Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Coming out of retirement

When I was (semi)regularly updating my blog, I'd get emails and comments every now and again after posting something.  I liked this.  I wanted to use my blog as a means to jump start a career where I could write (read: actually get paid to write).  I joined a couple of blog networks where I could get some exposure in return for writing for free or allowing ads to appear on my blog.

I have always loved to write.  I have always been told I "should be a writer".  I have often been told I am "wasting my talent".  I think I'm a good writer.  Sometimes, I think I'm a great writer.  It would be nice to get paid for it.  But herein lies the problem.  I write for me.  Only for me.  So deadlines don't really work within that framework.  Nor do deliverables such as posting on my blog at least once a week.  As soon as I"m given a deadline or a deliverable, it's done.  I lose interest, I lose momentum, the part of my brain that helps me organize my thoughts into words and pretty sentences literally shuts down and I just have to sit around and wait for it to start working again.  I can't force it to happen, it just happens on its own time.

After years and years of fighting against this and beating myself up for "wasting my talent" (i.e. - not getting paid for writing), I have finally accepted the fact that I am not a deadline meeter when it comes to my writing.  And meeting deadlines is sort of important when you want to write for a living.  Or so I'm told.  I've been kicked off all the blog networks I've joined since I've failed to update my blog frequently enough.  And I'm so okay with that.  I feel so much less cluttered and heavy.  After months of trying to get people to read my blog and tracking the number of readers who visit it every day, I've finally accepted the fact that my blog was never meant for the people that I was trying to drive to it.  It was meant for me.  And if anyone loves me (or even likes me) enough to read what I've written, then it's just a little happy bonus if what I've written touches them (or at the very least, entertains them) somehow.

I like to write about my emotions and experiences.  I like to write so that I'll have some sort of record of my life, of my family's life, of my love for them and for myself.  I like to write to help sort out the jumbled mess of thoughts and feelings that criss-cross and meander through my mind.  So, yes, maybe I'm not getting paid for what I'm doing, but I'd hardly consider that a wasted talent.


stephens3181 said...

You are crazy talented, paid or not! I love reading your blog b/c it's another little window into a wonderful friend's soul so keep writing! :-)

Cooking for One said...

So happy to see you writing for 'you' again.

Manda said...

Welcome back! I was so excited to see your blog pop up in my feed! ;)

Also, I can SO relate... I find that when I beat myself up for not updating my blog frequently, I get unhappy and produce crappy blogs. But when I give myself space and write what inspires ME, I become prolific and I get more positive feedback from others. Maybe it's about authenticity -- people seem to connect with that.

Anyway, I love reading what you write, regardless of your intended audience or the number of page views!

Jen said...

Thanks for the positive feedback everyone!

Manda, I totally agree with what you said. When I feel the pressure to churn something out, it winds up being crap and doesn't even 'sound' like me. But when I write from my heart without thinking about how others will perceive it, it winds up being sooooo much better. I remember one night, I wrote a post for the sole purpose of having a record of a something that I wanted to remember forever. It was just a quiet, intimate moment with one of the boys, nothing interesting or earth shattering, but I wanted to just be able to remember it exactly as it happened. It was just a short little post, where I wrote down my very personal thoughts about those few minutes with Ethan and I got more emails about that post than anything I've ever written. I was so shocked because I didn't think anyone would be at all interested in it.

Tom Cardon said...

I missed your reading your blog, I am so glad it's back. You are a wondeful writer. Wish I had your talent