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Gretchen keeps it REAL


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gretchenlouise.com/2013/02/bare/

When I write, I bare my heart.

I set down my thoughts and my feelings, my fears and my failures. The words may appear in black and white but they are written with tears, sweat, and blood.

And then, I press publish.

With the click of a button I put my heart out there. Many may read it, but often only a few will really understand.

And yet, it is for those few I write[...]

Um...what has she been revealing about herself lately, exactly? She sometimes feels judged by other people? She's going to do Lent this year? She's starting a secret email newsletter club? Maybe that's where the shocking, earth-shattering, heart-baring revelations are to be found, 'cause they're certainly non-existent in the daily dose of melatonin that is her blog.

(why yes, I am still bitter about my username becoming obsolete.)

*forgot to break the link!! fixed it.

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Unless she's writing in code (can't rule that out) she's really not baring diddly squat on her blog. And I would notice, even if it was cloaked in fundie-speak.

And don't think that your username is obsolete, just think "retro." :)

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There seems to be a trend with these women to write in code. No matter what happens, they talk about being redeemed, stripped down to their core, naked before god, etc....I still blame Ann Voskamp for spearheading the over wrought drivel style of blogging, but I think its integral to the culture.

They can never say what is actually going on in their lives with any sort of honesty, because that would some how be seen as complaining. It all has to be cloaked in redemption-speak. Is your husband an abusive, cheating bastard very different than the boy in shining armor you saw during courtship? Well then, tell your dear readers to pray for your marriage, and that God is challenging you to your very core, stripping away every frivolous thought by bringing you this test...But fear not! Jesus's wonderful, redeeming strength will get you through. Assure your readers that Jesus has appeared to you during prayer, homemade Kombucha in hand, to strengthen your walk with Him during this time of soul testing....

It all sounds the same after a while, it's just another way to demonstrate Christian mommy perfection.

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There seems to be a trend with these women to write in code. No matter what happens, they talk about being redeemed, stripped down to their core, naked before god, etc....I still blame Ann Voskamp for spearheading the over wrought drivel style of blogging, but I think its integral to the culture.(...)

Yes, yes! It is totally the Ann Voskamp thing! Before Ann showed everyone how it was possible to become a super-popular Christian blogger while essentially saying nothing at all in a lot of overwrought prose, this kind of false-confessional writing was a lot less prevalent. I also wonder if Gretchen is trying to compensate for a lack of subject matter on her blog by writing about the emotions of pouring her heart out while doing nothing of the sort, telling the reader she's "baring her soul" etc but trying to convince herself as much as her audience that the pretense of revelation is the genuine article.

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Yes, yes! It is totally the Ann Voskamp thing! Before Ann showed everyone how it was possible to become a super-popular Christian blogger while essentially saying nothing at all in a lot of overwrought prose, this kind of false-confessional writing was a lot less prevalent. I also wonder if Gretchen is trying to compensate for a lack of subject matter on her blog by writing about the emotions of pouring her heart out while doing nothing of the sort, telling the reader she's "baring her soul" etc but trying to convince herself as much as her audience that the pretense of revelation is the genuine article.

Excellent analysis. The baring-your-soul language is au courant thanks to the Voskamps of the world, so Gretchen wants to capitalize on the trend. But as far as I can tell, she can't actually bear to bare (sorry) what's really going on in her life, so what we're left with is the false-confessional stuff. I may not have agreed with much of what Gretchen wrote on YLCF back in the day, but at least she shared honestly about her life, in her own terms--something she seems to have forgotten how to do.

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the trend at my church is for the preacher's wife to pray for god to "break her heart", although i think if god really broke her heart (like her husband cheating on her or wanting a divorce) she'd be pretty pissed.

i asked someone what she could possibly mean. their interpretation was that she was asking gd to humble her and strip her of artificiality, so she doesn't let anything come between her and god.

i think you should watch what you pray for: sometimes god answers prayers with a yes.

her prayers remind me of this vague-blogging crap. it sounds all pretty but what does it really mean?

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Maybe she's realized that her blog and YLCF or whatever the hell they're calling it now are PUBLIC SITES and she's put huge amounts of personal info on the site/s and nothing ever really goes away on the Internet.

Or maybe she's just trying to be interesting. Seriously, an EMAIL LIST? About WHAT, Gretchen? YOU'RE BORING.

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OMG you guys, Julie, CaraC, Naomi B, Mia and Michele-Lyn found all sorts of wonderful in Gretchen's soul-baring post and this here post only has 7 comments so I'm sure you're just jealous!1!!1!! TEAM ALLUME!!!!!

Just kidding. I like to imagine Gretchen and my other crush, Lanier, as wannabe literary figures in some former East Bloc oppressive political regime (not identical to, but certainly somewhat like, the role of women in the for realz Victorian age they lust after so much): Desperately hungry for validation from the ones who really set the tone in their world, but with feelings and talents that have to be hidden under all sorts of say-nothing prose and flowery metaphors that even they probably can't fully decode or untangle.

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I get the sense that Gretchen has no idea what she wants to do with her site. She writes entries like this at the same time she describes the site as "a farmer's wife scribbling post cards between laundry and dishes" -- at the same time, incidentally, that she writes superficial posts about social media and technology.

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I get the sense that Gretchen has no idea what she wants to do with her site. She writes entries like this at the same time she describes the site as "a farmer's wife scribbling post cards between laundry and dishes" -- at the same time, incidentally, that she writes superficial posts about social media and technology.

I agree. I think this was discussed a little bit after her "rebranding" exercise a few months ago. The general consensus was that you can't repackage a mish-mash of content-light posts on diverse topics and make it appealing to readers by changing around the site design and URL. Generally the central part of your "brand" is your post content, not whatever title you give your site and its graphic design.

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I agree. I think this was discussed a little bit after her "rebranding" exercise a few months ago. The general consensus was that you can't repackage a mish-mash of content-light posts on diverse topics and make it appealing to readers by changing around the site design and URL. Generally the central part of your "brand" is your post content, not whatever title you give your site and its graphic design.

Yeah, and also, isn't one of the main points of a rebranding endeavor to focus your content and tailor it to an expected audience? Gretchen may have a new banner and site name, but her content is truly all over the map. Maybe it's just me, but the messaging lines "I'm just a happy housewife living the farm life" and "I'm a savvy social-media guru" don't seem to complement one another all that well. From a branding perspective, she'd be better off ditching one or the other.

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I just made my 1000th post on the Botkinette V-day thread, goddammit! Wait, I mean "Monkey Frumpers!" I was saving that up for something YLCF-related, since duh, gateway fundie.

Since I don't word-vomit my life on the internet (at least not under my real name), it is hard for me to wrap my brain around having a public blog that may or may not be revenue-generating, which spills cryptic non-details that have pretenses of authenticity. Sorry, that sentence came out sorta vomitty, stupid fancy liberal arts education.

Anyway, if I wanted to connect with or help others by being candid about my life, I would simply do that: since Gretchen doesn't do that, there must be some other purpose that is pretty elusive given her current "branding" as others have mentioned. It seems like she should have a "professional blog" for whatever technical tips she wishes to offer, and a "personal" blog for the cute kiddie/farm pictures. Neither one of those subjects really qualifies as "soul-baring," so anything else would probably go on an Ann Voskamp fan-fiction site. Again, I'm clearly not her target audience, but her current content is pretty objectively dissonant.

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