When we conceived writing Permission Slips back in the “old” days of 2010 we had only a vague idea about blogging. Social media was an emerging avenue of communication and the term “Blogger” was not widely used nor understood. Digital media outlets were not even considered legitimate journalism by traditional news organizations. However, the numbers of readers and writers exponentially exploded and could not be ignored. Finally, in 2012 the Huffington Post became the first blog to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize and the tide turned permanently.
We found blogging to be an accessible, democratized way to share stories. Without a publisher operating as a gatekeeper, we had unfiltered freedom and loved it.
In preparation for our blog launch we interviewed dozens of women and medical experts in-depth. During this process we observed an unhealthy behavior pattern. Women were running themselves into the ground in an all-sacrificing quest for the sake of work, community and family. This common pattern negatively impacted their mental and physical well-being and relationships. The doctors we consulted were seeing this pattern emerge at an increasing rate in their practices and were alarmed.
Thus, our blog mission was born. We decided that through our writing we would give frazzled women permission to take better care of themselves. The feedback was positive immediately. We heard not only from women, but also from men who shared our blog with their wives, girlfriends and mothers.
The stories seemed to resonate and aid the navigation of life’s road bumps, challenges and joys. It should come as no surprise that health, parenting and friendship have been our most popular topics over the years.
While we don’t receive loads of public comments on our site, we do get many heartfelt emails from readers each week. Some letters are long enough to be blogs in their own right. We believe this is indicative of our ability as writers to bring up universal topics that hit a nerve. Our readers may be active on Facebook and Twitter but they prefer to “share” their personal journeys privately.
In 2010, Linda and I wrote topics together. Eventually, we split off and used separate by-lines to aid our own freedom of expression and give readers a little variety. Readers have said they enjoy this format.
In the past few months I have been admittedly a little off-mission in my writings.
I felt a little burnt out and took some delightful side trips. I enjoyed blogging about the Olympics, Seahawks and other topics that are perhaps not top-of-mind for frazzled women. This has amounted to one giant permission for me to display my personal passion for sports. I am pretty certain that a few readers who decided to follow our blog after reading some of these stories are wondering why the masthead is pink.
Today I am giving myself another permission – to take a break from blogging. Linda will take over most of the writing and I will guest blog on occasion. Thank you Linda for being a great editor and mentor. I must owe you private tennis lessons for life by now.
Thank you so much readers for all your “likes, ” encouragement and thoughtful emails through the years. I have truly enjoyed getting to know you.
Carol Lewis Gullstad March 31, 2014