When I first started blogging, I did it because I thought I needed to. Being a technical guy, part of the allure was getting my site off the ground. Could I take a domain name, MY name, and build a site that reflected who I am...virtually?
As with most of my ideas, the technical part was easy, it was the creative requirements that sunk me.
I started out with a simple plan of writing three entries a week. I didn't want to lock myself in specific topics: I wanted it to reflect myself and the events of the day/week rather than beholden to a thematic overlord. At first, it didn't seem to bad. I'd write up a quick entry about the "going ons" in my personal life, and move on.
It didn't last more than about two entries before I began to succumb to one of my main character flaws: sensitive over thinking. Let's take a peek inside my brain preparing for an entry about Work:
"OK. Time to write up a quick post. What should I write about? Oh! How about my rising frustration with my boss <insert topic here>? Yeah, I could write to help collect my thoughts, and be better prepared to go back and go another round about this."
"Hmm...When I applied for my job, I used my domain email...so he must know I have a domain...what if he reads this? He hasn't said anything about it before....maybe he's just silently checking up on it..."
"Gah, getting off topic...maybe I'll just write about it...but not make it specific enough so he would know it was me...Who would read that? It wouldn't have any substance!"
"F*$% this...Maybe I'll write about <insert Personal Topic here>. I've been meaning to try to parse out my thoughts on it anyway.."
"What if My Mom/Dad/Family member/close friend/acquaintance reads this? Could this somehow negatively impact my relationship with them?"
"No, not going to write about that either...Maybe I'll write a fiction piece..."
"...I don't have any ideas...Screw this, I'll just browse around MySpace/Facebook/G+/Social network of the day."
As you can see, I think A LOT about what others may think of my entries. I definitely don't want to jeopardize my career over a quick, terse entry about something that I usually get over within a matter of hours, but if I don't write/talk about it, the post has a tendency to simmer and stew, and start to boil over into other thoughts and eventually could become all consuming until I finally talk it out or just go to sleep.
With respect to Friends and family, I am in a similar boat. If there's a situation that arises that stirs up strong emotions, I need to talk/write to collate my emotions, to better understand where they are coming from. Am I upset/worried because deep down I don't agree with their choice/thoughts relating to the emotional situation? Am I jealous/envious of them about something else that is tainting my perception of the situation that could lead me down a path of unpleasantness?
In the past few years of running my own site (and a blogger site before that) I have spent more time trying to predict reactions about a still-to-be-written post, than actually writing.
The times when I do write, I try to edit on the fly. I don't ever get the thought all the way down before I try to shape it into a flowing narrative. I tried to do stream of consciousness, but it didn't work out for me. In my own critical eye, it sounded less than brillant.
I get so caught up in other people's perceptions, that I cut off an avenue to express myself and to help me learn to articulate my thoughts and feelings in a more concise matter.
Instead, I let it build up, and try to talk with Robyn about it. Don't get me wrong, I love talking to my wife and getting her insight/opinion, but She can't be the only one. I can't expect her to have all the answer: I need to reach out to more people.
I've got a few co-workers now that I feel comfortable enough to talk about work related issues, and a few personal things, but I still have a bit of a reserved attitude. I could understand if I had been burned by a peer in the past, but I can't think of an instance of that happening. I have no good reason hold back (at least professionally) with the people at work I feel I can talk with, but yet I do. I think that my over thinking sensitiveness is showing through still.
So, what does this all have to do with my resurgence of writing? Not much, at least directly.
I've decided to write more, mostly because I've decided it's time. I've reach a point in my life that I'm comfortable enough to use my blog for its intended purpose: reflect who I am online, and give me an outlet to hone my thoughts. Does this mean I'm going to start writing about every little thing that happens in my life? Probably not. I'll more than likely not bring work into the mix...this is MY blog about MY life. I have enough to parse through outside of work, I'll leave my work concerns there.
What you can expect to see, is more posts like the ones about the stove. Posts that I use to discuss my feelings of inexperience, inadequacies, frustration, excitement, and satisfaction. I need to work on identifying my feelings and their origins, and if they are less than helpful emotions, figure out how to work through them to be able to move on without always having a tiny spot in the back of my mind that keeps making its way to the surface.
The stove entries were very cathartic for me, and afterwards, I slept much better...even if I was a bit chilly :)
So here's to a new blog, and a new me. More of the old...but hopefully not as much as before.