I've Got to Be Me!
Mrs. Write Right, Word Therapist was recently featured on Freelance Writing for Nonprofits— thanks to Kivi Leroux Miller for featuring me! She had lots of nice things to say, but her one criticism brought out some concerns that I’ve been mulling over for quite some time.
This brings me to the question: What am I doing here with this blog?
I think Ms. Leroux Miller is right– I need to define what my blog is about. On one hand, it is a place for me to vent and just write. On the other hand, people are also sharing how my posts have helped them. Succinctly, when I purposefully try to post helpful information, I get stressed and feel pressure to compete with the hundreds of other writing blogs out there. In the end I usually introvert and post infrequently for a while. This does nothing positive for my readers or for me. However, when I just let my passion for writing flow, let my creativity take over, that’s when I feel free to write, and that’s when people seem to be most helped.
I’ve come to the decision that my blog is about creativity. Other blogs may focus on marketing and other important aspects of writing, but that’s not necessarily my forte at the moment. I can, however, offer my journey into the deeper recesses of creativity, if I must define it.
Sometimes I feel like blogging has become a competition.
I don’t want to be an imitation of someone else. Unfortunately, that’s what happens when I purposefully try to compete with other bloggers.
I flip-flop back and forth between helpful information for writers, and sharing my own writing (and sometimes personal) life. Is there something wrong with doing both? A few years ago when I first started blogging, it was all personal. Even the author blogs I visited usually had more to do with their personal writing lives than actual “articles.” Now it seems the big thing about blogs is articles, and I see it on almost every writing-blog I visit.
Honestly, I don’t want to be just another writing-information blog; there are so many of those out there that I can’t compete with. I want to be a scrapbook, a plethora of personal experience, inspiration, entertainment, and helpful guidance.
I don’t want to compete with other writers’ blogs. That takes all the joy out of what I do.
I’ve been comparing myself to some other blogging writers, and when I do that I feel pressure to be someone I’m not. I compare myself, tell myself I’m not good enough, and yet I receive e-mails and comments from people who share their appreciation for my words. I must not be all that bad. I want to be inspiring, entertaining, helpful, AND personal– at the same time. I want this to be my home, not somewhere I dread coming because I know I have to write something incredibly purposely helpful just to keep up with the Joneses. If something I write helps someone that’s the icing on the cake, but without creativity it’s stale.
I need to focus on my creativity, which itself has been floundering lately, and which I believe has led to these feelings of inadequacy as a blogger.
How will I do that? I plan on sharing in my journey as a rediscover my creativity, through books like The Creative Call and The Artist’s Way, and other inspiring works such as Bird by Bird and various prose and poetry. (Poetry was my first love, and it’s what really seems to bring out my creativity.)
During the last few weeks I’ve been basking in the glow of Writers Remember being named one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers 2007. I realize that this is something big, and something I need to focus on cultivating more. That site is my baby, my creation, my gift of encouragement to writers everywhere.
Sometime last year, someone named my Mrs. Write Right blog as a “must-visit” for writers. It was then that I began to try to intentionally gear my blog entries toward helping others. I must have been doing something good prior to that, since someone recommended me, but I felt more pressure to share more, to be a resource for writers. I started trying to keep up with the Joneses, and left out so much creativity, an ingredient that originally caused someone to call my blog a “must-visit.”
What does all of this mean? Not much, really, for you, the readers. I won’t be doing less than I already am. If anything, I’ll be opening up more about the facets of creativity. I’ll also include grammar & punctuation themed posts, though I’ve been planning that for a while. I’m going to be a true word therapist, and share my love for words.
All it really means is that I need to stop thinking so much about (and placing such importance on) what other people think about me and my blogs.
I hope you’ll stick with me, because this blog is sure to become even more enjoyable as my own joy fills it! Thank you for letting me vent and find my own voice. I cherish my readers!
(You can probably, hopefully, see some of my love of poetry in some passages of what I’ve just written. This is an area of writing which I am finally returning to, one that brings me great joy. I look forward to sharing that joy with you, whether I’m sharing inspiring quotes or experiences. I promise that I will share my love for the writing craft; what a journey this will be!)