So far I have written two different versions of this blog post. In one I am optimistic. I explain what I have been up to these last five months and my sincere desire to begin daily posts again. Then there is the other version.
This second version is darker. I tell you how nothing has changed and see no hope of things ever changing. I tell you that even if I could commit to posting something every day it would be pointless. Nothing I say matters because there are hundreds if not thousands of people blogging out there saying the same thing as me; only better and with graphics.
So where does this leave us? You and me, dear reader? Where can we go from here?
It brings me back to when I first began blogging. I was studying whatever I could get my hands on. Which, well, there is an over abundance of blogs that want to tell you how to blog, which is an entirely different rant. Anyway, my point, one of the things these how-to gurus talked about was “knowing your audience.” Who are you writing for? What sort of people do you want to read your blog and what can you help them solve? That was a big one, finding something that other people want or want you to fix for them. I filled out questionnaires that asked things like, how much money does your audience make? What do they do for fun? What kind of jobs do they have? What is something they wish they could do? The only thing I learned by filling out these questionnaires was that I did not have a clue to any of the answers.
Who was I writing for? Housewives? Business men? Retired folks? College students? Moms? Doctors? Scientists? Health nuts? Geeks? Freaks? Camp counselors? Broke artists? Lonely teenagers? Bored rich kids? WHOOOOOO?
I didn’t know. I could take stabs in the dark. Wild guesses about the kind of people who would enjoy my writing. But then, how would they find me? And what did I have that they might want?
Then I had a thought. I pictured myself as an antsy teenager, full of pain and hormones and huge dreams. I thought back to all the people I looked up to, my heroes at the time. How I idolized them. How I worshiped them. How badly I wanted to be them. And then I thought about the fact I am the age now of those heroes I had then. And then it finally dawned on me; I am my audience.
Me, just me. The me I was as a teenager, the me I was as a completely irresponsible twenty-something, the me I was when I was a new mom, the me I was in a failing marriage, the me I am now, and the me I will become. I want to write to myself. I want to write what I would enjoy reading. I want to find out the things I need to learn, and write about them.
This was a breakthrough moment for me. It was at this point I veered away from just talking about working out and more about my mental health. And you know what? I felt good. I wasn’t having any more trouble coming up with content. I would just start with a journal entry, something I would write anyway. I would pick a part to expand on, I would clean it up and stick a photo to it and bam, a daily blog post was born. And I was feeling pretty good about that. People were connecting to some of the things I was saying. And I was getting a lot out of the daily accountability to myself. Of course I was still struggling with anxiety and sometimes not being able to get out of bed. But I was producing something I believed in, something I enjoyed reading, everyday.
Then it was Christmas. Then suddenly my boys and I were moving and my relationship was ending. And finally when all the dust had begun to settle and wounds were starting to heal and life in general was going back to normal.…the pandemic happened.
And now it’s been five months and I don’t know how to start writing again.
I have completely forgotten how to think or even start a sentence. I am so scared that what I say sounds silly compared to everything else out there for people to read. I am so scared that I sound like an uneducated amateur with no networking skills and no clue how to market myself. And you know why those things scare me? Because they are true.. But I guess if I can see that and accept that, then I have nothing to lose by trying. I can only get better, right? One can dream.
So which side do I show you? My inner gothic or my inner cheerleader?
The gothic still doesn’t see the point of trying. I recognize there are so many more people out there better than me at everything. However the cheerleader will commit to posting daily anyway. Because in the end, posting daily made me feel good. And I am writing ultimately for myself so…
I have never been one to enjoy what everyone else enjoys. So maybe there are other people out there like me. People who can see themselves in the things I say. Even if I don’t say them the loudest or the smartest or with the coolest visual graphics to go along. Maybe my words will find those outsiders and we can connect and be outsiders together. You know, we are not alone. I get it. It sucks a lot, and I get it.
I guess something like that will just have to do.