A lugubrious feeling has been hanging around this week, and I’m not quite sure why. “Lugubrious doesn’t foster funny. If I don’t have funny, I have nothing to post,” or so my thinking went.
That simply isn’t true; however, it has made me ask myself a few questions: “Why did you start this blog? What was its initial purpose? What is your purpose now?”
The following is what it looks like when I talk to myself.
1. Why did you start this blog?
Two friends urged me to start. I am a storyteller by nature, and whenever we’d be chatting, I’d say, “Have I ever told you about the time…?” They told me I should be writing these stories down in a blog. So I joined WordPress, and then I got scared.
2. What was the purpose of this blog?
Did you start in hopes of eventually writing a book? No. Well, yes, but not a book about this blog. So no.
Did you start it to gain a following? No. Although that would be ultimately beneficial, it wasn’t a consideration when I clicked “Publish” for the first time.
Then why did you start this blog? I started this blog primarily to become accustomed to having my work read.
I went back and read my very first blog post, Hello World! I remember how scared I was to actually click “publish” and have what I wrote out there (pretend you see my hands making a billowing motion in front and around me). I labored over that post for about two weeks. It was first published privately, and the password sent to only three people. When I had heard back from all three them, made a few changes to the text, sent it back to all three of them, made G critique it while I waited to hear back from all three people, and then finally made it public on September 22, 2011.
What is the purpose of this blog? The purpose of this blog is for me to overcome my fears. According to that first post, I started blogging because I wanted to overcome some very real fears. I was frightened for people to see my work and judge it and, eventually, me. Naked, exposed and alone were the adjectives I used to describe how vulnerable I felt about placing my thoughts before people I didn’t know.
I don’t like to have fear keep me from doing things. I don’t want to come to the end of my life and regret not trying something because I was afraid. What is fear except an emotion. Emotions change. Emotions can be controlled. I’m not saying that it’s easy (I still sleep with a nightlight), but overcoming fear is very possible.
Now a year and a half later, I am not nearly as fearful. I still check, re-check, publish, and then re-check every post obsessively, but that’s the editor in me. I’m not afraid to have people read my writing. Now the fear is disappointing readers or, God forbid, lose readers because I don’t post enough!
The apprehension of being naked, exposed and alone is not so overwhelming now. I do hide behind my humor, so I’m not being completely vulnerable. Also, I don’t insert a of moral to my story I tell simply because I would have to open myself up. I prefer you, the reader, insert the moral to the story. Hmmm… maybe I’m still afraid after all.
I certainly do not feel alone any longer. Two of my friends have joined the blogging world since I started (check them out here and here). We give each other help and encouragement along the way, and I have been given a few peer-nominated awards, which makes me feel very good about myself; however, I try not to put too much stock in them. I’m grateful, please don’t get me wrong. I’ve gained new readers because of those nominations, but if I elevate those awards to a higher station than encouragement from my peers, then it becomes a competition, and I lose friends when I compete.
3. What is your purpose now?
If initial purpose of this blog has been relatively achieved and the secondary purposes are not to write a book, or make money, or win awards, then what is my purpose for blogging now? To write. Writers need to write every day. Blogging keeps me accountable, so that I write everyday. I may not publish every day, but I write every day. I research every day. I check facts every day. I read about writing every day. I consult with people every day.
I do have a book in the works. Actually, I have two books in the making and scads of children’s stories completed. I feel comfortable enough now that I may just dig out my children’s stories, edit them and then post them here. That just may lead to me sending them to agents and publishers, or who knows, I might go crazy and self-publish.
The year is only half over. I still have time to go crazy.
If anything in this post has sparked a thought, I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment!!