We’re Moving! (Just Not Quite Yet)

I spent most of May deciding on a course of action for Part-Time Monster…And where I’m going is to an all-new site! Starting on June 6, Part-Time Monster will have a new web address, with an all-new focus, look, and posting schedule. I’ve been feeling a kind of fatigue lately related to the kind of writing I have been doing and the kind that I’d like to be doing. At the same time, I’ve felt reluctant to publish some of the things I’ve wanted to write here both because they would not fit into the blog’s schematics and because they have potential to make my personal relationships more complex.

Part-Time Monster will still be a place for girls and women. I will still talk about pop culture and books, and certainly about monsters. But the blog will also be a place where I am very honest about my sexuality, mental illness, politics, and growing up in small-town Mississippi among uber-conservatives. If those things offend you, or if they are things you don’t want to know about me (and I know some of you are family, so you might not want to know those things), then please—just don’t read it. I won’t be offended or bothered if you don’t. But I will no longer shy away from publishing these things out of fear that someone will be upset with me if I do. 

But first…Let me back up.

Just as we were having the conversations that would lead to me creating Part-Time Monster, my brother said something to me that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. We spent some time talking about the project we were about to start, a plan to build a blog that would include the voices of our friends and colleagues, and he told me that blogs have a life cycle. If anything, this statement seems truer now than it did in the beginning.

Back in the beginning, I had little idea of what it took to run a blog of even marginal success. I did have an excellent idea of how difficult it could be to spend all of your time writing, because my years of studying literature during undergraduate and graduate years were full of caffeine-fueled writing binges to satisfy the massive page-counts that inevitably piled up during a semester. But I didn’t know how difficult it would be to find a layout and to create a site menu, or to set up a category scheme that was appropriate, or how many hours I would have to spend on graphic design and copyright and building an audience and creating a network. Here I am, two and half years later, and I keep finding out more and more things that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know.

But I’ve been lucky enough to find a pretty large group of bloggers and readers who are willing to share their successes and their failures, answering question after question and spending lots of time brainstorming ideas for everything from content to comments policies to design and function of a site. This blog started as a collaborative effort, both in the sense that I hoped to feature the writing of friends and colleagues and that the blog was started just as my older brother, Gene’O, was starting Sourcerer—a kind of partner-in-crime for Part-Time Monster. Gene’O went through his own set of changes, and as a result Sourcerer stopped publishing.

Over time, Part-Time Monster found a rhythm, and it also found a focus—books, girls, and monsters. This all made a perfect sort of sense. Most of the guests who posted here were women. I was also heavily entrenched in PhD level research and reading for my comprehensive exams in literature, and my area of research was American girlhood. I was reading a lot of literature and literary theory, spending a lot of time discussing it with other graduate students, and using the blog as a place to write about much of that. After I left graduate school, the blog was a place to write about all those things I missed talking to other graduate students about.

Some of what I was writing didn’t really fit into those categories, though, because I wanted to talk about my own experiences and struggles, too. Those posts often took the form of “if we were having coffee” posts, and imaging a weekly coffee chat with my readers became a way for me to preserve the focus of my blog and still talk about the personal things that I wanted to.

For the last two and a half years, this blog has been my home on the Internet. And the last two and a half years have been a pretty wild ride—I got married, Little Jedi started school in a Spanish immersion program, I left graduate school to pursue other interests, and my husband and I have both changed jobs. On the blogging front, those weekly coffee posts grew into a weekly link-up that includes numerous participants in the blogosophere, on Facebook, and on Twitter; I ran a year of Monster Mondays, a series with multiple contributors that focused on female monsters; I participated in the A to Z challenge multiple times, twice as a minion; and the Feminist Friday Project generated a lot of amazing discussions and posts.

But more and more, I’ve been finding the kind of content that I had been writing, the posts about books and girls and monsters, to be difficult to write. They interest me still, but not in the same way as before. What I want to write about, instead, are often things that I don’t think fit into what I’ve been doing at the Monster. And I feel as though, in some ways, I lost my pathway. My first entry on the Monster was about living with an anxiety disorder, and I haven’t talked about that in a very long time—but I need to. I need to write about a lot of things that I haven’t been writing about here.

