On my mind

I really enjoy reading blogs. There is so much wisdom and vitality to be discovered in the thoughts and stories of others, and I feel so privileged to call a handful of bloggers trusted and kindred spirits. The woman I am today, the journey that has unfolded since I first got serious about my blog more than two years ago, has been moulded and massaged by the experiences I’ve read about and shared in this online world. I’ve cried and laughed because of your honesty. I share your stories with my husband and speak of so many of you as if you were here, in real life, instead of hundreds of miles away. I’ve been humbled by your willingness to share and inspired by the perseverance and love that exists in this online world. Often I’m reminded that without our blogs we may never have found one another and created a community of womanhood and friendship.

This place, my own slice of this interconnected matrix, has evolved and matured on its own, so much so that, in many ways, it has developed a life of its own. It has been my quiet place when I needed it, a shelter and a sounding board. Until recently I was never at a loss for reasons to come here. The words they flowed and ignited and I just allowed myself to be enfolded into their embrace. It was comfortable. It always felt right, and good.

These days, days like today when I am surrounded by quiet and opportunity, when I feel the urge to sit and write— it doesn’t come. I find it very disquieting. The words no longer tumble and fall. The urgency to share fades, even though the desire still festers.

I feel like I’ve said so much, and now I’m just on repeat. And the repeat is good for me, but I’m not so sure it’s so good for this place or for you. Because let’s face it, a blog is for the readers otherwise I’d write in a notebook.

What’s unusual is that I’m not panicked about it. Yes it’s uncomfortable and vaguely worrisome, because I’ve been so incredibly connected to my blog and to those of others, but I feel like this is just a pause.

Or maybe not. I don’t know.

I’ve been mustering enough to write a post a week. Every once in a while I feel a fire in my belly, a need to spill something out. And then I do. But that flame flickers far less frequently. I remind myself often that this was only ever about having an outlet and that because of that I should use only when needed. That it’s okay to release myself from my own expectations, to let this nonsense go.

But I can’t because it matters to me. I want to write. I want to practice. I want to explore my thoughts and describe them with words. I was to share and be vulnerable and make a difference. And this is the place I believe I am meant to be doing it.

So how to charge it up again? How to feed the fire and keep it going. Must I reinvent myself? Or is what I’ve been doing here the right thing? Is this what I should be doing? That, my friends, is what’s on my mind.

I wrote this as part of Heather at The Extraordinary-Ordinary’s Just Write exercise. Head on over if you want to learn and read more.

 

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19 thoughts on “On my mind

  1. Cathy says:

    I haven’t been at this as long as you have nor quite as focused. I only started this so I could contribute to the community – I felt I had stuff worth saying. But as I just wrote, I feel stifled. I am actually pondering setting up a pen name and writing. I need that anonymity to really be free I think.

  2. alimartell says:

    I really write just to write on my site. I love having the platform to use my words, whatever comes out. I have recently started this shift into calling myself a storyteller and am starting to use my site as a place to write my stories. Sometimes they are new stories, and sometimes they are things that happened before I started blogging in 2004. Because of this, I’m always inspired to write—there are so many stories to tell that I want to keep and save and have documented.

    I think, honestly, that what you are doing, if you are happy with it, if it feel good TO YOU, it’s the right thing. 🙂

  3. Kelly says:

    I think this is a natural cycle for bloggers. Take the time, breathe deeply, savor what comes, and then pour yourself back onto this page as often as you need. That’s authenticity. Posting for posting’s sake will devalue this space you’ve carved for yourself.

    • Christine says:

      You are a wise woman, and I’m so glad to call you friend.
      xo

    • Jane says:

      I love what Kelly said. I feel the same way. I’ve been through this cycle myself. Worried about it. And then just given up and decided to write when the keyboard moved me. When you go with the flow, better writing comes from it. That’s what I believe, anyway.

  4. I agree with Kelly; it’s a natural part of the blogging cycle to hit pause every so often. And you have put in an extraordinary amount of work, so it stands to reason (to me, at least) that you need to, shall we say, consolidate your gains periodically. And while you’re doing that, feel proud!

  5. It evolves, I think, this blogging business. As we evolve as people and writers and, specifically, writers of blogs, this slice changes, too. And it’s OK. Sometimes it’s unsettling to me, but I’m glad always to have my little place to come to, the place I’m always humbled to discover that others come to read. My blogging time (writing, reading, discovering anew) is very limited these days. But I love these glimpses I get when I have three minutes to read and respond. Words renew me. And I’m always glad when I read yours.

  6. Sarah says:

    You are well-aware of where I am coming from at this moment, as a blogger. I almost gave it up. I was stifled by expectations and the evolution of the blogosphere. The more people read my blog, the less I felt inclined to post to it.

    For the past year (or so), I have graced my neglected blog with very few posts. Recently, I decided to take it back to where I started and why – when it was fun. It was a place where I could share my thoughts and opinions and if people read it, so be it. Since then, the floodgates have opened and I don’t have time to write everything post brewing in my head.

    Trust yourself. If it feels right, it probably is.

    • Christine says:

      It feels amazing to read the words of the very people who mean most to me in this place and to know that our connection is strong enough that we can leave it and come back to it as needed. It hardly seems possibly that it was through blogging and social media we met. I can’t imagine not having you in my life.

  7. Stacia says:

    I think we all need time away, even from the most precious of spaces. For me, the days when the words won’t come make the ones when they DO all the more special. Happy writing (and resting)!

  8. Christa says:

    Write when you are moved to, rest when you are not – a lesson I am still learning.

    We will all be here…

    XOXO

  9. This is a question I struggle with too. The crux of it for me isn’t so much that I don’t have things I feel compelled to write about, but that I don’t have as much time to visit other bloggers as I used to and I feel guilty not holding up my end of the conversation – if that makes any sense. Like others have commented, blogging ebbs and flows like everything else, but I certainly relate to what you’ve written here. xo

    • Justine says:

      Between you and Kristen, you’ve said everything that’s been on my mind lately. There continues to be a need to write but there’s either no urgency, no time, or no love for the words that come out of me, which explains my many unfinished drafts. I’ve already trimmed my three days a week to one and even then, when I make myself write to make the schedule, it becomes a chore. And we all know what that does to writing.

      As for visiting our friends in the blogosphere, I feel guilty too for scaling back. I miss these voices that were so much a part of my daily life before, even though I’ve never met any of you. I have to take comfort in the fact that because we’ve formed a friendship through our blogs we understand each other’s need for time away.

      Life happens. Priorities shift. And our blogs would naturally reflect these changes. As fellow bloggers and as your friends, Christine, we get that.

  10. Christine, write when you feel the urge. Even if you decide to scrawl lines on a paper napkin or in your journal at home or on your computer. There is no requirement to post or hit publish. Just write. Whenever. Wherever. And enjoy the process.

  11. Only You says:

    I thought you wrote this beautifully. I just went through exactly you’ve described. I couldn’t muster up a blog post for 5 months. What pulled me back was a kind reader who dropped me an email to ask how I was doing. I had also started to miss thinking and writing, so the timing worked. What I was grateful for was that my readers were still more or less there. As Justine said, most people – especially if they’re writers too – will understand. I’d very much rather write a few meaningful posts than to churn out dozens of posts without heart. Hang in there and just do what feels natural and right for you.

    Cecilia

  12. Sarah says:

    I feel you totally and completely.

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