During the awesome month of November, wherein there was daily blogging and, my favorite food, mashed potatoes a’plenty, I found a sort of confidence at the keyboard. I posted every day for NaBloPoMo, and while I thought at first that I was going to have a hard time doing so, I didn’t miss one day (although I did give QoB a guest post for a day). I followed the daily blogging streak well into December, and then I got lost.
Life got rough, a moderate depression sunk in, DSB’s health problems worsened, the days grew even shorter, and my favorite college basketball team seemed to have started (what will end up being) a very disappointing season. I stopped blogging every day. Some weeks I was managing every other day, sometimes just once a week. I am grateful that I didn’t stop altogether, but I missed the days of NaBloPoMo. I missed the daily support of the bloggers around me, and while I was still following a bunch of blogs, I just couldn’t bring myself to write daily. And my mental health and self-esteem suffered for it.
The urge to blog more regularly has been niggling at me pretty seriously for the past couple of weeks. As I mentioned last post, I have been working a lot more than usual the last two weeks and work has been less than busy. I do have a nice computer and fast Internet connection available, however, so I spend most of my time here catching up on the blogs that I read. And these past two weeks, I have probably followed another 20 new-to-me bloggers. The catch about reading and not writing, is that you start to get a bit of a complex. Or at least I do. You read so much great writing and you begin to think that everything you put out there is terrible. You stop posting and you start criticizing your every draft. It even came to the point where I was criticizing myself for comments I was making.
And then I reached out. I had three bloggers that I very greatly respect tell me basically the same thing: you’re doing fine, this is your blog, write about you, be yourself. I think, what I had lost sight of most of all, was being myself. I know I am forever saying that this blog is for myself, and in a lot of ways it is. And while that is entirely true, I should also say or admit that I want other people to read it, too. I want other people to read it, to identify with it, to gain something from it, even. I’d like to think that my blog can make people think about things or reflect in a way they hadn’t before, like other people’s blogs do for me.
I read somewhere that every writer wants an audience, whether they will admit it or not. That only makes sense because, if we didn’t want people to read what we’re writing, we’d write in a private journal, not on a public blog. I was going through the first few entries I wrote, six or so years ago, and thought how funny (and somewhat humiliating) it was that I wanted to be the next Dooce. I was 25 at the time of the writing, and I cringe at some of the things I used to say. That’s part of the package of having had a blog for so long. You outgrow who you are in the beginning, and you’re someone different two years from then, numerous breakdowns and jobs and relationships from then.
You grow, you learn, and you try not to judge those prior Rosa’s, and you do your best not to mourn your innocence. You plug ahead, reinventing yourself again, growing, changing, but you are still eternally hopeful, just as you were six years ago, that you will blog and someone will read it, and they will be touched. I want to keep hoping that, but learn from my mistakes and realize that I don’t have to be ashamed to tell the world I want to be heard.