In all honesty, when Amanda of Expat Life With A Double Buggy asked me this question, I wanted to say: “I don’t know!” and leave it at that. But then I thought that maybe this could be a great oportunity to explore why I’m doing what I’m doing and understand a little bit more about the purpose of my writing.
Now I don’t believe that everything has an explanation. Some things just don’t. And if the only answer you can give is “I don’t know” doesn’t mean that the question doesn’t make sense or that what you’re doing is wrong. Years before, when you would have asked me why I was following my then- boyfriend to Canada, and later Germany, I’d tell you: “I don’t know”. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
But I’ve been blogging for almost three years and maybe it is time to give you- and me a more definite answer.
In this blog hop, there are four questions and I will answer all of them here.
1) What are you working on?
Most probably more than I can handle. I contribute to World Moms Blog, BLUNTmoms, Multicultural Kids Blog and I do it because writing for these sites in an honour and allows me to explore different sides od my personality. Also, I am working on a project I hope to finish soon and present the result to you- and I am all excited about this! Additionally, I am occasionally working as a translator, trainer in intercultural communication, oh and let’s not forget these children of mine, all three of them. And my husband and my house. I am not entirely sure whether it is such a great idea to do all of these things, but it’s fun and I am learning so much so right now, so I’m sticking to it. I have other projects in mind, too but that is something I’ll need to explore in more depth.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Great question. I think many other expat bloggers, at least the ones in the Netherlands, are native speakers of English and come from English speaking countries. I, on the other hand, am Polish but that is just the one half of the equation. The other half is, just as this blog’s name suggests, that I am European- I come from a multicultural, multilingual family, my parents are ATCK’s. I believe that this is great but from a blog point of view it is kind of difficult because it is hard to label this blog and it is rather difficult for me to keep to just one topic, just one niche. For some readers, it makes it impossible to relate to it because my point of view could be very different from theirs. I think I could also write more about Europe, parenting in Europe and what being European really means. And, another thing that heeps me apart is the fact that my writing style changes depending on my mood and the topic and this is one of the reasons I wrote for other group blogs, such as the ones I mentioned before. Another point is that I write a lot about identity and culture and not just life in the Netherlands. A part of it is the fact tat I actually studied languages, communication and media at university, which is another thing that sets me apart from other writers.
3) Why do I write what I write?
As I said in the beginning, it is a good question and can be changed into a series of even more questions: “Why do I write for others?” “Why do I write when it isn’t bringing me any money”? ‘Why do I write when I could be doing something else?” I can’t tell you how close I was to quitting and how many times I wanted to shut this blog down. It is hard when you see other bloggers becoming more successfull while you feel like nobody reads your blog at all. But that is not the point. The point is that there are many reasons for me to write. Because I love sharing my knowledge and help people; Because it is extremely gratifying; because it allows me to understand myself better and explore my many identities. Because I have a voice and can use it. Because I can be read by many people from the comfort of my home; because it is fun, and I also get to know wonderful people, both on -and offline. All of these make for great reasons to keep on writing, and not care so much about statistics, or numbers of readers- but then of course, I love my readers and am very happy when you comment, or engage with me.
4) How does your writing process work?
Wow, writing process, that sounds complicated whereas in most cases, I just sit down and write. Like with this post, I didn’t have an idea how it should look like before I started writing it. But the way I write depends on things like my mood, my topic, the site I write for. Sometimes, a phrase hits me and I can build a whole post around that phrase. Or, I see something and think: “how can I change that into a blog post?”, and then I think about it until a whole post appears in my head. Sometimes, it takes minutes, othertimes, it takes days or months for me to figure out a good way to write about a topic. I try to write about problems that are universal, but sometimes I find myself responding to another post or article I’ve read- it’s a great way to keep the conversation going.
Next week, SJ of Chasing the Donkey will answer the same questions- click over there and tell her I send you!