Wednesday, August 07, 2013

I'm Back

Here's the thing about blogging. You can use it however you want to use it. Want to establish a platform to sell your book/invention/greatest spaghetti sauce ever made? Blogging is one way to do it. Want to connect with other people with the same interests? It's good for that, too.

It can be full of your boring thoughts and bad jokes and cute, winsome photos that no one will care about reading. It can be rich, evocative posts about writing or raising children or cooking or life - and you can garner a readership of thousands. You can build a community and interact with others as little or as much as you want to.

The bottom line is, it's yours to do with as you want. But if it gets to the point where it's a chore, then it's time to step back.

So that's what I did.

But now I'm back. It's time. I want to reconnect with all of you and share thoughts on writing and parenting and books and movies and life. I want to visit your blogs and see what you've been up to, I want to encourage you and support you, laugh and cry with you, celebrate, grieve, whatever the case may be.

In short, I want to connect.

I blogged awhile ago about the possibility of blogging being a dying social media form. After containing most of my online presence these past few months to Twitter and Facebook (yes, I caved and joined Twitter), I haven't changed my mind about what makes blogging such an incredible way to connect with others. In short, if blogging is dying, it's a shame. But I don't think it is dying - at all.

Don't get me wrong - Twitter and FB have advantages. I've Tweeted history questions to noted WW2 professors on Twitter and received an answer. I've connected with other WW2 enthusiasts and had a great time discussing various aspects of the war. But those are more real-time conversations. They're not the type of conversation where you can take the time to read and re-read, and really absorb what it is that you're reading. If you do that on Twitter, the conversation passes you by, not to mention the fact that you have to limit your responses to 140 characters or less.

With blogging, it's more personal. And I think in this day and age, with rapid response being the go-to function for most of us, we need that personal touch. Blogging provides that.

In the past few days, I've noticed how much I've missed the sense of community I have with my blog. When I'm actively blogging and reading and commenting on other people's blogs, I don't feel so alone in this writing business. I don't feel like I'm in a cave in Antartica. I feel like I'm part of something.

For a long time, I always felt like my blog posts had to be deep, meaningful posts that conveyed some great truth (or attempted to) about writing or life or parenting or whatever. While I *hope* I've had those types of posts in the past, I realize now that I can blog about whatever the heck I want to. My blog, my rules, right? Well, to a certain extent. I'm not in the business of offending people, so I'll continue to keep politics and religion out of my posts unless I feel in the mood to vent/whine/celebrate. Ha!

Right now, I want to just blog just for the sake of blogging, just for the sake of putting my writing out there again. I've suffered a relatively significant blow to my confidence where my writing is concerned, and I've been mentally crippled for the past month or so. I have some good days, but the majority of the time, it's been a non-stop, "I don't have what it takes anymore" repeating in my head.

Not good.

Part of the reason this happened is because I put myself into isolation mode from those who I realize I've grown to treasure a lot - all my blog readers.

So it's time for the walls to come down. Of course, if I'm honest, I have to admit that summer does this to me. I go into isolation mode, rarely venture from the house (too hot) and generally have a foul attitude. But this summer, we've been rather fortunate to escape the really hot temps (in the past, we have clocked in near 110 sometimes) and we've enjoyed a relatively mild summer.

Still, I just don't like summer. I am not a camping/sun bathing/beach/swimming person. Give me the choice between a tropical island and a cottage in Scotland and you know which one I'm going to go for - the cottage every single time.

All this rambling is to say - I'm back to blogging. I plan to post whenever I want on whatever I want. And there's freedom in that. I think I'm going to embrace the freedom.

Autumn is just on the horizon, and I'm looking forward to all that it brings - but most especially, I'm looking forward to the time when my brain decides to turn the mood from "snarky and lazy" to "content and productive."

I can't wait to connect with all of you again.

I'll leave you with this:

Write (and live) with joy, with passion, with intent.



27 comments:

  1. Great point. Whenever I get too tied to a schedule or demand for certain content in blogging, I lose all momentum. Freedom is good. :) I always love reading your posts, so you definitely are using your freedom well!

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    1. Thanks, Faith! I always enjoy reading your blog, too. You have terrific posts. Here's to a blogging revival!

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  2. Hi! I'm visiting from the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Great looking blog!

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    1. Hi Margo! Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad I found that group - I've definitely been feeling extra-insecure lately. Good to know I'm not alone. =)

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  3. Evidently, you have not been visited by the blog police and given a citation for blogging about non-approved content. Right now, they are laughing, "She thinks she can blog about whatever she wants to! We'll show her." I know. I heard them from my holding cell where I spend a lot of time.
    Darn you, Blog Police!

