I really enjoy my interactions with others online, as a writer, as a reader, as a person. Each person I follow has such unique personality and interests and world view. We read one another and make one another laugh, think, feel, and express. By reading and sharing one another’s work, I think many times we help one another be better writers. There is challenge, encouragement, and support in a writers group, whether a small personal one or an online community. It is good. It is important to me.
However, at least for me, it has become apparent over the months since I established my site that it also comes with difficulties. For me, it has become a challenge to engage online, as reader and writer, without having it intrude into my daily life to such a degree that it affects the rhythm of my life. In every phase of life, we tend, I think, to fall into a rhythm. I’m not talking about routine or habit in and of themselves. And I’m not talking about great chunks of life, as in the stages of aging as separate entities. I’m talking about how we live our daily lives. How each day flows into the next in a general way. Marked by exceptions, of course, but what once was, and sometimes still is, called the tenor of our days, the content and meaning of each of our days as we live them. (As a writer, I just have to share with other writers how much I love that metaphor, the tenor of the day.)
So I know that I have to find a balance between blogging and the daily life I have created for myself. This is new. New things always have to be adjusted into the current way. I have struggled with this. Finding a balance. Why am I sharing this personal issue? Because we are a community of writers. I think there are other writers like me who do not yet know how to fit blogging into a life full of other things that we love or that require our attention. Perhaps there are others like me who want to find a balance. Each of us finds out what works for us, where the blogging fits into our day, how we prioritize and define purpose and meaning of our blogging as a part of our lives. For some of us it is the purpose and meaning of our day. The writing, sharing, conversations, and discovery we find with one another. That can be a gift and a blessing. It has value.
I am not that way. This requires sacrifices. Choices. What should I not do, as well as what shall I do? I hope that what I share with others here has some meaning for a few. I find meaning in what others share here in this online community of writers. But…. There it is. But… I’m a writer out here offline, too. I have neglected that part of my life. I have ignored ideas and words that have come to me. That happens in life. That’s why I, and many of us, keep small writers notebooks with us somehow. Or scraps of paper. A pen. Because we know if we don’t write something down right when it comes to us, we will lose it. Probably never find it. I have lost a few in recent months. Too many. I have ignored things I’ve known later I should have made the time to capture on paper, but I haven’t. I regret those things I have lost. I have continued to write, and I have been reasonably happy with what I have written and continue to revise. But I also feel a loss.
So, I have to find a balance. I have been working on it. I think I know what will work for me. We’ll see. I have reflected on what my pattern of posting, reading and writing looks like. In the beginning, there were whole days that I spent online, both reading and writing. It could probably become all-consuming for me if I let it. There is just so much sharing that is happening, so many great things. It’s wonderful. I could fall into that. But I can’t. I don’t want to. I’m just speaking for myself here, about my own life. So, I have experimented….trying to be online every day for shorter periods, both reading and writing. Tricky….an hour became two became three. Alternatively, I’ve tried to set aside certain specific days and times for either reading or writing. Totally unnatural, counter-intuitive and counter-productive. These attempts were utter failures. It was depressing and frustrating. I just stopped. Stopped. And then started. And then stopped. But then I realized that’s ok. I’m seeing that that is the way I am. That I do seem to be finding a pattern. It might well be that I don’t have a pattern! My pattern is to be sporadic.
I go off and on depending on what is going on in my personal and writing life. I catch up on My Reader on some days. I do read. I love to read the writing here. I don’t always comment. But I read. And I appreciate. I post on days when I feel I have something to share. I tend to do it in what I call chunks, a bunch of different pieces in one fell swoop. But that’s the way I write personally. I write fairly regularly, but not every day. I tend to gather, reflect, and write over time. So in a way it’s the same, I guess. I seem to have found a balance. That works for now. One thing many years have taught me is that almost nothing in life is set in concrete.
Mother, grandmother, daughter (still, in spirit a part of me), sister, aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, mentor, writer and a hundred other things. And a blogger. As Dickens the writer said, “God bless us, every one.”