Writing is my passion. It always has been. It doesn’t matter what you ask me to write about, I’ll love it. College was an oasis of wonder for me. I loved writing essays. I loved to challenge the status quo or argue a point or share what I thought on a topic. And when they dropped creative writing in my lap, I practically melted on my keyboard. But wait. Then later on people started paying me *in real cash money to write. I was published in several publications and even in a couple of books. When an agent came to me (yes-she came to me) asking for a query and signed me with her agency? I died, went to heaven, made St. Peter slap me upside the head and came back to do more writing. I love it that much.
And then came the chronic daily headaches. And the migraines. And the bone crushing fatigue. Those are not good conditions for writing. In fact, it’s like I’m in prison with these health issues when it comes to my beloved passion and that isn’t fair. In fact it sucks. Someone recommended I try Dragon or another voice to text app but that isn’t the same. It’s not the fingers flying over the keyboard. Or the rush you get when you almost feel like you are no longer in the driver’s seat because the words are flowing so fast the story has taken over and your hands are merely the method to bring the story to life. Now, when I write for a long time, I pay the price in pain. My head. My eyes. My joints. I’m being literal here. I literally pay a physical price to write every word on this blog.
Oh, but what a beautiful price it is. I love writing so much. I love every thing about it. It is truly my passion. So when you see a blog post from me, know that is truly a labor of love. I wrote it from the prison my body locked me in and I refuse to let it hold me back. Words. My words. My stories. I won’t stop. This is my passion. My love. The one thing I know will always be soothe me even when it hurts me.
Ohh Emm Geee! Look who is blogging again. Yes, I realize it is NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) but no, I am not blogging because of that. And I also know it is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and rather than sign up for that, I may dust off something I was working on. And, yes, it is also NaNaTaMo (Natioanal Nap Taking Month) and I most definitely will be taking advantage of that particular tradition.
Anyhooooo, I realized most of the things I would’ve normally blogged here, I have been microblogging on Facebook. However, I haven’t been on Facebook for almost a week and you know what? No one has even noticed. Facebok tends to give you a false sence of intimacy. Not with everyone but with many. Especially when it comes to my chronic illnesses and bad days. My high school friends don’t want to hear about that. Neither do the people I worked with on campaigns a year or two ago (or more). However, I will add that a couple of weeks ago when I hit a wall of pain and a very dark place and gave a shout out for help, many, many people came forward to be there to help pick me up. That meant everything to me. So, there are awesome exceptions. I may pop my head in now and then but it hasn’t missed me so why should I miss it? Am I right?
So if I am going to be here more often, I need to clean house. Basically, I have some big changes coming up for my little home here. Can you believe I missed my Blogiversary? 12 years! 12YEARS!! Now it’s closer to 12 and a half. Nevertheless, can you believe I have been writing here for 12 years. Granted, I have been terrible about being consistent. But I need my space here to be share my thoughts freely. If you come here, it’s your choice. Unlike Facebook when I just pop up in your newsfeed, you choose to come to my home here. I am dusting her off, washing the windows, fluffing the pillows, and lighting some candles to make it smell cozy and homey. And of course, there is always coffee ready for anyone who wants some. I hope you come here and keep coming back. I have set some tough goals for myself here.
For instance, this post was supposed to be about something totally different and more personal but I backed away. I’ll get used to being open here soon enough. (Or as they call it “blogging naked.”) The things I post may not be what my old readers want to read. And, yes, that scares me. But? I have to get back to being myself. I can’t be the person some people want me to be. At least not all the time. I have changed. Chronic pain and chronic illness have changed me. I’m sorry to those friends who couldn’t handle the changed in me and had to walk out. I understand and I hold no grudges. It’s rough to have someone with chronic pain and illness in your life. I get that.
But as I write this, I can’t help but wonder if personal blogging is still a “thing” or have bloggers turned to microblogging on sites where they blog in sound bites? I guess we’ll find out. Are you ready to figure this out with me? Grab my hand. Let’s close our eyes. Now… Leap!
I’m turning down the noise in 2013 so I can hear myself blog. Let me hear you blog, too! (Even if that should read “Let me read your blog” it doesn’t fit so go with it.)
