How many times have I started and abandoned this post? Three drafts still bravely stand in my draft box, collecting dust, mocking me, but I can’t bear to reopen them… and many more have been simply trashed.
Something about this post, this particular subject, has kept me from regularly blogging the past few months. I wrote so many posts for the holidays, and none of them saw the light. I’ve had my cursor hovering over “Publish,” and instead of just taking .05 seconds to click, the top of my laptop has come crashing down.
I have since forced myself to confront the question:
Do I hate blogging?
Or perhaps I should ask myself:
Do I love blogging?
The answer to both… no.
I had a plan at the beginning of this year. You early followers remember my plan — I had every month, every blog post planned and scheduled with exactness. I knew what I wanted to blog about, I needed structure, and the twelve months were going to be a breeze.
But here’s the thing:
I. hate. restriction.
I’ve never been good at writing on assigned topics. Grammar classes in school were monstrous; my mom couldn’t understand why I struggled so in English class because I loved to write, but when it came to writing assignments… the salty flood gates would open and I’d be launched into panic attacks. I despised being told what to write…I despised someone else reading my writing…
So, with my twelve-month plan, not only did I have someone (albeit, myself) telling me precisely what topics to write about, but I also had people — strangers, friends, it mattered not — reading every single word.
(Honestly, what the heck am I doing blogging?)
Okay, so I needed that structure at the beginning of 2017. I was feeling stuck. I had (have) no job, very little structure in my personal life, and I wanted something to give me a purpose. For a few months, this blog served that purpose. But like every creative, I began falling into ruts. I was crashing into paranoia, depression, just little bouts at first, where I wouldn’t blog for a couple weeks, then I’d bounce back. But within the past five months, I’ve published eight blog posts and have written twenty-one others.
What stirred passion in me at the beginning of 2017 wasn’t stirring anything towards the end of the year. I wanted to branch out, write about other things, but I felt as though I had chained myself to a narrow spectrum and to step outside the lines would be a betrayal to those following who thought they followed a blog strictly on writing and books. So, I stayed silent, and at the same time dried up my inspiration well.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m still passionate about writing, about reading. But there are other things, big things I’m passionate about that are instrumental in my life, such as mental health, and it was hurting not being able to write freely about them. I didn’t want to cast aside my beloved rantings about books and writing, but not to have the option to expand my horizons?
Finally, I realized something. This is MY blog. Yes, I hope others see it and read it and love it. I love the community of bloggers and getting to know others who love to write. But, no matter how much you write for others, when you write a blog, I believe you are first and foremost writing for yourself. Who cares if others read it and don’t like it? They can move on to something else. It won’t kill me to lose followers. I’ll just gain others.
After all, if you’re gutsy enough to have a public blog, you might as well blog.
So, I want to make changes to my blog. My favorite bloggers are those who speak from the heart on a wide range of subjects. Those blogs that read like a conversation, as though the blogger were sitting right next to you but thinking out loud, are my favorite. My friend, Meg (whom, by the way, I met through Tumblr blogging), is the author of such a blog. I am moved every time I read one of her posts, whether it’s about a new travel adventure, mental health, or a monthly favorites, because I can tell through her words that she puts her heart into every post and speaks with nothing but honesty.
This is what I want to do. I want to get away from the subjects I don’t care about. I don’t want to have to force myself to type out words; I want my finger to fly with each letter, my mind to go feverish until the post is done.
Whether it’s a post about books, writing, or mental health,
Or something unexpected
Such as a post like this
Where I finally admit I hate blogging
But am willing to make changes to make it work.