Monday, August 29, 2011

why blog?

Every now and then, there is a long pause between posts on this blog. Sometimes (like last week), this is because we've been busy. Most often, though, it happens because I have lost my motivation for blogging.

When you are first learning how to write, you are told that you must "know your audience". Who are you writing for? What do they expect? Keeping them in mind helps to bring purpose and clarity to your writing. It gives you a reason to write.

Every now and then, I find myself wondering, "Who am I writing for? Why am I writing?"

. . . which, inevitably, spirals downward into, "Why should I even bother?" I don't have a regular, obvious audience that follows and comments and waits anxiously for the next post. There are no far-flung grandparents waiting for pictures, no loyal fans who think my recipes are awesome. This is just not that kind of blog. But there are times when I feel like it should be, I feel like it has to be, to give me a reason to keep writing.

But then I start thinking about why I started this blog in the first place: to write. That's it. I am a writer-- published or not-- it's the one thing I feel I must do every day. It's not just a passion; it's a necessity. It helps me process and keeps me sane. In busy seasons, even making a to-do list in anticipation of the next day's activities works to center me and give me a sense of stability. Of course I would love to penn a masterpiece, read by the masses, but for now,  I just need an outlet.

I write for myself. I always have. Just not on this blog. Here, I have been guilty of catering to the whims of my imaginary "audience," posting cute pictures because they get the most comments, trying desperately to shape my experiences into something "other people" would want to read.

But no more. (Gosh, that feels good.) From now on, this is my outlet, my chance to process the world. It will continue to be public and (hopefully) mostly inoffensive, because I do have a few lovely grandparent readers out there, ;-) but from now on, I write for me. You casual readers may not even notice much of a difference. There will still be cute pictures. And baby bump updates. But they will be there because they are important to me, not because I think they might be important to you.

I may end up offending some of you, as my 24 year-old Christian self tries to make sense of life in my suburban, post-Christian world. I will try, really try, not to be divisive or mean. But I will probably not be cool or particularly mainstream. I will do my best not to be whiney or depressing, but neither will I be all sunshine and rainbows. I applaud mothers who can just talk about how much fun they have and how wonderful their kids are, but I'm not one of them. If Lyndon decides that he would rather scream than nap, you are going to hear about it. That being said, most of my days are tons of fun. I love my job and wouldn't rather be doing anything else with my life. Seriously. My outlook has never been sunnier. I really do love my life; I want to make that clear. But I'm a pessimist by nature, and I refuse to put my posts on Prozac because that's what I think the people want.

There. A full confession and a promise to do better. Not for you, however lovely you may be, but for me. Writing for writing's sake. I can hardly wait!