Saturday, 20 November 2010

My "me time" in blogging

Every mother should have a "me time" to keep themselves strong enough to do their daily routines. At least, I need that "me time". My usual "me time" is reading, but after I found the world of blogging then I made blogging and blogwalking as my top list of my "me time".

I was afraid of being addicted, so I tried hard to balance my life. I know that real life is more important than my cyber world. Yet, being a netizen gave me a larger horizon. I can meet people that I wouldn't probably meet in my daily life as a housewife. We don't really need any schedule to meet. With three boys and their various activities I'm the least ideal person to meet at a certain schedule. Blogging can help me knocking at any friends' door without interrupting her/his activity, without even thinking about the hours (imagine if I call my friend at would she react? Or, how would her spouse react?)

Recently I was thinking about my reason in blogging. As I entered blogging from citizen journalism websites, I used to think that I blog as a contribution from me (as a housewife) to my country. I'm not forgetting that I'm raising my boys (and help teaching some more kids), but I feel that I should do more. Yet, time is my barrier. I can't do all my activities in the same working hours. Blogging gave me that time...

Yet, blogging as a citizen reporter wasn't as fun as blogging just as a blogger. I've got to think carefully before pressing my finger to publish a story. When I found an old friend's blog, I can feel how much she enjoyed being a blogger. Being just a blogger (and posted personal stories) doesn't mean that she didn't share knowledge. She did it even more successful than a featured story in the magazine. I've always been fond about Japan but I found more knowledge on Japanese culture (and books...I won't be able to know more than just the story of Momotaro) if I didn't read her blog.

The conversation about citizen journalism usually made me avoiding personal stories. The critics said that bloggers can only post opinion, personal stories, etc. In my process of blogging I can't avoid being personal. As a citizen without a real journalistic background (except for those short time in the University), I came with the eyes of a citizen. Sometimes a small stuff that I posted made me ventured more into a personal story. When I wrote about my great aunt (actually I prefer to call her "Oma" or grandmother) in this blogpost, I was never thinking about meeting Ibu Claudine Salmon. The internet is amazing. My meeting with Ibu Claudine reminded me how powerful a writing is. Imagine...who knows my grandma? I don't think many people know her, not even Ibu Claudine. But she did have a remarkable information on Oma Nora's articles. I wasn't success in convincing my family about the continuation of Oma Nora's bibliography. I was even labeled "fake journalist" by my own mother in front of my big family. If I was a bit optimistic at the beginning, now I stopped talking about it (or doing anything about it). This is also the reason I became very sensitive in using the term citizen reporter over the term citizen journalist. It's better in Bahasa Indonesia as we have very different translation, "pewarta warga" and "wartawan". Journalist or wartawan referring to occupation, while "pewarta" has wider aspects which in general means those who deliver news.

These several last months I was stuck in blogging, mostly because I need more time to balance my work at home, at school, and in the community. I've also got problems with my internet connection (sometimes it's surprising if we count how expensive the internet for middle to lower financial income. A student without internet connection at home will spend more money in the internet kiosk than for us who have computer, modem, and unlimited internet package).

It seems that the need to manage time in blogging is universal. I was blogwalking to a blog that has a unique name "Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) & Infant Twins", and read this post. I have a teenage and two "little monsters" (I mean twins...and please imagine the monsters in Disney's monsters inc.), I'd like to peek into a life of a mother with three under three years old children. I can't imagine myself blogging in her situation. When I had my twins, my eldest son was already four years old...and I don't even have time to make their photo scrapbook. It's so comforting that there are other people who are also trying to balance their being in the internet with their real life.

I've also found this other blog (thanks to this blog...the links within the blogosphere is really unlimited!). I like one statement in this blog: "No one is paying me to write, I write because I enjoy it. I no longer enjoyed it when it became like a job and I felt guilty for not doing so." So, when I wrote for citizen journalism websites I did it because I like it, because I want to share something. That was why writing for Ohmy News International (OMNI) was a bit hard for its deadline. Writing with a journalistic concern in mind is a bit harder. But I also realized that citizen need a kind of guidance to be able to produce quality news in this era of the internet. I've learned a lot from OMNI. In a national seminar on citizen journalism organized by the Indonesia Open University, I also mentioned the need of educating citizens to write. We have layers of citizen journalism, and we have to know where we should put ourselves. Indonesia is a very big country, but we are still learning to live in democracy.

So, as I'm entering the last few months of my four years of blogging (which is actually a rookie for those who blog earlier) I'm going to learn how to blog in my own style. I won't care if it's a bit more personal than journalistic, or it's too journalistic and serious than a personal diary. You're welcome to come, visit and read a part of me. You're also most welcome to give your comments and critics to improve my's my "me time" and I'd like to have fun with it, enjoying it as the way I enjoyed it when I was first starting this activity. I won't be apologizing for not writing if I don't really have time to do it. Thanks to the blogosphere, now I've got more varieties of "me time", and I hope I can have more friends from my neighbourhood in the blogosphere. Let's enjoy our "me time" together...

No comments: