Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cheating on myself....the realization

A few nights back I dreamed a poem. In my dream I was composing this poem and it was beautiful. In the dream I posted the poem on my blog and it was beautiful. I distinctly remember waking up wondering about the poem, however, there was no evidence of it's existence.

I like to write. Let's say I love to write. It's likely I'll never be of the caliber of Hemmingway, Tolstoy, Austen, Poe, Plath, Brian, Otin, Willow, etc., but, still, some of my writing will touch a few people. The dream about the poem prompted lots of thoughts about my writing and my writing caliber. I'm having fun in my English class at school and am looking forward to honing my technical skills as a result of the class. But,(can we use 'but' at the beginning of a sentence?)I have been wondering if I will ever really be any good as a 'Writer'.

Over the last couple of weeks I've been really examining my writing and the content of my blog and thinking back to when I first started the blog. I was going to write only for me and if anyone else read it, well then, that would be gravy....but, I've fallen into a hole and I've allowed myself to get away from that, because I started to care about followers and comments from followers. I've read similar ponderings on various other blogs and those posts contributed to my thinking.

My earliest posts are really some of my best because I was only writing for myself and had no audience but me(is that the correct pronoun?). No one who I felt was judging my content, no one who might pat me on the back and validate me. I was validated by merely putting my thoughts, my prose, out into the ether. I miss that and am wondering if I am capable of going back. I'm wondering if maybe I've shared my blog with too many people and have short changed myself in the process.

I've become addicted to follower comments and the feeling of satisfaction I get from knowing someone read my blog. AND, they thought enough of the post to comment. And, sometimes when I don't get alot of comments I worry about losing followers. I've begun to understand how Brittney Spears and Jessica Simpson might have felt when they weren't getting their 90 minutes of fame everyday. I have begun to feel a little shamed by these feelings and I know it has affected my writing. ALOT.

One of the first times Julochka commented on my blog was about writing and what we put into our blog posts and our writing practice. I had it in my head that I would stick to a certain writing regimen and if I didn't stick with it I found that I would beat myself up for falling away. I've been doing that to myself a little bit lately. And, although writing and blogging are for my pleasure, I feel like the audience has taken the pleasure out of it for me. It's like going to a family party and not taking my camera....I always get harrassed about that, "Where's your camera?" "Who's going to take the pictures?" The harrassment takes the pleasure out of the shooting. Much like the interal pressure I apply to myself about my blog content and responses or lack of responses from to any one besides myself has taken the fun out of it.

I'm not saying I don't love that people are reading and commenting....I love you all and am grateful for your input, participation and, well, validation of my existence, because, as lots of bloggy people say, if I don't exist in the blogoshpere, then I must not exist. I'm just taking a personal inventory of my motives and drives regarding my blog writing and trying to find my way back to a place where I can write with abandon and respect myself in the morning.

I actually took a post down the other day....I am ashamed to say, because I thought it might offend some people who MIGHT have been reading my blog. First I 'edited' it, but, could not get the post 'cleaned' up enough for my "maybe" audience, so, I deleted it. For the next couple of days I felt dishonest and seriously, like I had cheated on someone....then, I realized, I had cheated on myself. Not like I haven't done that before, but, I was drinking back then......

I want my writing to be real. I want to be brave enough to write real, EVERY time I write. And, to not second guess my writing once I've put it out there. But, I also want to write something worth reading, something interesting, entertaining, deep, inspiring, something that begets comments....only I don't want to care about whether or not I get the comments.....I'm tired of putting up posts with just a picture or two and writing some weak 'captions' and call that writing. I've been avoiding posting for this very reason. I'm trying to figure out how to get back to 'the old days'.

Anyway.....that's where I am tonight......I'm the Old Man and the Sea, just trying to find my way back to port with my catch......



Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Interesting thoughts - shared by many. I think it is a healthy thing to question our motivations and evaluate if something still holds the same value and meaning for us. I see a lot of bloggers pulling back a bit - and probably for the very reasons you outline.

julochka said...

i think the beauty of blogging is that it is so personal and that it is for the blogger herself, first and foremost. don't worry about the audience.

either that, or start a second, private, author-only access blog where you say whatever you want. i've actually got several of those. one for rants and one for those writing as prayer posts that i'm not ready to share. said...

It's really easy to want to write things that will lure people in. I've fallen prey to that many a time. I've followed and un-followed several bloggers now... because at first I wanted to be "in with the in crowd" and then realized that's not who I really am. After ten months of blogging, I'm starting to settle into a healthier rhythm of reading people whose work I not only enjoy, but respect. Does that mean I'm maturing? Maybe, but probably not... I'll always have a bit of the "obnoxious kid" about me that will blurt stupid stuff out just to get attention. *sigh*

Brian Miller said...

when you fall prey to the audience it makes blogging stressful....and then its just no the end if someone doesn't like what i say, thats was not meant for them. keep writing...i'll keep reading....smiles.

kathryn said...

Blogging should NOT stress you out! If it does, then where's the joy? This should be a place where you feel at peace. You should be able to say whatever you's YOUR place!

Don't worry about what others think. Some days, you'll want to reach out, others maybe not.

But don't make it a shouldn't be THAT.

Sharon Rose said...

Hey there! Good for you for getting to this point! I had to get there as well! My biggest fears were, "OMG, my profile reveals that I am in seminary and pastor a church. What if I offend someone by being human and saying something not quite as "holy" as a person thinks I should".

Here is a quote I heard just yesterday.

"How do you quantify or qualify truth?" The answer is, "Does it set you free?"

So, my friend, let go of your fears! Quit cheating yourself! This blog is your blog! IT's all about you! It's what you make of it! IF any of us are offended. . . we need help because it wasn't about us to begin with. It's your thoughts and feelings and words!

Put your deleted post back up! If you so choose. . . Get your balance back. . . ~! You will find a new freedom why? Because the TRUTH will set you free!

Mike said...

Write what you want to write! I gut people on a weekly basis and never worry about how it will play. If I think that something may be a little strong, I may put a disclaimer, just so that people are prepared!

NJ Pigno said...

I am going through just that thing right now with one of my blogs. I love that people are reading it and I want more people to read it so I am posting more. But, I think that when I take my time, my writing is better. On my second blog, I haven't fallen into that trap and the writing delights me. Blogging is strange business.

Dayne Gingrich said...

"My earliest posts are really some of my best because I was only writing for myself and had no audience but me(is that the correct pronoun?). No one who I felt was judging my content, no one who might pat me on the back and validate me."

So important, isn't it? Your writing should always be about your writing... if people like it, great. If not, do you? If yes... SUCCESS!


Kate said...

I've just found your blog - and I'm going to follow it because I really like what you write. I haven't been blogging for very long and I totally get what you mean. Blogging is wierd - compulsive and amazing, but it is very easy to get distracted away from being true to yourself. I've already found myself trying to attract followers and to please ones I already have. I have to keep reminding myself what I want to write and why!!

Ellie said...

I know just what you mean.