What should I write here? What about here, what should I say? And when I get over there what on earth will I be rambling, babbling and writing about?
What will be discovered, uncovered, rediscovered or covered?
When you read a post or an article online, what do you think about it?
Do you think about what impression it has made on you?
Whether you liked it or disliked?
Are you arguing with the words on the cyber page or nodding your head in agreement?
Are you perhaps preparing to write a comment to tell the author exactly what you think of what they said, to share yourself with them as they shared themselves with you?
Do you wonder about the author, are you curious about them enough to read their bio, their About page? Do you have questions which you want to ask them about themselves, but then talk yourself out of doing that because… why?
Do you want to share your story?
Do you wish you could share your story, your thoughts, feelings, life, the way that others do?
Do you think you’d do a better or worse job than they do at writing?
Do you think writing is difficult or easy?
Do you think blogging is a pleasurable pastime or hard work?
That last question was inspired by reading a post by a fairly new blogger who mentioned that blogging required hard work if you wanted to be successful at it.
This is her post if you’d like to read it – Keep It Alive: Is blogging taking over your life?
I’ve been blogging for several years now, and have been through many phases of blogging throughout those years.
The first year is probably the hardest, the learning curve is steep, and it doesn’t matter how much preparation you do, how many How-To-Blog posts you read, nothing can prepare you for the ups and downs, the surprises, and challenges of doing it yourself.
The biggest challenge comes from within yourself.
Most new bloggers start out powered up by a rushing gush of creative energy. Post after post comes flowing out of them. Words burst onto the page. It’s very exciting and you get high as a kite on it.
But what goes up up and away… often comes crashing back down to the ground.
At about the 3 month (sometimes sooner, sometimes later) mark many bloggers hit a wall, get writer’s block, run out of steam, fuel, ideas, words… they have nothing left to say, they’ve said it all very quickly in the flurry of posts they wrote while they were high on freedom of self-expression.
Some bloggers begin to slowly ghost their blogs. Others begin to fall into the many pitfalls… those ones which old bloggers may have warned them about but they didn’t listen because they couldn’t see them, that sort of thing wasn’t going to happen to them.
One of the many creative traps lying in wait for bloggers is the popular post.
If one of your posts happens to get the attention of others, gets read a lot, gets many hits, gets the stats to climb up, gets plenty of ‘Likes’, gets shared around social media, gets a lot of comments… it’s great!
Congratulations, you’ve done it, made it! You’re interesting, what you had to say is interesting, people are interested in what you have said, in you, and want more!
However maybe none of your other posts have done as well as that post. Why? What’s wrong with them, why aren’t they interesting?
What was it about that particular post which made it a star, so popular, so liked, so interesting?
How can you write it again and again and again. How can you repeat that performance over and over and over. So that all of your posts get as much attention and acclaim?
There must be a formula, right?
Is it writing what others want to read?
But what if what others want to read isn’t what you want to write about?
What if that one popular post was a fluke? Maybe it was your guaranteed 15 minutes of fame and now that’s it, your time in the spotlight is up and it’s another blogger’s turn.
What if what interests others doesn’t really interest you?
But you want others to be interested in you…
So maybe you should force yourself to feign interest in what interests them, then they’ll have to read what you write, right, because you’re telling the story they want to hear.
This is an interesting post by Max of The Ultimate Psyche on Pointless Overthinking: The One Thing This World Needs More Of
His advice is great, and his About page is hilarious.
His post was interesting, he seems interesting, and so I decided to follow his blog even though after a cursory glance at his blog post titles I rolled my eyes a bit.
He’s using an overused formula – 3 Things which, 4 Ways to, 5 Secrets that, 6 People who – which has been overly recommended for blogging success.
However since his writing seems different from the norm, I took a quick peek behind the titles and he’s definitely doing something different, something which is… well, him being himself and sharing that, which is always interesting.
It doesn’t matter if you think your story is interesting or not, it doesn’t matter if you think you are interesting or not, your purpose in life is to share your story, yourself, however you choose to do it.
It can be through writing, photography, drawing, videos, song, fashion, cooking, parenting, playing, talking, doing, being…
This is a great idea and a great blog which I’ve recently started following, she’s taking a wee holiday break, but her words are still working, telling their stories – Ask A Gen-Xer because nobody ever does
Even if you choose not to tell your story, your story will tell itself through you whether you share yourself or not.
That’s life… the story which tells itself through nature unfolding, evolving, revolving.
But it’s more fun to participate in the telling of our story… that’s one of the things I’ve discovered through blogging.
And that’s one of the reasons I love blogging, there’s so much to discover by doing it.
