Rita Arens is the assignment and syndication editor for BlogHer.com, a vibrant community of women bloggers. She began her blog, Surrender Dorothy, when she was on maternity leave in 2004. By blogging, editing and writing her first young adult novel, Rita has put to use her graduate education in writing and love for the written word by amusing readers of all ages.
“I had been actively writing short stories and poetry until I was blindsided by motherhood.” Rita said. “Blogging seemed like a good way to keep writing and also connect with other moms. And it was!”
Although she said she tries to provide writing more than information, she experiments with forms from essays to anecdotes to humor to political rants. “I try to switch it up a few times a week depending on my mood and what’s going on in the world. My categories include the publishing industry, parenting, relationships, healthcare, eating disorders, general frivolity, home improvement and a humor segment I did for a while with my daughter called Paging Dr. Arens.”
As the result of her easy-going writing style and wit, she landed her job at BlogHer as well as several speaking engagements and a parenting anthology. “My professional life has been changed 100%. My personal life is pretty much the same. I do not win friends and influence people at my daughter’s elementary school with my blog,” Rita joked.
Blogging seems to run in the family, Rita’s sisters is the mastermind behind Tales From Clarkstreet and their parents read both of their blogs to keep up with their lives.
“I’m not sure what my in-laws think,” Rita admitted. “But they already know I’m odd. My husband sort of knew what he was getting into when he married me. My daughter has grown up knowing I had a blog and wrote about her, so it’s been a way of life for her. She likes the fact she is in my book and used to beg to sit on my lap and hand me books to sign when we did local publicity for Sleep Is for the Weak, which won a 2009 gold award from the National Parenting Publications Association (NAPPA). My daughter would think it was weird if I didn’t write about her at this juncture.”
Go ahead and allow yourself a treat today. Visit Surrender Dorothy, by the blogger from Kansas who makes it cool to laugh at yourself.