Please know that I tried to find a picture of myself looking celebratory to go with this blog post, but it was hard and I didn’t want to take a new photo. So instead of a photo you just get to imagine me looking ecstatic over the fact that it has been one year of blogging as of today and this post. wait a minute I might have a photo. what about this one:
Either way my dog is stinking cute.
It’s clichéd, but I am not sure I thought I would still be doing this when I set out a year ago. Or maybe I did. I haven’t decided how I want to remember things yet. Sometimes I hate this blog like I hate beets or United Airlines. For those of you who have heard my opinions on both of those, Kashi, you know how much I can hate this.
But it has also been good for me. I started out blogging obsessively. I was posting something almost everyday, sometimes more than once a day. Things have slowed down, as those of you who have stuck with me know. I believe we are all thankful for that. But I find it interesting to sometimes consider the changes in my life and how that has affected my blogging. When I started out I was working 40 hours a week for AmeriCorps. I was stationed at a small non-profit, and while I loved it (even considered it as a career) I wrote obsessively. I wouldn’t say I did so to get myself through it, but writing was more of an outlet then. I needed a way to channel my creativeness then.
But then my contract ended, and Kashi and I made the decision that I would not be looking for work. Or I made the decision and he agreed? I don’t really remember how it went. Planning a wedding, taking care of the house and meals, the yard work, and developing a solid writing habit became my job. I no longer needed a creative outlet outside of work, because my creative outlet was my job and blogging became sporadic and infrequent. Interesting.
I think part of the reason for the drop of is that it has taken me months to be comfortable with the idea of writing. I know I have said that before, we are all sick of it believe me. But it is true. I was scared and unsure; daunted is the perfect word. As time went on though, the idea became less scary. Less like a spider. And now the amount of posting has picked up. The amount of time I spend writing in the week has also picked up, without me setting a schedule or deadlines, like I fought for months to do. It is happening naturally, organically and I am thankful because I was getting tired of fighting with myself.
Fighting myself hurts. There are tears and scars involved. Self-inflicted punishments and pain. And while I am sure we will find other things to fight over, this one has kind of lost the wind in the sails.
So I have almost been writing as much as I eat pineapple. In the past year I have started trusting myself more. I have gotten used to the idea that it will take a LONG time to make my novel good. I posted the preview of the opening a couple of days ago, and I know it will change and mature. It is like an infant now. I am okay with the fact that it will take me a couple years to get it right. I have gotten better at taking the pressure off. I have never worked well under expectations. I under achieved in high school and most of college because of the pressure of others expectations. It was my way of rebelling: allowing myself to be mediocre instead of standing out because I felt like I was sticking it to the man. Yes I know my brain is weird. My best work has always been when teachers stood back, hid their expectations and let me flourish. In Italy, when none of my grades counted for anything, I pushed myself harder than I ever had in academia. When I took Spiritual Travel Writing at PLU and the professor didn’t have lesson plans I wrote some of my best work. I am learning to do what those situations and that teacher did for me.
I haven’t set any official goals for blogging in the next year. Informally I would like to blog more frequently. I would like to venture into longer, more structured pieces (since I have avoided those like the plaque), I would like to get more comfortable with sharing my fiction. Someday I would like to be Freshly Pressed, but that is an ego thing so I will be alright if it doesn’t happen. I want to get my blog copyrighted, purchase my own domain, and work seriously on branding myself.
For those of you who have been reading since the beginning, thank you. For those who have jumped on the band wagon, thanks. Hopefully I can keep you coming back. And for those who have told me that they enjoy my blog, that they follow it, please know that you can take credit for the fact that I am still doing this. You have kept me going.
Happy one year!