Intentional Blogging: Committing to Ephemera
Everything is fleeting, including the summer during which I took a break from blogging at The Green Study. So here I am again. I browsed blogs this summer, but kept my “presence” to a minimum. I wrote casually at another blog TGS Zen Garden to focus on some health and lifestyle changes I’ve made.
Someone read my novel this summer. That was scary. I paced a lot, sometimes peeking in to see if I could tell anything from the expression on my first beta reader’s face. I thought criticism would wound. I thought I’d be more defensive. Instead, I was surprised that it was an easy pill to swallow. I’m unstuck now on what edits to work on and excited again about the story I’m telling.
I changed my diet from being a full-on dairy-addicted omnivore to eating a plant-based diet. I gave up nearly all caffeine, a withdrawal which made me sick for an entire week. I wore a cast boot for three weeks after getting a stress fracture from running. Things are finally starting to balance out and heal. Extra weight is coming off and I’m sleeping better.
My reading list was mostly nonfiction, littered with psychology, nutritional advice and time management practices. My brain is like a huge self-help conference, awash in aphorisms and optimism. Ideas are alighting and then flitting away, their essence filtering into my daily living.
And I made the deliberate decision to continue blogging. One of my priorities this summer and going forward is to live intentionally – to stop doing so many things with so little thought.
It’s noisy out there. There really isn’t a lot of justification for me to add my voice to the crowd. Everything I could say has been said, is being said or will be said. My attendance is not required.
Writing for a blog and interacting with the blogging community (answering comments, reading others’ work and commenting) takes a lot of time and effort if one wants to do it well and consistently. And what would be the point of doing it otherwise, if not to do it well?
Sometimes I can work for hours on a piece only to see little or no response. Other times, I write something off the cuff and it gets Freshly Pressed. Extrinsic reward cannot be the only motivator for this activity, but it sure helps.
I used to bullshit about why I blogged, but in living intentionally, one must be willing to be honest about one’s intentions. I am a writer, but blogging brings an immediate, interactive component that is heady. Yes, I feel that Sally Field rush (you like me!). I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t gratifying.
What has tripped me up is that while I find blogging enjoyable, it is a hobby. It’s unpaid. While a few superstar bloggers have turned it into a paying career, that is not my intent, nor the path I will be taking towards publication. It can’t take the place of writing offline, even though it feels like I’m doing something.
It really comes down to the fact that I like you. I like interacting with other humans. I like reading about experiences that are not my own. I like trying to contribute to the conversation. As a writer, I can become quite enamored of my own words, but when I write them out loud, when I realize that there will be an audience, they are tested. Are they genuine? Does it read well? What is my point?
Thank you to Ruth, Belladonna, Sandy, kirizar and 3kids2cats1divorce – just a few of the friends (on and offline) who took the time to read and comment on my other blog this summer. I will continue to focus on health and lifestyle issues at TGS Zen Garden, posting once a week as I return to more regular blogging at The Green Study.
Thank you to returning readers. I know that there is more than enough to read online, so I greatly appreciate that you take the time to read, like or comment on posts at The Green Study.
It’s good to be here.