Sunday, March 8, 2009

So Deep, I Might Fall In

I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself.

Why? Because I've been catching up on some of your blogs the last couple of days. I smiled, laughed, and had tears brought to my eyes. I had a wonderful time, and I'm not yet finished. Yet, the pity party started.

I don't like myself this way. But the thing is, I really do enjoy writing. I wish I were clever with words on a regular basis, that I had that elusive certain "something" to draw people in. I so admire you. I really, truly do. But I also *gasp* envy you. I'm amazed and flattered that you even come to visit my little blog.

I do my best to be a good mother. This is what I want to do, and I'm learning now to love it in ways that I hadn't been before. I overall enjoy being home with my children, which makes me happy to say because six months ago I didn't enjoy it much. It was nothing they did, just where I was--and it wasn't a very good place. Now, I have no desire to be anywhere else, most times.

The only thing I would like to do is to reach people through writing. I love it. It both nourishes and heals me. As I pour out words, it fills me up at the same time. I would love to have the talent to share those words with others in a way that makes them want--no, compels them to read more.

I am filled with inadequacies. There are things that I do well, and I know that I do. James is always telling me that I don't give myself enough credit. I think that's because I always know I can do better, should do better.

But this writing thing, I don't know why it means a lot to me to have other people enjoy what I say, but I do. Yet when I write something about myself that isn't a funny story, I always fear that I turn people off. There. That was scary to say.

I can't seem to find my blogging niche. I'm not continually any certain way. I'm not routinely funny, or deep, or charming, or controversial in my writing. Not that I'd want to be controversial. I hate conflict.

I worry that people will think I'm fishing for people to feel sorry for me if my thoughts are sad. I'm concerned they'll think I'm bragging if I talk about the wonderful things I love. I fear putting myself out there. The only people I share much of my deep, inner self with are my mom, sister Karen, and James. It feels good to put my feelings down on digital paper, but it's also scary. I don't like feeling exposed. I don't like that I might be judged negatively. I admire my friends who can post their deepest fears and insecurities for everyone to see. There's always part of me that's locked back tight. It's like I can't help but keep back part of myself. I don't know why that is, or how to fix that, or if I even need to. After all, that is part of who I am.

It's a protective mechanism, I suppose. I think it's the part of me that I even hide from myself.

I have always felt things too much. Was attached to things like the trees in the yard when I was a kid. Felt sorry for an ant's family when he got killed. I think I developed a protective box inside me because it hurt when I felt anything too much. Even overwhelmingly good feelings like large amounts of love and joy causes me to feel physically uncomfortable in my chest. I think I keep close watch over the emotional spigot so as not to drown in the flood.

Maybe it doesn't matter and I should say things anyway. But then, would I be giving up too much of myself? I don't know.

I'll probably go to sleep and wake up regretting this post. But now, I'm tired and things like this always seem like a better idea when you're exhausted. That, or I guess I'm too sleepy to care.

By the way, tomorrow we find out what gender the baby is if it's cooperative. Or I guess I should say, today.



Nancy Face said...

How exciting for you! Oh, I hope the baby cooperates so you'll know! :)

I like to post about silly stuff and happy things that I love. Sometimes I worry that it will look like bragging, and I definitely don't intend for it to be that way. My blog is the only journal I have, and I want to be able to go back to old posts and smile as I remember this family dinner or that birthday.

Anyway, your blog should be whatever YOU want it to be, because it belongs to YOU! :)

LexiconLuvr said...

I would love to have the talent to share those words with others in a way that makes them want--no, compels them to read more.

Oh Rebecca, you do, you do. That's why I followed you in the first place. I am compelled frequently by your words--your heart. It is that part of you that spills into your writing and I hold close and cherish. From your post titles, to the heart & "meat" of them, to the tender farewells at the end. The only thing I love better than your posts are your emails.

James is right, you don't give yourself enough credit. I've read your writing (thank you!) and I know how good you are. I don't offer empty flattery. If I don't mean it, I won't say it and I'm saying it: You are talented; more so than you know. And you do more than string words together. You evoke, you compel, you reach, and you touch. You've changed me. And I'm indebted to that. I look forward to each and every post. When you were away, I came anyway, just for pieces of you. Don't stop. You're loved. By me especially. =]

LexiconLuvr said...

p.s. Congrats on finding out about the baby! I can't wait to hear. If you must delay on the blog, email me! I'll be giddy with anticipation until then! =]

Annette Lyon said...

You've described most writers perfectly. We're all terrified of putting ourselves out there and what others will think.

