Blogging receives a lot of criticism it seems especially from “real writers”. The real writers of the world seem pretty irked that there are some non-english majors out there who up and decided to start rambling about pretty shoes and scented candles and eventually landed a book deal out of the whole gig. In a sense a small part of me gets it. Despite sporadic fluffy posts about rompers or flowery dresses I try to keep this space pretty real and center the focus around writing about topics that are important to me which in my case tends to lean towards feelings and the lessons I learn from them. I understand the arguments against blogging as real writing after all taking selfies and spending half your grocery budget on macaroons to photograph so you can write about it doesn’t make you a writer. Nothing makes you a writer except, wait for it, writing. So why is there this “Bloggers vs. Writers” (Us Vs. Them) mentality? Why can’t we accept that there is room for bloggers whose primary purpose is a curated collection of shoefies and a lack of attention to grammar and there are other bloggers who use the venue as a space for writing. Just because blogging requires the ability to type and assumes the author can develop simple sentences the platform isn’t reserved for writers (and it shouldn’t be). Books aren’t even reserved for writers just ask whoever decided to give any of the real housewives a writing contract. Just as pools aren’t solely open to bikini models and Victoria’s Secret Angels, WordPress has room for aspiring writers and 13 year olds with a lot of pent up angst. Some of those 13 year olds are actually pretty profound (believe it or not).
Personally blogging has helped me to fall in love with writing again. Growing up I always kept diaries and wrote in them religiously. During my free time at school I wrote lengthy stories and in the summer I would create my own magazines and newspapers while my brother played with plastic dinosaurs. For the longest time I was in love with writing but not just writing I was in love with words. I stayed up late into the night reading under my covers, I read in candlelit baths until my skin was pruny and when I back talked my Mom I was grounded from reading (really goes to show you how introverted I’ve always been). The more I read the more I was drawn towards writing; I yearned for the ability to create and express myself the way the authors I admired seemed to so effortlessly. I read constantly (walking home from my bus stop, in the shower, at the dinner table) and when I reached high school it sort of just stopped.
Like many high school students I was actively involved in school, I was taking more than a full schedule of classes (hello before school PE at 6am) and filled my extracurricular calendar with cheerleading, gymnastics, student council, environmental club and We the People (a constitutional speech and debate team) not to mention making out in trees with my hippie boyfriend. Every day was a balancing act and my time for reading and writing really became limited to school assignments. It was sad actually! College clearly wasn’t the ideal arena for re-exposing myself to my love of writing. As much as I appreciate sorority life and the opportunities it presents, a creative space for introspective hobbies is just not a quality the greek system can boast. When I transferred schools and left my sorority I didn’t suddenly gain a bunch of extra time. I was in school full time while simultaneously working two nannying jobs and dog walking on the side yet I found myself with more space to be introspective. I found myself reading blogs between classes because I didn’t have sorority friends to talk to or walk to my next class with. As I read normal people discussing their ordinary lives in what I found to be such an enchanting way and I thought “Hey! I want to do that too“.
I started blogging the way I imagine many do (to keep up with family and friends) but quickly discovered how little I enjoyed straight recaps of my day to day life (they were SO boring) and fell in love once again with free writing. I love that I can show up here each day and write badly. I love that I can make grammatical errors and sometimes rant about how dumb boys are or how shoes make my heart flutter. Of course I think proof reading and understanding the basic rules of the english language are important but as an aspiring writer (in any capacity) but mostly I think it is so important to just sit down and write every single day. Sit down and write and make mistakes. Sit down and write a story with no real plot line and characters that are unbelievable and flat. Create badly so eventually you can create something eloquent and moving and beautiful. I love that blogging has provided a venue and a system of accountability for me to do that. So thank you blogging! Thank you WordPress! Thank you Bluehost for whatever it is that you do so I can have this place on the internet. & Mostly, thank you YOU for showing up here and reading even if today is the first time and giving me an audience that compels me to keep writing and has allowed me to nurture one of my first loves (words).
I read a quote by Ira Glass on Joelle Charming’s blog a few month’s back (can’t remember the exact post). The words really resonated with me regarding creativity and inspired me to keep “failing” and creating subpar work every day in an attempt to create something pretty killer someday. Let me know what you think!
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”-Ira Glass