I keep seeing updates on Facebook that this time 2 years ago I was doing Come Blog With Me, a daily blogging challenge. And I really enjoyed it. Yet now, I barely blog at all. In fact I haven’t written anything for this blog since July. I’ve posted a few creative snippets elsewhere, but even those have dried up in recent months.
I miss blogging, but I’m not sure whether I want to start it again or not. Maybe a better question to ask is why haven’t I been blogging?
My best blogging time has always been first thing in the morning, when my brain is at its most creative for writing. So it’s probably not surprising that now I’m in a full time job again with a commute, I don’t get any free time in the morning. And when I get home in the evenings, I have things to do and sadly there isn’t time or creative energy for blogging. Which leaves only weekends, which seem to get filled easily as well. Yeah I know, excuses excuses.
Things to write about
When I was a freelancer, a lot of my writing inspiration came from creative people I knew, from experiences of my freelance life, and from pondering about me and what I was doing with my life. Working in a full time job doesn’t seem to lend itself to inspiring or creative blogs, and any situations I come across are about people I spend every day with, so don’t want to blog about. Pondering about the future and navel gazing about my own strengths and weaknesses also doesn’t seem the right thing to do as an employee and team leader.
A seagull staring dreamily into the distance
As a freelancer, I had a “tribe” – people working in a similar way to me, experiencing similar challenges to me, interested in the same topics. I feel as if I don’t have this now, although I’m still in touch with many of the people I met (virtually or in person) during this time. I do have groups I belong to, and that I identify with, which includes some of the creative and “free range” thinkers I know, as well as local groups with particular interests like volunteering or live music. But I don’t feel like anything I have to write would be of interest anymore.
So, how about looking at it another way – what was it that I enjoyed about blogging?
Thinking through writing
I enjoyed processing my thoughts in writing, like this. Starting with a thought or an idea, laying out different sides to a question, and coming to a conclusion at the end. I had many a “light bulb” moment when tackling a problem or random inkling in the form of a blog.
Being able to express my own opinion
A blog written by me is my own thoughts, and nobody else gets to change what I’ve written. I’m in control of that, and can communicate whatever I want to the world. Others may disagree, or have thoughts to add, but nobody can take away my opinions. To be fair, I don’t tend to write about controversial things, that’s not me. But I still like having a little corner of the internet that’s mine.
Some of the posts I’ve written have shared information that might be useful to others. And actually that gives me a sense of satisfaction. If something I’ve written receives a comment or a thank you, if I’ve helped someone see the world differently, or try something new, or visit somewhere they’ve never been, then that’s a small positive difference I’ve made to someone else.
I have gone through phases of publishing my creative snippets as well as blog posts like this one (see Creative Moments and Creative Snippets). I don’t write as many of these as I used to, but I still enjoy the way an observation can lead to a few descriptive sentences. Snippets that are nice to look back on, as they evoke memories of moments or thoughts.
I also like to illustrate blog posts with photos. Sometimes the photo inspired the passage, sometimes the writing needed a visual to accompany it. But I find the combination pleasing. And actually true creativity shouldn’t be about what anyone else thinks of what I create. It should be about whether I enjoy the process of creating it and looking at it afterwards. Which I do.
A crisp December day
Through blog challenges and social media sharing, I’ve “met” all sorts of people I’d never have come across otherwise. People all over the world who share my interests, who comment on my posts, who connect on social media. Inspiring individuals who make me want to explore new interests or places. Or who direct me to new information or ideas. It’s nice to have virtual friends to exchange a few sentences with, and of course some of these people I’ve met in person as well.
So having said that I like thinking things through, this blog post has definitely achieved that for me. I’ve remembered why I enjoy blogging, and what I enjoy blogging about.
At some point this weekend I’m going to indulge in a couple of other things I enjoy – walking and photography. Those are the kind of things that might make it on here again at some point.
And I am undertaking another of my month long photo challenges, which this time I hadn’t announced on a blog. I’m taking a photo every day of the sky. And those will definitely turn into a blog post at the end of the month, that was always the intention.
My blog is not dead, and my love of blogging isn’t either. Turns out I just needed to write a blog to work that one out!
A sneak preview of my sky photo project… this one from 2nd January on a bright sunny day.