I have perhaps 20 demands on my time at any moment, and blogging is often near the bottom. So the challenge to put blog posts at the forefront excited and energized me. But I might quit.
Because I’ve realized, just as with National Novel Writing Month, when I have false deadlines and self imposed “write a certain number of words each day” or “post every day” rigors, I produce schlock. I don’t write the stories that are burning to be told, in language of which I’m proud and with time to mull the best structure. I generate crud, and submit it because I’ve said that I “have to.”
For me, right now, challenges become a homework assignment rather than an inspiration. Blogging has become a chore instead of the thing I genuinely enjoy doing.My writing sounds slapdash, crammed into the crevices I have left, rather than something moved to the forefront and finessed because it’s important.
So we’ll see how it goes. Today is Day 18, and I’ve posted 17 times. And about 5 of those posts are just rotten. I don’t like those odds. I’d rather post 10 times and feel satisfied with the writing than post 18 times and feel my blog’s quality is suffering for the exercise.
But wait! I think…what about all those ideas in that file called “post ideas”? Well, if those are compelling enough stories to tell, then I would have done so by now. And I still can. Rejecting the challenge doesn’t mean I can’t post daily. It means I don’t have to.
But wait! I think again, What about committing to something important and writing as part of a huge group of dedicated writers?! Frankly, I don’t care. Writing is a solitary exercise, and while I cherish the tightly knit group of writers with whom I rarely share my fiction, I don’t care whether the whole world is writing right nor or not. What other people do is none of my business. I’m a grown-ass woman, and I don’t need any more chores. I’ve had a tiny blog for eight years, and my audience changes little whether I write daily or monthly. I wrote every day for years. And life changed in many ways such that I don’t have as much to say publicly, both because I’m inwardly focused on my family right now and don’t have time, and because I don’t want to share as much as I once did. Blogging every day for a month as part of a group challenge is not going to make me a better blogger. It’s not going to reinvigorate my writing. It’s going to exhaust me and stifle my willingness to share. Because the creeping profanity in this post is suggesting to me I’m resentful, and if I keep going with this bad attitude, I have nobody but myself to blame. I began a blog to find a community, and I found one. Bigger than I’d hoped. As an introverted curmudgeon at heart, I often want to pull up my welcome mat and say, “I already have enough friends, thank you and good bye.”
I don’t, of course, because for each dear reader I lose there’s a new face in the comments or subscription list, whose own blog is wonderful to read and whose comments make me feel less alone in those dark moments most writers have at 1:23 each morning. So the community stays small and I adore every reader. Gah. Does that mean I have to sit up straight and wear mascara ‘cuz you are here again?
Sigh. Whatever. I want to blog more, so I will. I want to honor the NaBloPoWriMo community, so I might. I want a place to whine about blogging, so here I am. Maybe I’ll be here tomorrow. And maybe I’ll wait a day or two. There is no reward for trudging through a thing just because you should. There are rewards for recognizing when a self-imposed should seems ill-fitting.
Now it is my time to rend and tear the garment, else allow it to lie as falls without alteration, and feel in this exercise the discomfort of something not quite right. What I learn from the binding and gaping is a test of patience.
I’ll let you know what I find, though. And not just because it’ll count as another post.