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.

Comments

  1. I think it's a fine line between writing and engaging readers and it being all Dear Diary... I know I certainly have issues with that. And like you said, it's a judgment call on "what's the point?" I pretty much say that to myself every day about whether I should write a post or not.

    In my own way, I struggle with this as my blog has been a shell the last few months. It bothers me but I don't feel as though I have anything WORTHY of writing about going on. Quality over quantity and all that. I mean, does anyone really want to hear about how I'm looking at apartments all day (also IRL people read and that cat can't be let out yet), or that I look at vacays all day willing myself to hit purchase; or that running a business while working a day job is kind of difficult? Probably not.

    And if I'm totally off base with my content, my B. But that's what I took from it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. i totally get the part about posting one thing and people reading another, lol. i wrote a post a year or more ago about what is the point in blogging, and it wasn't a poor me or i'm quitting, but a lot of people saw it that way. sometimes it's hard to read things the way people meant to have them come across, which is the trouble with the written word. i also understand your what is the point thing as well.. though i can't imagine how hard it is to blog and be a writer, when the job part is not working as well as you'd like. but that doesn't mean you aren't an amazing writer, i know you are, and screw the idiots who don't want to hire you, they are idiots. sometimes it's hard to come to your blog and will yourself to write something when things in real life aren't working as well as you'd like.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had to laugh at this because this has happened to me so many times - what I think I wrote and what people get from reading it are two TOTALLY different things. I know as soon as the first comment hits that I miss the mark. Then I'm all F - U - C - you know.

    I don't think I ever question if something is worthy of space or not...space is limitless on the internet.

    I write for my job, and it is sometimes hard to create content and be on point there all day every day because I'm paid to and then go to my blog space and be on point there. That's why my blog is a lot more like a dumping ground and the poetic type of musings I initially envisioned when I started are more the rarity than the rule. I can't do it all and I need to do it more where I'm getting paid to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is so well said and I think more bloggers struggle with this than we all see. We try to get points across and we try to be personal but in all reality we still want someone to read what we have to say and get something out of it. Just as in anything written to be spoken to someone (does that even make sense?) miscommunication happens and sometimes people read something in a different tone. I think you're doing a great job either way :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. To say that I blog solely for me is a lie. I blog because I feel compelled to write and one of the parts of blogging that keeps me doing it is knowing that sometimes what I write resonates and helps people with something they're going through. To make them feel less alone than I feel. And, the validation through comments and tweets and shares is nice, too.

    And if it helps, I don't see the point in it most of the time. Except for the fact that blogging makes me feel happy so that's as good a reason as any.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I get what you are saying about people taking what you wrote a different way than what it was intended for. We have all been there I think. I also blog because I want someone to read what I wrote and it resonate with them, motivate them, make them laugh, or whatever the point of my post was to do. I'm with Jana on blogging making me happy and that is the reason for most of my posts.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You've got me thinking more... I'm not sure I've really thought much about "why" I blog. I think that shows A LOT with my randomness. I think that "blog for myself" comment certainly gets used quite a bit. I may even be guilty of using it. But, now, I totally agree with you...if it was just for myself, I could journal, and not post on the crazy world wide web. Hmmmm...I have a feeling I'll need to read and digest this post several times. It does have my mind churning.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What I emailed you still stands, but I'm glad you clarified even more with this post. I can't imagine how hard it must be to write for a living and for personal projects AND just for yourself. I don't have to write a lot in my day-to-day and I still have a hard time getting words on paper (or computer screen, as it were) so really, I just can't imagine. And given how hard of a time you've had lately just getting opportunities to write professionally (which I don't get at all because if I ever needed anyone to write anything, you would be my go-to person and it's not even because I like you :P)), I'm sure that does make it even harder to show up here, and make you question what the point even is.
    I do think I get what you're saying though, and do still think I've been going through something similar (even if the reasons aren't necessarily the same). I don't "blog for me" either, like that's the reason I don't do weekend recaps and stuff, you know? There are definitely moments, both big and small, that I want to remember, and sometimes I write about those moments knowing there's a good chance I'm the only one who cares about them, but at the same time I have to have *some* reason for sharing them publicly, you know? Like if it's a race recap I think hm, maybe someone will be inspired by this or stumble upon it looking for some useful info about this specific race, or whatever. Or even if it's a post full of feelings, I think hm, maybe someone can relate to what I'm going through and find some comfort through my words. I don't know, I mean there is definitely some level of wanting it to impact at least one person because otherwise I'd just keep a personal journal and call it a day. But more often than not I just end up feeling like whatever I want to say is pointless and useless and I end up not saying it.
    I'm not really sure what the point here is either, except to say that I love you and I hope you can work through some of these feelings, and I hope that writing is helping you do that.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you. Please make sure your settings let me reply to your comment by email.