The Uncomfortable Truth About Blogging

Blog: a place to have a voice and connect with others.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why people blog. More specifically, why I blog. Or not.

The truth is, I have not been blogging, y’all. Oh sure, I have posted probably thousands of photos, with a few comments about them. I guess that makes me a “photo blogger.” But, I have not been posting my thoughts. And isn’t a true blog really about posting your thoughts?

When I actually examine this, I have not posted my thoughts since I started this blog. I have, here and there, shared a few personal things. But those type posts have been extremely rare. And as time goes by – rarer and rarer.

In January, I decided to join the WordPress Post a Day Challenge, and I did pretty good for a while. But then the wheels fell off and I found myself reverting back to taking the easy way out and just posting photos.

I ask myself, Why? Why is it so hard to write out something personal, and hit publish? There’s a myriad of reasons.

Fear. Fear that no one will want to read it. Fear of being ignored. Fear of being rejected. Fear of being criticized. Fear of making somebody mad. Fear of being laughed at. Fear of exposing a flaw, or a flawed relationship. Fear of being misunderstood.

And the biggest fear? Fear of humiliation. A fear that was instilled in me as a child, by family members who firmly believed (and taught) that our family did not hang out our dirty laundry – for all the world to see.

Then there’s time. Taking the time to write clearly means stealing time away from more worthy endeavors (folding laundry, paying bills, walking the dog, reading emails, and the big time waster – catching up on Facebook!) It takes time to sort out your thoughts, time to find the right words, time to edit it all into something more than verbal diarrhea.

Indecision. Not knowing what to write about. Or how to start it. Or whether to strive for informality, or humor, or clarity, or fluff, or substance. Do I want to entertain or inform? Vent or teach? Amuse or inspire? Should the post be short and to the point? Or long enough to engage the reader?

There are a handful of bloggers out there, who I admire very much, who write fearlessly. They share personal details about theirs lives and they bare their souls to the world. I want to be like them. I want to write something that is real, real enough to make you want to come back and read what I write tomorrow.

Real enough to make you want to laugh along with me, cry with me, and maybe share a few uncomfortable truths of your own.

 

 

 

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A Post a Day? Lawd Help Me!

Hey y’all. Can you believe it’s a new year, 20011? Today’s date looks funny to me, 1/1/11. I still haven’t gotten used to it being in the 2000’s. I guess I thought that at least the year was always going to have that comfy 19.. in front of it, kind of like I thought I would be in my twenties forever.

Bless my biscuits, things have changed.

I started this here blog in August of 2008. And here is what I said about it at the time:

“There are so many topics floating around in my head that have been waiting, for years, to get out. How can I decide where to start? Should I write about my job, my marriage, my children, my dog, my past, my mistakes, my accomplishments, my hopes and dreams, my fears, my goals, my opinions about life, how I was raised, how I’ve been mistreated, how I’ve been adored, why I think manners are so important, or why I have such a hard time making decisions?”

I have written about a few of these things, written about a lot of other things and posted more photos than I ever thought possible. I have made a few friends along the way, learned to make some tough decisions on what to put out there for the (potentially) Whole Dern World to read, and probably withheld a lot more of myself than I should have.

It’s just that….sometimes…all the damn time….I can’t figure out how to get started. The problem is – what in the heck to write ABOUT? I mean, some days there are thousands of things floating around in my head, all fighting to get out. Some other days? Nothing.

But now, finally, I feel like it’s time to dust myself off, quit lying around in the pool of indecision and WRITE something, anything, for crying out loud!

Today I log onto my blog’s host, WordPress.com, and I find out they are starting a new thing for this year. It’s called The Post Every Day Challenge. It starts TODAY, y’all! Right diggity-dang NOW!

I feel like I just walked into Belk’s and heard an announcement that all ladies shoes are on sale at 75% off… for one hour only. I mean, when does this ever happen, y’all? I’m always there a week later, or I have to hear all about it from my mother – how she found five pairs of new dancing shoes and only paid $23.19 cents for the lot of them, after using her newspaper coupon and her senior citizen’s discount.

Ahem.

And the best part? Wait for it……They’re going to give us a topic to write about every day! Today’s topic is to write about three countries you want to visit. (OK, so I’m not technically following the rules yet, but, well, who really cares?)

Anyways, ain’t I special for getting in on the ground floor of this challenge? Or? Maybe I just ain’t had enough sleep from working night shift all week and my brain is easily fooled into thinking things like this. At any rate, I’m going to start this challenge, today, 1/1/11, and see where it takes me.

Y’all are all welcome to come along for the ride!