I realize that I have failed miserably on keeping up on this blog, almost instantly breaking one of my bullet points on my List of Wishes post back… a long time ago. I should have known that when I started promising things, they’d come back to bite me. And truly, there is no one to blame but myself. I was even going to try Donald Miller’s challenge of writing 6 days a week for a whole year. Stop laughing. I really was! I thought about it really long and hard. Clearly, I’m still thinking about it. It could happen. Someday. Maybe.
It’s interesting because my blog is a source of pride and contention for me. On one hand, I look back and read the things I’ve written here over the past year and a half, and while it’s not much, some of it is good. On the other, I put an immense amount pressure on myself to write and write with an epic ability surpassed by only the greats themselves. Which takes the joy and creativity out of it for me.
I intentionally talk myself out of writing every day. Stupid huh?I think it is, especially because writing has consistently been a lifeline for me since I was young.
Putting my thoughts on paper (or on the interwebs) has always been about catharsis for me. One of my most vivid memories is the first story I wrote. The title was They Call Her Carrot Top, and as you can probably guess, the main character had red hair. I wrote this story in 4th grade as a way to deal with the bullying I was experiencing at the time. The story, the characters, while crudely shaped through the eyes of a 10 year old, helped me deal with the hurts of a pretty rough school year. As I grew older I discovered the joy of a journal. Junior high and high school were recorded meticulously by brightly colored Bic pens on college ruled paper, stored away in notebooks. I still have those and go back to read them often, laughing at my dramatic behavior, rolling my eyes at high school heartbreak, and reminding myself of my dreams.
However, in my twenties, my passion for writing has morphed and taken on several iterations. My love of fiction grew, and I often thought I was destined to be the next Austen or my favorite Christian author, Francine Rivers. And then I got involved in a couple writers’ circles. I saw the underbelly of the publishing world and I was sickened. Turned off from a genre I once so desperately wanted to be a part of. So I wrote about it, my first foray into non-fiction besides my journaling years. A couple of friends and some family members read what I wrote and all mentioned that I might want to look into seriously writing nonfiction. This idea appealed to me on many levels. The main one being real life creates it’s own plot. Truth be told, plot was a horrible weakness of mine. Not so good if one desires to excel at storytelling.
So I considered their suggestion. After a year’s sabbatical from writing anything of substance, I started a blog. And then another. And then another. The last one was actually consistent before the site that was hosting it shut down.
Now, here I am, a year and a half into this blog and I feel like I’ve failed it miserably. Weird, I know, since it’s an inanimate object. But I feel that way. I also feel like I’ve failed you, my readers. Whoever you may be. I know I’ve disappointed myself as well. My lack of discipline has frustrated me more times than I can count. And yet it’s never frustrated me to the point where I’ve actually done anything about it.
That has changed.
I’ve been tossing several different ideas around about this place I call a blog. Who I write it for. What I want to write about. If I even wanted to keep it. These are my conclusions.
1. As selfish as it sounds, I write this blog for me. Sure, it’s public and I do love it when people come here and read what I have to say. But I started this blog to be able to process what was happening in my life, the changes I go through and the discovery of the journey ahead.
2. Sometimes, I’m afraid to write how I’m really feeling. This has positive and negative connotations. A positive is that I have to actually use the filter God gave me so I don’t go blathering my mouth about something in appropriate. A negative is that I tend to censor myself too much and come off looking like a Pollyanna when it comes to life. I feel like I have to constantly qualify what I say when I write. This makes me very tired. So I’m going to stop that as much as I can. People will respond how they will, but at least I’ll know that whatever I’ve written has come from my truest self. I’m willing to engage in conversation if people agree or disagree.
3. I have a commitment problem when it comes to writing. This ties in to the point I made above, but it’s true. I want to write and write well. But the fear that it’s going to be rejected or disregarded stops me cold when I sit down at the computer. In my mind, I instantly jump from “they’re going to hate this…” to “what’s the point of writing, then?” This way of thinking bothers me. Like I said, I love the people who come and read this blog. I may or may not know you, but I’m glad you come here. However, quite frankly, I’m tired of being afraid of you. (Betcha didn’t know you had that much power, did you? Well you don’t anymore. Sorry.)
I write all of this out so that when I come to this blog to post something, I can refer to the words I’ve written and remind myself of the promises I’ve made. This post isn’t saying that all of my previous posts don’t accurately represent me. Because they do. But there is so much more that I’m passionate about, that I live for than what I’ve posted on here. And my fear has kept me from sharing that.
I’m hoping to actively change this for the better. I hope you’ll join me in this new turn in my journey.
Picture courtesy of 2pi.com