As I stood waiting for the train yesterday afternoon tired families trudged past, many children carefully holding orange NGV helium balloons between their fingers. Before this, on the upper platform, I walked past a couple with a young baby; the father, at that moment, held up the child to sniff and check for a dirty nappy. It occurred to me that even when solo, when I have so many other city delights to behold, my eyes pick out the homely, the domestic. And when one of those helium balloons escaped, when the little boy holding it dissolved instantly into tears, I felt for him and his mother who leaned over to offer some comfort. I’d been there before, many times.

I’ve been feeling less than rosy about some aspects of blogging (and to a lesser extent writing) lately and I wrote my little cynical dig about it in the hopes of purging my ennui. It helped, I must say, but I’m still uneasy. Our connectivity, these online spaces, are touted as being all-great when in fact I wonder if we’re spreading ourselves too thin. I spoke with several people on the weekend who are also concerned that if we stick too much to our ‘tribes’ that there will be no conflict, and conflict is important – dare I say necessary – to creativity. I don’t want to make too sweeping a statement, of course there will be exceptions, but I get the feeling blogging is becoming too homogenised in some circles, everyone panicking they’re not ‘keeping up’, too busy creating content for [X] days a week that they’re losing sight of bigger picture(s).

In one of my favourite sessions on the weekend, Amy and Damon were talking about academic writing. One of them said (forgive me, I can’t remember who and my notes don’t say – it was a metaphor-rich session!) that a PhD, particularly a creative writing one, is one idea with two mirrors reflecting it (one side exegesis, the other creative component). Perhaps that is part of my frustrations with blogging, I’ve yet to stumble upon the right idea – the right position – to attack, analyse, and process it correctly, or at least in a way that I find reasonably satisfying.

(Segue: ironic, this is getting close to ‘objective correlative’ territory – the subtitle to Miscellaneous Mum.)

But then, I do over-think things at times and I don’t want to imply blogging isn’t fun. It is! Wahoo! But it is a world that it is easy to become lost in.

Perhaps that is why I liked waiting at the train station, with my iphone battery empty, watching the people pass, as I munched on turkish delight while reading my fifty cent copy of The Great Gatsby.

I paid attention. I watched a teenage girl lean in to kiss her boyfriend. He was sucking a lollipop. To receive her affection, he didn’t remove the sweet from his mouth, merely shunted it to the side, jutting out the plastic end so not to jab her. After, she stood back, annoyed: that’s the best you can do? was her look.

I sympathised, but then the train pulled up. I went in and sat beside an elderly lady who was reading a kindle with a Van Gogh ‘Irises, Saint-Remy’ skin.


karen andrews

Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity