Sophie on July 13, 2010 at 12:10 am

  12. Oh, Claire — I’m *so* happy to hear that you’re revisiting your book and feel that it is going well! I think I must surely be one of your most “way back” readers, and was such a fan of your early writing that I felt sure it would just transition from blog to book with the merest whoosh and you’d be done. Knowing what I do now about the difficulty of “translating” blog writing to book manuscript, I can at least begin to imagine how difficult and time-consuming that process inevitably must be. Your material is worth every arduous minute you’ve eked out of your parental, personal and professional life to accomplish the task. Go, you!!!

    Comment by Carroll on July 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm

  13. Aw, thanks Carroll! I cant *wait* to sign a book for you!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

  14. Thanks for the encouragement, Sophie! And blogging is weird business, isnt it?

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm

  15. Absolutely. There have been so many amazing things that have come from blogging!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm

  16. Wow, such nice things to read, Anna. Thank you for your kind words and for passing my blog along. I hoped it helped your friend in some small way.

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm

  17. I read a few different blogs, and each of them serves a different purpose – athletics updates, travel, restaurant reviews… Yours, however, isn’t for information or advice – instead it’s like a really wonderful novel where you get so attached to the characters that they become your friends. I read LILA and now LIC and just love your writing and your spirit. I admit, I was a little thrown when the reviews and promos started, but everyone has to pay the bills, and your voice is still there.
    Congratulations on getting back to your book – you have such a wonderful way with words I’m sure all your hard work will come together with something beautiful.

    Comment by jo on July 14, 2010 at 9:11 am

  18. Wow, such nice things to read. Thank you for your continued support and readership, Jo!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 14, 2010 at 11:17 am

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