This came out today on WordPress Discover, and I wanted to share it with you. Thanks for your support of my writing. xoxoako
Alexis Kanda-Olmstead’s moving essay on body image, “Making Friends With This Body,” was the fifth post on AKO Collective — a blog she started in August to showcase her writing. We spoke with Alexis about her blog’s origin story, her inspirations, and Blogging University.
How did AKO Collective come to be?
My first blog was written under a pseudonym for many reasons. First, I didn’t identify as a writer, so I didn’t want to be judged as one. And second, I swear. A lot, actually. And not just tiny swear words. I employ the biggest, baddest ones regularly. So I wrote an anonymous blog to keep my very responsible, high profile job in education. And so that other moms wouldn’t cancel playdates with my children.
It was after visiting a fellow blogger that I realized this “shadow blogging” thing wasn’t allowing me to reach my people via social media, which is very important to blogging. It wasn’t helping me access the truest parts of myself, which is also very important to blogging. So I started AKO Collective, which is a complete departure from my first blog. It’s not about parenting, there are no swear words, the material is much more hopeful in tone, and children are not harmed in its making.
I hit “publish” on AKO Collective in August and almost had a full-blown anxiety attack. To be out there, with my name on something that is my creative work, is quite terrifying. I still find it very uncomfortable. But more than the anxiety, terror, and discomfort was this very strong feeling, a knowing almost, that this was necessary, that it was time.