And so. Here we are. I’d hoped the new site would be ready by today, but perhaps it’s best that it’s not. I feel a little sentimental about this old place, and I’d like to say goodbye to it properly with this weekend’s coffee share. There, I’ll have more information on the new site and how the coffee share will be affected by the move (positively, I assure you!).

I hope you’ll all join me, here and in the new space! ❤

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38 Comments

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  1. Good luck–this is what prompted me to branch my sites off too and refocus my author site, so I hear what you’re saying. You have had a good run here and I’m glad to have become friends. If you need to brainstorm on the new site, hit me up. You know where to find me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Excellent! I’ll keep that in mind, because I’ve got an idea brewing for a monthly series on periods, and I’d like to get some guests in on that conversation.

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    1. Thanks!

      I think part of the onus for just switching sites for me has been that this space was so focused on collaboration, and I didn’t want to archive all that too far back or figure out how to build around it.

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  2. I’m not so sure it’s blogs have lifespans, but more people’s interests change. Which is good, I think it is one of the ways our brains fight boredom. Hope you have great success with the new blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a positive step forward, Diana! So lovely to hear you are moving on in the blogosphere to a new place that will fit your current needs better. Part Time Monster is a lovely space in its own right, but a blog is only truly worthwhile if it’s a space where you feel you can post the content you desire and need to post. Looking forward to this transition and I wish you the best of luck as you start up at your new address!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m looking forward to making the changes and sharing them with everyone. I’m leaving this space as-is. I considered revising it instead of creating a new space, but there are all sorts of reason this way is better. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi there! I’m one of your coffee weekend minions 😉 Seriously though, we don’t know each other but I had to just throw some of my feedback in after reading your announcement.

    I enjoy the coffee meme thing most every week but I agree it might be time to explore more of you than just a meme. You’ve shown the amazing ability to bring people together. In blogging, that’s huge. Having said that, take it from me: I started in 2005 with the domain rileycentral.net I posted an online diary and becme a coach to many bloggers, including one who jettisoned to financial success: Dragon Blogger, Justin Germino. DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING. May a goodbye post and then start your new one. You never know when this one will become relevant to you. I have developed a Teaching Blog (I’m a 4th grade public school teacher), a stream-of-consciousness diary style blog (I’ve been a student of the online diary for a long time, it is definitely a genre), a movie reviews blog “Riley on Film,” and a couple other ideas that have domains but have closed and sit dormant. Still, with a well developed way to update and maintain all of them, I make $100/month and sometimes more.I take great pride in that. Most people just plink around and never do anything but play patty cake with other bloggers.

    Last, this is just my advice to someone who obviously has bigger ideas and bigger ability to gather people than the amazing coffee meme: You wrote you were in danger of harming personal relationships through blogging. NEVER EVER EVER EVER do that. Blogging is a joke if you let that happen.

    We’re all on our own journey, I can see you are brave enough to break out of your mold. Best wishes on the new stuff and always remember you hooked a few people up through the coffee meme. That’s pretty awesome! Best on your journey.

    “Life is brief but when it’s gone, love goes on and on.” from Disney’s animated feature “Robin Hood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I’ve definitely had a lot of other content going on here, but the coffee shares have been my only content for a month or so as I make the change.

      As far as the personal relationships…I know you mean well, and I understand what you’re getting at. But if my parents and conservative family members can’t come to terms with me, at 32, openly sharing that I’m bisexual and writing about that, then it’s better that they not read my writing than that I stay silent. I’ve been silent for a long time, and I considered everything from using a pseudonym to using password-protected posts for some issues, but the bottom line is that I am refusing to be afraid of the fallout that comes from acknowledging things that many conservative Southerners around me just don’t want to acknowledge.

