Searching for My Stride

047

Forget about having an identity crises and get some identity capital.
Do something that adds value to who you are.
Do something that’s an investment in who you might be next.
– Meg Jay

I’ve been absent. Not just from my blog but from my WordPress Reader, my computer, and the world wide web in general. I had that “too much” feeling. So I did what I do instinctively: I backed off. I took a break. I needed to look at my life from a different perspective. I don’t like admitting that I feel overwhelmed. To me, it means I didn’t plan well enough or research enough before I started. It means I admit to being in over my head. And to admit that offends my pride. Deeply.

Maybe I got tired of taking pictures of my outfits. Maybe I felt like I was letting people down if I didn’t respond to each comment. I’ve broken all the main “rules” of successful blogging. Consistency? Fail. Specific niche? Nope. Quick, thoughtful reply to every comment? Uh uh. Then there are all the lovely awards I’ve been given and have yet to “accept” with a post and my own nominations…

I feel all tangled up in blogginess. In my writing and my life and my house full of extra stuff, I long for simplicity. But simplicity isn’t simple. Perhaps that is an obtuse view. Perhaps I have an overly-romantic view of living a simpler life. And underneath it all is a deeper hunger: to write. To just let the music of my soul pour out into words. That the few people who read this would have a little more sunshine. That the tiny space I’ve cleared in this cold, chaotic universe would hold enough light to warm a heart and start a fire somewhere else.

But something holds me back. I hesitate. I wait.

I do write but I wonder if my Eliza Doolittle literary ways shine through. Though in “real life” I do not have a low class accent, I wonder if my writing does. I’m so often careless and overly wordy. I lack formal education. I lack that sense of confidence that I believe “real” writers have. And yet I keep writing.

I’m so close to something new. Something really exciting. I can feel the heat of it near me. And I have no idea what it is.

I’m not fishing for compliments or “hang in there” sentiments. Sincerely, I’m not. I’m seeking wisdom. Advice. Random words of experience. Blogging is such a different beast. Sometimes, I spend all of my writing time catching up on comments. It overwhelms me. Do you feel this way? Why do you blog? What do you blog about? Do you love writing? How do you get in your writing and keep up with your comments and keep up with your everyday life?

This week, I start training for my first half marathon. From what I understand, it’s a different kind of training. I have to know things about myself and running that I did not really need to know for a 5 or 10K. It is where I am in my life – ready to raise the bar, intimidated by the possibility of failure, and utterly surrendered to the process of growth. I’m searching for my stride…

Thank you. Thank you for stopping by. Thank you so much for reading my words. Thank you for whatever kind thoughts you send my way. Thank you for being a writer. I wish you joy and clarity and love. So much that you have to share it all the time, wherever you go.

Cheers,
G

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10 comments

  1. Simplicity isn’t simple. Truer words were never spoken.

    I have missed your writing, which I feel is neither careless nor overly wordy. (Okay, sometimes a little wordy — but that is the pot (me) calling the kettle (you), black.) And as for you sounding low-classy, absolutely not. You are thought-provoking and beautifully real.

    I think the fact that you have angst is what makes your writing special. Real writers have angst. Don’t they?…

    It’s funny, you know, that when I write a post where I feel I’ve poured my guts out, I get limited engagement in the comments. Those lovely bloggers who I’m ‘closest’ to take the time to comment, but for the most part these posts aren’t as ‘popular’ from a # of vistors, # of comments, # of likes perspective.

    By comparison, when I share something silly, or just plain drivel (and I’m absolutely tuned in and self-aware that many of my posts are complete drivel), I get a ridiculous # of visits/likes/etc. It blows my mind. Every single time.

    I wonder, is it because as a society we are so A.D.D.? Is it too much work to take in words that have meaning behind them?

    I’m so glad you feel something great bubbling up around you — and I’m sure you will find your stride, and shine brighter than ever.

    1. Thank you, Nancy. Your blog and your comments keep me going. In such a short time, you’ve made such a huge impression on me and I’m forever grateful for you encouragement.

      What’s funny (to me) is that sometimes, I’d like the new readers (and likers and commenters) to slow down. I feel so compelled to respond (and shame when I don’t). Total irony? I got a lot of “likes” and new followers from this post…a post about feeling overwhelmed by trying to keep up with blogging. Go figure!

      I’ve pretty much pushed through the “funk” that pushed me to write this but I’ve slowed down and I’m making some choices about how much time I spend reading (and WHO I read) versus how much time I spend writing in the world of blogging. I’ve actually “unfollowed” a few blogs that weren’t adding any value to my life. It feels good to move forward with simplicity in mind.