Here is where you would normally find an inspirational New Year’s post all about resolutions and new beginnings. Really? When do I do normal? Instead I am going to embrace the old. To quote my friend Liz of This Full House, I am going to blog like it’s 2003. Back in the olden days where stories were told and if you wanted to know how someone is doing, you had to go read it on their blog not check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, etc. (Or, you know, call or email them but that is not the point of this story.) Or as Carol of Girl Gone Travel says, It’s time to take back the blog!
When I started blogging way back in the stone ages when we had to use stone tablets and chisel out our posts (or as some people call it 2003), it was an entirely different world. I don’t mean world in the sense of the entire world but in the blogging world. We told stories. We had a community that grew to know each other because we shared stories about life: the funny, the silly, the serious, the real. And things changed. First there was the “OMG ADS!” phase that should have been a peek into what was to come. But oh no! Then the evil “REVIEWS” came along. (SELLOUTS!) But still we wrote. We shared. We ignored the noise. But wait! Then came THE TRIPS! People were sending bloggers on PAID trips to cool places. OMG! That is so awesome/awful/great/evil/coveted/hated. And let’s not forget the BEST LISTS! On blogs it could be somewhat easy to ignore if you wanted to for a while. But then Twitter and Facebook and Instagram (Oh my!) added to the noise. And some of the blogs that had stories I loved to read began to read like one giant paid advertisement. OR the stories were replaced with a short paragraph of “must update so here you go” without thought to content or writing. THE NOISE online became really, really loud.
And none of those things are bad. I am not against any of them or anti-anything (bloggish).
But oh the NOISE.
And really? Let’s be honest. I got lost in the noise. My stories got lost, too. Sometimes because they had to so I could fulfill a commitment. Sometimes because I would update on Facebook and ignore the blog. Sometimes because “Why bother? I’m not getting the fun stuff so pffffft on you!”
But mainly, the NOISE drowned out my voice.
It sounds cheesy, but I really had to step back out of it all and re-evaluate why I blog. Why am I on Facebook? Why am I on Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest?
Because I enjoy them. I really do.
But when I felt like I had to do it all, I got lost in the NOISE.
Looking back at the amazing opportunities I received, they all came from real writing on my BLOG!
I was signed with an agent…because of my writing.
I was invited to Washington DC with Dr. Drew Pinsky to talk to members of Congress…because of my writing.
I was asked to be a long term product ambassador with brands I respect and enjoy…because of my writing.
I was a contributor in two anthologies…because of my writing.
I received a person phone call from Gloria Steinem (complete with her personal home phone number for future use)… because of my writing.
I was asked to write for two national magazine publications… because of my writing.
I interviewed some amazing celebrities… because of my writing.
I was asked to speak several times at a few conferences to share my experience… because of my writing.
I was given the opportunity to meet some amazing authors I admire… because of my writing.
I made some lifelong friends when I shared my life on my blog… because of my writing.
I can go on and on about the wonderful opportunities and jobs I was offered because of my blog writing. Not because of snarky Facebook posts. Not because of 144 characters of charm. Not because of an artsy picture. (Though using those to share my writing help!)
I used to write here for the love of the blog. Then I did it because I felt I needed to write. Then I just didn’t.
But I am turning back the clock. I’m taking back my blog and using social media in the best way I know how to dim the noise and amplify my passion for writing.
I want to write. I really do. Who is with me?
FOR LOVE OF THE BLOG!
(Have a favorite post of yours? Share the url in the comments if you want a visit. I want to read blogs, too!)
When the paper clip mocks you it is time for a break
I have been working furiously trying to get my book finished (to a point) to get to my ever patient and wonderful agent whom I worship and adore. (Yes, I am a good ass-kisser. Why?) I have been writing. And then writing. And then hitting a wall.
Want to know what is worse than writer’s block? Being mocked by that freaking paper clip in Word. I really hate it. I mean, I want to take it and untwist it and make it into obscene sculptures to send to unsuspecting successful authors who have made it through this already.
But tonight, when it mocked me? That was it. Mocked. Me.
I need to get out and talk to more people. When the paper clip mocks me, it is time for a break. But the book? So much good to say about it. So much happening. But first? I have a paper clip sculpture to make!