Why You (I) Should Edit Your (My) Blog Posts
The other night I tossed up a post on here and confessed to the fact that I hadn't read it over before hitting Publish. But after I started hearing your feedback on it, I realized that that may have been a mistake... because when I did go back and read it over, I read something different than what I had meant to write.
Before backtracking at all, firstly: I do 100% appreciate all your comments and feedback and encouragement telling me to run my blog however I want, and post whatever I like, because it's my space to do with what I please. I love you all for that! But worry over whether or not I "can" post something different on this type of blog isn't really what I meant.
What I should have said more explicitly is something about the obscene futility of all of this I sometimes feel. Blogging in specific, and writing in general. Which is convenient, because I'm a professional writer. Well, sometimes. And when I'm falling on the wrong side of sometimes—as in, when no one seems to want to hire me to write things—pouring any amount of energy out onto a blog post feels absolutely ridiculous, and my words almost spit back at me: "You're no good at this. No one is giving you jobs because you're a crappy writer, so why are you even bothering?"
The hard balance to strike is where this blog lands cleanly in the middle, reminds me of how happy I can feel when I'm writing but doesn't remind me of every opportunity I'm losing to do it, and doesn't remind me of how I'm wasting opportunities I could be making for myself out of fear and self-doubt.
I didn't say it correctly (because, remember, I'm a crappy writer and shouldn't be bothering at all) but I'm not worried necessarily about what I'm posting here insomuch as I fear it won't be "appropriate" for a lifestyle blog, or that I'll lose readers. But what happens is I get myself into a cycle of thinking that makes me question what is worth saying, posting, writing about. And then I get trapped into thinking that I need to post something worthy of being said at all, and what the hell even is the criteria for that?, and in the process of coming up with something worth saying I talk myself out of saying a damn word.
The beautiful irony here of course is that this nihilistic streak of mine is probably something people can identify with in one way or another, whether it's about blogging or life or anything else, and that by talking about this specifically I could probably accomplish exactly what it is I ever set out to have my words do: connect with someone.
Are you still with me?
Here's another consideration—and this shouldn't apply to you necessarily; I don't project my reasons for or motivations (when they exist) for blogging onto anyone. But I absolutely do not "blog for myself." If I didn't want other people to read what I'm writing here, I wouldn't post it on the internet. I have a journal for that. So blogging "just for me" doesn't exist to me. True, I will never write and post something here for the sake of clicks and pageviews alone or anything like that. But when we talk about personal blogging and using our spaces here to write whatever we want, for me that maybe means something different. Me writing whatever I want means me writing something people care about reading. I'm not here to waste your time—although sometimes I'm absolutely sure I inadvertently do. I'm sorry.
So when I got comments from people encouraging me to blog whatever I want, I felt like I had to be clearer—what I want is to write something that is worth reading. That's worth the time you spend clicking over here and reading and maybe writing a comment in response to, if you're so moved to do so. (Again, the irony of course is that this post and the one it's responding to probably aren't worth your time.) Some days I'm sure I'll hit, and some days I'm positive I'll miss. Some days I'll hit for some of you and miss for others, and vice versa. I get that, and I'm fine with it all.
So the point was and is not to beg you for permission to blog about whatever I want—although I do so appreciate your encouragement. The point is—and here's the realist thing I've said here in a while—a lot of the time, I just don't see the damn point. And when I don't see the damn point here, that's indicative of a lot of negative feelings I have elsewhere, where I don't see the point of anything. Not in a scary way, but in a way that makes me feel defeated. Maybe it's more sad than scary.
And that's what I'm trying to navigate. And what I was trying to navigate Friday night when I penned my letter to you guys. Finding a reason to keep writing and posting and maintaining this space even when I can't see the point, because it's in that continuing—that writing, that digging deep down to the bottom of what I'm experiencing at any given moment by sitting down in front of a keyboard and opening a vein—that the point of anything I do here and anything I do anywhere else eventually finds a way to come clear and make itself known to me, again and finally.