Monday, February 11, 2013
On Being Brave, and Why I Still Bother to Blog
There are times I am sincerely frustrated and disappointed with the (seeming lack of) success I've seen with this blog. Mostly these feelings erupt when I've been having another panic attack over finances. If only my blog could have a sudden and immediate rise in popularity. With it could bring sponsors. Sponsors mean money (at least, that's what I imagine). I could get my hair done regularly, buy new pj's for my kids before theirs are two inches too short or threadbare, live somewhere other than the room above my parents'... You know - the little things. Then I remember a lesson Kim (from Dirty Diaper Laundry) took away from the Type-A Parent Conference last year.
Essentially, the message was to remember why you started blogging in the first place. I certainly did not start this blog with any delusions of grandeur. I had hoped it might become successful enough to warrant a trip to one of the big blogging conferences... Where I could meet people like Katie Bower. That was the extent of my dreams for this blog. I started this blog because I love talking cloth diapers, and I wanted to create a conversation. I continue to blog because it's cathartic, and it keeps me feeling connected to a community. I don't get bombarded with comments on my blog, twitter, or Facebook. I'm not ever really sure if people even genuinely enjoy what I have to say. But it makes me feel better to put things out there - outside myself.
I had a secret blog for a while that really no one knew about. I wrote absolutely every thought I wanted to express. It was great. Then one day, someone commented. It was completely supportive and caring, but it freaked me out. Here was tangible proof that people read what I was writing. Before then, I was just pretending to be brave. I was pretending to be upfront with my experiences and emotions. After that comment, I did not blog for several months. I was blogging paralyzed from the fear of someone seeing me, and knowing my truest thoughts.
When I read amazing posts by bloggers like Annie who shared her battle with cancer, or Katy who just returned to the blogging world with the heart-breaking story of her miscarriage, I am inspired. The bravery they've shown in sharing such raw experiences compels me to continue writing.
I've shared before (or maybe I haven't) that I don't really feel closely connected to very many people. Like Annie wrote in my all time favorite blog post, I have fun being social, but I'm not the type of person that left summer camp (or college) and actually kept up with anyone. Not really. It makes me sad and envious at times when I see other people who have those relationships, but it's hard for me. I play my cards close to the vest (is that the right cliche?). I don't have the energy to keep up appearances, to hide my crazy, and to be better than I am with too many people. So I don't. I keep my circle small. But I am here to tell you, it gets lonely in this glass house.
So I keep blogging, and my blogging keeps evolving. But my blog continues to be a (albeit oft one-sided) conversation. It's working to make me more invested. It's letting me make myself a priority and a slow practice at letting down my defenses. And my hope is that this practice translates to my real life. Because the things I pray for most all boil down to the same thing: to be a good example for my kids - to be healthy and strong physically, mentally, and emotionally. And that is why I keep blogging.