I thought several times during November how it was ironic that I was reading through the fruits of other people's daily posting regime while almost totally neglecting my own posts. It got me to think about why I've fallen off in the posting, a trend which has continued well into December.
I do WANT to post! I like writing and being part of a great community and talking about this stuff. I don't want this blog to go dormant long-term. But I've also never been a super-disciplined blogger in the sense that I set goals for viewership or try to earn something from this (ha!) or even necessarily have a specific goal for the things I'm writing. When I first started blogging, my main goals were to 1) get all the birth-y stuff off my private blog and into the world where they could stop annoying the friends who didn't want to read it (but allow the friends who did to follow me and get to learn more about my experiences with the birth-y world) and 2) to have a dedicated place to think about maternal and child health/public health/doula stuff as I started grad school for my MPH.
Now I'm in a different place and sometimes it gives me a mini-crisis of conscience about this blog (not to mention my career path). I am no longer in school or even necessarily in public health at the moment. I work full-time as a lactation consultant where my job is very clinically focused. I am involved with research projects on the side and am trying to shoehorn more of that into my job, but it's not actually in the job description. In the meantime, with a full-time job I have definitely cut back the doula side of my life.
When I come up with ideas for posts, they tend to be sparked by the stuff I'm working on at the moment, so right now that is breastfeeding, breastfeeding, breastfeeding. Which is certainly a topic I've always covered on this blog (and was a passion of mine before I became a doula) but I look at the title of my blog and think "Hmm, it says Public Health Doula, not Clinical Lactation Consultant". It might sounds a little silly to try to stick to a title I chose on the spur of the moment over three (!) years ago, but I want to maintain a diversity of blog posts not just because it's what I originally intended to do with this blog, but what I originally intended to do with my life. I LOVE being a lactation consultant and doing clinical work, and right now as a newbie I am learning a huge amount about hands-on support, but I do want to end up in a public health-oriented direction and want to keep my hand in that (thus all the research projects on the side.)
Finally, it's complicated (as many doula and other health care professionals know) to maintain confidentiality (both for HIPAA and for my own ethical considerations); I composite and change details and all that good stuff, but that's a lot harder than just being able to tell the story of the class discussion I had yesterday.
All that is to say, the things that I used to do that sparked more diverse blog posts are less a part of my life now; and the things I DO do, I tend to second-guess posting about.
However, I think the hiatus has given me a little more fuel for the writing fire. I've seen some neat public health breastfeeding- and birth-related stuff recently and gotten very interested in writing about some issues from a public health perspective (co-sleeping, anyone?) There's also definitely a big post o' links coming from my starred items in Google Reader. (Still waiting for a Reader replacement...)
I am also piloting a shared-call arrangement with two other doulas to be able to keep attending births while working and am super, super excited to be able to consistently take doula clients (even if it's not many) for the foreseeable future. Hopefully that will get my doula thoughts going too!
So, that's my life-via-blogging update. I know the holidays aren't going to exactly focus my thoughts on new posts (more like focus on cookies...mmm, cookies), but I'm thinking there will be more to come in the new year.