Lately I’ve really felt the pressure to get more readers, host giveaways, to have sponsors, to have a super cute blog done by a designer. I’ve thought about how I could do it, how I could imitate the voice of someone else.
But I realized if I did that, I’d lose my voice. A voice I wasn’t even sure if I had in the first place.
So instead I went silent. And in the process lost my voice anyway.
During this period of quiet I spent a lot of time considering if writing was something I still enjoyed.
I spent a lot of time listening to podcasts from bloggers I really admire- Simple Mom and Joy The Baker & Shutterbean.
Tsh, from Simple Mom recently finished writing a book. In a recent podcast she spoke about writing, ideas, and making them her own. I don’t remember what she said word for word. She was speaking about writing topics and ideas. In a nutshell, she said even though someone else has already written on a topic she hasn’t given her voice to that topic.
BAM. I crawled out of my hole a little.
A day or two later, I listened to a super old podcast from Joy The Baker And Shutterbean where they basically said the same thing. They were talking about what they choose to do when they’ve got a recipe post prepared to publish and see that another blogger published the same recipe first. I loved their answer. Which was that they publish it anyway because their voice and photographs make it unique.
My voice came back with a tiny squeak.
I joined an online writing group. The group is quite large and very diverse. It isn’t made up of bloggers 100%, but also book writers, people who journal, people who write for a newspaper. People.Who.Write. It has been encouraging to hear about their struggles with writer’s block, voice, etc. As it turns out, they’ve all been there before too.
The squeak of my voice got a little louder when I realized I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
I thought a lot about who I am as a person outside of wife, mother, and friend. I realized I’m a connector. If someone has a need or issue, I want to help in any way I can. I’m the first to sign up when the meal train email comes. Need someone to watch to hold your newborn so you can shower? I’ll be there at 10:00!If you need advice or an opinion, I’ve got one. Need a mechanic? I know a guy who knows a guy. You get the idea.
The thought of not telling my story made me heartsick. I’m still not sure that I’m a writer. But there isn’t a day that goes by where I’m jotting down a memory or freezing a moment in time with a photo. I can’t have one without the other. I can’t always tell my story without showing it. And I can’t always show my story without writing about it.
It took several days, but I realized my voice is “yeah, me too.” I do real. I don’t know how to be anything but authentic. I want to share my good days and my bad. And everything that is in between, including my mountain of laundry and dirty dishes piled in the sink.
The best thing that came out of this process is that I don’t care about all of the things that I thought mattered before. I wrote long before the internet was invented. I love my readers, but who I’m really writing for is me. Anything that comes from it is a bonus.
I’m linking up today with Things I Can’t Say. Thanks Shell for giving me a space to dig deep and pour my heart out.