If tennis was my hobby and I had served and volleyed as much as I have blogged this last year I would expect my game to have notably improved. Which led me to wonder why it is that my writing has not. In fact, as I was looking through my posts from last summer I concluded that the opposite is true. The quality of my posts seems to be on the decline.
One reason for this, as I have mentioned before, is simply time constraints. And, if we're keeping it real, a bit of laziness. When I first started blogging I was so heady with the love of it I chose writing over sleep at night. Over snuggling with my children in the morning. It's understandable that I couldn't, shouldn't, keep up that level of
So about a month ago, around the time of my blogiversary, I spent some time thinking about whether I really wanted to continue blogging if I wasn't going to have time to make it what I wanted. Pride was also playing a part in this. I couldn't rid myself of the nagging whisper that even when I had given it my best, it was never great. And I can admit now, that there was a time I thought it might be. It was hard for me to accept that I just didn't have that something - an education? talent? drive? - to bring my writing to the next level. And I was crazy intimidated by those bloggers who posted well composed, grammatically perfect brilliance day after day.
However, despite my struggle with pride and self-doubt I decided I really didn't want to give it up. It's addictive this blogging thing. The writing. The community. And amazingly, through learning to accept the limitations of my abilities, I started coming to terms with my own writing. I had been fighting off a nagging feeling that I could no longer hear my own voice through the cacophony of amazing writers around me. I found myself - not conciously, I don't think - attempting to emulate the styles of writers I admired. I was forcing funny, or satirical or analytical into my posts when it wasn't really in me. And then I read this post by Boomama and it really helped me nail this idea down.
I have finally started believing that there is power in my own voice. As unpolished and grammatically incorrect as that voice may be. And someday, if my children or, gulp, grandchildren spend some time reading some of this writing I want it to be my voice that they recognize in the words, not my poor interpretation of a "great blogger."
It's liberating this decision to stop worrying about being good enough and just finding my own path, even if the path is smaller and less populated than some others. The problem is that finding my way back from a place of intimidation and imitation has been harder than I thought. I recognize my voice in some of my earlier writings but I am struggling to get back there again.
As a result I am going to take a break from blogging for a week, or maybe two. I am going to work on writing again free of reading other blogs and the unrelenting pressure to post something new.
I will probably do some reposts of some things I wrote last summer and, stealing from Slouching Mom here, if anyone wants to do a guest-post (pretty-please!) I would be terribly honored. Just leave a comment on this post.