The title of this post has a story attached to it. It has several stories attached to it. Do I tell them all, just tell one of them or talk about something else altogether?
If you’d like to make a suggestion about what I should write about in a post, please feel free to share it in the comments. Ask me a question to answer in a post. Give me a creative challenge. Dare me to do something new or different perhaps. It’s up to you!
Story #1: A couple of days ago I used the same title for another post. I didn’t publish that post. I didn’t write anything in that post other than the title and a short intro sentence which simply stated that the title is a question I ask myself when I start a new post.
On that particular day I realised that I wasn’t going to write about anything. I had nothing to say.
Yes, that does happen.
I’ve spent a large portion of my life time being silent, listening to other people talk, reading the words written by others, believing that I had nothing worth saying or worthy enough to be said… which is probably why once the floodgates opened words just keep pouring out.
That day I logged out of WordPress and ended up doing something else with my blogging time. That something else surprised me. I’m still not sure how it happened. I wasn’t going to share it on my blog, but then I did. That surprised me too.
Blogging for me is in many ways all about surprising myself with the stuff I do, say, and share (sometimes while screaming – don’t share that!). The surprises help to change how I experience myself, others, living, and life.
Which brings me to…
Story #2: What Do You Think Makes For A Good Blogging Experience?
That’s a question asked by Rory from A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip in his recent post: What Do You Think ….
Rory mentioned in his post that his partner, Suze, asked him: What made for a good blogger?
He’s mentioned before that Suze has been considering maybe perhaps possibly creating a blog of her own.
In this post – Dear Blog … 17.03 – 10/01/19 – he shares a conversation he had with her about it.
I don’t know Suze, so it’s hard to tell whether she’s really thinking of starting a blog or if she’s just curious about something which takes up a lot of Rory’s time and attention, and is interested in it because he’s passionate about it. Maybe it’s her way of getting to know the person she loves better.
When you’re interested in a person, you tend to become interested in what interests them. If you want to know more about a person, you explore their passions – their passions are also how they get to know themselves better and know more about themselves.
I’m always poking my nose into the stuff my partner gets up to, and asking him lots of questions about it. Sometimes I annoy him with my nosiness.
He does the same with me. He reads my posts sometimes, not all the time though because then I get annoyed with him – Dude, I need my space!
He encouraged me to share that thing I shared the other day. He’s very supportive of my shenanigans. And I’m supportive of his.
One of the questions Suze asked Rory in the Dear Blog post was: So how do l get a readership – why would they read what l have to write?
Story #3: I got into blogging about 7 years ago. My partner gave me Twitter and Facebook accounts one X-Mas because he wanted me to join him on social media.
I used to post images (like the one above) and quotes on my Fb (like the ones below). My niece liked what I did and suggested I join her on Tumblr, create my own blog. So I did.
I didn’t have a plan, goal, or a purpose other than to try things out and see what happened. I was in a leaping off cliffs I would have never leapt off before kind of period of my life.
I didn’t know what I was doing, which was part of the fun of it. I was winging it…
What’s that famous quote…
“If we listened to our intellect we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: “It’s gonna go wrong.” Or “She’s going to hurt me.” Or,”I’ve had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . .” Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”― Ray Bradbury
Which reminds me…
There’s a great blog which investigates famous quotes – Quote Investigator: Jump Off the Cliff and Build Your Wings on the Way Down
I love blogs like that!
Long before I started blogging, I spent a lot of time reading, exploring, discovering and immersing myself in blogs.
I had certain favourites which I regularly visited. I thought what they did was amazing, interesting, fascinating.
It never occurred to me that I could do it too. When my niece suggested I start a blog, I thought the idea was crazy… luckily at the time I was very into acting on crazy ideas without thinking about it and thus talking myself out of it.
I say “luckily” because blogging has been a truly wonderful experience for me.
It’s helped to liberate me from my own restrictions and limitations.
