Friday, June 19, 2015

I am Not a Blogger... Yet

girl writing on train

I'd like to tell you a little story about a girl in 8th grade who was given an assignment to write a report on a career she might like to pursue in her future. She threw herself into the report, spending hours of research on job market trends and salary projections. At the end of the day, she turned in 32-page report on being an obstetrician and gynecology in the early 2000s. Everyone else followed the 8-10 page guidelines. But she got an A+, and no one told her that writing too much could be a bad thing. 

That same little girl grew up writing novels in her spare time. Surprise, surprise. Gobs of them. Mostly unfinished. But she loved writing about the little details no one saw, the character flaws others missed. She never write with an end in mind, she just wrote.

Imagine the rude awakening she had when she went to school for journalism, or began to dally in the world of blogging. Turns out, people don't go online to read novels; they go to the library (or Amazon Prime, if we're being honest). And so the little grew up and decided to be a writer. 

The end.

If you didn't catch on, this is a little autobiography of my writing career to date. And I just had a major breakthrough. I realized I've been doing this whole blogging thing wrong. It's taken me about 10 months to figure that out. But here I am, sitting in some sort of stupid stupor realizing how miserably I have miffed my first blog.

When I first created this blog, I was doing it as some kind of experiment, both to have an online journal of sorts, but since I already keep a personal journal regularly, this "web log" of my day-to-day felt a little redundant. Truth be told, I think I was craving a creative outlet, and to learn new things that related to my field. I wanted to give myself something to do while I went abroad, a way to continue to hone my career during my gap year. How very American of me.

As things wore on, I blogged less, learned less, thought less about it. Until I realized I would only blog once a month, perhaps twice. I would feel so bogged down by the build up of events over that past month that I wouldn't even want to write about it, because it was too much and wasn't even current anyway. (That's why you still haven't heard anything about Istanbul.)

But with a little extra time on my hands lately, I decided it was time to brush up on my skills as I begin to look for jobs when I return to the States (there's that career motivating me again). I decided, against all my political beliefs, to read The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging. And I realized my major pitfall as a blogger was trying to make my blog perfect.
  • I need to edit these 200 photos from the trip before I can post anything.
  • I can't post now, all my readers are still in bed.
  • I should do more research so I can have some fun stats to share.
  • Nobody cares about this, it's too personal.
And so forth. And while struggling through the grotesque bulkiness of political innuendo of a book about blogging, I made perhaps my most important discovery:

Perfect is the enemy of done.

This whole time, I've been a perfectionist about my blog and burying the punctuality under punctation. I haven't trusted my own voice. I've been working very hard to be someone I am not. I am not a world traveler. I am not a fashion blogger. I am not a trust fund baby. I am not an angry expat. I'm just me. And I don't know who that is exactly, but instead of trying to be someone, I'm just going to let my someone be, and trust there is something, no someone, good inside waiting for me. 

So things might change a bit on here. I might post a lot more. I might not form complete sentences. But I can tell that this is important because my eyes just welled up a bit thinking for the first time in maybe my entire life I am going public with my imperfection, and I'm going there boldly. I hope you'll stick out the journey with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment