On Blogging in General

The other night, a friend of mine identified my blog posts as confessional.  A few weeks ago, my roommate asked me if I write confessional poetry.  And I’m thinking about the concept of confession.

I think most writers–at least most writers who write–eventually come across the question of why they themselves have chosen to write.  Why writing?  Why writing what you’ve written?  What made you choose this field?  What made you choose these words?

I won’t say writing was my first and only choice.  At first I wanted to be a veterinarian.  

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That soon passed when I realized as a veterinarian, my job would not be petting dogs and playing fetch and cuddling. (Please see the above picture which represents my young, innocent, beautiful ideas of the world.)

Though I’ve thought about it a lot, I can’t quite say why I write–not exactly, or not clearly.  I could start the list here and not finish until I run out of blog space.  But, I suppose, in the simplest ways, I can describe my most common impulses.  I write fiction because I want to escape.  I write poetry because I feel no escape.  I write non-fiction because I’m repeatedly, relentlessly confronted with reality.  

Following these thoughts, I guess when I started blogging I was turning in on myself–folding in on myself.  I was trying to peer into the corners I’ve never visited, to visit the thoughts I’d abandoned and beg them for forgiveness.  I was trying to connect the pieces of myself, the good and the bad–become cohesive.  And I was so much folding in on myself, that I decided to commit to unfolding myself.  When blogging, I’m swimming away from the shores of my thoughts, past the waves of my doubts and most personal hopes, and happily finding the ocean of the world.

The Sudden End of October

                A few months ago I started a blog.  And then I fell off it, a bit…

                How many people must say that?  A few months ago I started a diet… A few months ago I started a new job… A few months ago I started seeing this guy…

                Those damn ellipses.  They really know how to get you to ignore the rest of that sentence. 

                The rest of that sentence is, of course, going to explain why I stopped writing my blog.  The rest of that sentence is going to say that I lost the urge to communicate my innermost thoughts to the rest of the world.  The rest of that sentence is going to say I got wrapped up in more important things, like having a social life or writing my novel (which, admittedly, I did finish).  But those ellipses, man, they’re really handy for ignoring a problem.

                The problem here is that I committed to something—a simple blog about nothing serious, but a promise is a promise, shouted into someone’s face or into the void, made at knifepoint or on a whim—it simply doesn’t matter.  I committed, and then I fell off.

                Tonight, at midnight, I’ll be entering into a new commitment: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  And just like any other bride, I’ve got that cold-feet-wedding-jitters-run-for-the-cab-sleep-with-the-best-man-keep-all-the-gifts feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I realize suddenly that I’ve never been late to work, that I’ve called my dad every single week since he moved to Georgia, but I’ve never kept a promise that I’ve made to myself.  I literally can’t think of one.

                The trouble is that when it’s just you and you, you promising things to yourself, there’s no one there to get angry—no one to disappoint.  Because erasing blame is as simple as adding those three periods to the end of a sentence… and walking away from the issue.

                Well, if the first step is admitting you’ve got a problem then, call me a 2000’s dance move because I’ve mastered the one-two step.  Those of you who are AA affiliated already know the second step is about trusting in a power greater than yourself to literally restore your sanity. 

                While God is certainly my own personal homeboy, I think He and I can agree that my sanity might not be his jurisdiction.  There’s only one way to save me now.

                NaNoWriMo: the mad dash to the finish line, the sprint that starts from the first moment and never lets up, the near impossible 50,000 word minimum—the promise to myself that I intend to keep.  I’m going to lose sleep, throw fits at the people I love, break my phone on purpose, eat glue by mistake, cry for my grandmother, and create a complete, full, and beautiful piece of writing that says all on its own: if I’ve lost my mind, it was all for the sake of finding my heart.

                I’ll be in touch.