What is this thing I do?
At the start of the year, I made a promise to myself to write consistently. That included putting out one blog post a week and posting it on Friday. So far, I’ve kept that promise.
It sounds simple, but it hasn’t always been an easy thing to do. Even the week of the fire, even the week of my move, I have written SOMETHING. There’s been a lot going on, so often it’s easy to at least think of something to write about, but frequently this isn’t the case. I was talking with my mom a couple of weeks ago and asking her what I should write about because I was experiencing a bit of writers block. On of her suggestions was to write about the differences between Chicago and Nashville, which she followed with, “but you’ve done that a lot.” I agreed.
It’s not a small thing to pull up stakes and all of the preparation in the world won’t fully prepare you for it, but … honestly, I felt like writing about it again, even from another angle, would be boring. Who would it be boring for? Would it be boring for me or would it be boring for anyone who reads? I asked myself a further question, who am I writing this for?
When I started this blog, it was because I had a lot to say about a particular cleanse that I had been through and wanted to document the results and share my thoughts. From there, I continued whenever I felt compelled to write about something. My bike accident for example. It’s only been recently that I made a commitment to write once a week. Writers write, was my logic. So initially, this was for me, although it may have had the side benefit of being interesting to a number of my friends and family.
I began sharing the blog on my professional page as a way to generate more content on that page and make myself utilize it more. It was one of the many ways I was trying to ‘prep’ for my move. Due to the nature of the ‘business’ Facebook page, I get alerts on which posts ‘perform better’ (and then of course Facebook would like me to pay money to ‘boost’ them and increase my audience.) When I share articles that are of interest, or have to do with health or fitness, I get much less ‘performance’ than when I share a blog post that has to do with life upheaval. Positive posts ‘perform’ almost as badly as informative articles, if not worse.
Now, I know how social media works and I know all about how the brain gets dopamine hits from ‘likes’ and how it’s designed to be addictive. I’m not really talking about getting ‘likes’ right now. There is a very large part of me that says ‘you’re writing this for yourself, people being interested is just a side benefit’ but… is that still true? If I am truly just writing for myself, why not just do a journal? I’m already working on draft three of a novel that no one besides myself has yet set eyes upon, is that not enough ‘writing for myself’?
After the fire, the blog became a very easy way to update many concerned parties about what was going on without overwhelming myself with contacting every person individually or even responding to every single comment on occasional Facebook updates. I did something similar after Dean had his seizure. Many people wanted to know about what happened on the day, I probably needed to talk about it, but it was traumatic to relive for me at the time. Easier, and also cathartic, to write it all out and share it through that medium.
Back to conversing with my mom and asking her advice on what to write about; when I rejected the idea of writing about the move from a different angle, a large part of me did so because I felt that it would be uninteresting to people. Having that realization lead me to the conclusion that, regardless of what spirit moved me to begin the blog, I no longer really write it just for myself. I am conscious of the fact that people to read it and more than that, I feel a responsibility to produce interesting content for those readers. Even if there are only several handfuls of them.
That being said and established, I’m going to continue to post every Friday. And I will largely post what I am inspired to post, however, I am very interested to learn what people are hoping for when they do click on a post. If they even know themselves.
And if you feel like sharing that with me, well… I would enjoy that!