The thing is, you don't need a blogging "niche." Right here, you're YOU. And that's enough.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Gee, it's all already been said but I will add (to the fact that you DO have a way with words and I have often felt just the same way as you describe here) that people really enjoy reading blogs of people who are real and put themselves out there. Sure, those who don't are popular, too, but you will naturally attract the kind of person/bloggist that you are. It takes time and a lot of hours per day to attract an audience. It is worth it to me to put in that time b/c my kids are all in school and I am finally embarking on my dream of being a full time writer (well, sort of. I am still wife and mom and all of that). However, it would NOT be worth it to me to put in all the time and effort I put into it if it wasn't my "job" right now. Your job is your kids and you dont' get a second chance at raising them. Just keep blogging as a way to get feedback on what you are doing and to keep in practice. Blogging has hugely improved my writing abilities and that is after my book was already bought for publication. Hang in there!

Kimberly said...

I agree with Annette. What I love about you is your sincerity. You're don't pretend or try to be something other than you are.

I've had times where I've had anywhere from 100-400 readers per day (down to about 50 now). I worked at it. I devoted so much time to this blogging thing that real life didn't seem important anymore. When you're a mom - that's a very bad thing indeed.

And I kept trying to be funnier...or deeper...I wrote what I hoped people would want to read. And for a time, that worked. I enjoyed the popularity. It felt GOOD.

But I stopped feeling like me. I wasn't writing about what I wanted to, because I thought it would put people enough.

Sure enough, when I started writing whatever I felt like, it did put people off. I wasn't funny enough. Or interesting enough anymore. I was just a normal person. BORING.

I miss the popularity, I won't deny it. But I'm determined not to chase after it anymore.

Emma just called, "Mom? Wanna play?" And I shouted back, "Sure!" And I'm going to go do that now instead of reading another blog or planning my next blog post.

Maybe I won't reach as many people that way, but life is happier. And I have time for the friends who are true friends - friends like you. ~Hugs~

InTheFastLane said...

I think that I am drawn to bloggers that are true to themselves, in whatever way that is.

Heidi said...

I think you described perfectly the fear of most of us out there. Or maybe I shouldn't speak for everyone else, but you and I are definitely in the same boat. I struggle with the same things, and sometimes I just force myself to write something, knowing that the more I do it, the easier it should become. Just remember that the people who count will not judge, but love you for who you are, insecurities and all. :)

Heather of the EO said...

I just wrote a really long comment and blogger ate it.

So this time I'll just say that I could have written this post and totally get where you're coming from.

AND, I really hope you got to find out what you're having--so much fun!

Melain said...

I don't have a niche either. My blog is all over the place. I'll sometimes find a blog with a well laid out theme that is consistantly 'something' and I'll briefly wish I had done that. But ultimatley I just write whatever the crap is in my head when I have a moment to sit down and put it in ink. Nothing wrong with that. Your blog is the shiz because it's ALL YOU baby! Own it!

She's in the kitchen! said...

When coming into the world, you didn't cry. You quietly, and very slowly, looked around in the dimly lit delivery room until you caught sight of your dad's face. As you gazed in his eyes, we could see the intense connection that you were searching for. Connecting with people and things of this world has been your blessing ever since. You connect with those who are receptive to your gift, and they can laugh, or feel tears roll down their face. It is you, just being you, that makes your writing so special.

Millie said...

I totally get it. I've been in that place where every blog post felt like my last.

Quoting Billy Crystal in Throw Momma From the Train - "A writer writes. Always." There's just no getting away from it. :)

Jeni said...

"There is no one alive who is Youer than You." And we all like you just the way you are.

mindyluwho said...

I love your blog because it is you. You are real to me even though we have never met because you choose to share what is in your head at the moment. A blog doesn't need to have a theme to be interesting. And it doesn't need to be funny or deep all the time. As people we are varied in our lives and I think the best blogs, the ones I follow, reflect that!

Keep being you!

Michal said...

okay, i know that i am late to this party, but i just have to say that i can't believe you don't know what a good, compelling writer you are. don't let your fears and inadequacies stop you from anything--but especially don't let them stop you from using this talent that you've been given.

i sometimes worry that my posts will be misconstrued by others and taken as self-righteous, bragging, or as being overly negative (depending on the post) but we have to just express ourselves and hope that people will read it as it was meant to be given. you are doing a great job and even if i don't get to read your posts the minute they are up, i always always miss you when you take a blogging break.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Rebecca, your honesty is refreshing!

There is not much I can add to all the wonderful things your other readers have already said. I suppose that happens when you are way late to the party :) !! (I have been really behind on reading blogs lately because I am trying to live my life, not type it :) !!)

I adore your blog because you are you. You blog about whatever you feel like. That is your niche!