      It’s like I’ve turned around a corner somehow. Thank you for holding my hand through the process…

      1. Yes, I think you have to prioritise a bit. The good news is you already have the tools for this as you do it all the time in real life. You have your good friends, your friends, your acquaintances, and some also have those they are obligated towards even though they don’t enjoy it. It’s the same online – the work is in transferring the skills you have in real life to the online world, which has some differences in terms of feedback and navigation, but to my mind is largely the same.

        If you can give me any tips on real-life social skills I’d be much obliged. That’s the part I always get confused about 😉

  2. There is only one rule of successful blogging: be genuine to yourself.

    I once heard someone say “blog sustainably” – about a range of things you can keep writing about; posts which add value at least to your life (and perhaps, especially if it’s one of your goals, the lives of others – but it has to be your life first, or you won’t make it), which doesn’t tangle you up in lies or exhausting dramas or other rubbish.

    It’s not necessarily the fastest way to get more pageviews, but the idea is to play the long game. Same with minimalism, I guess 😉

    And of course, you have to define your own goals and endpoints and not just get swept up in number of likes – which might not be a good measure for what you’re trying to achieve (although for some, it is).

    As for writing, I’ve never thought of your writing as low-class. From a writing perspective, I’m not even sure what that means (although I do recognise some writing as better-crafted). There’s as much talent in writing “plain English” as there is in writing three dollar words – sometimes more. As for wordiness, we suffer the same (how long is this comment now?) You should see how long my posts are before I ruthlessly edit them – and they’re still too long. No doubt practice and thoughtful review helps all writers improve.

    Blog sustainably. Play the long game. Be the master of your online presence, not the other way around. That’s my advice – but I’ll admit it’s easier to dish out than adhere to 🙂 .

    1. I needed this. Thank you. Your advice is gold to me – especially since I have such high regard for your blog, your writing, and your way of looking at the world.

      I am so tempted to write a mile-long response here. But I really do want to say more with less, so I won’t write a book of a response.

      Please just know that I have read your words often and will read them again every time I hit the wall of doubt. I am encouraged to be me more than ever. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my searching little heart. You are a treasure.

  3. Hi Ginny…. You have such a nice way of putting into words what many of us feel–and that’s why I follow your posts. There is probably not one blogger or writer out here who hasn’t had thoughts like these before.

    The real question is what do you do with them? We all have critics, we all have excuses, we all have doubts…. It’s what happens next that matters.

    Can you stick it out and just work through the pain? I think that your jogging story is going to be similar. Is it important enough to you? Will you let your doubts stop you? Are you doing it for reasons that are unsustainable to begin with?

    I guess what I’m saying 🙂 is that these thoughts aren’t really unique…we all have them. What makes you unique and special is your voice and your commitments to putting those words to paper/screen and letting us ride along with them. The choice is ALWAYS yours.

    I hope you stick with it…. ~Kathy

  4. Thank you for your challenging questions and loving encouragement, Kathy. I’ve read your words countless times. The line that comes back to me again and again is “The choice is ALWAYS yours.” I choose to keep writing. Not so thousands of people can read it. But so I can connect with people like you.

    I still believe that I’m on the verge of something spectacular in my life. But there are questions I need to face first. And I’m okay with that.

    Thank you again for taking the time to respond to this. So much wisdom. I’m eternally grateful…

  5. I think overwhelm is very common and many of us would benefit from being underwhelmed enough to actually get bored enough to then take inspired action.

    You’re writing is fabulously you & never bother yourself about replying or writing to a schedule. Write when you fancy it. Post when you feel it. If we’d all paid you to write 500 words every week, by all means write to a schedule but we don’t. It’s a beautiful expression of you that you share with the world, freely, and therefore completely on your terms.

    Rock on!! & just so you know… I love love love the quote at the beginning,xx

    1. Got a little choked up over this comment. I thought I had “moved on” from this post. Not true. I needed the words you shared. So precious to me. I appreciate that you took the time to shine this light into my world. You are so right. “Completely on my terms”. Reminds me of B’s comment when she said to “be the master of [my] online presence.” I’m so wealthy in encouragement and truth and love.

      I love your blog. I always connect to the things you say and I’m honestly honored that you would stop by, read my ramblings, and leave such golden advice. Thank you. Thank you so much.

      Cheers!

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