Hmmm, my last blog post sucked a bit. It did though, didn’t it? If I’m honest, it’s the reason I’ve not posted again until now. Chris asked me to read it to him and, in doing so, I became so bored with my own words that I could barely bring myself to finish. My voice faltered as I struggled to embody its unfamiliar ‘voice’ that reeled off various ‘interesting newt-based factoids’ and complex techy descriptions (well, newt traps are hardly techy but you know what I mean). I felt really disillusioned.
“Oh God I’m so rubbish at writing. Aaaagh, woe is me, I can never write again. Sob, I’m unable to engage the reader’s interest – what a pathetic excuse for a human being I am. What’s the point of it all?” Etc etc…
(There may be a teeny amount of exaggeration here, although such mind-leaps are not unheard of at a certain ‘dark point of the month’ if you know what I mean, ladies – and long-suffering men…)
Once the horror of having put ‘out there’ a post of which I am not proud subsided (I refused to delete it though – that would be ‘cheating’ according to my self-appointed and rather amorphous code of blog ethics), I began to ponder what exactly had happened, as is my wont.
Well, I think a couple of things happened, which I shall try and summarise below:
- I was really tired, after newting late at night and early the next morning, and found myself engaging in blogging with a determined ‘you will finish this post this morning’ mindset, when it was clearly the Wrong Time.
- I was trying to be the ‘informative ecologist’, which is just not me. I’m terrible with facts – I always limp in near the back in the legendary May family Boxing Day quiz. Don’t get me wrong, I know my ecology stuff. But it’s just not in my nature to seek out, absorb and communicate to others factual knowledge. That is far too ‘concrete’ for me. I can do it when required, but in more of an editorial way (i.e. with a concerted effort to tailor my writing for a particular audience). I naturally deal more with the grey areas of life – obtuse takes on the seemingly ordinary and much probing into what makes people tick and what’s going on with this crazy world. Pondering the answers to the big, existential questions and subjective musings on life’s mysteries – that’s when my writing and creative thought process are at their best. I’m drawn to the unseen, the subtexts, the spaces between.
As I was lying in savasana after a fab yoga session yesterday, I found myself thinking further on this. Why had I shifted my ‘voice’? (Yes, I know I should have been mindfully in the present moment rather than following my thoughts but, hey, that’s sooo hard to pull off and I’m still working on it…)
I came to the conclusion that I was trying to be someone else in order to please others and be judged well – an old chestnut for me. When re-starting the blog recently, I questioned what its purpose was, and came to the conclusion that I needed to provide more ‘facts’ to keep people’s interest. It seemed that other people’s blogs provided more useful information or had a stronger theme, and were definitely less full of random whimsical wordiness. However, by doing so I compromised who I was. This blog is, for me, completely self-absorbed – how can a personal blog be anything else? And I’m OK with that. It’s a platform for me to explore my creative thoughts and writing style and, yes, find my voice. And it’s worked – I know I’m being true to myself when the writing just flows. And I know I’m not being true to myself when I struggle to re-read my words without squirming…
The blog also provides a challenge for me to unapologetically put my thoughts out there, which is something I have struggled with throughout my life. I’ve previously been so wrapped up in worrying how others will judge me and trying to please everyone (hint – IMPOSSIBLE!) that my own thoughts have lain dormant to the point where I just didn’t hear them and, if I did, then I definitely didn’t trust them. It didn’t matter what ‘I’ thought – as long as everyone else was happy. And a little word of caution – that path leads to very dark times. How can you love yourself if you don’t know who you are? That was the realisation I came to in the end, as I wailed ‘Who am I?’ to the night sky in a belated charicature of teenaged angst (interestingly, I never had a teenage rebellion phase – perhaps that was the problem). Eventually I had to ‘find myself’ by going to the other side of the world, feeling like a big, hopeless cliché of modern life.
Soooo, basically, what I am building up to saying in my usual over-wordy way, is that I intend to continue to use this blog to unashamedly be who I am. Yes, it means very few people will ever get to the end of my posts and yes, it frightens me to do so and yes, it’s a struggle to understand what I’m giving to others with this approach… But what I hope I’m giving is honesty, my personal truth, and my own candid take on life. There’s a lot of bullshit in this world, and it’s rare to find unsullied truth. When you do, you know it. It shines with a pure beauty. I am not saying I’ll achieve this – it is nigh impossible to be completely honest with yourself most of the time, yet alone with others – we all hide the parts of ourselves that we fear. That’s why there’s such liberation in exposing these parts first to yourself and then to your loved ones – but that’s for another post. But I will try and reveal as much as I can. I need to – I’ve come to see that it’s part of my own healing and development. To be strong in my own convictions, even though my own conviction is usually that people need to be less narrow-minded and immovable in their own convictions! (You see, even making that statement scares me, in case I’m struck off someone’s Christmas card list for being so opinionated – I’ve got a looong way to go…!)
So no more will I hide what I really want to write about and say, for fear of being judged. People are always going to judge you – it’s IMPOSSIBLE to please everyone and for every person that rates you, another person hates you (I just made that little rhyme up – I like it!). Understanding and accepting this has been one of my biggest developmental boons. Also, very few people read my blog anyway, so my self-absorbed ramblings will mostly go unchecked – hurrah!
Anyone still with me? If so, I will bake you some flapjacks, you’re a star… 🙂
PS The further through this post I got, the more the writing flowed, rapid and unstoppable – a sure sign I’m on the right creative path!