      And no worries—not deleting anything. This site is staying here mostly as-is. The major reason I’m moving to a new space is to avoid having to re-make this space or delete content from it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good for you being proud of your sexual orientation. Michael Stipe was my hero all through the 80’s and 90’s. He came out sometime in there as being what he calls “Queer.” I know that freed him up to do what he wanted to do for causes etc. I do mean well. I get very frustrated blogging but it has taught me that it’s better to craft something cool that the right people like than just flaunt stuff. I’ll just tell you that I am diagnosed Bipolar 1. Yep the bad one with weeklong manic episodes. I’m medicated now and have been since 2000. I tried starting a blog for bipolars and mostly it was a bunch of weird cry-babies making excuses for why the cheated on their spouse due to mania etc. I’m a bipolar professional but that’s something I’ll never try broadcasting again. Most people pour what they want into the label and pigeonhole. I think your new direction is exciting. All the best. I’m 47 this June 9th 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ll be talking a bit about my recent diagnosis with biploar type 2, as well, mostly from the stand-point of how I got to now and what it’s like to be an adult and finally have a better diagnosis than manic depression.

          The sexual orientation and the politics that I express are so distant from my conservative family’s viewpoints that I just felt it fair to warn them that they might not want to read what’s in the new space. I rarely veer into what they would find truly objectionable here, but I’m sure that I will be doing so in the new space.

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        2. As long as you take lithium (90% of all bipolars find mood stabilization with this salt and yet many people online will go on and on about how many meds they take.) and get your proper medical and psychotherapy attended to, it’s a disorder you can live with like a normal person. Good for you for wanting write about it. Your new site sounds great! I’ll definitely check it out. I look out for special people I run across 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I’m currently on a mix of an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety, and it’s working pretty well. I tend to have “high” moods associated with long bouts of productivity (writing binges) or irritability, which is one reason that I was treated as a depressed patient for many years. This all seems to fit more. Mostly it’s just a relief to have a better answer than before.

          And I hope you will keep up! I’ll still be running the coffee shares, but they’ll go from Friday until Sunday now.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. We’re all afflicted with something along the spectrum. I’m glad you’re seeing a doc and trying some meds. I just take lithium nowadays but I’ve been on a lot if other stuff through the years. SSRI’s were my least favorite. I felt like there was a hazy block around all feeling. I’ve been episode free for almost 18 years but there were some close calls a few years back. Lack of sleep is the worst thing for me. I practice good sleep patterns and take my lithium and life is good.

          I prefer to talk online about the artistry of writing and blogging but I understand it’s all new to you. I’m podcasting with a friend in England about movies. I think I my last one I was a bit manic. Simetimes you have to hear yourself to identify you need to slow down. Blogging has been an amazing tool for personal growth, not just the mental health stuff. I have found as someone living with bipolar disorder it’s more gratifying to create and innovate in spite of my disorder rather than try to write about it. It only exists in 2% of the population. If you have a chance, look in on my podcast http://www.rileyonfilm.com/podcast-talking-stars-episode-two-1980s-steven-spielberg/

          You will definitely see me around. I love coffee and blogging so …. Lol

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you are going after what you need and want to write about. Far too many of us don’t. I include myself in that far too many group. So you go. You do it for those of us who can’t. Make us proud! Make us see that we can do it, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      This blog has been a great space, but I think it’s time to make a new space. There’s too much here to try and archive, and it just makes more sense to start again.

      Like

  6. I feel you! It’s so hard to find your blogging voice and to keep it going. I’m sure whatever you come up with at the new site will be just as successful and interesting for your readers as what you have been doing in the last two years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I just couldn’t see deleting all of this, nor do I want to figure out how to archive it and start over, so I’m going to leave it intact and start over.

      Like

  7. Big changes afoot. I’m glad your finding a way to let the blog speak to what you need to be speaking to right now. That need for flexibility was the entire reason my own blog got the name it did. It’s hard to keep going when your own writing path is diverging!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!

      I decided moving was better than trying to re-shape what’s here, because although I’ll still talk about some of the same things I did here, so much of what I’ll be writing about will be different, and it’s without the collaboration portion of this blog. I’m sure I’ll still have guest posts from time to time, but they won’t be contributors in the way of this blog. And trying to archive all of that just didn’t make sense, ya know. Better to just start over.

      Liked by 1 person

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