I woke up at 10:00 this morning (because I stayed up till 3 AM watching The Pianist and then of course I couldn’t sleep), threw on some clothes, and took myself on a uni-date to go see the 10:30 showing of a far more uplifting move, Julie and Julia – which was wonderful and delightful and which, truth be told, made me pathetically jealous.
It’s not that I expect to be a Julie… or a Pioneer Woman (who started her blog the same month I started mine) or a Dooce, or a Smitten Kitchen – though I love all of them. It’s that I want to be good enough, interesting enough, engaging enough to have (oh god, I’m just about to mutter the word)…
The truth is that as soon as I began this all-consuming job as a Project Manager with Microsoft, I’ve had a horrible case of writer’s block and I’ve been suffering (and I do mean suffering) from an 18-month bout of writer’s block.
That’s actually not true.
If I were truly honest with myself I’d realize that an 18-month bout of writer’s block is not a block at all; it’s really more of a simple inability to write good stuff. The thing is that even if I’ve never been really good at writing, I was at one time good at stringing a whole bunch of words together to express my thoughts or tell a story-- probably because I assumed I had no readers and therefore the only person I had an obligation to please was myself.
So I just wrote. I strung words together daily because I love stringing words together. I hardly gave readership a thought and the whole notion of a Following didn’t even occur to me. I just plain wrote.
How ironic is that? As a blogger, I want a Following (with a capital F, please), but the reason I can’t write lately is because I’m paralyzed at the thought that I might have a Following. I sometimes stop typing mid-sentence (delete-delete-delete), wondering what my boss or my clients or my crush from 6th grade might think if I say that…
And then I end up not saying much of anything.
Instead, I post photos – lots and lots of photos. You know why? Because I don’t need to dig deep for a photo. I don’t feel the pressure to create craft a photo like I feel the pressure to create and craft a paragraph. A photo just is. I see something, I capture it, and I express it – kind of how I used to write.
Maybe the problem is that my blog has no theme. I’m not cooking something new every night. I’m not a city girl turned rancher. I’m not a ballsy ex-Mormon. I’m simply – oh wait, let me copy this from my blog banner – a mom to four feisty and fascinating young adults, an avowed and loyal Seattleite, and (sniff… sob) an EX-producer and program manager of media for youth, who currently works for The Man doing stuff that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t really matter.
(There – I wrote something that I normally wouldn’t write!)
I really don’t care about analytics and statistics. Honestly, they bore me. And much as I’d love an extra income, I can’t even imagine making money from my blog, and make no effort whatsoever to do so. But I do care about the same thing Julie cared about: I do care that my blog makes the difference to some group of people, somewhere (a Following?!), who care that I write and who would miss Northwest Ladybug if I crawled off into oblivion somewhere. THAT matters hugely to me.
I think the only way I’ll get out of my literary slump is to stop posting photos as an excuse not to write, and to just start to write again, without giving a damn what my co-workers or my boss or my 6th grade crush might think of my post.
(Although I really have to post this photo from a party we went to last night. I just have to… maybe as a last hurrah or a test of my new resolution not to worry so much about what people think. Jonathan, who went to elementary school with Elisabeth and has been a friend of our family since he was a kid, is moving to Chicago next week to start a hoity-toity new job. At last night’s farewell party in his honor, he modeled an… um, interesting apron-with-a-flap-and-a-surprise that his friend made for him. I asked Jon and Tom to pose for a photo and this is the result:
I’m sorry, but this picture just cracks me up!
Don’t like it? Oh well!
Wow… how liberating!)