The Hot Pot Blog

November 16, 2011

Making Some Changes…

I started this blog a few years ago, on a whim.

I wanted a diary of sorts, a place I could record all of the wonderful memories my boyfriend and I were making living in DC, hiking in the Shenandoah, and cooking up feasts.

I didn’t really think about people actually reading it when I started it.  Nor did I think about how long I might be blogging or what it might turn into.

But things changed, and quickly!

My boyfriend turned into my fiance and soon, my husband.  We joined the Foreign Service (I say “we” because while he is the employee, its sort of a family affair isn’t it?).  We moved to China.  We had a baby.

And the things I had to write about, the things I felt compelled to write about, changed.  Recipes gave way to commentary on daily life in China, gave way to baby posts, gave way to more recipes and so on.  Even the name of the site, Hot Pot, will become less relevant within the next year.

This blog has plowed on, spinning into an ever larger pile of writing mush and odds and ends, and, to your credit, my lovely readers have endured the lack of focus admirably.

But when I look at all of the drafts on my dashboard, I can’t help but feel like I’m sitting in the middle of a giant junk closet filled with messy, random things and I’m trying to decide which little trinkets to keep, give, or throw away.

And that’s another thing.  When I started writing, there were exactly 2 people reading: Chris and I.  Now there are more, not tons but enough so that I no longer feel so anonymous, and knowing my audience always gives me pause before I sit down to write.  This might sound surprising coming from someone with a public blog, but I’m actually something of a private person in some ways, and I never envisioned sharing my life diary-style with hundreds of people.  My life just isn’t interesting enough for that!  And I just don’t have the patience to document it all.  Some people do and I oh-so-admire them but it just isn’t my style.

I’m all about sharing snippets and I don’t mind writing about real, even challenging issues in my life, but only after I’ve had time to process them privately and polish my prose before I post.  (How’s that for some alliteration by the way?)

In D.C., I worked and I wrote for my job, about things that had nothing to do with cooking and babies and Chinese wet markets.  I love writing about babies and recipes, but I also like doing that other kind of writing and I need an outlet for it-especially as I ponder finding some hopefully-writing-related employment when we leave China.  Hot Pot, unfortunately, in its current form, does not seem to be the place to do it though.

Which is all to say that I’m going to be making some changes.  They will likely happen slowly given that I’ve got a delightfully squirmy little baby boy on my hands, but eventually, I’ll get there.  I’m envisioning a different kind of site.  One in which I have a space for more journalistic-style pieces and interviews with interesting people I meet and photos and such.

But I don’t want just the heavy stuff, I still want space for cute pictures and stories about Will, our travelogues and our cooking.  I think those things will all have a place too, but perhaps in a more organized form than just one landing page with everything piled on haphazardly.

Until I get the new site all sorted out, I’ll keep posting here with my usual random “-squirrel!!” lack of focus.  But if you have any ideas or suggestions, either in terms of layout or content, what sorts of posts you would like to see on the new site, let me know, I’d love to hear it.

There’s a baby stretching and yawning and cooing his way out of his morning nap right now so I’d best be going, but thanks for reading.

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