I don’t know about you but I love seeing the behind the scenes thinking and process of the different bloggers I follow. So Erika and I will be sharing some of our process with you. I sent Erika the quote below and asked her to reflect on it through the scope of putting our “thought” posts up-it can be scary to post those.
“If to please the people; we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair.” — George Washington
So here is what we each had to say:
When I am writing posts I try to stick with what I would be comfortable saying to Erika. This is a much deeper level of conversation that I have with most people. But I think it’s important because I want each one of you readers to feel that you are invited into our living room with a glass of wine participating in our musings. It can be pretty scary though, putting my writing out into the world. I tend to get nervous and think things like, ‘what is my family going to think of this post,” “what are my friends going to think,” “what are other people who think about these same topics going to pick apart when reading?” Now some of this is actually really helpful doubt. It helps me revise and revise until I think my piece is strong enough to face my audience. Some of that self-doubt is really harmful if I let it get away from me. I have to remind myself that I am doing the best that I can. I hope that my passion will shine through any mistakes in writing. I also remind myself that at least right now our audience is pretty like-minded and full of family and friends. Hopefully, I shine a new perspective on something you already have been feeling. Maybe my words will be a good reminder of something you already know.
When coming up with new ‘thought’ pieces I try to ask myself what things I have been struggling with and reflecting on myself. Hopefully they are things that you are thinking about and struggling with also. I want to serve you. My pieces are meant to be encouraging and uplifting but at the same time as concrete as possible.
To get back to the quote I chose for this post, in everything we post I try to make sure it is authentically me. I ask myself some guiding questions-
- Am I posting something because I think it will be popular?
- Is this an outfit I like to wear or did I put it together for the sake of having a post?
- Do I love the product I am sharing or am I sharing it to post? (I don’t want to do any of these)
These questions help me to write authentically but often I still struggle to write because I am scared to. Sometimes I can let fear and high expectations hold me back from writing. In each post that gets published are my insecurities and doubts along with a healthy dose of ‘f this’ let’s just get it out there.
My gut reaction to this post idea is twinged with slight guilt, knowing I have not devoted as much time as I would like to posting. So I’ll be honest and say I’ve been a bit of a procrastinator with posting blog updates recently (as I am with most things in my life) and I’ve been thinking about why that is. I read a NY Times opinion piece about procrastinating and why we do it and I think it helps explain my hesitation in putting my thoughts to paper, or at least offers a decent excuse. Very often throughout my day I am inspired by conversations with friends, an NPR story I hear driving to work, a piece of music I listen to while I’m working, or just random thoughts that pop into my head while I’m daydreaming. At the time these ideas come to me, I think, ah yes, that would make a great subject for a blog post, and I begin thinking about all the ways I could develop it. That great quote from that book I read in college, or that anecdote about the funny thing that happened to me the other day. I get all of these grand thoughts about the perfect post, but it’s in the abstract. It’s like this mythical ideal blog post (The Form, indulge my inner Platonist for a sec) is floating up there in its perfect little state somewhere in the abstract cloud of ideas that is above my head and to the right just beyond my peripheral vision. If I dare to start to write the post on paper, to turn the abstract into a reality, I know it will not match up with the perfect ideal I have in mind. So, I put it off. Being a part-time perfectionist and diehard procrastinator together create this ultra-procrastinating tendency, especially with something as personal as writing. Better to leave the idea perfect in its abstract state, than to make it real, and in doing so, imperfect (try this as an excuse the next time you’re late on an assignment).
At any rate, despite all that, I really do love the challenge of writing, especially about things that I think are important to discuss, which is always what I try to write about. Reflecting on life is something that I have found to offer me a greater peace, sense of fulfillment, and a way to move forward with personal growth and one way I do that is through writing. “The unexamined life is not worth living,” right? Told you, I’m a closet Platonist. When I write, I try to write from a place of honesty and authenticity, to share my genuine thoughts or struggles, in the hopes that someone reading may relate, or be inspired, or simply feel connected in some way. I write from a perspective of “What would I like to read?” or “What has been on my mind or heart recently?” or “what do I care about that I want to take time to think about more fully?” (Just scrolled up to see what Clare had to say, and we think along similar lines, shocker 🙂 ) It’s amazing how much self-doubt can creep in, even just with something small-scale like this. I have a whole new appreciation for artists and musicians sharing their own creation for the world to comment on. I’ve learned a lot from watching Clare share her own thoughts about how to be open and brave. And I’ve also felt empowered, because my thoughts are valuable, because they are mine, and even if I’m just sharing them with Clare, my voice can still be heard.
Who knows where this blog adventure may take us, but I know that my goal will be to continue writing as wholly and uniquely myself to the best of my ability.
We’d love to hear from our fellow bloggers out there! How do you feel when posting? How have you managed self-doubt and the feeling that a post is never really perfect?