Claire: Why I Blog

This whole Making It Daily blog ride has been an interesting one.

It’s mid-October, and it should go without saying, by now, that blogging with my partners has been wonderful as it’s brought me closer to two women who are very important to me. One of these is a woman I have always been close to and have now been able to re-connect with in a meaningful and daily way. The other is a woman I only knew previously as a friend-of-a-friend and now feel really connected to in a shared web of supportive sisterhood. As readers and co-bloggers, both women have created an encouraging, nurturing space for me to take risks and push myself as a writer.

As a writer, I find that there are pluses and minuses to blogging. I will admit that I don’t like having to post something when I don’t feel like I have something good to offer. This year, I’ve posted some creative writing, some personal journal writing, and some of what I would call yadda yadda yadda writing–stuff to fill the space. Each has its merit and its downside.

The creative writing has been mostly fun and has helped me grow the most as a writer. It’s made me try stuff out and practice what I preach when I direct my students to take risks, tune into their inner voice, and just go for it. My favorite posts have come out of this approach, and I never would have created them if I didn’t have a publishing deadline. There might have been some posts that were “composting” for a while in my head or heart, but until I sat down to blog, I didn’t know how rich the soil was, or how it would feel to run my hands through the dirt, or what seedlings might sprout from the heap.

The journal writing has involved risk–and its payout–of another form. I promised myself I would be honest, which is why I have resisted fully “outing” myself in the blog. There’s been some stress that comes along with that. As a teacher, as a mother, as a partner, as a person with a public persona, I do not want to put myself or those I write about in a risky position. I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I do not want the readers who know me to think ill of me, to question or judge me, to roll their eyes or wonder at the liberties I take. I do want to tell my truth, however, and these posts have helped me reflect on what it means to be me: divorced, in love, growing, grieving, giving, taking, trying to be a good mother and teacher and friend and daughter and sister while figuring out how to find happiness and peace and health and gratitude too.

The yadda yadda yadda writing, the filler stuff, the I’m too tired to think but I have to post stuff, that I could do without, truly. Maybe in ten years, if I come back to it, there might be some value to seeing a snapshot of my brain, up close and personal, over the course of many posts, but I’m mostly content to check these off the list and move on. At the same time, I know that these written workouts are necessary, and one of the features of a regular blog is that it is real. This is no Facebook-like “look how fabulous I am” sort of space. This is the real deal, where there are good days and bad days, good posts and, well, less-than-good posts. And that’s ok. There’s always the chance that tomorrow’s post might be like a good run–that I’ll hit my stride and feel my words stretching out beyond themselves, rising and falling with the rhythms of the road, reminding me what it is to be alive, to breathe, to speak, to move and to fly.

KHP Art Below

KHP - Quick sketch last night to really look at the structure of the top portion of the main dome of the cathedral.  The digital illustration and sketches will all end up as a wood cut final but I need to get this clear in my head on the paper before I started carving and at the point of no return:)

KHP – Quick sketch last night to really look at the structure of the top portion of the main dome of the cathedral. The digital illustration and sketches will all end up as a wood cut final but I need to get this clear in my head on the paper before I started carving and at the point of no return:)

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2 Responses to Claire: Why I Blog

  1. khpixler says:

    I feel the same way! I am so glad we decided to do this and it has been so special to foster our relationships new and old. I have done so much artwork this year that I want to throw away and hide forever but I have also made a lot I am very proud of. It is hard for me to put out work especially my sketches or line drawing that by nature are rough to start and if I am having a bad day they are horrid to me. I personally love all of your writing and I am in awe of how effortless it seems to come from you. Truly amazing!

  2. Kristen says:

    Completely agree. There are posts I’m very proud of that show off writing I’ve needed to get out for a long time. Others, well, they are out there because they had to be. Like you, I’d rather not put it out there if I didn’t have to, but having that as an out might have made it too easy to get out of posting a lot this year. I think my running is similar. The shorties probably aren’t necessary, but the daily commitment holds my feet to the fire. Plus, I’ve learned, as painful as it may be, a one-mile recovery run after a long race (half marathon) does the body good.

    I think we should do a slow one-miler here post-half on Sunday. 🙂

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