I realized last night as I was writing – or struggling to write would be more honest – that I was making this a lot harder than it had to be – and a lot less fun. So, I decided it was time to re-evaluate why I wanted to start blogging in the first place and why I had joined the challenge to post daily.
I am still a newbie at blogging, having only started a couple of months ago. So, I still need to learn all of the nuances and I’m intrigued by what people write about, what people don’t write about and how well some people write. I’ve noticed there are professionals and there are people like me who just feel a need to write.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer – okay maybe not always — first I wanted to be a horse (my friends and I used to pretend we were horses and run all over the playground), then I moved on to being a nun (then I found out that they couldn’t have boyfriends and that just wasn’t going to work for me – even though I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time) and then I settled on being a doctor (an interview I did in high school and which my mother kept, quoted me as saying I wanted to go into medicine because I liked to dissect things! Not sure that’s a good reason to become a doctor.) I didn’t make it into medical school, so my goals changed again and now I was simply looking for a way to make money and use my math degree. Luckily, I found work in the insurance industry (yes, I am one of the ‘evil empire’ as the news agencies would have you believe). It was during my work in compliance (reading and analyzing laws), that I realized I really liked to write – I even had a knack for it. I could make people laugh with my articles I wrote for the company paper and soon I was writing short stories about my family. But where to go from there? I had no dreams of being a famous writer or being the author of the Great American Novel – OK, I’m lying — I do want to be a syndicated humor columnist like Erma Bombeck – but as my mother used to say ‘Don’t give up your day job just yet.’ Everyone needs to have a dream and that one is mine – along with losing about 80 pounds, looking 30 years younger and winning the lottery – hey, if I’m going to dream, I’m going to make it a doozy!
So, back to the point — why did I start blogging? Actually, it was a dare from a friend of mine who is a professional blogger. She challenged me to start a blog and see where it would take me! Again, with the challenges – can I do nothing on my own without being challenged to do it! Apparently the answer to that one is NO! We all challenge ourselves daily — to get up in the morning even though we are tired, to go to work even though we know it will be a tough day, to go home after work even though we know there is a TON of housework to do — life is full of challenges – I just decided to add one more.
That explains why I started blogging – but it doesn’t explain why I thought I had anything worth blogging about. I’m not a celebrity, I’m not famous or infamous, I’m not rich and I’m not particularly unique (I have four sisters and four children who are pretty much just like me!) I think I started blogging as a way to preserve some of the stories I tell about my family — but also to share them with others much as I share them in conversations with others. I am all about ‘over-sharing’ — most of its public record any way! And, if other people found my blogs and enjoyed them – that would be the icing on the cake! So – blogging for me is the electronic version of my babbling, burbling self – something I already do in my everyday life. It was a way for me to write – which I love to do – and in a way ‘talk’ which I like to do even more!
So the next question becomes why did I accept the challenge to post daily – a challenge not even posed by a friend – but by WordPress! Again, I apparently have a problem saying NO. Posting daily seemed simple at first — I have lots of stories to tell about my family (my sisters, my children, my husband) and I enjoy writing. It seemed like a good way to focus my energy and make sure that I actually followed through with my promise to myself and to my friend, Karen, to making blogging a part of my life.
However, yesterday was a really tough post to write and I realized that I was making this much too hard. I needed to go back to writing from the heart – because that’s where all my stories started. My experiences that I treasure are part of me and my stories are an extension of my joy in life – and I can’t write about them if I’m worried about how long the post is going to be, is it going to be funny and will be people enjoy what I say. I don’t do that when I tell stories for my friends and I shouldn’t do it when I’m writing my blog.
So, here is my Challenge within a Challenge — to be true to my ‘voice’, to perfect my storytelling – not my blogging and not my writing. One of my gifts is that I am a storyteller who sees love, laughter and joy in everyday life and if I make just one person smile, smirk or think “I guess my life is pretty normal” – then I have used that gift to the best of my abilities and I will be happy.