The first time I sat down to try to figure out what to call this thing you are now reading, I walked away empty handed. 

This simple task turned out to be anything but. What name could possibly encompass all the widely disparate, often random thoughts and ideas that have been swirling around in my head for the past few years? What did they have in common? The short answer: not much.

Parenting and Ceramics? Poetry and product design? Green juice and social media angst? Creativity and recumbent biking? Seth Godin and bearded Millennials? Self expression and hoarding URLs?  Mid-life mixed feelings and whacked out art projects?

Add to that the resistance and hesitation I have long felt around the issue of blogging—A little voice always asks me: Who are you to write this thing? What makes you an expert? Why would anyone want to read this?—and the result was a big, flat, blank screen.


So I decided that if I was going to start a blog, I wanted to make it exceedingly apparent to anyone who happens upon it that I am in no way claiming to be an authority on any of this stuff. That’s how I came up with the first part of the name: TRYING.

I said it aloud and immediately felt a sense of relief, of ease: TRYING. I can breathe with that word. I can learn with that word. I can share. I can fail. I can do stuff, and make stuff. With TRYING, I’m just experimenting, testing, tinkering. No big agenda. Mostly exploration. Just TRYING.

Yes, with that one word, I am making it plain that what I write here is in no way meant to be prescriptive. Not at all. More descriptive, really. And I am declaring, here at the outset, that I am perfectly fine with NOT knowing exactly what this will become. (Just hopefully not a cautionary tale!)

Still, it was a little brief: Just one word. (And it turns out Mark Cuban has already claimed Go figure.) And while I had let go of the dream of coming up with the perfect umbrella name, I kept on the idea about making it catch-all of some kind. That’s when I realized the answer had been all around me the whole time: HOME.

Home is where I’d chosen to be. After the birth of my first child, Lila, I quit my job as an editor to be with her full time. Couple years later, we welcomed her brother Henry to the family. For the past six years, Home is where my life, my thoughts, my work, my energy have all been focused.

So I avoided having to unify all my assorted musings and doings by instead simply specifying the place: HOME. And in that way, the word took on a new meaning for me: FREEDOM. No labeling, no pigeonholing, no rules. Because ‘home’ can mean whatever YOU want it to mean.

And not by accident, TRYING THIS AT HOME can also be read as a little play on the old “Don’t try this at home” TV show disclaimer. In this weird roundabout way, I am hoping that the name will also make me feel like a bit of a daredevil (for a stay-at-home mom at least). Because, dammit:  I AM trying this at Home! Here goes….

—Kara Nelson