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My Woody Allen Moment

10/15/2005 12:00:00 AM


So, I just read an article in the Washington Post that said the Internet is now home to some 15 million blogs and that most bloggers consider this medium a form of therapy. And as I’ve been agonizing of late about so many things (my inability to get around to writing blog entries being one of them…), I figured I’d just join the crowd on the cybercouch.

Here’s what’s keeping me up these nights.

Does Natural Home & Garden make readers feel guilty? We’ve had much philosophizing and conversation on this question lately. I’ve been working so hard to get the dualistic, good/bad tone (as in, “green is good, everything else is baaaad….”) out of the magazine, but I’m hearing from some corners that we’re not quite there yet. How far do we go, without losing all sense of our mission of empowering people to live happily and harmoniously in their healthy houses?

For me, this magazine is all about empowerment and inspiration, rather than guilt and gloom and doom—or it’s supposed to be. It’s a tough line to walk, though. I recently succumbed to my daughter’s begging for one of those eggshell foam mattress toppers (seems all the seven-year-olds have those these days…who knew?), only to read in an upcoming article (for the January/February issue) that those things are all full of nasty plastics. Well, yea, I probably knew that. But I figured how bad could it be, given that the thing would be covered up with sheets and all? Now do I yank the topper out from under my blissfully ignorant seven-year-old? How do I set these priorities?

I could go on. The point I’m making (or, um, trying to make) is that I’m really driven these days to find ways to present information that will inspire readers to make healthy choices without knocking them upside the head for sometimes living otherwise. I can see that we’ve taken great leaps toward that since we began publishing NH&G six and a half years ago. It’s seems there’s still a ways to go, though, and as always, the question is one of degrees. I’m struggling with how to lose the stridency but keep the authenticity.

OK. I think it’s time for my cybershrink to talk back to me now. God, I feel vulnerable.

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