“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then . . . . I contradict myself;
I am large . . . . I contain multitudes.” ~ Walt Whitman (from Song of Myself)
It’s blog spring cleaning time again and all of my selves are enjoying the process of renewal. Everything, everything is made easier by my decision to craft my life around how I want to feel.
My editor brain is enjoying the quest for clarity; the re-writing, the deleting, the cutting, pasting and re-ordering of my narrative.
The life coach in me is enjoying the big questions: Who am I? How do I serve? What do I want to share? With whom? Why? How? Where do I want to go? How do I plan to get there?
The lingust and language teacher are evangelists for connection, for learning and sharing.
The translator instinctively understands – lives and breathes – the concepts of heart connection, vibrant expression, authenticity… the filtering of essence and soul. (Perfectionism? Anxiety about getting things ‘right’ before they’re made public? Part of the territory.)
The homelife coach shares those obsessions, but she applies them to the notion of homes as sanctuaries, galleries, gathering places, life-museums: her realm is the relationship between function and form, the balance between simplicity and warmth in the shared spaces, between serenity and cosiness. Am I living my life by design? What am I holding on to? Why? What does it say about me? These are her questions. She loves letting things go to make room for what matters most. She’s the one who HATES the clunky, stuck, cluttery, unfixable bits of her blog and so spends hours learning CSS and HTML and searching for that perfect – but elusive – free WordPress theme, the one that’ll pull everything together.
The daughter? Exhausted. Caring for a ninety year old father is an honour, a hymn of gratitude and also, sometimes, a challenge; she often has to press the blogging OFF switch.
The writer? Ah, well, she has the easiest role; as long as she can be authentic, everything’s fuel.
The songwriter, lover of music and poetry? Desperate to share her favourite music, lyrics and poems but frustrated by copyright laws and technology.
The poet? Waiting. She doesn’t mind; she just keeps soaking it all in and taking notes.
The painter? Also waiting, but resenting that blogging takes her away from days spent inspired, immersed in colour, details and texture, watching something recreate itself in paint. I suspect she also plays a major role in the longing to log off.
The crocheter? Couldn’t care less about blogging; she’ll post pictures of colourful blankets someday, but she comes to life when the laptop clicks shut.
The quotehunter? The reader? Longing to share everything, but biding their time, reading… filtering… building up to that moment when the jug overflows… they’ve gathered thousands of quotes to share, but ah…the filing and sorting is a chore.
So that’s a few of my me’s, but enough to illustrate my complex relationship with blogging.
How many you’s make their way into your blog? Do you ever feel like you have multiple blogging personality disorder? Which of my blogging selves do you resonate with most?
In my clearing out today, I found this version of my very first post, published in 2008 on a simple wee practice blog before I launched properly. My decision to keep it got me wondering why, so I decided not to bin it. I still visit craft blogs for pleasure, and it seems I still have the same blogging values as I did back then.
I love unique blogs full of exuberance, creativity and pure authentic passion. Blogs that feel like snack food for the soul. Blogs that don’t make me feel like my only purpose as a reader is to bump up the numbers at a vampire fest. I logged on today to learn from some of the world’s top pro-bloggers and ended up feeling like the poster child for how not to blog. A few of my crimes?
- I use the word ‘I’ more than ‘you’.
- I write about myself, my home and my family – one blogger called this “egocentritis”.
- My favoured format isn’t daily How To… lists or Top 10 anythings.
- My posts are so long they’d land me in blogging jail if there was such a place.
- Even my short posts aren’t easily scannable by folk who like to whizz through dozens of posts a day.
- My post titles aren’t written with search engines in mind.
- I still think of you as a reader, not ‘traffic’ that needs to be ‘driven’ somewhere.
- I haven’t stuck to one niche.
That’s why I was delighted to come across today’s Daily Mmmm… while I was doing what I call synchronicitous surfing, letting my natural curiosity take me from one link to another for the length of time it takes to drink a coffee.
A couple of curious clicks led me to a Dutch blog by a stay at home mum and part time teacher who makes little works of art, creative pieces rich in colour and detail. I love hand-made craft items that take time and love to create; in much the same way, I enjoy blog entries that aren’t just dashed off to feed the insatiable hunger of the search engines.
I smiled when I came across these wee hearts; they warmed mine on a cold autumn day full of low self-esteem, self-doubt and ranting frustration. I wrote to the artist and asked her for permission to use this photo; she replied, in English, within minutes and her warm, appreciative response made my day.