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    1. LOL, Andrew. Yeah, I probably would have been arrested for non-approved content many a time. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. So true, Melissa. For me, the pressure to build a platform, or to blog only for the sake of boosting my profile as An Author, has exhausted me. It almost feels like I can't be fully myself online for fear that it will "dilute" my brand!! And then the speed at which Twitter and Facebook moves increases the chances of a superficial online connection. The need to get back to basics, to forge a genuine connection without the burden of "authordom," so to speak, is why I decided to do that historical week on my personal blog.

    I too experienced some frustrating blows with my writing that made me question my path and doubt I'd made the right choice in choosing to become an author. So you're not alone in the dealing with the emotional fallout of disappointment! I look forward to more of your blog and connecting via blogging. :)

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    1. It IS exhausting, isn't it? I honestly don't know how people keep up. The truth is, most of us don't - something has to give in the end, and my fear is that the writing will be the thing to go. That is what I'm fighting against. The joy of writing is why I got into this whole blogging thing in the first place. I don't want to lose that.

      I need to learn to be more accommodating to those feelings of frustration and despair that are part of the writer's life. If we don't know frustration and despair, we cannot fully appreciate joy and success. =) Looking forward to connecting via blogging (and Twitter and FB) with you, as well, Evangeline. I always enjoy what you post!

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  5. Every blogger falls of the wagon for a while, but most come back. I know have. Like you, I enjoy the community.

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    1. Hi Constance - thanks for stopping by. I think there's a draw to blogging that just isn't available via Twitter and FB. I hope that means blogging is here to stay. :)

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  6. Nothing wrong with a hiatus once in a while. We all take them. ;)

    Welcome to the group! :)
    August co-host and IWSG #110

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    1. Hi Melissa! (Melissa is a cool name, isn't it? LOL). Thanks for the welcome and for stopping by. I'm really looking forward to meeting all of you!

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  7. your last line about writing and living with joy, passion, and intent really resonate with me. thanks for sharing. found you thru IWSG.

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    1. Hi Michelle - Thanks for visiting. I sometimes forget that "joy" part of writing. It gets lost sometimes during those days when the words just won't come, or the rejections pour in. But I think it's so, so important to remember how much we love to write. We can't lose sight of that. :)

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  8. It is so nice to meet you Melissa. I really enjoyed this post. I struggle with what my blog is/should be all the time. I've kind of decided for now it is what it is.
    I LOVE visiting, reading and commenting on all types of blogs. I think you are right, blogs give you a chance to read and re-read and really get a sense of who that person is.
    I hope you have shaken off your recent blow and put it in your rear view...
    I look forward to your future posts.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Doreen, and it is very nice to meet you, as well! I like your decision - it is what it is. There's something very calming about that, I think.

      I'm slowly shaking off those hits to my confidence - I'm realizing it is par for the course and I must accept it. Otherwise, I will be very miserable, indeed. =)

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  9. I'm just glad you're back, my friend! I don't care how we stay connected-just so we do. And I'm sorry about the blow to your confidence-remember when that happened to me a couple months ago? It's not entirely better now, but somehow, we have to find a way around set backs and keep doing what we are meant to do.

    Hugs, sweetie:)

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    1. Dear Valerie. I have missed you. I agree that we need to stay connected no matter what medium we use. :)

      I agree - we need to find a way around those setbacks, need to use them as lessons learned, and keep moving forward.

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  10. Bravo Melissa - I feel inspired. This is why this writers group rocks. I get to meet people like you. A lot of what you said, I would have said myself. This group is all about those confidence dips, those insecure lulls which cripple (if we let them) our creativity. It's part of who I am, and the more writers I know, the more I'm convinced it a writers trait, too. XX

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    1. Hi Shah - thanks for stopping by! I absolutely believe this is a writer's trait - the whole confidence battle. I don't think it ever goes away, even if you become a multi-published or award-winning author. Just one of those things we must accept as graciously as we can, find support from others (so glad I joined this group!), and keep moving forward!

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  11. I think we all have huge confidence crises as writers - I certainly do. And when you get published teh stakes are higher, so it's no easier. That's just part of being a writer. But very glad you're back writing and blogging!

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    1. So true, Sue. The stakes DO get higher after you're published. You have people counting on you to produce a good, solid piece of writing.

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  12. Thanks for visiting my blog - it's good to discover yours - now following :-)

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    1. Hi, Linda! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  13. Nice to see you back blogging Melissa! When I first started my website, I thought I needed to do these in-depth, footnoted to the tee and serious articles. That lasted for MAYBE a month before I realized how quickly I would be burned from it all. I like being able to post something completely random and off the cuff just because I want to and I find it interesting. Lately, I've been embracing the randomness in life and find that it's a heck of a lot easier!

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  14. I know what you mean. I have put my blog on sabbatical since the beginning of the year. I have also been reading blogs less often. One needs space from time to time. I really like the new look of your blog

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  15. I understand completely. I have put writing and even reading blogs on a sabbatical. One needs space from time to time.

    Since I have not visited your site for a while, I say your new blog design today. Very nice!

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