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! ❤