It’s shown me how to free myself from the feeling of being trapped which has been a lifelong issue for me.
It’s given me the ability to move on from the places where I was stuck.
It’s been very healing…
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”
― Josephine Hart, Damage
The quote above was the inspiration for the name of my second Tumblr blog. I deleted my first Tumblr after a couple of months because I felt trapped by it.
I deleted my second Tumblr in 2017 mainly because I no longer felt damaged and dangerous.
This blog, An Upturned Soul, may one day get deleted too. Every now and then I’ve had a strong urge to wipe it out… it’s an old urge which goes way back to a time before internet.
It’s part of my life and self story.
As a child I used to regularly destroy my creations. As an adult I did likewise. I also wanted to do that to myself – wipe myself off the face of the Earth.
Nowadays that urge and that issue aren’t as strong as they used to be, partly thanks to this blog and what it has allowed me to do, say, and experience.
“In order to become whole we must try, in a long process, to discover our own personal truth, a truth that may cause pain before giving us a new sphere of freedom. If we choose instead to content ourselves with intellectual “wisdom,” we will remain in the sphere of illusion and self-deception.”
― Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self
I feel free here to be myself as I am, to share my stories, to make mistakes, to be a mess, and it’s no longer something to fear, feel ashamed about, but something to enjoy and be proud of.
I’ve finally figured out how to accept myself… and that has changed my experience of living and life. I’ve become a happier person… it’s weird as now everyone around me seems happier too.
I’ve also figured out how to come out of my shell and not feel like an ugly slimy slug when I do, but instead I feel like a beautiful glistening slug who leaves an intriguing iridescent trail behind me and I can retrace my steps if I forget how I got from A to Z.
I still don’t have a plan or goal for my blog, but I do have a bit more purpose for doing it.
It’s how I get to know myself better.
It’s how I explore my interests and observe myself doing that.
It’s how I challenge myself, and learn about myself by how I deal with the challenges.
One of the challenges has been interacting with others, with you. It still makes me nervous, but not in the way that it used to.
You’ve all helped me with that.
Everyone I’ve ever met online has helped me with that.
I was terrified of social media before I began participating in it.
I expected it to be yet another place where I didn’t belong and where my not belonging would be made very clear to me.
Yet another place where I wasn’t welcome or wanted, where I would have to deal with both passive-aggressive and openly aggressive hostility from others… basically the same old same old I’d been dealing with since I was a child because I grew up with narcissists whose social circle included other narcissistic people.
I was very tired and bored of dealing with that…
But the people I met on social media surprised me.
And you still keep surprising me.
You surprise me by reading my posts. You surprise me more when you like my posts. You surprise me even more when you comment and share yourselves with me. You surprise me even more than that when you come back for more… of my peculiar mess.
“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.”― A.A. Milne
The quote above sums up my approach to blogging.
I have been through many different phases and stages of blogging.
I did at one time try to think about “readership”, and try to write posts for “my readership” based on which posts were popular and what was shared in the comments… that led to me feeling trapped and wanting to delete my blog.
I was repeating a pattern which has never worked for me unless what I wanted was to feel trapped and want to die to escape the trap.
What works for me is to see my readership as being me.
I write what I want to read… okay, it’s not always what I want to read but it is always what I need to hear myself say, sometimes because it shocks me and makes me take a closer look at myself and some narrative going on inside.
As for what I like to read on blogs…
When I’m the readership, I love it when…
People write about something that interests me which interests them too. When they answer a question I have, and explain how they found the answer. When they offer information which I’ve been seeking or which I didn’t know I’d been seeking. When they introduce me to new ideas. When they give me a gift of inspiration. When they show me something I’ve never seen before.
When I find myself in their words, their story.
When they share themselves as they are.
When they’re weird like me.
And lots of other things… blogging.
I wonder if I answered the questions or if I just created more questions?
That’s it for today…
Over to you… What do you think?