100 blogs later – review and reflection

This is blog number 100. If you had told me I would have published 100 blogs 15 months after starting, I would have laughed you out of the house. There was no plan, I was hoping for a monthly frequency after having built a few examples to not start empty.

I started how I start a lot of things – I took a class about blogging. It gave me a sense of the big variety of blogs out there, and the rightful expectation not to make money from this (directly, any time soon), and how quickly people can use their playfulness and enjoyment by trying too hard. I wasn’t looking for yet another job, so I went with where my heart and mind took me, building on a few basics.

It took a few weeks to find some sort of stride and style, and to figure out how I want my blogging to relate to my other social media. Experimenting helped, not overthinking it, and going with what I enjoy the most and what angles on my topics are the most alive at any given point. I knew writing was going to be a part of the picture, but I have to admit I had no idea just how much I have been enjoying playing with the pictures.

I normally start with an idea. Often I actually start with a picture that somehow resonates, which then prompts the idea. With very few exceptions, topics are in the personal development and growth space, normally loosely related to values, decisions and how to live things out loud and actually make change in practice. So, basically, my “usual”. Some blogs are more general (and not all of them are brilliant), some show scar tissue and are deeply personal. These feel the most real, and not every week is one where I am up for that. Looking back, sometimes I opted for the quick(er) fix, the easier version, dipping my toes in – often at 4:30am trying to get this out before the day. Other times, I fell right in at the deep end – often when I least expected it, and on some days I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.

Once the right words have assumed position, some sentences take on a life of their own as perennial quotes in the ever-scrolling instafeed of my internal dialogue. They clearly touch something, condense, clarify and elevate. A wiser part of me then gets to quote myself to the less wiser part of me that ponders how much offence to take and whether to actually do something about it this time. I sometimes actually do take my own medicine. For the most part, it is the writing of somebody who is not there yet, who struggles with the struggles I describe every day as well, and who finds them worthy as part of being in this world, and of helping other people be in this world, seeking to making a difference. A work in progress, the writing, the writer and the work that is being written into existence.

It is also a conversation of sorts. An introvert’s dream to have the deep personal conversations one at a time, heart to heart, brain to brain – but with everyone at the same time. When I read other blogs and I know the writer, I hear it in their own voices as I am reading them. Do you “hear” my writing in that slight “best of” accent? (Apart from the liberties I take with the English language and the ongoing refusal to pick a side of the Atlantic to ground my spelling in. Sometimes not knowing, sometimes not caring, sometimes genuinely preferring things to be different than the book says they are meant to be; and sometimes just really wishing I could have more compound nouns when I need them…)

Feedback is scarce and (mostly) encouraging. This kind of writing has become a very firm part of my reflective practice. It is how I test-live thoughts and ideas before they can become useful. I realized I need to move ideas around in my body to know how they feel and how I feel. To put them into words and hold them up against the light repeatedly to then rearrange until they start making sense outside my own head (possibly). Until reading the result out loud produces vestigiae of the very sensations I am looking to describe. Until I feel something has shifted, some tension resolved, some spark transmitted. While it is largely taking place in my own head, it is also intensely physical.

Very often, that spark is just transmitted to myself as I am making sense of my own practice, my work and with this all, my life and human existence. Sometimes, I hear anecdotally, it touches others. There are days where I wish it was less involved, less physical, and would involve less diving back into the mess to then try and transform it. My inner type A wondering how long this is going to take and how far along I am by now: “are we there yet”. To then sit back down to buckle up for the ride. There is no “there”, there is just the next bit of the journey.

I am not making it easy for myself. I could have picked other topics to write on. I tried and it didn’t work. My topics want out, and I’m setting them free, one at a time, in the hope I occasionally get a postcard from where they landed and how they are doing now, and who they hang out with.

In the meantime, I am writing a bit more.

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