With the Web at their disposal and wireless notebooks in hand, modern moms are finding new outlets for their writing. And they’ve created one of the most influential creative communities on the Web.
Behold, the Mom Blogger.
Today, there are 3.9 million mom bloggers writing in the U.S. By 2014 that number is projected to hit 4.4 million.
One of these women is Leanne Shirtliffe of Calgary, Alberta. Her blog, IronicMom.com, is visited by thousands of college-educated women between the ages of 33-44. As her blog name suggests, she takes a lighthearted approach to motherhood, but her motives are serious.
“In 2009,” Leanne says, “I attended the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. More than one agent told me that if I wanted to write humor, I needed a presence and a platform. I was very anti-blog for about 48 hours. Then I read everything and jumped in headfirst two weeks later.”
Leanne has since gone on to write a regular column for the Calgary Herald, and her site attracts so much traffic, advertisers have begun to approach her.
“What keeps me blogging isn’t just the writing,” Leanne says. “It lets me stop time and capture moments that would otherwise be lost. There are also many friends I’ve met through blogging. It really is a community.”
Increasingly, that community is also being populated by Christian moms. While Leanne doesn’t consciously put her faith front and center, she’s found that many of the people attracted to her writing are, like her, people of faith.
“The ultimate irony,” she says, “is that while I’d been craving such a community, I didn’t expect to find it online.”
One of Leanne’s fellow bloggers, Elizabeth Schillings-McLennan, notes, “Many of my newest readers are Christian bloggers, which both amazes and humbles me. As my confidence in my faith grows, so too does my confidence in mentioning God and his gifts in my life.”
Together, people like Leanne and Elizabeth are writing a new chapter in the old story of moms who balance parenting and writing. And as these moms use new media to express themselves, there’s clearly also an appetite out there for expressions of faith too.