It’s an interactive adventure.
A while ago I got very angry at someone, a regular reader of my blog, who told me in a comment to take time off blogging to write a book.
They told me I had to do it, that they were not going to accept my answer of “No”, that to them I was making excuses for not doing what they’d decided I should do, and that I was now in their firing line so they were going to nag me until I did it.
Their comment made me wonder if they’d actually read my posts – they’d liked them, commented on them, but… what had they read?
Then I wondered if I was actually saying what I thought I was saying when I wrote my posts.
Even though I write really long posts, I leave a lot out of them – the stuff I think as I write, the stuff I think as I read what I write. I don’t always know what I’ve left out because when re-reading my posts… the blanks get filled in.
But the thing is… even if I wrote down every thought I was having, what people see, hear, when they read your posts is their own story telling itself to them.
The interactive adventure of self-discovery flows both ways!
I shared the quote above with a blogger the other day. This blogger is going through a bit of a blogging life crisis, which made her want to delete her blog.
Most bloggers consider deleting their blogs at some point in their relationship with their blog.
Sometimes you outgrow your blog. Sometimes your blog has become a trap and the only way out is to kill it. Sometimes it’s because you have nothing left to say, you feel like you’ve said it all, and you’re fed up of writing “I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while” posts.
This blog is my third blog – it’s lasted longer than the other two because of reasons I’ve shared in other posts about blogging. Every now and then I get a strong urge to wipe it out – it’s used to me feeling like that now, and just rolls its eyes at me and goes uh-huh, you gotta do what you gotta do.
This particular blogger is having their blogging life crisis due to a challenge I luckily haven’t had to face… with my blog.
In my life from the moment that I was able to tell stories to others with words, that challenge was a major part of my experience, and only through blogging have I learned that it’s okay to tell my story now.
This is one of my most popular posts which tells part of my story about dealing with that kind of a challenge – Being A Child of Narcissists – Breaking the Silence – its popularity is due to it being a life story which is not just mine.
All she did was share her story.
But the fabric of our stories is a tapestry which is interwoven with the stories of others.
People in her RL find out about it and chose to take her story personally and not like it. Not like it so much that they’re pressuring her to delete her story for the sake of their story about what she’s written.
In my opinion she hasn’t written anything bad about others. And, as I said to her, though I’ve only been following her blog and reading her posts for a short while – all of her posts seemed to me to be about her and not about others.
This is Kalliope’s kingdom – Modern Mystic Mother – if you’d like to read her story.
Other people write themselves into our stories about ourselves. Just as we write ourselves into the stories of others about themselves. And we all rather like a bit of drama to liven up our every day lives.
Even when I write about others, I know I’m writing about myself, writing about my side of the story, and chances are if they were the ones writing the story, they’d have a very different side of the story.
Even the simplest shared stories can be vastly different in how we experience and perceive them.
A puddle can look like an ocean to one person, someone else might not see anything there at all for they are looking up, another person might not see the water but a hole in the ground, and a child might see the entrance to a magic wonderland.
The above quote is the one I used as the featured image for this post. I wasn’t looking for that quote when I happened upon it, I was looking for the one by Anne Lamott, but I was being lazy and only put the words – Tell your story – into the search bar.
That laziness shaped the flow of this post today.
And that particular quote synchronised with a thought I had last night and which reminded me of itself this morning when I awoke.
Years ago, when I moved from interest to interest in search of something which would give me purpose, a reason for continuing to live a life which felt as though it only offered suffering…
I stumbled clumsily into Buddhism, not as a religion to join and follow because I didn’t do that sort of thing. I was a practicing loner who knew that they did not belong anywhere, nor did they fit in with any group.
I read The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and other books on the subject (including one book which stressed that Buddha himself saw his philosophy as just him telling his story, and he did not want it to be turned into a religion).
In the jumble of words, imagery and information I was pouring into my mind causing, I latched onto the idea that my purpose in life should be to figure out how to avoid reincarnating.
I’ve always been weird and crazy – you’ll either get it or you won’t, don’t worry if you don’t it’s probably a good sign. I don’t always get it either… that’s part of the fun!
Anyway, in the thought I had last night and this morning… I think I’ve finally figured out how to do it. Whether I’ll actually be able to do it is something I’ll just have to wait and see or not see.
The thought is this – when we tell our story, and all the stories which are a part of our story, we release ourselves from the hold which the story has on us. The story holds onto to us because it has chosen us as its storyteller, but once we’ve shared what it needed and wanted us to share, it lets us go.
If I tell all of my stories…
Thank you for listening to my story with your eyes…
or was it your story you were reading?