Thursday, February 10, 2005

Stifled

Recently, I was asked if I wanted to be included on the Women4God blog aggregator, which is a great listing of blogs by Christian women.



My blog is definitely not a "Praise Jesus" or a "Lord Lord" blog because I'm decidedly not a "Praise Jesus" or "Lord Lord" kind of person, but I do frequent a few Christian women's blogs and take part in some of their discussions. And since I fit the criteria for the aggregator, I said, "Sure, I'd like to be on the aggregator. Even though my blog will probably be the most non-theological blog there."



That was fine. And I've discovered some excellent, informative, and thought-provoking blogs I hadn't known about before, such as Rebecca Writes, Wittenberg Gate, and Allthings2all. And the number of visitors to my blog increased. Traffic is good.



But is it really?



I blog because it's an outlet for my poor mentally ailing mind, which will explode if I don't write things. It's a creative diversion from a maddenlingly monotonous desk job. It's my at-work sanity-saver. My original reading audience consisted of (1) me, (2) Sherry, (3) Stacey, and (4) Cuz'n LaVronica. Less frequent readers were (5) the Hubster, (6) my mom (7) Megan, and (8) Jonathan.



But then more friends and family started reading. And as I visited more blogs, particularly in the music/culture sphere, I got more visitors from those places, and some of them pleasantly surprised me by actually liking my blog and linking it on their blogs.



But still, even though I knew I was getting a bit of an "audience," I just blogged about whatever I wanted to blog about--one morning it might be a humorous little story about my cat, another morning it might be an expression of my joy in music, another morning it might be a poem or a link to another blog, and another morning it might be my boring laundry-list for the day.



And you people read this fluff--and then you keep coming back for more. What's wrong with you?! Actually, I am thrilled that you keep coming back. It's flattering to know that people actually enjoy my writing. Or are that bored that they have to keep reading me.



Back to the aggregator.



When I go to the aggregator, I see my posts listed with everyone else's posts.



It's like seeing a snapshot of oneself when one is eating, or in half-blink, or looking really fat in that outfit that you thought you looked so good in.



And then when I start writing a new blog post, it's as if I'm thinking, "How is that going to look? Is my bra strap showing? Does my butt look too big? I hope this big zit on my nose isn't too obvious ..."



Then I decide that, yes, the bra strap is showing (I know this is a cool thing now, but it wasn't when I was an overly sensitive 13-year-old, which is how I'm feeling these days), yes, my butt looks gargantuan, and yes, not only is the zit showing, but it's practically taken over my nose and is screaming for attention.



So when I sit to write something, I find myself stifled. Blogger's block. I'm defeated by the thought that I have nothing interesting to say, so I might as well not say anything at all. It doesn't matter that I haven't had anything interesting to say for months, and that hasn't stopped me. And that hasn't stopped people from visiting, reading, and commenting.



So I need to figure out what to do. I had myself taken off the aggregator once because I knew my blog didn't "fit in" with the others. The woman in charge of the aggregator reassured me that my blog fits in fine, so after a few days, I asked to be put back on.



Now I wonder if I should be taken off again. Not because my blog doesn't fit in, but because of that weird, self-conscious seventh-grader feeling I get when my posts show up on the aggregator. And the stifledness that results whenever I sit at my keyboard to blog.



Am I overanalyzing this? Am I being way too self-conscious for my own good? Thing is, I know it's really not such a big deal in the great scheme of things. Even with the aggregator, it's not like my blog gets that much traffic.



I just hate this stifled feeling of blogger's block. This is not common for me. Even with my non-blogging writing, I rarely get stuck like this.



Comments are welcome.

8 comments:

  1. Which is why I ask that NOBODY links my blog on their site . . . it's personal for me and the few people who happen to know it exists.

    Sherry

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  2. Smiling and nodding!!!!!
    I've thought about approaching the Women4God group, but then I talk myself out of it. It's sort of the same way I feel when I think about putting a fish symbol on my car. When you make certain identifications people instantly have certain assumptions and expectations. I can very easily get all caught up with trying to live up to those and totally lose myself in the process.

    I did that and it nearly ended my life. I am NOT going back to that again. Thanks for helping me to process through this.

    blessings and grace.

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  3. Sherry--I can totally understand why you keep your blog private, but I don't want a private blog. I like having readers and hope to get more. I just feel uncomfortable with the sense of expectation that seems to have arisen with my being on the aggregator--even if that sense of expectation is only in my mind.

    Daisy--Great point, and you're welcome. :-)

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  4. Well, let me just say that I hope you stay in the aggregator, and I hope you keep on posting, and I hope you keep on being just yourself. It's refreshing....

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  5. Don't worry about your bra showing. I just asked to be included on the aggregator, too, haven't heard back yet, need to check the e-mail. But I think the whole point of that is people can get a glimpse of your post, and if it sounds interesting, they'll go have a look! I really wouldn't worry about it. If something *does* look funny, after a couple days once everyone updates their blog, your "faux pas" will be gone by then. Have some fun! Enjoy the traffic! Meet some great people!
    -Jen

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  6. I enjoy the casual style in your writing, as one of out-of-circle reader of your blog. This is just something special to you and you are generous enough to share what you write with other people. That is my blog resolution.

    Ignore your readers and don't be under stress if you would be able to find anything interesting for us tomorrow. If there is nothing to say, there is nothing to say. If you really find something interesting or it comes out naturally, it is welcome.

    Think about newspaper columnist, they don't write everyday. Those writing on daily basis must be experiencing the same thing, huh? ;-)

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  7. Rebecca--I've been taken out of the aggregator, but I'm going to keep posting (and being myself!). Thanks.

    Jen--You probably know by now that you've been added. Thanks for stopping by!

    Emrah--Thanks, glad you enjoy the blog. I'll add you to my links when I update them again.

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  8. I feel the same way. Sad isn't it? Of all the places in the world we should feel accepted and not judged...

    (Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying any groups ARE judgemental; just weird that we feel that way among our own kind.)

    I really like ordinary people. I'm glad you write about whatever comes to your mind. Keep it up!

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