November is the month for #bloglikecrazy, a blogging challenge created by the wonderful Javacia Harris Bowser. It is simply a commitment to publish a blog post every day during the month of November. For most of us, that is way harder than it sounds. There is a terrific network of support from Javacia and the members of See Jane Write, and of course, from the regular followers of my blog.
My problem with daily blogging is perfectionism. I want every post to be awesome, but honestly, I don’t have awesome things to say every day. My life is pretty small right now, and I like it like that. I don’t have an exciting career, my sons are grown, I’m not currently embroiled in local political controversy, so I worry that I will bore my readers to death.
Some folks criticize bloggers for being self-absorbed, and it is not completely undeserved. I would like to write impeccably researched posts about current events and history and feminism, but that is not what my blog is. My blog is deeply personal. My intention is to open myself up through my writing – to be honest and sincere, to commit memories to writing, to hopefully connect with readers, and above all else, to write well.
So, I accept the challenge to write and publish every day this month. Not every post will be a home run, but I hope that they make someone smile, or inspire someone to push themselves a little, or just to get through the day knowing that they are enough.
Not really. Not a bad mood. Just the perpetual anxiety of living in the US with Donald Trump as President. It has been long enough that I have given up hope that it is a bad dream. So I retreated into the world I have a little bit of control over. I cleaned out my closet and conducted a brutal purge of my wardrobe. Same with the hall linen closet. Don’t laugh, I am really proud of these tiny accomplishments.
My writing has really taken a hit. Something about fearing the end of American democracy is bad for one’s creativity. My daily writing is not blog-worthy. It’s more like primal scream therapy, with a keyboard.
I turn 60 years old on August 4. I’ve been feeling very restless lately. I want to travel, to make things, to interact with new people, to learn a new skill, to start a new project. (Or ten.) It is hard to put my finger on exactly what I want. I spend a lot of time planning trips. Then I line up the excuses why I can’t take those trips right now. I have a list of 100 books I want to read.
What is this restlessness? It feels like I am racing against time; as if the things I can do with my life are whittling down as I get older.
And this is true, I guess. There are only so many books I can read, only so many places I can travel. So in addition to the restless feeling, I feel frozen in space. I can see so many possibilities, but I am not reaching out for them.
At 60, is it too late to reach for a bigger life? Am I too old to travel alone? Am I too old to write a book? Do I have the stamina to do what it takes to build an audience for my blog?
My gut tells me that of course it is not too late. There are dozens of stories of people who found success in their last third of life. I have the freedom. Do I have the will?
Writing is my one real talent. I have played at several careers, but writing is the thing that gives me joy. It isn’t easy, but it is always satisfying. Words on paper, rolling into sentences and paragraphs and pages. I love them.
I blog for myself, although having an audience is amazing. My blog entries are the result of taking my thoughts and feelings out and putting them into words and sculpting those words into something hopefully readable and meaningful and maybe entertaining. I resolve not to worry so much about my themes, or my categories, or what readers “expect” my blog to be about. Today, it is about turning uncertainty and timidness into courage and action. I am a (soon to be) 60-year-old woman who wants, still, to do magical things in this life and write about them.
I have many heroes, and reading their writings, or speaking with them, or seeing them interviewed has been very important to me, especially since the election.
It occurred to me recently that it is important to tell people that their good work means something to me, specifically. Some of my heroes have gained recognition for their work, some have not. Either way, I want to let them know that they inspire me and lift me up.
So, I am starting a project to write a letter every day or so to a hero who has inspired me to do better, to give more, and to keeping fighting for a better world.
My first letter went to Jimmy Carter. He has been a hero of mine for a long time. I cast my first vote for President for him in 1976, in an old fashioned lever-pull voting machine in a country store in Red Hill, Alabama.
I am not going to publish my letters, but I will keep a list on this blog of who I write.
Writing creates a certain connection with the world that I often can’t attain in person. Even with my closest friends and family, there are still some walls that remain. Maybe this is a personal failing of mine, but I keep certain beliefs and desires and dreams behind the wall because they are too tender to hand over to others – especially the others who I love and respect the most.
When I write, and publish my writing on my blog, I tear down the wall and become my most honest, authentic self. I often have a moment of anxiety before I click that “Publish” button, because I am putting my heart out there, defenseless, to those who know me well, family members, those who know me only by reputation, and also strangers.
I blog because there is a certain exhilaration in writing and publishing on honest, heartfelt topics. Love me, hate me, be indifferent – this is who I am. When I write, I have the freedom to be real. This is why I want to “Blog Like Crazy.”
I don’t think I’ve ever been so writer’s blocked in my life.
Since I wrote that first line, I’ve gotten up three times. Good grief.
I can’t imagine any topic more dull than someone writing about how much trouble they are having writing.
I have interesting topics. I just can’t write them. One is about my son’s upcoming trip to study this summer in Paris, and how freaked out I am that he is going to travel alone to a huge city where he will have to figure out public transportation, money, getting to the University every day, keeping up with his stuff, and figuring out where to wash his clothes. Continue reading “This Blog Needs an Enema”→
Before I begin, here’s a BIG DISCLAIMER: this is not a cry for help, or a RED FLAG, or a whine for pity. This is just me relating through writing, my latest stumble, my glitch, my little detour off the rails.
Maybe someone reading this will say, “Oh, my gosh – ME TOO!” Maybe not. But I think those of us who live with some forms of mental illness, like depression or anxiety, or with brain differences that challenge us, like ADHD or dyslexia, must all go through these times when we just get tired of holding it together, exhausted from checking and rebuilding that scaffolding that holds up our lives. We get tired of making sure our medication is filled, and our responsibilities are all logged on our calendars with multiple reminders. We stumble, and stuff starts falling through the cracks. Continue reading “I can’t BRAIN today.”→
Thanks to a couple of really good meta posts this month, I started to contemplate exactly what it is the writers are doing with the characters of my favorite show. I was one of those who defaulted to the position that maybe the writers didn’t know and love Sam and Dean the way I did, and, you know, HOW can they make them do things that are so BAD??? But some very thoughtful writers made me think about it a different way. Continue reading “TV Meta: Supernatural and character flaws through 9.09”→