Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cool story, bro.

Clicking through the Shine website, which happens to be one of my favorite ways of killing time by pretending I want to make an effort to manage my life better, I stumbled across this article called "10 Questions That Have No Right To Go Away." I guess Oprah's website really is everywhere, and sometimes she can be a real asshole.

Who does this poet/writer David Whyte think he is, making me think like this? Although really some of those questions are just reminders for me to keep doing what I'm doing, since I have already made an effort to live my life as an answer to them. (I feel like that sounded more wanna-be-profound than intended.) But the questions from the article are definitely valid, and inspiring (if written a little douchenozzle-y at times), and made me think. *shudder*

For instance, the second question prompted this blog post. As soon as I read the question "What can I be wholehearted about?" and the note that sometimes we do what we do because it's what works for others. But until we come to grips with what we are truly wanting, we're always going to feel awkward about our own abilities.

I love writing. I have since I was a kid, and although I was never going to win any awards for it, I was decent at it. But I enjoyed it, and I never tried to write like some of my favorite writers because I knew I was not in the same class. Or school, town, county, state, country, or universe, for that matter. And that's not me fishing for false compliments, that is total honesty. I was never really good at writing fiction; I preferred to write about my own life and thoughts and experiences because that's what I know. And still, more often than not when telling stories in public I get the strong feeling that those around me are just too polite to say what they're really thinking: the sarcastic "Cool story, bro. You should tell it again." This is why I prefer writing... I can edit for relevance. (I mean, I'm still not very successful at it, but the possibility is there even if I ignore it. These past few sentences, for example? Totally unnecessary and irrelevant to the point I'm making. Yet they're staying.  Ahem.)

I wish I had the audience some of my favorite bloggers do. I wish I had the time and space to write on here like I want to. I wish I had more ideas about what to write. I wish I had maintained my anonymity so that I could be more honest about some of my issues and gripes and history without worrying about hurting someone's feelings. I wish I was as funny or as off-beat or as whatever as some of my favorite bloggers, who either are parents, have a neat job or hobby, or are simply amazing writers. I wish I was as good at branding and advertising my stuff on all the available sites. I wish I had the skills they do.

But I don't, I didn't, and I'm not. And that question from the article reminded me of that. I am not one of those writers. I am not one of those bloggers. I am me, and my style is my own, however uninteresting and rambly that may be at times. I'm not at a super-happy time in my life, what with the massive employment shifts, the constant battle with depression, the flooded house, and living with the in-laws. The first two events are what led me to start this blog, so I knew that there would be a lot of not-happy posts. I know that an audience doesn't appear out of nowhere, that it takes a lot of time and effort to build one up.  At this point in my life I have a lot of trouble putting all that time and effort into this.

So what can I be wholehearted about? I can wholeheartedly write about what matters to me, whether it's a rant, a story about something funny or shocking or sad that happened, something about my cats or The Hubby (although I limit what I write about him, per his request) or that thing I saw/read in that book/article or on that website, or if I just need the writing space to express the way life and my brain chemistry just kicks my ass sometimes. I don't have to write like they do or about the things that they do (although they frequently inspire me to push myself!). I know I'll be more comfortable with myself and stop worrying if anyone's reading once I stop trying to write like someone else.

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