Everyone is saying I should blog.

It’s been a year since I left my executive job in marketing to spend more time with family and try my hand at writing as a means to pay the bills.

My plan was to document this journey through a series of magazine articles under the umbrella “A Year of Living Simply,” but it seems that magazines are not nearly as captivated by my story as I am!  They want a portfolio of published articles from new writers before they will even consider taking the leap.  They want to know that a writer can draw an audience.  Go figure!

Again and again, I have been encouraged to blog as a means to generate that audience and I’m not sure exactly why I resisted for so long.  Perhaps it was my fear of technology?  Having left behind those helpful corporate IT resources, I’ve had enough difficulty just keeping my email synched to my BlackBerry and operating the RISO photocopying machine at my kids’ school.

Perhaps it was a fear that I’d have nothing interesting to say?  Probably not; I always seem to have a funny story in my back pocket.  A while back I was having lunch with the kids and we were discussing different types of animals: carnivore; herbivore; omnivore.  Through a mouthful of sandwich, seven year old Jack added, “Don’t forget the por favors.”  We’ll save that little anecdote for his wedding reception.

Perhaps it was because I thought I’d be giving away for free, the “Living Simply” material I had hoped I could sell.  That’s probably more to the point.

But on the elliptical trainer last night (where I get all my best ideas!) an angle struck me.  At this point in my journey I’m finding my biggest struggle is balancing my desire to be the best mother ever, with my desire to leave a mark in the world outside of my own circle of family and friends.  And as much as I’m enjoying my creative writing time, again and again I find myself falling into marketing mode.

A couple of months ago I had occasion to meet a woman in the business of reselling vintage dinnerware.  Walking through her ENORMOUS warehouse full of fantastic china, crystal and silverware I was struck by all the many marketing angles she might pursue.  How about a bridal registry?  What about an eco-friendly, low carbon footprint approach?  It was just such great stuff, there had to be a way to build a bigger market for it!  So I immediately set up a Survey Monkey questionnaire to investigate the market potential for one of these ideas.  The business owner must have thought I was wacko when I sent her the link and told her that I was simply interested in learning more.  I’m sure she thought I was going to try to sell her something at some point and I thought it was telling that that she didn’t post the survey link on her website.

Then I met a woman who used to be editor of Wedding Bells magazine and this led to more deep thought on heritage china business opportunities and challenges.  When the survey results came in, I scheduled an appointment to share the results, complete with a summary of key conclusions and a list of next steps.  I just couldn’t help myself!  We had a great chat about her business and the survey and what might be the future of the industry, and I left feeling a sense of satisfaction that I had given a small gift to this enterprising young woman.

And I’d gotten my “fix” of marketing.

I thought I could leave it all behind.  I thought I could just walk away and reinvent myself as super-Mom and creative writer extraordinaire.  But it seems I can’t.  Marketing is baked into my bones and I just can’t leave it behind.

Which of course complicates things.  Now I’m not just trying to balance Mom versus writer.  It’s also a battle for balance between Mom versus Marketer.

So much for Living Simply.

For more info on the fantastic source for heritage china, crystal and flatware I mention in this blog, visit www.heirloomschina.ca


18 thoughts on “Everyone is saying I should blog.

  1. Why not do it all? I love the line “baked into my bones”,…that, is Mom, marketing, and good writing.
    You can do it;
    just proved it.
    Go Diane!

  2. Well done Diane! Am going to forward your blog link to other moms like you who are marketers, who want to live simply, and who are great moms. Your story of the ‘china lady’ and
    the value you offered her brought home to me how living and working simply go hand in hand…no need to make things complex….just the facts, just the sandwich, just make it happen..
    which is SO you Diane.

  3. Hey Joanne,
    Thanks so much for the positive feedback! I’m finding this entrepreneurial lifestyle a bit lonely so I really appreciate it. No one hands out awards for best grade six lunch, or lifetime achievement in toilet cleaning! Glad to see that you have subscribed, and I really hope you enjoy the posts to come.
    Hope all is well with you and your boys.
    Keep in touch!

  4. Thanks so much Kathryn!
    You know, I really admire your dedication to family and building a career that supports those priorities. I think I’m just following in your footsteps!
    Keep in touch,

  5. Thanks a million!
    Still working on that manuscript so you can hopefully look forward to draft #2 before the summer is through. In the meantime, if you “subscribe” to the blog, you’ll receive an email when I post a new one. Promise not to be too prolific and fill your inbasket on a daily basis!

  6. Good to hear from and about the events happening with you and your family, Diane! Now I just ahve to figure out how to subscribe.
    Take care of yourself,

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your blog. I hope you find the balance and the rewards you are looking for.

  8. Well can’t say I’m surprised at the marketing being baked in! But what a great way to spread your talent and learn as you go. sign me up for more!

  9. Hi Michele,
    thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve added a subscription button to the sidebar to make it easier for you to sign up for more!
    All the best,

  10. Welcome to the blogosphere, Diane. Pursuing one talent doesn’t mean sacrificing another, as Leonardo da Vinci proved centuries ago (to cite just one example).

  11. I loved your blog Diane. Can’t wait to read the next one.

  12. Hi Jeanette,
    Thanks so much for your kind words. This entrepreneur thing can get a bit lonely! Glad to hear that you have landed a great job.
    I published my second post today and it has a product sourcing angle so you may find it interesting. Have a read and let me know what you think.
    all the best,

  13. Love your blog Diane! I find myself waiting in anticipation for your next entry!!! Keep it going!


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