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.
We all have our own voice- as long as we stay true to that, we can tackle whatever subjects we want! 🙂
Shell, you are the best example of that!
What a wonderful revelation you have had! Glad to hear that you found your way back to what is important to you on your journey.
Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted..Weirdness
Revelations don’t happen to often for me, but I was really glad this one did!
This was a beautiful post. I truly enjoyed getting to know you through your voice. And I agree with Shell, we all have our own voice!
And even if it’s resting for a while. It’ll come back!
Andrea recently posted..Needing a kick in the you-know-where.
Thank you so much for your kind words!
Happens to me more than I care to admit! One thing I noticed through blogging and social media is that the inspiration always comes back to me. I used to be scared of five year long droughts (happened once) but now I’m here and committed.
Tamara Camera recently posted..Post For a Winter’s Night.
“… but who I am really writing for is me.” That’s the key, right THERE. It will unlock all the writing doors. Awesome post! 🙂
As soon as I figured that out, all of the pressure melted away! Thanks for the encouragement!
Glad you found your voice again. Mine seems to come and go withough any warning.
Robbie recently posted..Overwhelmed
It is tricky how that happens sometimes? What have you done to find it again? I’m always looking for new tips!
I lose and find mine regularly. I’m learning to simply enjoy the process. I’m happy you found yours again.
Taylor recently posted..If You Can’t Be Nice ~ Be Quiet!
Such an encouraging piece here. It speaks to so many of us even though you directed it at yourself. Each of us has a different angle on an idea or issue…and we also have a unique circle of people who may not be listening to or even know about the other voices that we think have already filled up the space. Glad you didn’t stay quiet for too long. You’re a vital part of our group!
Catching up on your blog! For some reason, I’m not seeing you post links to new entries on FB… Anyway, I took an online writing class too! It just wrapped up two weeks ago and I’ve been trying move from thinking about writing to actually doing it. So easy to make excuses for why I can’t find 15 minutes a day to write. Bad of me! 🙂
[…] from A Cookie Before Dinner poured her heart out while admitting to losing her “voice”. It’s something I think we can all relate […]
Great post. Thank you for sharing and for being honest. I also struggle, wondering about views, readership, other bloggers, my voice…I guess the only thing we can do is write and let the chips fall where they may. Visiting from SITS. Have a great weekend.
I clicked on your post about Mr. G on the Weekend Wander Hop and found this while perusing your site. I LOVE your voice! I’m pinning this so I can re-read it when I’m feeling discouraged about my own writing. Thank you.
Jen recently posted..World Prematurity Day November 17th
I am so glad you found me, and this piece! I think the worst thing that can happen to a blogger is when she/he loses his voice!